No matter how many webinars, phone apps or WebEx meetings you have, there is little that can replace sitting down and breaking bread with a colleague, future partner, or someone you don’t understand but want to.
And if that bread happens to be house-made and gluten free (as it was for the CIGNA/Johns Hopkins breakfast I designed in Baltimore last month), and happens to have homemade almond butter to spread, so much the better.
Meeting managers and meeting planners seldom speak the same language as catering chefs and kitchens, and fear not having what people like. Banquet and catering staff fear running out of food.
Chicken, chips, soda, bread, pasta and cake are the usual result. Lethargy, sleepiness, dullness and impaired learning follow.
But conference food is a “secret weapon”: it can help attendees stay more alert, or put them to sleep. I used these healthy conference food principles (free download) to negotiate and create the meals in Baltimore, and it worked.
Conference food can, like the luncheon menu posted here, seduce and delight, or it can make you hunger for a Reuben and a beer (whether the Reuben is stuffed with pastrami or seitan, and whether the beer is a Bud Light or an Arrogant Bastard).
At the lunch above and after my talk on “Healthy Aging and the Food Rx”, CIGNA’s chief medical officer Dr Jeff Kang thought of a way to incentivize physicians to help their patients lose weight and keep it off: as a distinct, compensable part of quality.
Good ideas—ideas that better health, save money and improve quality–come from good meals.