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How to Arrange Food & Beverage in International Conferences
Food and Beverage play an essential role in an international conference, which are the simplest and hardest to arrange. Why Food and Beverage matters when you plan your events? Because bad or insufficient food would sometimes ruin all the effort.
So, what diet might be arranged in a conference?
This is usually provided with hotels and only arranged by PCO mostly when breakfast meeting is required.
Lunch boxes are highly recommended when full day meeting is on and this type would save time to be on schedule.
Dinner can be more diverse and most meetings demands one gala dinner or theme party for attendance to talk. Thus, it can be buffet, full served dinner, and so on.
It is offered with drink, like coffee, during break and sometimes with dessert, bread and fruit.
It looks easy but it can be complex in consideration to vegetarianism and religions. Here we are going to brief the diversity of dieters and their taboo food.
Vegetarian is universally understood to eat vegetables yet there are a number of types of vegetarianism.
Vegetarian excluding all animal flesh and products, such as milk, honey, and eggs, as well as items refined or manufactured through any such product, such as bone-char refined white sugar or animal-tested baking soda.
Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian includes animal/dairy products such as eggs, milk, and honey.
Ovo Vegetarian includes eggs but not dairy products.
Lacto Vegetarian includes dairy products but not eggs.
Buddhist has different teachings on diet. Many interpret the precept 'not to kill' to require abstinence from meat, but not all. Some excludes not only all animal products but also vegetables in the allium family: onion, garlic, scallions, leeks, chives, or shallots.
Raw includes only fresh and uncooked fruit, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Vegetables can only be cooked up to a certain temperature.
Quran mentions certain rules on Muslim diet and there are several organization to certificate this kind of food, known as Halal (حلال). The most famous forbidden food is alcohol and Pork, including its products and lard. For some very pious Muslim, they would even require all food to be proceeded by Muslim.
Because Hinduism worships cattle, they don’t kill cattle and of course do not eat beef and some also refuse pork. Generally speaking, Indian believes to eat more vegetable is more civil so India has the biggest vegetarian population.
KASHRUT (Jewish Taboo Food)
Although this term is less common, it would be very appreciated to take it into consideration while preparing an international meeting. Jewish also prohibits pork, which is deemed as unclean animal. So are shellfish and most insects. What is interesting to know is: Meat and Milk cannot be mixed.
Allergy is more difficult to handle as the immune system reacts differently by individuals. Yet, the Food and Drug Administration USA lists eight most common food that trigger food allergies by 90% estimated possibility. It can be our best reference for food arrangement. These eight foods are: Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts), Fish (such as bass, cod, flounder), Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp), Soy, and Wheat.
To arrange the conference diet appropriately is the best way to show your respect to your guests. Many of us, who are free to any food, can dislike some certain food as well. It is always touching if friends can keep it in mind and try to escape it in the dishes. Remember there was a scene in Sex and the City. Carrie once dined out with her girl friend and she wanted to get rid of parley. So she lied to the waiter that she was allergic to it but the truth is she just didn't like it. So it is why we, as a conference organizer, need to be very careful, especially on religious taboo.
All in all, the conference dietary plan is suggested to be more comprehensive with all restrictions. For example, to put vegetable dishes on the menu is basic and to make it as strictly vegetarian, e.g. no garlic, no onion, no egg, and no dairy products, is even better. With regards to meat eaters, Chicken is globally accepted. As to seafood lover, fish is safer compared to shellfish. The top 10 most popular food in the worldmay give you some more idea.
The quantity is another key for feedback. Excess or insufficient food would both lead to negative feedback. The historical dining data of the group and their background statistic, like gender or age, are very helpful to order food. The other reference is their meeting schedule. Don’t plan two meals in short interval nor long. Four hours with light refreshment always works for a big group meeting.
Speaking to refreshment, it is prepared to wake up the attendance in the long and dry meetings. Hot coffee and tea is essential to play the role. Finger food completes the break session.
Therefore, if to take all the above into consideration, it would help to collect the dietary requirement in advance to the conference.
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