5 Steps to Successful Conference Catering

When organizing a conference, the catering is a major factor. After all, good food is what will fuel all participants and turn the day into a truly successful occasion.

Which sounds easier than it is.

So what things do you need to keep in mind? Where do you start? What do people like? Don’t panic - just follow our five steps and you’ll have everything covered.


1 - Choose the time of day

What time will your event be taking place? And at which point do you want to treat your participants to a lovely meal?

Generally, minds work more efficiently if they are treated to a break about every two hours. So depending on the hours of your event, you should decide between breakfast, lunch and dinner - or even just a little coffee break if it’s a short conference.

conference break

2 - Decide on the type of service

When it comes to event catering, there is a variety of possibilities, and new trends are born all the time. Think about whether you want a sit-down meal with various courses or a more casual flying buffet with canapés. For a more flexible solution that can easily be taken outside during good weather, a lunchbox (like ours from Smunch) is a great solution, too.

At this point, consider the type of conference and your budget. If it is more formal, a menu might be a good choice. However, a lunchbox works better if you are on a tight budget.

conference break

3 - Consider allergies and preferences

Intolerances are on the rise, and it’s becoming harder and harder to meet all requirements of your participants. In order to make your preparation easier, ask about allergies and specific nutritional preferences ahead of time.

For example, this could be a standard part of the sign-up form, or you could send an email to all attendees two weeks before the conference, asking them to let you know about all restrictions they have. This gives you enough time to inform your caterer - and extra peace of mind.

taking notes


4 - Choose the food

Event food should be something that everyone likes. Or at least, most people. But even more importantly, to ensure your conference is fruitful, offer your participants light and energizing superfood.

This means that nuts, seeds and proteins are a good choice, whereas carbs and fat should be reduced. By choosing the food wisely, you can avoid post-break sleepiness and keep up the efficiency.

To round off the experience, choose something that fits your surroundings - for example, seafood if you’re close to the water, classic combinations if you’re in a historic building, etc.



5 - Be the host with the most

When the conference day comes, be present and attentive. Your participants might have last-minute requests - you are the person to ensure that these are addressed properly.

Do your rounds and ask what else you can do - and everyone will feel welcome and taken care of.


Have a lovely and successful conference!

The Smunch Team

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