A: Clients are keeping their meeting spaces open, uncluttered and minimalistic. Terranea Resort in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California follows this style, keeping meeting room workspace focused on the meeting. This allows for F&B events to now take place in the prefunction spaces and ancillary areas.
New trends include branding F&B functions as more interactive experiences. Picnic tables, themed lunches and creative decor are popular strategies to enhance the overall meeting experience.
Keeping up with industry trends is imperative for a successful event in the hospitality industry for any type of meeting program. We always say, “Cutting edge today could be a dull blade tomorrow.”
Q: What are some ways that planners can make F&B events more interactive?
A: Bake-offs, Iron Chef and mixology competitions are a few examples of the creative events that Skamania Lodge in Portland, Oregon has produced to enhance attendee involvement. Interactive F&B functions are on the rise for the industry as a whole. A themed F&B event provides collaborative entertainment and the ideas are endless.
The Art of the Tea Party, a local seafood boil or a cruiser bike tour of local restaurants are possible ways to present an F&B experience while providing attendees a moment of discovery in the overall event.
Q: Do you offer wine, beer or cocktail-related programs?
A: Last year we launched a craft beer program at Vail Cascade for both leisure guests and meetings. This year they are offering Brewmaster Weekends and weekly Sip, Savor & Brew events.
Any of their programs are customizable for a group including three unique educational programs. “For the Love of Beer” offers craft beer enthusiasts the opportunity to relax, sample and learn about the varying ingredients, characteristics and brewing techniques that make each craft beer unique. “For the Love of Beer AND Food” offers guests the opportunity to savor, compare and enjoy expertly paired craft beer and small plates while learning tips on how to create pairings, build flavor contrasts and create palate pleasing duos that will satisfy both thirst and hunger.
“Sweet Influences” puts guests under the influence of indulgently paired craft beers and sweet confections and sets the stage to learn the art of pairing, tips for integrating sweet ingredient enhancers and ideas for inspired seasonal pairings.