The midfielder of the Green Squad wearing #7 is Afta Noon. He battles one of the biggest problems in our industry: food waste. Does this sound familiar?
Your half-day meeting or training begins around noon. Participants arrive and your venue welcomes them with a great lunch. Most attendees will get a coffee or soda, but more than half of the food from the lunch buffet sits out and eventually must be thrown away. Why is that?
No food at the 'edges' of your event
Most attendees would not even miss lunch not being available at your shorter, half-day events. If you're starting in the afternoon, their mornings probably look like this: after catching up on some emails and putting out fires in the office, they hang up from their conference call just in time to rush to the event. Along the way, they make a quick stop for a sandwich. They arrive to the meeting, with no idea that you've even planned to serve lunch.
And the same applies to joint dinners during the evenings of your conferences. So many attendees are tired after a long day, have work back at the office to check in on, live locally with children and families to get back to, or have appointments with other attendees that they can only schedule over the dinner hours. Keep food waste top of mind as you seriously consider how much food you are offering to your meeting and conference attendees.
Less is more
Food is provided as a service, but probably unnecessary for half-day events. Plan short events (such as workshops and trainings) in the afternoon and without meals. Begin your program at 2 pm and end between 5 and 6 pm. Want another networking opportunity after the official program is over? Organize a short reception with drinks and small snacks. This is a budget-friendly option that also helps to alleviate food waste.
Obsession Live Communications recently organized an event where participants were invited to come at 1 pm to have a coffee and get acquainted (some pre-event networking that attendees love!). The program started an hour later and was officially ended at 5 pm. The following reception was optional, so people could stay or leave to take care of what they needed to. But even before the formal content began, participants were already happy with the opportunity to network, the planners saved money on F&B, and the food waste was minimal.
A win for everyone!