Team Hamby had an incredible time at Catersource 2019! We look forward to attending this international conference every year to explore new ideas and learn from the best and brightest in our industry. We were especially excited when we heard that this year’s event was going to be hosted in one of America’s most iconic and unique cities… New Orleans!

“The Catersource Conference & Tradeshow is the only annual event of its kind. A show of unrivaled influence and inspiration, it’s a spirited gathering of all the people, ideas, and trending innovations shaping the catering and events industry.”

– Catersource

For the second year in a row, our President Candice Wigfield was invited to speak at the event to share her insights on the principles that continue to make Hamby Catering a successful business. This year, she shared the stage with her dad (and Hamby Catering’s COO), Wayne Culbertson. This dynamic duo brought decades of shared business expertise, world travel and a sense of family to the Catersource audience with their presentation, From Homegrown to C-Level: Taking Care of Business. A few familiar faces were in the crowd, too – Executive Sous Chef Chris Rausch, Director of Offsite Operations Justin Claiborne and Event Producer Caroline Griesedieck joined Candice and Wayne to represent Team Hamby at this year’s event.

Their presentation explored how Hamby Catering has adopted several corporate business models to drive growth and success. While food is, and will always be, at the heart of what we pride ourselves on, Hamby Catering has found that infusing a corporate mindset into a hospitality-based business is exactly what our company needed to boost revenue and propel us forward into the next 40 years of success. We were honored to have Hamby Catering represented on the international catering stage.

During the conference, we had the opportunity to attend new sessions each day and brought back a few key takeaways for our team to implement:

  1. Committing to collaboration and communication will help us build true partnerships between internal team members and clients.
  2. Staying positive and fostering a work culture allows every member of our team to thrive. We loved Footers Catering of Denver, CO and their Make It Better Every Day (MIBE) approach.
  3. Recognizing that multitasking actually decreases efficiency will help us optimize our operations and internal processes.

After the sessions, we had time for Q&A’s with the session speakers and opportunities to network with catering talent from across the globe. There was also an impressive trade show, where we perused selections of the latest and greatest in new equipment and technical solutions.

In addition to all of the knowledge we gained at the conference, we also fit in some time for team bonding while exploring the city and enjoying some incredible food! We’re still dreaming of the flavors of New Orleans and now know what Elvis meant when he sang, “you’ll never know what heaven means, until you’ve been down to New Orleans.”

One of our biggest takeaways from Catersource 2019? To not forget our takeaways. In one of our sessions, we learned an interesting stat: only 7% of people attending the conference would actually implement what they learned. Since returning from New Orleans, our team has made a conscious effort to put our knowledge into practice. Those who attended Catersource regrouped with the full team to share and document our top takeaways, so that we can hold each other accountable for implementing them.

It wasn’t easy getting five team members out to New Orleans for three days, but we know it was well worth the investment and can’t wait to see the ways that Hamby Catering applies the knowledge our team gained from the conference. We’re already counting down to Catersource 2020 in Viva, Las Vegas!