Sunday, February 17, 2013

Salad Spinners

Welcome to Planner's Pointers!   Here's a little tip about how to add a little zest to your next function.  Budgets are tight these days so doing extravagant  meals can be off the menu .  But what if you take one thing and do it differently?

Let's take a look at the humble salad.  How many times have we seen it as mixed greens with tasteless tomato slices.  On a good day sometimes you get feta cheese or blue cheese crumbles.  Usually you get  with two choices of dressing. While mixed greens are a little better than iceberg lettuce, it's still not particularly  memorable. 

Let's talk about salad that is pictured.  This salad came from a fall luncheon I attended.  The pears were in season which made them less expensive than other times.  See how interesting it makes the plate by wrapping the  leaf lettuce in a thin slice of cucumber?  Add some cheese and candied walnuts.  One amazing presentation!  People are still talk about  it. 

Talk with your catering manager and the chef for your next function.  Ask them what they can do for you to make your next banquet one to remember.

Thought for the week:  "It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Planner's Pointers is written by, Mary Pam Kilgore, CMP of Kilgore Events and Meetings.  You may reach me through my website You can find my blog at  You can reach me by phone at 412-260-4178.  Follow me on Twitter @marypam.

Answering the Call for Papers!

Welcome to Planners Pointers! 

Each month I like to share words commonly used by professionals. The words along with their meaning will be from the APEX Industry Glossary.

The ConventionIndustry Council is the organization of 33 associations coming together to exchange information among the meetings, convention and exhibitions industry. One of the initiatives is APEX, Accepted Practices Exchange to develop practices that reach industry wide. One of the practices is a glossary of terms used in the industry. The goal of the glossary is to standardize the definitions of words used by the meetings industry.

When you attend a conference do you even wonder how panels are determined?  Sometimes management companies who represent speakers send information.  Sometimes program committee members will suggest speakers that they heard at other conferences.  Often times though many organization issue  a  "Call for Papers."  The definition of a "Call for Papers" is   1) An invitation to submit topic ideas for the conference program. 2) Document containing detailed instructions for submission of papers for assessment and selection by a review committee; often referred to as “Abstract Forms.” Also known as "Call for Presentations".

When a potential speakers responds what is usually included in the response is a" Curriculum Vitae" (Also known as a CV meaning a short account of one's career and qualifications) or resume.  They will also include an  "Abstract" of their presentation.  An "Abstract" means written summaries of speeches or papers, generally between 200 - 500 words or a brief statement of content.

At a conference along with scheduled sessions maybe a "Poster Session."  A "Poster Session" is :  1) Display of reports and papers, usually scientific, accompanied by authors or researchers. 2) A session dedicated to the discussion of the posters shown inside the meeting area. When this discussion is not held in a special session, it can take place directly between the person presenting the poster and interested delegate(s).

The posters are often mounted on "Abstract Board."  An Abstract Board is usually rolling corkboards used for attaching copies of research papers for authors to discuss with participants. Sometimes people use foam core for their poster and then use easels like the picture.

Planner's Pointers is written by, Mary Pam Kilgore, CMP of Kilgore Events and Meetings.  You may reach me through my website You can find my blog at  You can reach me by phone at 412-260-4178.  Follow me on Twitter @marypam. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2013 Food Trends -- Survey says!

Survey Says -- 2013 Food Trends

Each year the National Restaurant Association, the world's largest foodservice trade surveys the more than 1,800 professional chefs, members of the American Culinary Federation and members of the United States Bartenders Guild asks "What's Hot?" The results forecast the menu trends for the coming year.

What were the results? In a word -- Local. Locally grown. Locally sourced. Locally produced. And even a term called Hyper-local sourcing.   Locally grown refers to fruits and vegetables. Locally sourced refers to meat. Locally produced refers to beer, wine and spirits. Hyper-local sourcing refers to the roof top gardens on top of restaurants.

How does Pittsburgh stack up with the trends? A quick web search shows many choices for all including local farms, markets, bistros and brew pubs. Even roof top gardens can be found in places like the David Lawrence Convention Center and Six Penn Kitchen.

Seat Belts -- A trend that saves lives!

Seat belt use climbed to an all time high in 2012.  Nine out of 10 people are choosing to buckle up according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration climbing from 15% in 1984 to 86% in 2012. AAA states that even in today's era of active safety systems and crumple zones seat belts remain the single most effective safety device for preventing death and injury.  

Websites to discover --

Brownielocks and the Three Bears ( is a website that has been around for more than 10 years but I only bookmarked it a little more than year ago or so when my friend, Becky, talked about it at a meeting. If you are an event planner, school teacher or anyone looking for a theme for an event or school project then Brownielocks is the place to go. Pick a month -- any month -- and there are listings for holidays, weeks of or month of celebrations and awareness. For example: Did you know there was a National Hot Dog Day? (July 17th) or that May is Go Fetch! Food Drive for Homeless Animals Month.

The creator of  Brownielocks said she did it as a fun way for older children to learn.   Which means to me that listings on the site are actual days, that the illustrations are cute without being silly and the content is "G" rated.

For people like me who like to plan ahead, the listings are for all months and not just one at a time. While the current month is the centerpiece, you can still access previous months or go click to choose future months. If a day or month has a link, they are also posted.

A great website to discover.