True Food Kitchen Chicago, a health-driven restaurant co-founded by restaurateur Sam Fox and integrative medicine expert Dr. Andrew Weil, opened in Chicago’s River North neighborhood in November with a menu rooted in anti-inflammatory foods and seasonal dishes. Each has simple preparation with recognizable, nutrient-rich ingredients that support health and well-being—which is becoming more and more important in meetings and events with the increase in health-conscious attendees.

The 7,625-square-foot restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner (and brunch on the weekends), and features menu options like shiitake lettuce cups, beet bruschetta, sustainable sea bass, as well as a range of kombuchas, tonics and teas. Though catering is not available at this time, takeout is still an option. 

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.