The last week of March 2023 in Orlando, Fla. will be a hot one when Catersource + The Special Event’s Florida Sunshine Tour lands starting on March 26th with opening day of the Art of Catering Food. With so much happening in one place for one week, it was absolutely appropriate to give this industry gathering—this industry week!—a beautiful sunshiny theme. So, what’s happening and who will be there? Here’s a look:
Sunday & Monday, March 26 & 27:
Art of Catering Food (AOCF) is back! Produced in conjunction with the International Caterers Association, AOCF will bring exclusive culinary training, trends, ingredients, and techniques taught by successful chefs throughout the catering industry. Tastings, tours, round robins, and lunch and learns are a big part of this two-day event.
Monday, March 27:
Leading Caterers of America will hold its full day meeting. This members-only consortium of the top catering and event companies in the U.S. and Canada will gather for a one-day intensive assemblage to exchange ideas and discuss strategies regarding how to build their businesses ever higher.
Monday, March 27:
Catersource + The Special Event “soft opens” with its Connect Live evening event, a chance for those already checked in and ready to engage to join together and kick off the week. It’s a great evening, spirits are high, and the week is wide open with possibility for networking and interaction.
Tuesday, March 28:
Catersource + The Special Event opens, with a conference-only first day and an opening night event. It also welcomes its sister media brand, MeetingsNet, presenting its first-ever conference track, available to those who purchase a TSE pass. The International Live Events Association (ILEA) will also offer a track for those looking for CSEP certification.
Be sure to visit our new Experience rooms on the second floor, too. More on that in our winter issue.
After the conference closes for the day at 5:00 p.m., groups such as International Caterers Association Educational Foundation (ICAEF) will celebrate its scholarship recipients in a private gathering; various exhibitors will host invitation-only events; and then the evening will culminate in the Opening Night Event, produced by event chairs Selina Mullenax, CORT & Gabby Mourino, Imprint Group.
Wednesday, March 29:
An Opening General Session launches a full day of activity on the exhibit hall floor (open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) including conference sessions on the Ignite and Keynote stages. There will, as always, be hundreds of exhibitors to visit, experience, and learn from.
In the afternoon, additional sessions in conference rooms begin at 1:00 p.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. The annual DICED competition (starting at 1:00 p.m. on the Culinary Main Stage) will bring chefs together for a fun-loving but highly competitive contest. Pitting six chefs against the clock (and each other) to create a winning creation, three judges will decide who will take home the $1,500 prize and the 2023 DICED champion trophy.
Later in the evening the annual Special Event Assistance, Relief & Crisis Help (SEARCH) Foundation fundraiser will bring like-minded people together to raise money through auction for those in need. A spectacular charitable event, Catersource is a proud donor and hopes to see you there!
Thursday, March 30:
Always known to go big on its last day, Catersource + The Special Event will offer a 9:00 a.m. Closing General Session that will inspire you, another full day of exhibit hall browsing and buying (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.), the fabulous Leadership Lunch at the incredible Dr. Phillips Center celebrating the movers and shakers of the catering and events industry (11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.), a cocktail reception (2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.), more conference education (ending at 4:00 p.m.), and then the big KABOOM! You’ll start the night off with the “Oscars” of the catering and events industry: An elaborate awards ceremony featuring the ACE, CATIE, and Gala awards with pre-show cocktail reception and exciting awards presentation for work exceptionally well done.
After that, join award recipients and exhibitors, sponsors, speakers, and attendees for one last industry week hurrah as we say farewell at our Closing Night Event, chaired by the ever-delightful Chef Boris Seymore of BDS Catering & Productions.
And the Award Goes To...
It’s once again time to celebrate the best of the best! Nominations are now being accepted for the Catersource 2023 Achievement in Catered Events awards (ACE)! We invite you to submit your best work from the past year. Join in the excitement and the spirit of our industry as we celebrate the hard work and exceptional accomplishments of our peers.
To submit an entry to this year’s ACE awards and see the full list of categories, please visit our awards portal at https://ace-gala.awardsplatform.com/
- Jan. 1st, 2022–Nov. 30, 2022 | Eligibility period for entries
- Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022 | Regular submission deadline ($99 fee)
- Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022 | Late Bird submission deadline ($160 fee)
This year’s ACE awards, beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 will be like no other since you can now enter brand new categories! This year’s new categories include:
National Caterer of the Year
This award is presented to the company, whose catering business is exceptional in all aspects, including business proficiency and culinary expertise. Catered events of any size or type executed within the United States of America will be considered, either executed in a venue or area owned by an entity other than the catering company, or on the catering company’s own property.
International Caterer of the Year
This award is presented to the company whose catering business is exceptional in all aspects, including business proficiency and culinary expertise. Catered events of any size or type executed outside of the United States of America will be considered, either executed in a venue or area owned by an entity other than the catering company, or on the catering company’s own property.
Catered Social Event of the Year
The caterer should be responsible for the original menu concept, design, and management of catering production. Social events can include, but are not limited to, birthday parties, anniversaries, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, etc.
Catered Fundraising Event of the Year
The caterer should be responsible for the original menu concept, design, and management of catering production. The event must be for a nonprofit organization and serve as a fundraiser.
Catered Wedding of the Year
The best catered wedding is defined as a wedding that stands out as extraordinary and innovative. The caterer should be responsible for the original menu concept, design, and management of catering production.
Catered Micro Event of the Year
A micro event is defined as a catered event for 50 guests or fewer, that stands out as extraordinary and innovative. The caterer should be responsible for the original menu concept, design, and management of catering production.
Product or Technological Innovation of the Year
Celebrating technological or product innovation that has helped solve a problem for the catering and events industry. Examples could include, but are not limited to, new sanitary and hygienic products, unique packaging, time-saving products, and software.
Sustainability in Catering
Events must place a keen eye on sustainability (i.e., zero waste, diversity, equity and inclusion, etc.).
All of the other good stuff
Registration: Registration opens September 26! Super Early Bird rates are in effect until January 06, 2023. Take advantage of the lowest prices available and enjoy exclusive access to webinars, virtual events, networking meetups, award nominee and session sneak peeks, and other exciting show-related niblets that only registered attendees can receive. If you want the inside scoop before the show so you arrive in the know, head over to https://catersource-tse.com to review pricing packages.
Call for Speakers: Our call for session speakers is closed and the full educational schedule will launch after the new year, but we will begin to tease out sessions beginning in November 2022. Right now, go to schedule.catersource.com to view evening event information and a few of our premier sessions. We are excited to be able to bring you the best and brightest in live education!