Chances are, you won’t know you’re living through history until it’s too late. It’s already happening. A chain reaction has been set in motion and the ground has begun to slide beneath your feet. This past year has been a whirlwind to say the least. As a global pandemic sent the world reeling, planners were left grasping for footholds as the event industry was brought to a standstill and many of the most fundamental elements of live meetings and events were cast in a new light.
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Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher, halal, pescetarian, fruitarian, lacto vegetarian, ovo-lacto-vegetarian: Planning food and beverage is more complex than ever, given the growing number of dietary restrictions. And for guests with food allergies, a meal even may have life or death consequences.
“Anaphylaxis is an ugly thing,” says Lori Shepard, executive chef and owner of Simply Scrumptious Catering in Dexter. “You never want to have to call an ambulance in the middle of your event.”
Each year, prior to our Best of Michigan Awards party, the MIM+E Editorial Advisory Board meets to discuss the state of the meetings and events industry, including the challenges it faces and the trends taking hold or on their way out. Here’s what our members had to say this year.
MIM+E: Let’s start by talking about the issues facing our industry. What are the top challenges?
Q: What’s the strangest request you’ve received?