10 Useful Tips in Preparation of a Meeting Dinner
When planning smaller or larger meetings, it is important to take the meals into consideration. As a Meeting Planner, nothing should get past your nose. The Danish chef, restaurateur, and entrepreneur Rasmus Bo Bojesen has these 10 tips for you before you begin planning the meeting dinner.
A great event planner is the master of details.
Related post: Details – A Must Have to Become a Great Event Planner
- Look at the distribution between males and females, age, and nationality
- Men usually eat more meat than vegetables, and it the reverse is true for women
- Younger people eat 2-3 times more than their older colleagues
- Respect other’s eating cultures. Serve a varied selection of food
- Has this group had other meetings, and what did they eat?
- Keep a log and decide if a success should be repeated, or if it is time for a new exciting experience.
- Can a connection between the meal and the meeting be made?
- Is there a theme or can a common thread between those be made?
- Decoration of the room and seating arrangement
- Again, is there a theme or could one be made? Tie the look of the whole room together with the theme of the meal and meeting.
- What style of dinner should be served?
- Decide if the meals should be served like a buffet, casual “family-style” or served on individual plates.
- Try to differentiate the selection of beverages. Try using local suppliers for soft drinks instead of the big brands. Here in Denmark, we have a lot of local manufacturers of juice and cider.
- How about some entertainment?
- If entertainment is chosen, don’t have it between the appetizer and main course. The dinner guests are hungry, and the entertainment should use more time than planned, which might make the food go cold. Entertainment should be in between the main course and dessert when the guests are well fed.
- Does the budget match the desires?
- Be realistic about the cost of the meeting dinner. You can’t have everything and expect to pay nothing. Gut or cut the areas that have the least impact on the experience. Decoration can easily become a major cost in the budget.
- Go-home Goodie Bag
- Bojesen recommends e.g. some chocolate for those at home, a little lunch box to eat on the go, or maybe some fresh baked bread for the morning, if the meeting end late in the evening.
- Be comfortable
- It is not an easy task to plan a dinner for others. Try to have a “practice meal” served, so you can see and taste what the dinner guests will experience.
Pro tip from Hadler DMC Scandinavia: Ask a lot of questions. Take chances and be brave. Often clients will go for the safe choices of salmon, red meat, and ice-cream, instead of new culinary experiences. Ask the suppliers for local ingredients, special “out-of-the-box” dishes or dishes made to reduce food waste. Suppliers have tons of options if you dare to ask them