Ashley Nault - Apr 20, 2015
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The International Association of Conference Centers has announced the top ten conference food trends for 2015, which will have an influence on conference catering decisions throughout the world. According to the IACC the trends will help planners make appropriate catering decisions to please conference attendees across the globe. Brought to you by

Local Food

The first noteworthy trend is the shift towards locally produced food. Today's conference attendees want to fully experience the area in which the conference is held, so giving food a local feel is important.


The reception should also facilitate networking, according to the second trend – smaller plates served continuously provide a break during lengthy events. It has also become popular to have a dining reception halfway through the event, which gives attendees the opportunity to mingle and make connections while they savor excellent food.

Small Is Good

Larger portions used to excite people, but today, bite-sized desserts have seized the throne. Conferences are pushing aside monstrous slices of cake in favor of small finger foods, like fresh donuts, French macaroons, chocolate truffles, miniature cupcakes, and cookies.

Less Fat

In today's increasingly health conscious world, conference chefs are swapping high-fat dishes in favor of flavorful healthy alternatives, working with meal components such as quinoa, tofu, kale, and low-sugar foods that appeal to the taste buds without harming your waistline.

Culinary Teambuilding

Also increasingly frequent is the occurrence of both cooking and consuming the food as a team. Food brings people together, and the opportunity to prepare dinner with a colleague helps to fortify relationships and respect hidden talents. A team that cooks together...

Eating Outdoors

To catch attendees' interest, more conferences are utilizing the outdoors to provide a fresh, casual meal that rejuvenates them after a long day of events or meetings. The fresh scenery helps prevent them from feeling bored, tired or worn-down, ensuring that the team is functioning at maximum capacity for the rest of the conference.

Last Night

For the last night it is important to provide all the pieces necessary to form an interesting, dynamic environment that will bring the attendees together – the event's final night should serve as an exciting finale that celebrates the close of a fantastic conference.

Get Interactive

An interactive chef station has become a new trend for spicing things up, improving the menu with freshly prepared items like panini or slider. Remember to incorporate gluten-free options into the meal plan.


Another simple way to take any catering plan to the next level is to opt for brews made by microbreweries – there are brews for any taste, so many people are asking their conference planners to find local microbreweries to provide their before-dinner drinks.

Infused Tea Cocktails

Conference planners throughout the world have caught onto the English habit of drinking infused tea cocktails, making them a popular choice for today's conference attendees. There are also a number of conferences that choose to combine this with the previous trend, offering a double brew for their reception.

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