Eating & Drinking Local at Your Next Virginia Meeting
For some meetings and groups, using local products as part of the resort experience is very important. Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Virginia is located in a part of the country where sourcing local products for a variety of meetings, and in their dining outlets, is almost routine. Northern Virginia has an abundance of local farms and vendors and Lansdowne has ongoing relationships with more than dozen of them.
Lansdowne Resort is an IACC-certified conference center with 50,000 square feet of total meeting space, including 33 meetings rooms, amphitheater and executive boardroom. Below are some thoughts on the importance of eating and drinking locally for your next meeting.
Why eat & drink local?
- It gives attendees perspective on the meeting location
- Adds a learning element to your food & beverage event
- Supports the local community where your meetings are held
- Creates built-in theme opportunities
What can be sourced locally?
- Wine, Spirits, Beer and sometimes even micro-brewed sodas, juices, etc.
- Produce – some conference centers even grow their own!
- Protein – local farms still abound in the U.S., find one near your meeting location for the freshest product
- Cheeses, Baked Goods, Craft Products – keep an eye out or Google that local cupcake shop, creamery or home made jam retailer – little touches go a long way
How can your IACC Conference Center help facilitate this?
- Your conference planner and/or the Director of Food & Beverage can point you in the direction of the local best in food & spirits.
- The conference center can source goods and may even have volume accounts with some smaller purveyors.
- Your conference team should assist with implementing signage, menu cards or verbiage for your materials that helps celebrate the choices you’ve made and educate your attendees on what they are sampling, where it came from and how to obtain products for themselves should they like to!
How can these local products be incorporated into my meeting food & beverage events?
- At your reception, feature a local winery, brewery or distillery – this can be as simple as adding these items to your bar or setting up a station with the proprietor so attendees can “meet the maker”. Your reception is instantly interactive and the learning continues!
- Ask your conference center chef to tailor your awards banquet dinner using local artisanal products. If the kitchen is buying local, chef’s cook with an extra special level of care – make sure to mention the farms/growers on your menu cards. Your attendees will know you are really celebrating them with your choices.
- Want to spice up a break? Ask your conference planner to do an entirely local break – cheeses, produce, snacks, beverages and baked goods from down the street make great conversation pieces and keep the networking going!
Your IACC Conference Center is your partner in helping make your meeting memorable. Eating & Drinking Local is a great way to make a lasting impression.