Interview and writing by Lyne Branchaud
What are the latest trends for corporate events in the Laurentians? To find out, we talked to three representatives who work in the area: Marie-Chantal Thibault, Sales Manager, Groups & Conferences for the Tremblant Resort Association; François Desrochers, Convention and Services Manager at Le Grand Lodge Mont-Tremblant; and Line Latour, Sales Manager at the Estérel Resort.
The first article in this three-part series on trends looks at the food and drink most requested by meeting planners visiting the Laurentians.
Health, choice, and presentation take the lead
“For coffee breaks, people often ask for a mix of sweet treats and fruit or salty snacks with veggies,” says Desrochers. “Smoothies are often replacing soft drinks, which are less popular than they used to be.”
“We’ve had several requests for single-serving presentations (shot glasses) or a variety (three small, different finger foods instead of one bigger one), and they’re also lighter and healthier,” adds Thibault. “Stations requiring guest participation have been quite trendy lately—fill a container, choose a decoration, etc. Seasonal products are also very popular, and the emphasis has to be on presentation,” says Latour.
Increasingly gourmet guests
The meal is often the highlight of an event, and high-quality food and great wine are de rigueur. People are much more curious, knowledgeable, and open to new experiences.
“We’ve done events that recreated the food truck experience, with the truck décor in the room. Everyone loved the tartar food stations, for example, and the live cooking. In the dining room, our discovery menu is also really popular, people love being surprised,” notes Latour.
What’s for dinner?
In terms of mains, beef is ordered most often, followed by fish (salmon), pork and veal, with poultry bringing up the rear. It’s also common for a group to request a vegetarian option prepared in a creative way, even if they are not necessarily vegetarian.
There’s also been a resurgence of all sorts of allergies (gluten, dairy, nuts, etc.) as well as vegan diets, which can cause headaches for the kitchen staff.
Red or white?
In terms of drinks, red wine is still more popular than white, although white wine has recently been on the rise. Mixologists are also requested more frequently. People also want to know more about what they’re drinking—the grape variety, region, history or origin of the wine, etc.
Don’t miss the next article in the series, which will focus on event planning communications, length of stay, and client base.
By Lyne Branchaud
Lyne has been the president of Guide Évévement for six years and is involved in planning several corporate events and conferences (Descair, Aubainerie, RISQ, etc.).
Lyne is also a lecturer and professor of event planning at Zoom Académie and LaSalle College.
With over 20 years of experience with advertising agencies and corporate events departments, including Provigo and Uniprix, Lyne is the author of the best-selling book L’organisation d’un événement : Guide pratique and the blog Guide Événement, which is dedicated to anything and everything related to events.
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