IACC-Re-imagining Conference Refreshment Breaks

IACC GUIDE TO RE-IMAGINING REFRESHMENT BREAKS

IACC Venues Exclusively Designing the Business Events of Tomorrow

Dedicated to designing and manufacturing products to aid in supporting social distancing Produced by IACC for the promotion of the standards of IACC certified member venues and the busine s events ind stry globally

| 1

Publication: March 2021

IACCmeetings.com

INDEX Join IACC Online Educational Sessions on Demand ............................................................... 3 Summary ................................................................. 4 Aspects of the continuous break we feel are the most under threat in 2021 ...................................... 5 Food Wrapping & Boxing ......................................... 7 Food Presentation ................................................. 10 Different Packaging Solutions .............................. 11 Considerations on Food Waste . ............................ 12 Physical Characteristics of Break Stations & Locations ............................................................ 13 Information Flow to Attendees ............................. 16 Separating Food & Beverage Service ................... 20

| 2

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

Join IACC Online Educational Sessions on Demand

IACC Shorts Reimagining Break Stations

| 3

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

SUMMARY

In2021, as IACCconference venues globally return to hosting meetings, conferences and training events, the environments we provide will undoubtably be impacted by adaptations to accommodate a change in preferences and behaviours. In this guide, IACC explored the likely impact to venue operations for smaller conferences and business events, where IACC members will be the first to welcome back smaller more regional events, ahead of larger conferences and trade shows. Through a series of planning calls and an online virtual discussion, these experts shared experiences from venues who had re-opened and hosted business events. This guide highlights some of these likely trends and adaptations that should be considered. IACC appreciates that COVID-19 has not been determined a food-borne illness; rather we hope to be a resource for enhanced protocols related to food and beverage service since the IACC food and and beverage experience remains such an incredible catalyst for networking, idea sharing and delivering a exceptional meeting experience for attendees.

| 4

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

Aspects of the continuous break we feel are the most under threat in 2021

IACC EXPERT TASK FORCE VIEW

Q1 Task Force: What aspects of the continous break do you feel are the most under threat in 2021?

When polled, IACC’s global volunteer group made up of leading food and beverage experts, understandably felt that the concept most at threat was the shared service locations for breaks, where multiple groups come together. Second to this, was the threat of adopting new service styles, will lead to a reduction in variety.

| 5

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

IACC MEMBERS POLL

Q1 Members: What aspects of the continous break do you feel are the most under threat in 2021?

In line with the expert panel of F&B professionals, the wider IACC member community feel the shared break station, until now a pillar of the conference venue approach, is under threat. Unlike the F&B professionals, variety reduction was not a concern, but instead the danger of no longer being able to offer a continuous grazing style service throughout the day, was cited as being at risk.

| 6

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

Food Wrapping & Boxing

INDIVIDUAL WRAPPING The question on many operator’s mind is whether the current approaches to wrapping more food items, is a long term, here to stay trend. The considered view is that although it is felt that these current trends may not be long term, this will be influenced by public health official and governmental guidelines, more so than by say personal preference of the consumer.

Stackable tiffin- style multiple compartment packaging, made from bio-degradable material.

| 7

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

PRE-PACKAGED FOOD Although we may have been forced to act quickly in providing pre-packaged foods, such as break boxes with multiple items included, they do not have to be uninspiring. Instead IACC venues have free licence to get really creative in this space and develop these into an attractive offer, which is preferred in the future over past methods of service. The serving of pre-packaged items can result in two other outcomes. Firstly, it reduces the amount of time attendees spend at stations, reducing queues. It also encourages attendees to travel further to consume items. Sigtunahojden Conference Hotel in Sweden noticed more attendees taking their boxed break and consuming it outdoors, than they would normally see with non-packaged service.

Pre-packaged break mini-trays developed by etc.venues in the UK, including brand recognition.

