Gray's Journal

Friday, September 27, 2013

From Candy Bars To Coffee Bars: Keep Your Meeting Attendees Alert!

In honor of National Coffee Day on Sunday, September 29th, we decided to have a blog post all about coffee...and meetings, of course!

The smell of coffee is one of the most inviting sensory details you can provide at meetings. Not only will a smiling barista, high-quality brewed coffee, and espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccinos elevate your meeting to exceptional, it is becoming so widely popular at wedding receptions, business events, and parties alike.

Preparing for a coffee bar at your next meeting isn’t complicated-follow these tips to get started:

If you're at a venue like Graylyn, with a designated conference coordinator and hands-on chefs working to make your meeting a success, a personalized coffee break will be a piece of cake. However, some venues do not provide their customers with food and beverages, they must be catered. You may be able to locate a coffee caterer by doing a Google search for your area. It’s likely, though, that many professional baristas won’t have a website. Word-of-mouth is still the best way to find one; stop in at a coffee shop or two and ask for information on coffee caterers. You might luck out and get a bid on the spot!

Coffee bars vary in their offerings; the basic service usually consists of brewed coffee in regular and decaf and espresso-based drinks. Syrup flavors are often limited to chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. Cold drinks and frappe-like drinks may not be available, unless caterers are equipped with an ice bin and a blender. The more creative the coffee break, the happier your meeting attendees will be. And did I mention the caffeine surge that will keep them alert and full of ideas?!

You’ll need to ask the caterer for his or her requirements. Some coffee caterers will have a portable cart and may need nothing but a power outlet. Others may need a table, access to water, and at least two outlets. Graylyn's coffee break sets are large areas with plenty of space for those flavored syrups and creamers. Talking with your experienced conference coordinator will ensure that your barista-style break will be a success.

One exceptional way to set the bar up is to place it where guests will be queuing-this smooths out the waiting process. Beware, though; you might have guests rejoin the line for seconds!

So amp up your next meeting with a fantastic coffee break. You'll be doing yourself and your attendees a f(l)avor!

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