One + March/April 2011 - (Page 44)

> > O N E B I T E AT A T I M E B Y K AT J A M O R G E N S T E R N , C M P < < EAT, PLAY, LOVE I LOVE PLAYING WITH MY FOOD, THOUGH IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND IT. But if you are a planner looking to spice things up, let the food play begin. As event organizers, we can design ways that make it OK to play with food. Lunches, dinners and receptions shouldn’t be like herding cows through buffet lines or picking at trays. Sure, it’s easier in certain months to come up with ways to make your meals more interactive: Halloween in October, holidays in December. But March is one of my favorite months for fun. Try these ideas out for size. Basketball. The fun and excitement of the U.S. NCAA basketball tournament starts around the middle of March and goes through the first part of April. If you are planning a conference during this time, incorporate basketball-themed play into your food and beverage budget. Set up a meet and greet with large-screen TVs and serve the perfect game food. Mardi Gras. If you’re planning an event around March 8, incorporate some Mardi Gras-themed fun in your menu. Serve Cajun and Creole dishes and don’t forget the traditional King Cake, which can be miniaturized for each delegate. And if these ideas haven’t inspired you to play with your food, these might. • March 7-13, Bubble Gum Week. Create a fun candy station for attendees. • March 6, 1912, was the day Oreo cookies first went on sale. Honor the anniversary with a break station of Oreos and milk. • March 14, Potato Chip Day. Think of the assortment of chips you could put out for the afternoon break. • March 28, Something on a Stick Day. Create a reception of foods served on a stick (think: corn dogs, satay, cheesecake). • March 29, 1886, Coca-Cola’s birthday. A Coke float station makes a fun addition to any break or reception. There are a variety of ways to incorporate fun themes into your foods. If you are looking for inspiration, a quick Internet search turns up fun and festive days for every month and day of the year. KATJA MORGENSTERN, CMP, is a senior project manager for Meeting Consultants Inc. She is an active MPI member, industry speaker and industry veteran. She can be reached at kmorgenstern@ 44 one+ 03 / 0 4.11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of One + March/April 2011

One + March/april 2011
Energy of Many
Ultimate Fail
Ask the Experts
Wonders, Man
Business Is Back
Top Spots
Fail vs. Fail
Long Distance Sportsmanship
The Conference Is Not About You
Eat, Play, Love
Fantastic Fit
Where Tomorrow Happens
Middle Kingdom Come
All Together Now
Economic Impact Study
The Truth of Tech
The Social Networker
Super Wi-Fi Is Coming
The Kitchen Sink
@ Your Service
Your Community
Making a Difference
Until We Meet Again
MPI's 2011 Meeting Guide to Colorado

One + March/April 2011