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Mice Net : December 2008
e-awards 2007 Event Caterer of the Year – winner Freshcatering – Julie Little – ‘Pacific Life Incentive’ (Tour Hosts) For this event, freshcatering worked with two levels of client - the direct client being Tour Hosts which was the PCO responsible for organising this incentive event, and the indirect client Pacific Life. While the majority of our contact and communication was with Tour Hosts, the ultimate success of the event was dependant on freshcatering understanding the needs and objectives of the end client. The Pacific Life Leaders Conference is a biennial incentive program that provides qualifiers and their spouses the opportunity to network and build relationships with other Pacific Life representatives. The specific event was a gala incentive dinner on Anzac Day 2007 which took place on the group’s final evening in Sydney and Australia intended to highlight their stay in the country and to reward and honour those who had been selected to come. freshcatering created a Sydney-inspired menu specifically for this event. The menu was custom written in conjunction with the organisers and took into consideration the audience, the style of the evening, the flow of events taking place on the evening and the objectives of the client. The menu was intentionally bold, serving a lamb and seafood main course with flavours that were uniquely Australian and steering away from the traditional chicken and beef. The challenge for freshcatering was to maintain a restaurant quality and contemporary style to the menu with a Sydney twist. For example, the wattle seed and chocolate crème brulee which was achieved by using the highest quality fresh ingredients from local suppliers. As with all events, freshcatering was faced with some unforeseeable challenges during this event. As a standard practice, freshcatering always has a contingency plan in place for the hurdles that may present themselves. With the event held on a public holiday, the delivery of fresh seafood and other fresh goods had to be ensured but fortunately freshcatering’s great supplier relationships guaranteed a fresh seafood delivery on the day and the freshcatering operations team were able to collect produce from the supplier where necessary. The wet weather on the day was unusually wild and unfortunately this is not something under freshcatering control (though we would love to learn that trick!) but experience is ensured we had planned for the possibility of rain. The set up and bump in took longer than planned but we had allowed enough time to deal with unexpected delays caused by the weather. The menu and the nature of the food service were designed in close consultation with Tour Hosts to ensure that the evening allowed guests to get up from their tables, mingle and have fun. This casual nature of guests switching tables and the choice to steer away from the traditional seated meal meant freshcatering needed to design a menu and service to suit. This also emphasises the importance of indentifying special diets and VIPs by name early in the evening before they left their table so wait staff were allocated to specific guests to ensure special diets were attended to. Fresh is best at freshcatering. mice.net 45