Helmsman, Chart A Course For The Catering


You had me at “lavish catering”

I was just remarking earlier how much I’m enjoying my years-long streak of not having to attend CES.

But just because I’m not there, doesn’t mean I can’t reminisce about trade shows.

Frankly, my favorite part of trade shows has never been the technology.

Nope, it was the catering.

From the wine and cheese receptions to the lavish vendor-sponsored dinners, the eating is the best part of those trips.

Years ago, at my old job, I was made responsible for what we called “social coordination” for our company’s trips to CEDIA Expo.

That meant poring over the vendor emails, the schedules, and the announcements for the show.

I would carefully catalog every vendor press event and meet and greet where food and drink were served, and their locations, and log them into the calendar.

Then we’d be sure to hit every one.

And then of course, for every night that we stayed, determining which of our vendors were having dinner events for their dealers and ensuring that we had an invitation to each of them.

The cardinal objectives were two-fold.

The first was, of course, professional networking.

Second, but equally important, was ensuring that we could eat and drink for our entire time at the show without spending any of our own money.