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When Caterers Cater for Each Other: Tips for Getting the Most from Catersource 2015


When you’re a caterer, one of two things is going to happen: You either LOVE to throw a party, or you never throw a party for yourself (like the old saying about the shoemaker’s kids never having shoes).

Catersource 2015 in Las Vegas is what happens when you get some of the best caterers and event professionals in one place and then let them all try to out do each other.

It is, in the simplest terms, FABULOUS!

Catersource is what happens when caterers cater for each other. They throw the party they would love to throw for themselves, and they get to geek out on stuff that others outside the catering, food, and event industries just wouldn’t understand. (I hear some folks are thinking of renaming the tradeshow CaterCon for 2016.)

Here are some of Total Party Planner’s tips for getting the most out of Catersource 2015.

Choose your speakers and sessions based on content, not personality.
Ask yourself, am I going for the flash? For the prestige of hearing someone famous speak? Or does this speaker offer something that would truly help my business? Sometimes you won’t know until you get there whether or not the speaker will say something extraordinary that could change your business and your life. But if you look at both speakers and educational sessions this way, you should make some good choices.

Get the recordings.
Consider getting the recordings of sessions you really liked. There’s no way you can catch everything someone says the first time. There’s no way you can take notes of everything they say. But you can get the on-site recordings to listen to again and to share with your staff at the home office.

Stretch yourself.
Try a few sessions you wouldn’t normally try. Look for growth areas. For example, if you’re a barbecue caterer, attend the veggie and special diet sessions. Attend event planning sessions to get ideas you can implement for your own clients. Check out presentation and food ideas that would be easy to add to what you’re doing now and that will bring delight to your clients.

Give yourself time.
Feeling overwhelmed? Take a moment to breathe and regroup, so you can enjoy yourself and be present for the sessions, speeches, and exhibitions you’re attending.

Look for the delight – and the applause.
If something wows you at the show, it will probably delight your clients. How can you give them that special extra touch that will really bring delight to their event, win their loyalty, and win you the applause?

Some of the highlights we’re looking forward to are:

  • Keynote speakers Marcus Samuelsson and Neal Fraser: Marcus for his international journey and food style, Neal for his worked-his-way-up-from-line-cook story
  • The awards and competitions, particularly the NEW Bright Idea Contest, the Tablescape Contest (because what we see always blows us away, and we LOVE to be blown away), the Best of Buffet Las Vegas Contest (because, hey, food!), and the fun, fast-paced, creative Rapid Recipe Challenge
  • Rock the Night Industry Awards Celebration – our chance to party on the red carpet like true stars
  • The networking and connecting with friends and clients we see every year
  • The fabulous sessions, such as:
    • Increasing the Accuracy of Your Food and Beverage Recipe Costs
    • Financial Metrics for All Caterers: How to Achieve 10% Profit
    • Turning Lemons into Lemonade: Transform Disappointed Customers into Lifelong Clients
    • The Power of Veggies: Satisfying, Healthy, and Profitable Options for Events
    • Ten Places Money is Hiding in Your Catering Business
    • Pricing Theory for Caterers
    • Are You Too Busy to Be Successful?
    • The Four Seasons: Seasonal Gluten-Free and Vegan Menus
    • The White House Chefs
    • What the Heck Is A CRM, and Do I Need One?
    • Avoid Event Day Surprises. The Most Complete Checklist for Event Site Inspection
    • Management 2.0. The Next Steps to Success
    • The Five Most Important Lessons a Small Caterer Needs to Learn As It Grows

And we could go on and on and on…all the sessions look amazing! The point is, whether you’re looking for business tips, recipe and food prep ideas, or better presentation ideas, you’ll find it at CaterCon – er, Catersource 2015.

Make sure to stop by the Total Party Planner booth to say hi and tell us what wows you at the show this year! We are gearing up to reveal #SomethingDifferent in booth 2206. You’ll just have to come see us challenge the status quo. You’ll also see our team on Sunday in the registration area at Caesars. Ready for a little fun with something #MoreThanTechnology? Follow me on Twitter this week @johncohen99 for more about the show.

See you then!

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