Sunday, February 27, 2011

Food & Beverage Trends for 2011

What's in store for food and beverage trends in 2011? Tate & Lyle's food experts convened at a roundtable to develop the Top 4 trends that will shape the food industry this year while helping manufacturers supercharge their brands to meet consumers' ever-changing preferences.

Trends for 2011:
  1. Simplicity
  2. Stealth Sugar and Calorie Reductions is the new Mid Calorie
  3. One Product, Multiple Benefits
  4. Restaurant Quality at Home

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Finer Details Event Planning: 5 Tips to Choose the Right Vendor

A great article by our friends at the Finer Details Event Planning.

The Finer Details Event Planning: 5 Tips to Choose the Right Vendor: "You’re getting married – Congratulations! Beyond the ever important questions of when & where comes, “Who’s making your cake?”, “W..."

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Unique Approach to a Wedding Event

Anyone who has been married, knows someone who is getting married, has a friend whose friend is getting married, etc.. has been dragged out to one of the big wedding shows. They typically take place at a large hotel venue and feature hundreds of vendors vying for your business. They are anything but intimate and rarely give brides an opportunity to discuss their wedding with qualified professionals.

The folks at Veil TV however, take a different approach with their Intimate Cocktail Party events. Focusing on quality over quantity, these gatherings bring together 18-20 top wedding vendors for an informal mix and mingle with brides-to-be. Away from the impersonal tradeshow environment, brides can feel free to get to know these professionals, ask questions about their wedding, and see if there's a fit. And perhaps the best part is that the event is totally FREE for brides.

The next event is on February 27, 2011 at the Terminal City Club. Lavish Liquid will be there and we hope to see you there as well. For more information and to register, click here.

I'm excited to be a part of the event and look forward to filling you all in on how it goes.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Navigating BC Liquor Law for Events Is Not Easy

Everyone knows that the liquor laws in this province are at best restrictive, and at worst, downright draconian. While the claim is that the laws governing the service and sale of alcohol are meant to "protect public interest" and "regulate a controlled substance", the reality is that the BCLDB has an effective stranglehold on the special events industry and even private citizens looking to host an event.

I understand the rationale behind controlling liquor sale and consumption, the system has become so convoluted and complicated that it almost takes a lawyer to sift through the regulations. With more than 8 types of liquor licenses out there, it can be very confusing.

I can deal with the above. It's typical of government. But what really gets me is the glaring conflict of interest. Here's a situation where the regulatory agency is also a competitor in the industry. The BCLDB regulates sales and service in a manner that ensures they always turn a profit to the detriment of private enterprise.

Of particular interest to me is the events industry. Here's just a few examples of what I'm talking about:
  1. Did you know that to qualify for a special occasion liquor license, you must purchase all alcohol for your event from a BC liquor store? You cannot purchase any liquor for use at an event from a private beer and wine store. Cash-grab #1.
  2. If you've ever hosted an event and hoped to recover costs by having a cash bar, you're probably aware of the BC liquor price maximums which are set so ridiculously low that it's difficult to break even on the costs, much less offset any other event costs. Does the BCLDB offer discounted pricing so you can cover costs? Hell no. Cash-grab #2
  3. Even the ServingItRight program, while well-intended, is not much more than another cash grab. Simply complete the rigorous and intense open-book online test and pay $35 and, bam, you're now a certified professional. We all know there's a lot more to responsible service than that.
Add in the municipal permit requirements, police approvals, fire department approvals, etc.. and you almost need a lawyer to wade through all of the red tape. It's no wonder people need event industry professionals to help coordinate events. There are even businesses that focus exclusively on helping event organizers obtain the necessary licensing for events!

Why is this so complicated? Have you ever hosted a special event? How did you make out when dealing with the BCLDB, local gov't, police, fire department, and all the other controlling entities?

Share your stories here. I would love to hear other people's thoughts on the subject.