My name is Lisa Ware, and I am the Director of Business Development & Special Projects at Catering by Michaels. I have been writing each week about our journey through COVID-19! If you have not yet read the previous episodes – be sure to start from the beginning!
To Travel or Not to Travel
The first sign for us that COVID-19 was going to have an impact on our industry was a few days before the annual Catersource Conference in Las Vegas. Catersource is one of the best weeks of the year for caterers to come together, learn, network, teach, and share stories about this crazy world we work in. This year, I was even more excited as I was checking off a major professional goal and bucket list item– not just attending Catersource, but also speaking – twice! I attended Catersource for the first time in 2013 and made a promise to myself that I would someday be the one teaching on that stage! It took me 7 years, a move to Chicago, and 3 catering companies added to my resume to accomplish my goal. I had spent HOURS curating our presentation, developing content, and ensuring we would have a session that was not only engaging but have tangible takeaways. As the date approached, so many speakers and companies were canceling their plans to attend due to the start of COVID-19 spreading around the country. Catering by Michaels (CBM) is a proud member of the Leading Caterers of America (LCA) and had many conversations with fellow LCA members weighing the risks and trying to decide if we should move forward with attending or cancel our team’s plans. For Catering by Michaels, myself, our Executive Vice President, and our Director of Operations were all slated to speak and two of our Event Coordinators had won scholarships to attend so it was a big decision.