Posts Tagged ‘Catersource’

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WHAT A LUXURY…

February 21, 2011

And I am enjoying it in spite of the weather!  A day off today – just for me.

You may have noticed and appreciated that I’ve been pretty quiet this month-hardly thinking about the blog, and certainly not sharing my thoughts with the world.   The Riverfront Visitors Experience and the selection of the design team to guide the redevelopment Above the Falls , tax appointments, more press interviews about CRV 2010, preparing to speak at RETHINK –and attending  the launch of that new concept held in Minneapolis, New York, Copenhagen, and Paris simultaneously, two great ISES gatherings including a field trip to Ellsworth to learn all about the art of ice carving from Chris Swarbeck, our own award-winning expert, have hardly left me time for anything. 

Then throw in the planning for the upcoming Catersource/Event Solutions Conference in Vegas and another intense experience in collaboration as the CRV team re-united to respond to an RFP that could (or not ) represent a significant series of events in 2012. It all added up not much sleep while I also battled this season’s version of the winter flu/cold that wrapped me in misery for sixteen days.

And so I spent the morning leisurely reading the Sunday paper and letting my mind wander with every article:

As I read about King Tut at the Science Museum, I was flooded with images of visiting the Field Museum in Chicago with good friends, Gene and Susie Lehner, and the awe that surrounded us as we experienced the 1970s touring version of that exhibit; I lamented about no time to see Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; and wondered why I still have not experienced Cocina del Barrio when I live in the neighborhood. 

I read the review of “The Paris Wife” and was transported, not to Paris, but to Rochester in the early 60s when Hemingway was in Rochester staying at the home of a classmate of mine.  So while I picked Archibald McLeach for my “American Author” in sophomore English, that classmate picked Hemingway.  What a wonderful experience to have the author featured in your report right there to guide you through the background and message of one of his books.  And what a learning experience to have the teacher tell that classmate that he had missed the point and the real message Hemingway was trying to communicate!  An early life lesson I will always remember.  Read a book and enjoy it on whatever level it resonates with you.  If you find a hidden meaning and second level-great; but if you don’t, don’t worry –your enjoyment at whatever level may be just what the author had in mind!

I was glad (and concerned) to see a favorite restaurant, Kindee Thai made the Strib today; I hope that does not make it more difficult to “drop in” when I am craving Thai food; and the mention of the bouillabaisse at Sea Change set off a whole chain of memories  that spanned a lifetime.  I first was introduced to this wonderful culinary experience on an early visit to Marigot, St. Martin, way back in Winnebago days in the mid 1970s…and it became a favorite pick each time I was in St. Martin, France or Monaco for the next ten years.  From there, in the 80s when traveling to Cupertino for meetings with Apple, I discovered the Italian-influenced San Francisco version, cioppino. It became a favorite dish to order at Cocolozzone’s, and eventually, I learned to make a good version myself   – and still serve it up for special occasions!

I read about the MS benefit and thought of three good friends who have made this disease personal for me; I saw that Wayne Kostroski has written a book about the origin and growth of “Taste of the NFL”. It’s on my list, as I remembered Super Bowl in Minneapolis and under Wayne’s direction, co-chairing with Carolyn Vinup that very first Taste of the NFL event.

And finally, I lamented about the Walmart advance on Target and thought of its impact on the 50th and Hwy 100 neighborhood commercial district.  The locally owned hardware store will be replaced with a Walmart; the hardware store will move to Olson’s Pharmacy and put it out of business.  Two of my favorite stores-uprooted because of Walmart.  I am saddened by that, and know that becomes one more reason to stick to my plan to leave this area and re-locate back downtown in the city near the river where I belong!

And then, paper absorbed over two double-shot espressos, I ran some errands before this snow storm got too awful.   It was quiet, and without much traffic, I tried one more time (to no avail) to see if the T-Mobile experts could get my e-mail functioning, finished the rest of my errands and was on my way back home within an hour.  By then, traffic had slowed down considerably, but I made it back…and then got stuck in the parking lot here at home!   I abandoned the car, knowing that means a lot of shoveling after the plow has come through, but like Scarlett O’Hara, decided to deal with it “tomorrow”-and this gave me one more nudge to move out of here and get back to the city.  I have to accomplish that in 2011 one way or another!

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CATALYST CONFERENCES

March 12, 2010

We didn’t just work the entire time we were in Vegas– we visited the 800-booth trade show floor, spent one evening at “Anthology” – a night filled with a collection of culinary creativity from Chilean Duck Duck tacos to torched American Lamb t-bone steaks to a caviar bar and live champagne chandelier s set amongst the umbrellas, with a finish of nitro ice cream at the 321⁰ below zero ice cream station, and we also attended a few classes.

I smiled and nodded my head in agreement throughout one of those classes as Jeff Hurt, Director of Education and Engagement at Velvet Chainsaw, shared his ideas of how to plan and produce next-generation conferences and events.

Over the last few months, I have often talked about the new adult learning model, the need to pull not push out information, and the need to look for new methods that are participatory and collaborative. So when I read Jeff’s course description describing the way people learn today and how that impacts the traditional conference or event where typically there are “one too many presentations with a sage on the stage and a passive listening audience”, I knew I had to make his session – even though it started at 7AM! So, off I went, and I was not disappointed.

Jeff took us through recent research about traditional room set ups – pretty easy to improve those – and then launched into five principles for redesigning learning elements during conference general sessions and workshops- along with a discussion about the impact of the traditional hierarchy of expertise, top-down, controlled, presumed authority presentations on an audience of learners.

If you want your meetings and conferences to reflect 21st century thinking and provide pay-back for your client, then visit Jeff’s blog at http://jeffhurtblog.com. The deck is posted under the title of “Catalyst Conferences: How to Plan and Produce Next-Generation Conferences & Events”. For some, it will be a review with a few good new supporting facts and tips. For others, it will be a major revelation!

For me, it was the affirmation I needed to turn my thoughts for change into a major campaign. It is time to move forward.