Corporate meetings just got a whole lot healthier thanks to KitcheNet, a Chicago-based company delivering fresh produce to corporate clients to promote employee wellness.

Founded in 2017 by Trista Li, KitcheNet offers services for corporate offices, meetings, snack breaks, retreats and more, allowing clients the option of healthy eating during the work day. 

“Fruit in offices is often ugly and sad. Eating should be healthy and fun, so we bring in options for people who want to eat healthier while also providing an educational opportunity,” Li says.

In addition to providing fresh fruit, KitcheNet offers the option of hiring an assistant to help cut fruit and teach attendees about the more exotic fruits on the menu. KitcheNet donates a portion of its proceeds to underserved communities in the area, making fresh produce more accessible in Chicago food deserts.

Prices are typically $1.25-$3 per person, and a booking fee is dependent on group size and the type of event with an hourly fee for use of an assistant. KitcheNet also offers subscriptions for offices that want to restock monthly. 

“Corporate clients can promote wellness and sustainability with KitcheNet’s services while also giving back to the community,” Li says. “You can do good just by eating well.” 

Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.  

 

Freelancing has become a new ball game since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many companies cannot afford to keep full-time positions, but still need those tasks completed. Although many more professionals have had to join the freelancing community since March, Tracy Judge had the passion for the freelancing community two years ago–long before the pandemic hit–and founded her company Soundings Connect in order to directly connect meetings and events industry freelancers with customers. 

 

Whether dabbling with an augmented reality app, getting up to speed on the complexities of 5G service or employing cocktail-mixing robots, planners are no strangers to emerging technology. As meetings and events become increasingly tech-driven affairs, we’ve checked in with top event production pros for their takes on the latest event tech trends and what’s to come in the year ahead.