A pre-packaged morning break box developed by Sigtunahojden Conference Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden.

| 8

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

ALLERGENS AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS It is important to consider the need to cater for dietary and address allergen detail, the same way as you would with other service approaches; clear and obvious labelling and providing packaged contents to meet dietary requests. The concept of inclusive menu design can also be adopted in the design of breaks. ACCESSIBLE BREAKS As part of any development of new service solutions for breaks, venue leadership should ensure areas are accessible for all less-abled attendees.

| 9

IACCmeetings.com: Exclusive Meeting Venues, by Design

Food Presentation

IACC F&B professionals stated a preference for having control over the compilation of break boxes, with the view that they can create better (more balanced) content, variety and far better presentation for their attendees, to levels not possible when attendees serve themselves.

Chateauform’ in Europe undertook professional photography for new service styles, to underpin the quality and presentation.

Packaging creatively, also allows for the element of surprise for attendees, when they open their box to review the contents. To a point where we may deliberately withhold the contents until opened. Maintaining experiences for attendees is deeded important and IACC experts believe this is an excellent vehicle to delivering this through intentional design and is grounded in a culinary practice.

| 10

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

Different Packaging Solutions

Environmentally friendly packaging remains important, avoiding single use plastics as much as is possible. US supplier Verterra highlights the importance of food colour to the overall presentation, as the overall appeal needs to be there compared with buffet plating previously. Supply chain issues have arisen in terms of availability of ecofriendly food packaging, throughout 2020, although the concerns for the future supply of eco-products are not considered to be significant, it is a call to suppliers to develop packaging solutions which help elevate the creative and attractive needs highlighted by experts.

Two different food packaging solutions manufactured by US producer Verterra.

| 11

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

Considerations on Food Waste Venue operators should consider the individual packaging of food items as it relates to food waste, when compared to alternative solutions such as buffets. There is the risk that some food contents, when not selected by the attendee, may not be consumed. It is therefore a good idea to not select contents or ingredients which are not widely accepted. The overall effect of portioning and packaging though, results in lower food waste as attendees do not overload plates. The messaging to meeting planners who are seeking confidence that their event is not having a negative impact on the environment, should be one of aligning this service style with these goals. It is important to note that packaging should be biodegradable and utensils either metal or non-single use plastic composition. Mariela McIllwraith of the Events Industry Council highlights “Care should be taken to ensure that the necessary infrastructure exists to compost the biodegradable service ware

| 12

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

Physical Characteristics of Break Stations & Locations

Evidence from the global task force who have welcomed back events in the past few months and watched carefully the changes in behaviours and requests, feel there are two trends to consider, not necessarily complimenting each other. CRAVING FOR THE PAST There is evidence of attendees seeking out a return to the way it used to be, in some European IACC venues at least. Dining room tablecloths; wrapped cutlery in fabric napkins and other examples of wanting to return to past experiences. This should be considered when looking beyond the stage where venues are operating in compliance with regulations set out by health or governmental authorities. BUBBLES WON’T BURST ANY TIME SOON Keeping groups in bubbles to reduce risk of infection across groups is felt will likely be a preferred approach beyond the immediate period and at least for the next 18 months. The shared break station is a concept that many IACC venues adopted previously, which as a result will need to be reviewed and new solutions sought which allow groups their own exclusive access to stations, or areas of the building with breaks.

| 13

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

The highly congested shared stations will not be viable and/or in-room or multiple smaller station locations be created to serve multiple groups.

Bautahoj in Denmark, created this portable break station incorporating an oven.

Bautahoj in Denmark, created this in-meeting room break station using repurposed

materials.

DESIGNING CREATIVE BREAK STATIONS The task force shared a number of creative approaches to developing and widening the service points for breaks. These include the development of portable stations, incorporating mini ovens to serve hot pastries and other savoury items.

| 14

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

OUTDOOR BREAKS Increasing the footprint of the venue by expanding service points to outdoor areas can be an important factor and one to be encouraged also because people are more comfortable in outdoor spaces and are likely to feel this way up until 2023 at least.

