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New report addresses event food post-Covid

by Louisa Daley

Lime Venue Portfolio has shared some early insights into the effects of Covid-19, on the UK meetings and events market, as it launches Chapter V of Beyond Food.  

The report includes contributions from both within and outside of the industry, including brands and commentators, as well as a survey that looks at changes in the buying behaviours of meeting planners.

The survey, which covered the opinions of over 60 meeting and event planners, showed that hygiene and operations around Covid-19 had risen up the priority list ahead of content and price, as event planners look to organise live experiences in a post-pandemic world. However, it also showed that sustainability had been one of the main casualties of the pandemic, with the subject falling down the pecking order.

The Beyond Food Report series launched with the aim of taking a detailed look at the evolution of events and the role food will play in experiences. Previous chapters have covered the importance of food waste, the creation of the hashtag #FORO (Fear of Running Out), Food & Mental Health and The Plant Menu.

As well as empirical data, the chapter also has opinion, and includes a blog from experience creative Robert Dunsmore on how event planners can re-boot, re-energise and re-store events, and their delegates, following such a long period without face-to-face events.

Part of the theme for recovery throughout the report is the need to return to home comforts, safe environments and familiar experiences; an area where food can play a specific role.

Jo Austin, sales director, Lime Venue Portfolio, said: “It is predictable that sustainability has had to take a back seat in the face of the pandemic, and safety and health needs to take priority. However, we do think the industry needs to continue to make progress in terms of its commitments to the planet. Our customers, and their delegates, will not forgive us if we don’t and we, as an industry, need to meet the challenge.”

Austin added: “Clearly food is not the top of the agenda right now, when it comes to bringing the events industry back into recovery. What we are saying though is that it can play a small part in the experience of every delegate as they navigate through what will, at first, be a new and disconcerting world of events. We can be the comforting chicken soup if you like.”

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