Gray's Journal

Friday, October 25, 2013

Top Five Food Trends In The Meeting Industry

Planning the menu for an upcoming meeting may seem like an easy task, but it's actually far from it. Food and beverage plays an important role in the success or failure of a meeting. Deciding on the menu or refreshment your attendees will enjoy can be one of the biggest decisions you, as a planner, will make when planning a meeting. But the great thing is that planners these days have a lot of options to choose from when making decisions for menu items.

Here are the top five food trends in the meeting industry this year:

1. SLOW food. 
(Sustainable Local Organic Wholesome) When planning your next meeting consider things such as seasonal availability, using local suppliers and buying environmentally friendly utensils and tableware. SLOW foods have become a big trend within the last few years, and you can be sure you are eating healthy.

2. Bite sizing. 
For a planner, smaller portions can mean a smaller price tag. Plus they are just so darn cute! You can take any of your favorites and shrink them to be eaten as tapas, hor d'oeuvres, or just small meals.

3. Internationally themed menus. 
Foods such as Thai, Indian, Mexican, Moroccan, etc. Along with an opportunity for chefs to get creative with unique ethnic ingredients while allowing local ethnic influences to take center stage. These themes can also open up ideas for themed teambuilding events and activities.

4. Food trucks
Haven't you seen them all over the place these days? So why not invite one to your next meeting. At the same price as most take-out restaurants, attendees can have their choice in menu options enjoying traditional street foods or gourmet burgers alike.

5. Interaction among meeting guests.
Look into teambuilding activities that play on Food Network shows like Top Chef, Chopped and Cupcake Wars. Cooking demonstrations and
cook-offs create the perfect environment for building relationships during the meeting and after it is over.

Food and beverage can say a lot about a meeting. As a planner, you have the option of making or breaking your meeting solely on the meals and refreshments. So make the most of your options and get creative!

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Ditch Those Dull Desks!

It's usually the same old scenario. You're at a meeting with your company at a typical hotel and conference center. You've been sitting in a meeting room listening to non-stop lectures from eight in the morning until your lecturer finally gets long-winded and dismisses the attendees at around five o'clock or so.

But when the meeting is over you know the work is not over, whether it's checking emails that you missed from being at your office or working on a presentation for the next day. But do you really want to go right upstairs to your room and sit at a cold desk and do work?

A new trend in hotels and conference centers is ditching those dulling hotel room desks. By adding ambience throughout the vicinity, hotel guests and meeting attendees alike can enjoy spending time in a cozy atmosphere outside of their hotel room.

Graylyn takes pride in treating its guests as members of the family - the Gray family, that is. As it was once the spacious home of Bowman Gray, the first president and CEO of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, and his wife Nathalie, Graylyn maintains its timeless and homey feeling guest rooms without the desks and internet hook ups! Although the guest rooms are quite beautiful and unique, the ambience around the estate is enough to keep you away to relax and efficiently do work.

Want to cozy up to the fire in the library while checking those never-ending emails? Graylyn also has WIFI throughout the estate, another perk for meeting attendees.

Comfort and efficiency are two very important roles in conducting meetings. It only makes since to keep those dull desks out of the guest rooms. What are your thoughts on this new trend?

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