INCON EXPERT ARTICLE:

No. 28

'Celebrity Chefs Cooking up Great Events'

JUNE 2016

The gastronomic culture of a country has always been an expression of its cultural identity. In recent years, the spread of a renewed interest in food has changed our approach to dining: we want to know the origin of the ingredients, how they are prepared as well as who has prepared them. Therefore it is natural that the chef has taken a leading role in our society: celebrity chefs have become the lead attraction in countless television programs and magazines. The meeting industry is following this trend with more and more event planners featuring well-known chefs in their events.

How can you get a famous chef to become a key feature of your event?

The possibilities are endless as creativity has no limits. One possibility is to demonstrate their cooking: great chefs become the undisputed attraction of the event, preparing, for the demanding eyes and palates of the attendees, their culinary specialties. You can also leverage celebrity chefs to organize your dinner menu without requiring their presence among the participants. Even less expensive is to organize a dinner in the restaurant of a great chef.

And what if the attendees are allowed to compete with each other in the kitchen?

One of the most stimulating experiences of Team Building can be cooking competitions. With professional chefs in the kitchen, the event’s success is guaranteed.  to meet him during a site inspection, before the event itself. To meet and talk with a professional chef, showing appreciation and interest in his work, are basic requirements in his or her motivation. It is also advisable to broaden your selection beyond the world of celebrity chefs.

A "rising star" that is not well-known but is present in major culinary publications could greatly contribute to the success of your event, as well as being more accessible.  Plus the participants will remember the event with pleasure when the chef achieves stardom!! It is important to remember that every moment spent with the chef can be well publicised with Tweets, Facebook posts, videos and pictures on Instagram.

You can also consider involving a small group of opinion leaders, VIPs or a select group of customers for a cooking course during an event, or on a tour "behind the scenes" of a kitchen of a famous restaurant. If satisfied, they will be the first to speak of the event, ensuring their help in promotion both among participants and online.

These are just some tips to help organize events with the culinary world. We must remember that gastronomy and cuisine are synonymous with creativity – you need to experiment and invent in order to organize outstanding events with our culinary creative geniuses: the event participants will appreciate and remember the event fondly!

"One can not think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf

KEY TRENDS

  • The participation of celebrity chefs in corporate events is increasingly becoming a key element of their success.
  • The involvement level of a chef may vary depending on objectives, participants and budget
  • It is important to personally meet the chefs and take advantage of all the communication opportunities to create a successful event and good working relationship

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AUTHOR:

Patrizia Buongiorno

Vice President, AIM Group International

Patrizia Buongiorno is Vice President of AIM Group International and has over 25 years of experience in congress management. She has been President of IAPCO (International Association of Professional Conference Organisers) and she is member of the IAPCO Council and Training Academy and treasurer and partner of INCON (Global Partnership in Conferences & Events). Active in education she teaches tourism management and marketing at the Universities of Economics of Rome and Milan.

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