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Six ways to get creative with your conference lunch

Shake up your conference feasting and get the spark back into the networking lunch!

Often the saving grace of a conference is the thought of lunch, helping to focus the mind as we listen diligently to the keynote speaker. Providing a lacklustre spread is a sure-fire way to kill momentum for the rest of the day, so when planning be sure to leave suitable budget for the catering. All too often we see the food put on the back burner when planning the event, when in fact it is a key part of the day. Use it as both a talking point and networking facilitator or to re-energise delegate for the afternoon ahead.

Here we look at six ways to get creative with the food offer at your next event

1. Tell a story or create a theme

The story of food and its beginnings and its producers is high on the attraction list when it comes to grasping the buyer’s attention, so bringing this to the conference or meeting table is a natural progression. Take inspiration from the local markets, the event theme or the seasons to create interest in the menu selection.

2. Get it all boxed up

Want to move away from the traditional conference buffet – why not try boxed lunches? Themed and brightly coloured - Vegan, Vegetarian, meat and fish options can all show a different colour or visual theme, so they are quick to choose, pick up and move on to the all-important networking. Recyclable, recycled and reusable containers and packaging are all key elements here. Reduces queue time (we all hate queues!) and increases footfall for exhibitors.

3. Novelty food offerings

Why just opt for biscuits and traditional baked produce? Throw in bagged popcorn and retro sweetie bags, or delicious chocolate bark. How about energy balls – healthy and packed full of slow releasing nutritional goodness!

4. Give a boost with the juice

Fruit and veg juices provide an instant refreshing and nourishing lift – lifts the spirits and lifts the energy levels. Ply your guests with uniquely home blended juices designed to heighten performance. Greens such as kale, cucumber and spinach are tried and tested energy boosters. Coconut water is known for its hydration properties. Ginger is an instant revitaliser and apple will quash any sugar cravings. Did you know that dehydration has a negative effect on mood and cognitive function, so it’s in your interest to keep delegates well hydrated?

5. Make-your-own salad bar

There’s no excuse for a boring salad these days. So many great and nourishing ingredients; nuts, seeds, pulses, beans, leaves, cheeses and vegan or plant based alternatives. Toasted seeds toppings add great flavour and texture. Dressings from herby to zesty, creamy or yoghurt-y – we all love something different, so why not pander to that and let guests get creative and make their own?

6. Remove the queue

Take away the queues with mini meals in a pot – food bowls. These are a great option as they are passed around by waiting staff and in doing so, facilitates the networking environment. Combine with static food stations or grazing tables to keep it interesting and easy to pick up and go.

If all else fails then make the most of the warmer weather and take lunch outside – a sizzling BBQ or street food stalls; the smells alone will perk up attendees.

Get in touch with our team at Cooks & Partners to help you create a foodie impact for your upcoming events! 020 77315282 or email

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