Do your event guests have food on their mind?

There are a lot of things you need to do, to ensure the attendees have a memorable experience at your gala dinner, conference or networking event. You need to pay close attention to all the details so that everything goes according to plan.

One area where every event manager needs to put a lot of consideration is catering. The caterer or venue you choose will play a massive role in how people perceive the events, you host.


You can measure the success of your event by knowing whether the attendees like the food. These days, everyone is becoming health-conscious, due to which you need to pay closer attention to the catering in your event.

As an event manager, you have to ensure that you keep up with the latest trends. Given below are a handful of ways which will help you make healthy food choices for your next event:

Ask the attendees for special dietary requirements

Before you start looking for vendors to be the caterers for your next event, you need to what your attendees prefer to eat. For example, there is a significant increase in the number of people who are becoming vegetarian and vegan. In this situation, you need to make sure there are enough options for these attendees.

One of the best ways to know about what people prefer to eat is to ask them on social media. You can create a poll on Facebook and provide different types of options. Another option would to draft a marketing post on one of your social media profiles and ask the attendees to comment about their preferences.

Look for caterers or venues who specialize in healthy food

Once you know what people want to have at your event, the next step is to look for caterers. While you can ask your regular go to caterers for healthier options, they may not have a lot of expertise in this field. I generally look at what is on the standard menu offering of a caterer to determine if they would be able to accommodate your needs. For example some caterers as standard have multiple gluten free, dairy free, vegan options which means naturally it would easier for them to understand and deliver on the specific requirements.

Keep in mind that healthy doesn’t only mean that you only increase the number of vegetables and fruits. You also need to monitor the portion sizes on offer from your caterers v’s what would be the needs of your guests. Nothing worse than having a huge meal placed in front of your that you can’t finish or that weighs you down once you’ve finished it.


Make a list of the vendors who offer these choices and compare them. Ask them to provide details about their previous clients as a reference. Do get in touch with their earlier customers, so that you have a better idea of their quality of catering. Also, go online and see if you can find reviews about these vendors. Don’t be afraid to ask them for samples and get a team to taste the dishes.

Find out the source of the food and beverages

While you are in the process of selecting a vendor for catering, you should know more about the ingredients they use for their dishes and drinks. As the focus is on health, this plays a significant role.

There is no point in choosing a vendor who uses frozen ingredients. The reason is that you can store items for an extended period with this type of storage technique. As a result, the food won’t be fresh.

Similarly, you don’t want to serve your guests reheated food, which may not be healthy. A better option would be to go for ingredients which are sustainable and fresh. Although it may increase the cost of catering, it is worth the additional resources, and the attendees will love the food in your event. A rule of thumb is to opt for ingredients that are available in the local market.

Add fresh and seasonal foods to the menu

There is nothing better the including local fresh and seasonal produce on the menu. Ask the caterer to use seasonal foods while catering for your event. The advantage is that they will use fresh ingredients, which will impress the people attending the event. For instance, if it is the season for strawberries in the place where you are hosting the event, you can use it to your advantage. The vendor can provide strawberry smoothies or a dessert where this fruit is the primary ingredient.

Introduce smart snacks

Sometimes, your attendees won’t have a lot of time on their hands to eat large meals, especially when they are at a networking or conference event. They want to talk to as many people as possible. Also, they don’t want to consume dishes which can become a messy affair.

In this situation, the type of snacks you provide will go a long way in improving the experience of the attendees. The best part is that people can consume it to curb their hunger and focus on what they have to do.

One common mistake that a lot of event managers make is not paying close attention to the snacks. There are numerous nutrition bars, which claim to be healthy. Without putting any thought into it, event managers add them to the menu. However, the problem with a majority of the nutrition bars in the market is that they use high amounts of added sugar. Even though it seems healthy, the reality is the opposite. If you are looking for pre-made snacks, do take a look at the added sugar content.

Another option would be to use foods which contain high amounts of vegetables, fruits, cereals, or whole-grains in them. One advantage of healthy snacks is that the attendees will have the energy to experience everything your event has to offer.

You can serve a mixture of fruits in a bowl or vegetables with hummus as the central dip.

List out the details of the dishes

A great way to let attendees know that the catering in your events is healthy is going into the specifics of the dishes. For instance, if you are using organic and sustainable ingredients, you can create little menu cards, informing people about the source.

You can also list out how many calories the dishes provide for every serving. Another technique would be to let the people know about all the nutrients they get from the meals you provide. Although these are minute details, they make a world of difference. The attendees will be happy that you are taking their well-being into consideration, which will work wonders on the success of your events.

Ideas for healthy food choices for the next event

Below, you will find a list of ideas, which will give you the inspiration on what kind of options to serve to the attendees:

Avocado specials

Avocado is one fruit which is always the centre of attention when talking about healthy food choices. It is excellent because of its high nutritional value and versatility when it comes to making dishes.

You can use it as a spread, which attendees can use to consume appetizers. There is the option of pairing it with other types of food, such as eggs, fish, and penne.

Salad bar with variety

There is nothing worse than arriving to the buffet only to find that the caterer is serving up a bland garden salad.  If people attending your events are health-conscious, a salad bar with a lot of variety will always be a hit. You can serve a myriad of vegetables and fruits, along with mushrooms and other ingredients with high nutritional value.

People won’t feel heavy after consuming a salad, which allows them to focus on the event.

Trail-mix

Another great healthy food idea for your events is to offer a trail mix. It is wonderful since there is a myriad of ingredients available in the market. You can use sunflower seeds, dry fruits, granola, coconut chips, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios.

If you are hosting an event which is taking place by the coastal region, coconut water would be an excellent beverage to complement the trail mix. You can ask the guests to make the snacks themselves so that it meets their requirements.

You can build on these concepts as per the requirements of your attendees. Implement all the above ideas, which will ensure the food choices you offer for your events are healthy!

Author
David Yakas
Managing Director
Wrapped Creations