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Weekly Wrap-Up – Jan 4 2013

We’re back for another round of our weekly wrap-up. There was some exciting news for the planners out there as meeting, convention, and event planners made the top 100 Best Jobs as ranked by U.S. News. Without further ado… on to the wrap-up.

10 Cost-Saving Tips for Event Catering

by Jenny Berg of Biz Bash

Since event budgets have come down in recent years, it’s always important for caterers and event planners to make sure they’re keeping a close eye on costs. Bizbash asked caterers some of their favorite way to save money on events and got some great responses. Here’s some of our favorites:

2. Leverage promotional opportunities. To cut down on staffing fees, Tracey Cammack, executive director of catering at Savor…Chicago, suggests considering a “Taste of…” theme, incorporating local restaurants or food products into the event, with signage.

Cross-promotion can be a beautiful thing. There’s lots of local restaurants out there struggling with their marketing that would likely love to get your audience in the door to try their food. Why not work out a deal with a local restaurant or two to have them cater and in return for some free exposure and marketing? Your guests are likely to be more than happy as well. Local cuisine is hip right now as more people are trying to avoid overly processed and bland or generic options.

Another great possibility:

4. Make limited bar offerings more appealing. When it comes to controlling costs at the bar, Edens suggests limiting offerings to wine, beer, and one specialty drink—but make it interesting. Instead of the standard Bud Lite, the beer selection could be pours of local microbrews; wines can be lesser-known varietals, paired with complementary small plates. “Save even more by creating a specialty ‘cocktail’ without spirits—maybe a sparkling wine cocktail featuring seasonal flavors,” she says.

There’s a few good reasons to for caterers and event planners to keep bar offerings more limited. For one, it makes it easier to control inventory and reuse inventory at later events. Combining that with a focus on local microbrews and wines that are gaining popularity is a winning recipe.

Anheuser-Busch InBev Moves to Dominate U.S. Market

Beer giant, Anheuser-Busch InBev, has made a bid to buy Mexico’s Grupo Modelo, producers of Corona and Pacifico beer. The potential acquisition would position Anheuser-Busch InBev as the hands down dominate force in American beer making and could threaten the competitive nature of the market.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out with the growing craft beer market. Though it currently only commands about 6% of the market place at present, over 500 new breweries are projected to open in the next year due to increased demand.

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