Preparing for Catersource 2019

What an exciting year! New trends are on the horizon, opportunities are abundant, and spirits are high. Professionals are finalizing their itineraries and starting to look forward to the event of the year, Catersource 2019 in New Orleans! The time between now and the conference will fly, so here are some tips to help you prepare for the big event!

Create a packing checklist

There are many considerations when planning what you will bring to a conference: the weather, the formality of events … what you own that is actually clean. Bron Hansboro of The Flower Guy Bron (who will be appearing at Catersource!) creates a simple checklist before he travels so he can stay “organized and practical.” He includes not only the basics, but also a professional outfit that he can transform as needed depending on the situation. “While in session, you will hardly ever catch me without a blazer and a freshly dry cleaned Oxford shirt,” says Hansboro. “I can take that look to various events throughout the day and represent my brand professionally.”

Must-haves

There are many standard “don’t leave home without it,” items that you will naturally want to pack, but what about those you might not have considered?

The catering + events show of the year is back! James Beard Award winners, TED style keynotes, influencers galore, and food for days. See all that’s in store here!

Shannon Tarrant of Wedding Venue Map always takes an external battery pack for her technology. “Between the social media posting, taking photos and videos, and taking notes, I can't make it a whole day without recharging. Nothing is worse at a conference than getting stuck against a wall to juice up.”

“New Orleans is known for its delicious cocktails,” says Emily Sullivan of Emily Sullivan Events,  ”and you might end up overindulging one night.” Sullivan recommends stocking up on Emergen-C, Pedialyte, and bottled water in your hotel room. “With all of the rich food and the cocktails, TUMS is another good one to have on hand,” adds Sullivan. Note: Emily Sullivan is also presenting at Catersource 2019!

As an introvert, standing in a room with 5,000 people is a bit daunting,” says Wheeler, “but I know that Catersource is THE catering conference where everyone who is someone will be in attendance. The power in that space over four days is unmatched.”

Make a plan

Before the conference, lay out your itinerary and goals. “Look at the schedule, study the educational sessions, research which vendors will be on site, and identify other experts you want to meet so you can pack a plan,” says Trip Wheeler of SB Value. Make the sessions your pillars then build out from there.

Attitude

Finally, pack a good attitude. “As an introvert, standing in a room with 5,000 people is a bit daunting,” says Wheeler, “but I know that Catersource is THE catering conference where everyone who is someone will be in attendance. The power in that space over four days is unmatched.”

A little preparation will go a long way toward a successful conference experience, so don’t hesitate. Starting today rather than scrambling last-minute will save you a ton of stress in the long run!

Meghan Ely will be speaking at Catersource 2019. Click here to view the education schedule.

Meghan Ely

President, OFD Consulting, Richmond, VA

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. 

Photo: Melody Smith Portraits