Food a factor in maintaining delegate focus and alertness
The survey asked venue respondents a series of questions regarding health choices available to delegates through menus and types of event spaces.
Brain foods on the rise
Venues are receiving more requests for foods that go beyond nutritional density. Delegates are demanding foods that deliver superior wellbeing benefits through increased nutrient or mineral content. For example, foods such as walnuts, avocados, quinoa, blueberries, spinach and kale are often referred to as ‘brain foods’, as they may have the potential to positively influence mental clarity, stress-relief and enhance energy distribution. More than a third (38 per cent) of venues said they already offer specific ‘brain foods’ on their menus.
Healthy changes to break menus
When asked, “Do you include basic nutritional information on your event breakfast, lunch and dinner menus?” 75 per cent either said they do or plan to in the future. Additionally, 88 per cent said they have made changes to their break menus based on health and wellness trends or feedback from clients.
Gluten-free a standard menu choice
When asked which food requests they receive more now than two years ago, 100 per cent of respondents answered with gluten-free. Many commented that gluten-free has joined vegetarian as a standard menu choice.
Communal areas are sanctuaries
The survey considered event spaces in relation to delegate health, asking: “Does your property consider delegate health and wellbeing when making design decisions such as creating communal interaction areas or public spaces that offer quiet reflection?” To this question, 100 per cent of responders who are operators of IACC venues said “Yes” and their comments confirmed space outside the rooms is being taken into consideration.
One responder said, “We just completed a renovation of our public meetings space and this was a big consideration that led to a redesign of the pre-function space to better accommodate peoples’ ability to stay connected and have more private space to break away from the crowd for quiet.”
“Now, through this new research report on delegate nutrition and wellbeing, we see the opportunity to help with delegate alertness and attention is being taken seriously by an increasing number of venues,” said IACC CEO Mark Cooper.