With the large sit-down banquets or buffets generally found at national business events such as conventions, conferences, and awards-dinners, the meals are typically mass prepared and plated in advance. You will only know what the fare is once it’s served or unveiled at the buffet station. It’s optimal to connect with the meeting planner of the event weeks ahead of time and ask if there is a way to accommodate your gluten-free needs. If they know in advance and can do something about it, they will be more than happy to do so. However, you should still double-check the day of the event to ensure your request has been processed and was not lost in the shuffle.
But what is your plan B? You need one. Consider eating before you attend a meal event and know that the salad course (hold the croutons!) may have to suffice, or expect to wait to eat until the event is over.
If the business event is being organized by your company, encourage that a caterer with experience in accommodating special diets is selected to bid on the job. There are generally several types of dietary restrictions in an office, and other associates and attendees will be thankful for this accommodation too.