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Delegate expectations driving changes in event catering

New report by ICC Wales/ABPCO reveals 'seismic' changes in event catering

Pictured: Heather Lishman

Delegate expectations are at the forefront of seismic changes taking place in event catering, according to a new report published by the International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) and the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO).
Earlier this year an ABPCO roundtable of event organisers met to discuss trends in catering at the Celtic Manor Resort - site of the forthcoming ICC Wales – in Newport, South Wales.
A recurring theme was the increasing influence of delegate expectations on event catering across five key areas: environmental impact; local cuisine; eating on the go; increasing dietary expectations; and social media driving culinary scrutiny.
The report – “Leading the Way - Food for Thought” - paints a picture of a period of transition as event organisers and venues face the challenges of growing expectations, new trends and budget constraints. At the same time, an increasing number of local suppliers, sustainable food chains and artisan businesses are poised to help venues promote an exciting new brand of catering that looks and feels less “mass produced”.
Welcoming the report, ICC Wales venue director, Nancy Mollett said: “We think that feeding a delegate’s mind, body and soul with goodness is crucial to heightening attentiveness, concentration and ultimately upping productivity. Combining a warm Welsh welcome with world class quality cuisine, we select the finest local ingredients and superfoods which not only taste delicious but also boost alertness and energy levels, general wellbeing and overall good health.”
ABPCO director Heather Lishman said: “ABPCO members are booking events that could be taking place in five years’ time.  So it’s so important for them to have a finger on the pulse of food trends and to work with venues that understand that food provision isn’t just about production and logistics, it’s about offering a tailored, personal and memorable approach. As the expectations of conference delegates continue to grow higher, the standards and benchmarks in event catering will also continue to rise. This is a great opportunity – as well as a challenge - for both event organisers and venues alike.”

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