Catering to health-conscious delegates doesn't mean disappointing the foodies

A healthy, organic menu doesn't have to be expensive, says Jennifer Davidson, MD of Sleek Events

Image credit: iStock
Image credit: iStock

Jennifer Davidson is the founder and MD of Sleek Events

-------------------

Can you put on event with a menu to remember and still cater to the needs of your more health conscious guests? 

With the fast-increasing importance of wellbeing, fitness and nutrition, we might instead ask the question: Will your event be successful without catering for your health-conscious guests?

As the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) publishes its report on trends in nutrition and delegate wellbeing, we decided to share our experience and advice on how to satiate the needs of your event delegates. Here are some of the questions we at Sleek Events most often receive from our clients during the event planning stage.

Is healthy food more expensive?

Prepared healthy meals and organic produce are generally costly when purchasing from the supermarket but, when bulk bought and prepared from scratch by professional caterers, prices for healthy option menus come in at the same price as any other regular menu. Ask your event manager what menus are available from your shortlist of venues or caterers.

Can one menu cater for all guests?

Whether it’s for ease during a short lunchtime break or for budgeting purposes, some clients consider a single menu to cater for all guests. We recently catered an event with a totally vegetarian menu and even the most committed carnivores amongst the guests were raving about the lunch because of the thoughtful, tasty recipes including well-balanced spices. You don’t need to be afraid of single menus when you have talented chefs behind them.

What actually constitutes healthy food?

This completely depends on the nutritional plan your guests are following. We always recommend our clients ask well in advance. For instance, gluten-free food is necessary for people with intolerances but is rarely lower in sugar or calories that its gluten-packed alternative. So, keep an open mind, a record of dietary requirements and share them as soon as possible with your event manager. 

What non-alcoholic drinks can we serve?

Many clients worry that the non-alcoholic drink options are boring for their guests. They are often choosing not to drink because they are the designated driver or have other responsibilities after the event, but that’s another reason why they deserve an imaginative drink!

We like Time Out’s recent top of the mocks – mocktail that is – The Temperance from Behind This Wall in Hackney. Your gut will thank you for this one as it contains a sour kombucha base, mixed with fennel seed, pomegranate molasses and cardamom tonic – great for digestion.

 

For more breaking news and in-depth features, sign up to C&IT's daily News Tracker here.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
16 ways to make conferences less wasteful

16 ways to make conferences less wasteful

Carbon-neutral events may not be possible yet, but there are big changes planners can make to help protect the planet.

5 of the world's most affordable cities for incentives

5 of the world's most affordable cities for incentives

To help you find luxury on a budget, here's a ranking of the world's most and least affordable capital cities to explore in a day.

Case study: Deviate Innovation Summit 2019

Case study: Deviate Innovation Summit 2019

The one-day summit in an unusual London location addressed the future of media consumption.

‘I’m sick of being asked why I’m charging’, says DMC manager

‘I’m sick of being asked why I’m charging’, says DMC manager

Event agencies and DMCs debate issues around cost and creativity during a panel discussion at C&IT’s Incentives Retreat.

New global MD for Ashfield Meetings & Events

New global MD for Ashfield Meetings & Events

Agency makes three appointments to its global leadership team, include HR and finance directors.

Planners want more crisis and security training

Planners want more crisis and security training

Event organisers concerned about their lack of preparation for serious incidents after November's terrorist attack at Fishmongers’ Hall.

The 2019 A-List FAM to Cork and Kerry

The 2019 A-List FAM to Cork and Kerry

Meet in Ireland treated the 2019 A-Listers to yoga, pony trekking and uileann pipes workshops.

‘A damaging lack of trust’: Can agencies and DMCs improve their relationship?

‘A damaging lack of trust’: Can agencies and DMCs improve their relationship?

Incentive planners and DMCs discuss the need for more transparency in their working relationship.

C&IT launches incentives survey

C&IT launches incentives survey

Want to be recognised as one of the UK’s top incentive agencies? Complete this quick survey by 31st January.

You shouldn't have to eat junk food at events and go home 'feeling lousy'

You shouldn't have to eat junk food at events and go home 'feeling lousy'

Big changes to how long events affect our health and wellbeing are urgently needed, says a VP of BCD Meetings & Events.

LATEST JOBS