Are you losing your audience to “food comas” by the time your trade show event’s afternoon break occurs? Are you getting tired of the same old, same old when it comes to your sponsored luncheon? Or are you simply looking to liven up snack choices offered at your booth? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may need an event menu makeover!
Studies show that when the body ingests junk food it experiences a temporary “sugar high” followed by a “sugar crash” resulting in fatigue, loss of focus and decreased concentration. So why is it we offer our valued trade show event breakfasts that consist of doughnuts, coffee cakes and muffins? Or snack trays loaded with cookies, brownies and other sweet treats?
Below are some simple ideas for tasty treats and other menu suggestions you can use to energize your audience and leave them with a lasting impression at your next trade show event.
The dish on what to dish Planning an event menu can be a daunting task. There are usually a slew of food options and trying to decipher what may be a healthy, energy boosting food that tastes great is no easy job. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Offer low calorie, low fat food options. Ingesting too many calories and too much fat in a short period of time can cause digestive upset and fatigue. Skip the doughnuts and opt for a fruit and yogurt parfait instead. Serve it up in an imprinted, clear glass, Irish-style coffee mug to make the ultimate impression. Also, keep portions small to curb overindulging—offer bagel quarters or silver dollar-sized sandwich rolls.
- Emphasize whole grains. Whole grain breads, pastas, rice and cereal will keep attendees vitalized much longer than those made from refined grains. Plus, the fiber in whole grains can help people feel full longer, which may prevent overeating. Think baked tortilla chips with fresh salsa or whole grain crackers or pita bread with hummus. Include a logo’d sandwich spreader for easy application.
- Serve lean meats, poultry or fish. Small portions of lean cuts of beef, pork, skinless chicken or fish can provide the protein needed for energy while skimping on the fat and calories that cause fatigue. Opt for meats that are broiled, steamed, grilled or baked to avoid excess oils and fats.
- Serve fruits and vegetables. We’ve all heard that an apple can provide as much of an energy boost as a cup of coffee. Plus, most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling, too. How about some raw veggies served with a shooter of low-fat ranch dressing? Or delicious fruit skewers made of fresh, colorful, seasonal fruit?
- Push water. Drinking water can help keep energy levels up. In fact, daytime fatigue is most commonly attributed to mild dehydration. Provide attendees with a logo’d tumbler and keep the pitchers of water flowing throughout the day.
- Snack smart. Snacks should serve to provide stamina and a boost between meals. Just a handful of trail mix consisting of dried fruit and nuts can provide the needed umpf to get through the midday slump. Or how about a popcorn station where attendees can customize their corn. Cinnamon and sugar, parmesan cheese or spicy curry are great flavor options. Serve it up in a small popcorn box imprinted with your sponsor and conference info.
- Skip the heavy desserts. Heavy desserts high in fat and calories can cause a steep rise in blood sugar which triggers sleepiness. Forgo the cheesecake or ice cream sundae stand for a build-your-own strawberry shortcake station complete with angel food cake, fresh strawberries and low-fat, whipped topping. Or how about a delicious, mini fruit pizza consisting of a jam glaze, an array of berries and ricotta cheese. Don’t forget to make your mark and throw in a logo-imprinted, gourmet pizza cutter.
These tasty treats are sure to give your conference attendees the boost they need to stay focused on you. Plus, they may appreciate the option to try a little something different. Give it a whirl—you’ll leave them hungry for more; knowledge, that is.
“How Does Junk Food Affect the Way You Concentrate?” LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.
“Wellness Program.” University of California Riverside. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.
“TeensHealth.” Why Is Whole-Grain Bread Healthier Than White Bread? N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 Oct. 2012. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.
“10 Reasons to Drink Water.” 10 Reasons to Drink Water. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.
“Seeing Beyond the Menu: How to Offer Healthier Event Cuisine.” TSNN Trade Show News. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.
“20 Foods That Make You Sleepy | Reader’s Digest.” Reader’s Digest. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013..