| 15

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

Information Flow to Attendees

ADVANCE ATTENDEE INFORMATION As venues consider changes to the format, offer and service approach for refreshment breaks, the communication to attendees is worthy of consideration. Attendees have been used to the IACC continuous break station concept, delivered successfully over a number of years and changes should be communicated accordingly to avoid confusion. Information sharing to attendees does not need to be confined to talking about the food and beverage offer. In fact, the

communication can carry far more value if it includes other relevant information. Think timings, fire regulations, hygiene or location of other facilities such as bathrooms. All come together to inform the attendee in advance.

| 16

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

DECISION MAKING In the past, taking time to evaluate, deliberate and select the items you want from the break was enjoyed by many, but this was time consuming and, in some cases, could lead to congestion at service times. Congestion equals risk and as we avoid these pinch points whilst keeping the individual choice and experience intact for the attendee it makes sense to share information to attendees in advance, reducing the pondering moments at break times. One approach is to share information on the food and beverage for that day, at the first break, or even in advance in the meeting room. This is not confined to breaks but can also be a relevant approach for the lunches and dinners, by sharing menus. Visit IACCmeetings.com to download the sister guide to re-imagining conference lunches.

| 17

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

ADVANCE ORDERING The concept of attendees of meetings making choices in advance and the potential for these choices to be shared with the venue via a technology platform or app is an interesting one. It led the task force to address the question as to what technologies are available to take individual orders in advance. We know that large scale event venues such as sporting stadiums have now mastered the art of advance ordering for intervals and this has led to efficiencies in service and reduced food waste. ConciergeHub based out of the UK claim they are changing the way guests interact with hotels, conference centres and venues through a suite of contactless guest services. Using a cloud-based, app-less solution that is loaded onto the attendees phone via QR code, Wi-Fi, email, links or through social channels, they can reach people quickly, easily and in a smarter, more cost effective way.

| 18

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

ConciergeHub can support venues worldwide, in multi-language/ multi-currency formats, delivering the ability to allow attendees to live order their F&B on the day, during their meetings and conferences, or via a pre-order link which can be shared before arrival. The UK specialist also offers features such as live chat, allowing two way conversation between venue and attendee. IACC is excited to see serious steps made in developing sophisticated solutions for managing the food needs of meeting attendees in more direct and accurate ways. Maybe resulting in never needing to ask a meeting organiser to choose for their attendees in the future? In addition to specialised ordering solutions, consider how event apps and audience particpation technologies can be used to help in obtaining pre orders. . Automated Dispensing Products are appearing on the market now, which embrace the current environment and can also lead to streamlined service post pandemic. TopBrewer is one of these, having developed bean to cup dispensers which work with ibeacon and an App, where you approach the machine, the app asks you for your drink choice and then dispenses it. Advance information, advance ordering and contactless service. Visit IACCmeetings.com to download the sister guide to re-imagining conference lunches

IACC certification is the leading quality standard that gives those who arrange meetings and conferences the confidence they are in expert hands.

| 19

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

Separating Food & Beverage Service

The benefits of separating the locations for food and beverage service is highlighted by venues operating today, as an opportunity to avoid concentration of people.

In addition, where drinks stations include fridges and other service points which require people to open and close units, the contact and touch points needing cleaning can be increased over most food service points. The separation of these, can result in a different staffing and cleaning provision being put in place.

| 20

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

TASK FORCE CONTRIBUTORS Sean Anderson , VP Operations, Sodexo Conferencing Brian Stapleton , VP Food & Beverage, Aramark – USA Louise Hallquist , Head Chef, Sigtunahöjden – Sweden Murray Hall , Executive Chef, Dolce Hotels & Resorts – Canada Jamian Lewis , Executive Chef, CCT Venues – UK Patrick Berwald , VP Food & Beverage, Benchmark Hospitality – USA Jakob Buus , Director, Bauthoj – Denmark Tom Cupo , Managing Director, The Inn at Virginia Tech - USA Jim Berman , Executive Chef, Sodexo Conferencing - USA

SUPPORTING ORGANISATIONS

| 21

IACCmeetings.com: A guide to re-imagining conference refreshment breaks

Interested in becoming a IACC Certified Venue, visit: IACConline.org

| 22

IACCmeetings.com: Exclusive Meeting Venues, by Design Dedicated to designing and manufacturing products to aid in upportin social distancing

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator