In any industry, work can get stagnant, progress can slow, and ideas can become less creative. To stray from this inevitable, Vibrant Table participates annually in a catering industry conference and tradeshow hosted by Catersource, a popular magazine for people in the catering business. It is here that caterers and related companies come together to share ideas, exchange tips and network to better themselves. This year the conference was in Las Vegas and some of our administrative staff attended and brought home confidence and some fresh ideas back to Oregon. Here are some of the thoughts our staff had after attending the Catersource Conference & Tradeshow.
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Owner and CEO Art Fortuna: “It is good to mingle with our peers to not only gain new insights and learn new things, but also to validate that the work we do at Vibrant Table is on the front edge of catering companies in the industry. “
Co-Founder and Creative Director Kurt Beadell: “I think the overall take away from this conference was that we are doing it right, that we are on track financially, IT wise and customer service wise. What was interesting was to see how different companies use our same software in different ways. It really opened up new possibilities than we previously thought we had.”
Sales Manager Karen Rich [In regards to a memorable presentation called “How to Manage a Commission Based Sales Team”, presented by the International Caterers Association]: “I learned about managing a sales team purely on commission, and how that can affect a company. I think this type of management puts the focus too much on money and making the sale and takes away from our high standard of customer service that we pride ourselves on, so in a way, I learned what not to do from this seminar.“
VT – Portland Art Museum Site Manager Chris Barrie [after attending a class called “Executing Large Plated Events: The Step-by-Step Process”, lead by the executive chef of Restaurant Associates, which is New York City’s premier off site caterer]: “At Vibrant Table (VT) we pride ourselves on cooking on site (regardless of the venue) and serving our plates straight from the line to our guest’s table, so my biggest take away from this class was an affirmation that at VT we are using the same methods and techniques as NYC’s premier off site caterer. There is no substitute for cooking on site, and using plating lines to serve large groups. It takes more planning and effort to provide this level of service, but this type of attention to detail is what will separate our company from other catering operations.”