Marketing and promoting your event is vital to the success of your meeting or event and should be taken seriously. Your marketing should show the potential attendees why they need to attend and WIIM (What’s In It For Me), what they will get from your meeting or event.
Your marketing and promotions should be in line with your goals and objectives. If done right promoting will be easy. Here you need to demonstrate to the vendors, sponsors, donors, decision makers, and attendees that you have an event/meeting people want to attend.
Get attention with your marketing, pull from your goals/objectives and spark the interest of your target audience and guide them to how they can attend – make it easy. Define your marketing message.
There’s nothing like attending a boring meeting and finding out it is boring when you get there; so you should pay careful attention making sure the attendees know what they are going to get out of this meeting. Even if it’s a mandatory meeting you should still focus on goals and objectives, get them to buy-in and build excitement. This can only lead to a more successful meeting or event.
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Making a dish both vegetarian and gluten-free–there are many ways caterers today tweak menus to suit special guest requests.
Culinary Capers’ Baby Beet Salad with Fromage Blanc Tart is an elegant vegetarian option.
With the percentage of event guests requesting special meals more than doubling over the last 10 years, caterers are turning to a variety of strategies to keep clients happy while holding the line on margins.
In Part III of our series, we share tips from leading caterers:
To keep costs under control, we will often try and design the special meal option to be served with that same starch and vegetables we are serving with the regular meal.
We also try and design our special options to cover a number of the above listed special requests. For example: If the regular entree was beef tenderloin with a port jus with grilled vegetables and rosemary roasted potatoes, we could substitute our vegan roasted vegetable and heirloom bean terrine for the beef tenderloin and port jus, serving it with the grilled vegetables and potatoes. Providing we just used olive oil on the potatoes and vegetables and no garlic or onion, this dish would be suitable for lactose intolerance, gluten-free, vegan, nut and seafood allergies, Jewish and Muslim.
Example: Special meal options for an event for 730 guests that we just catered:
First Course Vegetarian option: Baby Beet Salad with Fromage Blanc Tart (in photo) Golden and red beets, tarragon, honey, vinegar, shaved rainbow radishes and frisée salad
Entree Course Gluten-free, vegan (without cheese) and vegetarian option: Roasted Vegetable and Heirloom Bean Terrine Roasted red and yellow bell peppers, fennel, thyme, basil, and heirloom beans, wrapped zucchini, served with capers, red pepper coulis and Asiago cheese
Served with the same starch and vegetables as the regular entree (Short Rib Provençal): Gâteau De Pommes Du Terre Smashed young red potatoes, olive oil and parsley Legumes du Jour Pas De Beurre Fresh seasonal vegetables tossed in fresh herbs and olive oil
Dessert Course Gluten- and dairy-free option: Coconut Panna Cotta Made with coconut milk and fresh berries
For large sit-down dinners all these special requests can be very challenging. We recommend setting up a separate plating line for special meals as it will keep the service moving quickly.
On your Big Day, your Wedding Day, (or other special occasion) you should not have any disruptions that take you away from enjoying yourself, your future spouse, your family and friends. With this thought in mind I have a few suggestions to help make your Day a much more enjoyable experience.
First Suggestion – Put Someone Else In Charge (The Step-In)
I realize this can be a difficult suggestion to follow for some people but please trust that it will make a world of difference to have someone else in charge for a short amount of time. Now, to insure that this is a positive difference, this person is not just someone attending the wedding or your second cousin twice removed who really wants to help, this person is someone you trust to make decisions, they know you, your likes and dislikes and they understand when you would say yes or no. Remember they are there to help so try to pick someone you get along with and can effectively deal with other people and possible difficult situations. Their job is to take care of any situations that may arise on your Wedding day, situations that the Wedding Planner, Caterer, or Hotel Manager might ask you about are now handled by your Step-In. It has to be understood that the Step-In now speaks for you and what they say goes. You should not hear about any problems till after the wedding, preferably after the honeymoon or longer if you can take not knowing. Here’s the bottom line, things happen, people bring an extra guest, did not tell you they are now vegetarian for some unexplained reason or the they can’t sit next to Aunt Anne because it “may start something”. Remember whatever the problem the Step-In can take care of it and you can hear about it later – Enjoy Your Day (and remember to give a big Thank You to your Step-In)…
“We look forward to earning your business.”
Deidra D. Thompson, Professional-In-Training (P.I.T.) Word of Mouth Events & Planning Bladensburg, MD 20710
Toll Free Phone and Fax: (866) 905-9002 ext. 304
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