About GrowPro Experience
Started in 2013 as an association between students and different organizations including schools, universities, health insurance and immigration departments, GrowPro Experience aims at providing orientation, consultancy and most importantly, global experiences to those who intend to live, study or work in countries other than their motherlands. Until now, they have spread their services to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and hopefully more countries and territories in the future. Hence, it is a completely useful platform to get everyone ready to make the most of their experience in other countries.
Theme and Décor
1. Atmosphere and décor
The event was a classic backyard barbecue party in a friendly, casual atmosphere and harmonized with nature. Stanley Park is an excellent venue for such a small and cozy get-together as it offers a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of life and a chance for everyone to mingle. Besides, the organizers were very welcoming since the first moment we arrived which made us (and probably other attendees too) feel comfortable and belonged.
The decoration was far from impressive but somehow acceptable regarding the scope of the event. Generally speaking, what the organizers have done could hardly be considered decoration as there was nothing else signaled that an event was happening apart from the banner in the front.
It was just as simple (or we might say plain)as everything else. The food station style served it well: easy to set up, clean up and to manage the flow of guests. Also, it created a chance for a little chit chat between the organizers and attendees when they came up to get their food.
Cleanliness and service
1. Was it clean? We would say 50/50.
Generally speaking, since the event took place in a public area (Stanley Park), which made all insights may have been partially affected by external factors (e.g the park itself, the weather, etc), no one was to blame for all the undesired cons.
The exterior was acceptable for an open-air space on an occasional visit. The benches and tables, despite some dust on those unoccupied, were fairly “sittable”. There was one garbage bin (we believe it belonged to the park though), and some plastic trash bags ready to collect all the waste, but unfortunately not to sort them.
All the foods, kitchen wares and utensils were in unsurprisingly excellent condition (fully packed as displayed in stores where they were purchased). There were also two BBQ grills, “reasonably” burnt on the inside, hopefully cleaned!
2. How was the service?
We would actually say “interaction” instead, as the founders of this event were not technically “serving” the guests, and vice versa, we did not consider them as “servers” neither. When we had just arrived and got confused, they greeted us with such friendly manners. We got to know each other and chit chat for a while as waiting for the meals. Then when the time came, a team member was grilling the sausages, and another was guiding everyone to grab a plate and queue up. It took about three times of the line up to get every plate filled. We enjoyed our hot dogs and were more than welcome to have another plate! Although not everyone got to stay until the event ended, there should have been lots of good experiences and friendships made on that day.
Integration of modern food and beverage trends
In terms of the integration of contemporary food and beverage trends, it seems unlikely that this event gravitated towards new trends,. This was an event organized to connect people, we found that most of the participants were Millennials to Gen Z. Despite veganism is a way of living that is on the rise among these generation, there was no vegan food at the event
So what could we expect? Vegan food and Calorie awareness!
Consuming nutritious food is a greater influence that needs to be taken on by people more seriously. In the near future, we believe there will be greater awareness of quality food consumption in the part of the food & beverage concept of this event since people are more and more focus on their health are well-aware of the calories they consume and soon it will take over the food market (Sullivan, n.d.).
Is it environmental-friendly? Yes and Not-so-yes.
1. Venue: A big big YES!
A sustainable event venue is a high bonus point for the GrowPro team, I must say. Stanley Park undoubtedly provides excellent natural lighting and ventilation, which are two essential factors that make a sustainable event (Davis, 2014; Kelly, 2017), what a better venue for a BBQ could be than a spacious and airy park with an open wooden house which fits a crowd of up to 50 people. The wooden house is bench-and-table ready as well as electricity equipped, which is ideal for cooking and tasting food while socializing.
Besides, Stanley Park is easily accessible by public transportation or bikes, and there are, of course, more than enough space for bike parking. A walk in nature is never a bad idea as well. Because gas emission from transportation in Canada increased by 43% from 1990 to 2017 (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2019), a venue with alternative and more sustainable ways of transportation is a bonus point.
2. Food and tableware: A Not-so-yes
What do you expect at a barbeque event? The sizzling sound of the meat on the grill, the alluring smell of smoked meat, the satisfying feeling of flipping the meat and watching it turn browny red as well as all the chitchatting while cooking. Well, in fact, it was all hotdogs and burgers. Not what we expected but still fine for us. However, it would be better if they had vegan or healthier options as well.
The team earned a point here by using non-plastic tableware such as paper plates, styrofoam cups, and recycled napkins. All were not for single-use (except napkins). Moreover, attendees were reminded to bring our own drinks, so the use of cups was minimal, and almost no plastic bottle was left at the event.
3. Waste disposal and recycling: What a NO-NO!
Everything including plates, cups, leftover food, and ingredients either went into the big plastic bag in the cooking area or the unclassified one of the park. It seemed like the organizer showed little or no interest in recycling at all.
1. Sustainable Events Guide. (2012). [ebook] UNEP, p.13. Available at: https://www.greeningtheblue.org/sites/default/files/Sustainable%20Events%20Guide%20May%2030%202012%20FINAL.pdf [Accessed 18 Oct. 2019].
2. Davis, C. (2014). How to Plan an Event with Sustainability in Mind. [online] NC State University. Available at: https://sustainability.ncsu.edu/blog/changeyourstate/planning-sustainable-events/ [Accessed 18 Oct. 2019].
3. Kelly, M. (2017). Five Easy Ways To Make Your Food Event Sustainable. [online] Eventbrite Australia Blog. Available at: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/blog/five-easy-tips-sustainable-food-eventds00/ [Accessed 18 Oct. 2019].
4. Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators: Greenhouse gas emissions. (2019). [online] Environment and Climate Change Canada, p.9. Available at: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/eccc/documents/pdf/cesindicators/ghg-emissions/2019/national-GHG-emissions-en.pdf [Accessed 18 Oct. 2019].
5. Sullivan, C. (n.d.). Trends of Food and Beverage Upcoming in 2020. [online] College Chefs. Available at: https://blog.collegechefs.com/food-and-beverage-trends-of-2020 [Accessed 19 Oct. 2019].