Here are the conditions:
1) Must be easy to prepare. We don't have a kitchen so things need to be cooked in crock pots, hot plates, toaster ovens, etc. That's not too bad if we have to cook 5-10 burritos. What about 200?!? We tried chimichangas and quesadillas, but it was taking about 2 minutes per serving. 200 chimis=400 minutes=6.5 hours!!! We then tried setting up a microwave in the con suite for folks to do their own nuking. We ended up blowing a breaker which requires a union flunky to flip the switch and charge the con an outrageous sum of money.
2) Must be able to feed many. Some ideas are great for a small group, but what about a mass of humanity.
3) Must not cost an arm and a leg. Chilled shimp platters sounds like a great idea! Yeah. Right.
4) Must stay within fire code and not piss off the hotel. A big grill sounds like a great idea for burgers and hot dogs. I don't think the guests would appreciate a hotel full of smoke, however.
So we're looking for ideas to look into for next year. We're already considering big crock pots full of soup/stew/chili. This would not be homemade stuff, just big ol' cans of Dinty Moore/Staggs/Campbells.
We're also looking into getting a big pot dedicated to just boiling water. There are many things we could do like instant soups and ramen.
Any other suggestions? What about snack foods? Pretzels? Nachos? Candy?