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Don't Be Shellfish—Sharing How to Handle Food Allergies at Meetings

It's not your imagination—the number of people with food allergies in the U.S. has in fact been growing. According to a 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. And now some of those kids are old enough to be your next-gen attendees. Then there are people whose religion requires a specific menu, vegans, Paleo-dieters, and those who prefer their food to be free of gluten, or meat, or all animal products.

Conference menu planning, which if it was once a relatively straightforward affair (which I tend to doubt, though I'm sure it was easier), is now really, really complicated. That's why we asked some very smart people to help us chart a course through the courses in a free half-hour webinar on Thursday, April 24 at 2 p.m. ET.

I'm going to try to tune in to hear Tracy Stuckrath, founder of Thrive! Meetings & Events; Erin Brown of Centerplate Caterling at the Colorado Convention Center; and Tahira Endean of QuickMobile teach us how to source locally, feed brains as well as bodies, and of course meet special dietary needs in a way that leaves all attendees feeling satisfied. At least with the food!

Did I mention it's free? Register now and you get a free Ginsu Knife—just kidding! But you will get a half clock hour toward certification or recertification application for the Certified Meeting Professional designation, which is almost as good, right?

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