Report: AEV Catering Working Group, November 30 2016
The AEV Catering Working Group assembled for its final meeting of 2016 at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre, on Wednesday November 30th, with Phil Wetz of ExCeL London in the chair.
Wetz opened the meeting by welcoming the members, including new member Abbey Short from Olympia London and thanked Sarah Jones of Farnborough for hosting the meeting. After hearing the apologies, and approving the minutes of the last meeting, the group then began to discuss the agenda topics.
The first item on the agenda was a review of the draft paper promoting the Catering Working Group. The group was very positive about the paper, and agreed that it was ready to be distributed with a few minor amendments.
The chair then polled the group on future guests to the group and discussed the possibility of inviting venue caterers to attend meetings. After a detailed discussion, the group agreed that attendees to this group should be representing the venue, not the catering company.
After a brief debate about the relative merits of the ESSA discount card 2017, the group moved on to discuss the creation of a register of credible Food Safety Officers, in light of the fact that none exists at the moment. New member Abbey Short commented that Olympia is moving in this direction and would share further developments with the group.
The group then moved on to clarifying a member venue enquiry about the venue approval point in the catering section of the eGuide, how best to advise organisers and exhibitors on planning catering provision for new event and exhibition spaces, and the issue of problematic food and beverage suppliers.
The next discussion topic was the recently created Catering Working Group LinkedIn presence, and how to promote and encourage engagement and activity.
The group then touched on the topic of the Sustainable Cities Fish pledge. Group members felt that there is a general expectation that fish is sustainably sourced anyhow, and that a pledge to underline this fact may be surplus to requirements. This led to a wider discussion of food waste, and the group resolved to consult the Sustainability Working Group for ideas in time for the next meeting.
With the main discussion topics covered, the group then moved on to a busy session of round table news and general venue updates. The group heard of developments at Farnborough, where the new venue is scheduled to open in Spring 2018, a fourth hotel at Telford International Centre, and major refurbishments and three new restaurants at the NEC.
The group then suggested several agenda items for the next meeting before suggesting two dates for the first meeting of 2017, and asking members to indicate their preference as soon as possible.
With no further business to discuss, the Chair thanked all members for their contributions and closed the meeting.