Enhancing Meetings Through Food


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This is a presentation I gave to the Society of Government Meeting Professionals at the 2012 Southeastern Regional Education Conference.

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  • Are your meetings impacted by the food you serve and the activities your attendees participate in over the course of your time together? In a word, “YES!” Since the genesis of the human race, people have enjoyed food and recreation together. Cultures have been shaped by the food they eat and the activities they perform together. Organizations, family units, and individuals are still being “shaped” by their input and output. Today, meeting planners and suppliers not only have an opportunity, but a responsibility regarding the food you serve and the activities in which your attendees participate. You have the ability to improve the health and well-being of your attendees and ultimately their families, friends, and communities. Together, we will explore how both meeting planners and suppliers can be proactive in planning a meeting beginning with this type of impact in mind. You will walk away inspired, educated, and prepared to take you next meeting to the next level!
  • Because in today’s world, the stakes are high.
  • A 2010 study by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that the hidden costs of obesity amounts to $73.1 Billion.
  • In a Spring 2011 Article written by Andrea Sullivan of Brainstrength Systems, she profiles Executive Chef Craig Mason of The National Conference Center as he discussed the Center’s “Food for Thought” Program.
  • All-you-can-eat, four-course meals and all-day smorgasbords are downsizing. The current trend in F&B is bitesizing, or offering food and drink in smaller portions and with fewer options. The trend is an offshoot of the larger move in meetings to break them down into more digestible portions (shorter keynotes, fewer sessions, etc.). Research shows that consumers don’t necessarily want more choice—they just want the ability to personalize their choices. Too many choices can be overwhelming, according to Satov Consultants, a consumer and marketing consulting firm. Boutique burger bars, taco food trucks and cupcake shops are cashing in on the idea, and smart planners are, too. Instead of giving attendees 20 different options for entrees, they’re giving them the opportunity to personalize their own omelettes, sandwiches and pasta bowls. Then they’re sharing pictures of their cuisine creations on Instagram.
  • Enhancing Meetings Through Food

    1. 1. Enhancing Meetings Through Food
    2. 2. IMPACT! The aim of anymeeting, conference,or event is to impact the lives of the attendees.
    3. 3. IMPACT! Impact during ameeting translates to impact beyond the meeting!
    4. 4. IMPACT! Does the Food &Beverage you select make an impact?
    5. 5. IMPACT! YES!
    6. 6. IMPACT!Food & Beverage:• Communicates a message!• Sets the Tone!• Enhances or Detracts!
    7. 7. IMPACT!What impact are youmaking as a meetingplanner or hotelier?
    8. 8. The RealityIn America today, Two-Thirds ofadults and nearly one-third ofchildren and teens are currentlyobese or overweight. - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    9. 9. The Reality
    10. 10. The Reality
    11. 11. The Reality• $73,000,000,000.00 – the cost to U.S. employers in lost production due to obesity. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39571973/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/#.UFNW8bIS68A
    12. 12. The Reality• Obesity has now been defined by the U.S. Military as a threat to our national security!
    13. 13. The RealityBetween 1990 – 2010• Alabama – 15.7% to 32.3%.• Tennessee – 16.4% - 32%.• Florida – in 2010, you ranked 29/51 at 26.1%.• Georgia – in 2010, you rank 17/51 at 28.7%.
    14. 14. The Reality By 2020:• Obesity-related medical expenses will be $344 Billion!• Half of Americans will have diabetes or pre-diabetes!• Obesity will reduce life expectancy by an average of 13 years!• Half of the people you see will be obese!
    15. 15. Umm . . . I thought this wason enhancing my meetings with food!!!
    16. 16. The QuestionHow can utilize food toenhance your meeting and have a positive impact on your attendees?
    17. 17. Food for Thought• Optimal Brain/Body function.• Investment• IMPACT
    18. 18. Food for ThoughtLess of this . . .
    19. 19. Food for ThoughtMORE of this . . .
    20. 20. Food for Thought LOCAL = FRESH
    21. 21. Food for ThoughtLess of this . . .
    22. 22. Food for ThoughtMORE of this . . .
    23. 23. Food for ThoughtBite-Sizing
    24. 24. Food for ThoughtFarm to Table Events
    25. 25. Food for ThoughtFood Trucks
    26. 26. Food for ThoughtGo Plated!
    27. 27. Food for ThoughtWhole Fruit Breaks!!!
    28. 28. Food for ThoughtJuicing!!!
    29. 29. Food for ThoughtHealthy Apps!
    30. 30. Food for ThoughtZumba or Yoga Break!
    31. 31. Food for ThoughtThink Lite!
    32. 32. More Healthy Options• Give-Aways: Pedometers, Water Bottles, Healthy Eating Guides• Health Screenings• Walking Trails• Fitness Centers or YMCA Partnerships
    33. 33. Food for ThoughtPlanners:• What are 2 ideas you can incorporate into your next meeting?
    34. 34. Food for ThoughtSuppliers:• What are 2 ideas we discussed today that you can offer your next Government Client to win their business?
    35. 35. Food for Thought“You make a difference!”
    36. 36. Shameless Marketing Plug!Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa