Practical ideas for facilitating workshops & people development

The importance of great food has come up in every conversation I have had recently about the Wow factor. However, participants don’t seem to remember the details about the food unless there was something wrong with it.

Last year we ran a large workshop in Adelaide where we brought in a group of farmers from across the state, morning tea was on arrival and was enjoyed by all … there were several comments of appreciation about having a substantial morning tea after a long drive…. so we were off to a good start in the food stakes.

The morning workshops sessions all went well, interesting speakers, good interaction and discussion.

Lunch arrived and all looked good, large pizza’s and salad…but things were about to slide! There was only one piece of pizza per person .. and this was farmers we were feeding. We quickly spoke to the hotel caterers and requested more food…. well, too late for more pizza. They said they could provide plates of wedges…. and so they did. Many people had only wedges for lunch. Not exactly what we had in mind.

One of the questions on the feedback forms was “What did you find challenging about the workshop?” Well .. I’m sure you can all guess the answer to that question – lunch! Not only did the food affect the mood of the afternoon session it sabotaged our evaluation as well.

What went wrong – the event organiser who we originally booked the venue through was on holidays for the week. When we thought we had got it all right one last phone call to check the details would have made the difference.

Never overlook the importance of food in the Wow factor!

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