VCC – Brain Friendly Food and More

Quite honestly, this innovative and thoughtful menu was too good not to share.

#ecv11 Vancouver Convention Centre Meal

Chef Blair Plates lunch

To be able to put into practice what we are talking about with meeting design and brain friendly foods, and to see and hear about the tangible results was an Event Camp win for all.

Often as meeting planners we will choose from existing menus which may not entirely inspire with their flavours.  More importantly though, the approach often means that we are feeding our delegates high-fat breakfasts, breaks that have many baked goods full of white flour and white sugar leading to carb and sugar loads that have a negative impact on learning and engagement as your body struggles with the chemicals they release in the brain which leads to the “rush” and then the crash, rather than a stable release of blood sugars that allow for maximum meeting energy.

 With Event Camp Vancouver we worked with the Chef to try a fresh approach and the snacks below were available always through the day, so participants could go out at any time and re-energize on their own schedule.

For more information on Chef Blair Rasmussen’s philosophy and approach to creating nutritious and delicious food in the Vancouver Convention Centre’s scratch kitchen can be found here  

The Menu

 Morning Energy Bar

Low Fat Yoghurt Mango Banana Shots

Build Your Own Granola 

Gluten-free Chocolate Almond Loaf

Smoked Oceanwise Salmon, Emmenthal and Free-Range Egg Popovers

Fruit Energy Shot Blocks

Whole Fruit Basket 

Espresso Drink Bar with a Range of Espresso Drinks with Skim, 2% and Soy Milks, Matcha Tea Lattes, Vancouver Convention Centre Wildflower Honey 

Raspberry Smoothie and Watermelon, Organic Orange, Grapefruit and Carrot Juices

Pitchers of Water

Lunches at meetings are often heavy, or multi-course or buffet, and often are also high carb, leading every speaker to ask to not have that post lunch spot! Chef Blair and his team presented an incredible, light, fresh lunch full of local ingredients, and the participants really appreciated having something different. 

Lunch was presented with family style platters for the salad skewers and mini-dessert pops with the main presented in a “bento box” format shown above.

Platters of Caprese Salad Skewers

Spot Prawn Cucumber Sunomono, Micro Greens, Oceanwise Albacore Tuna Tataki and Avocado Tartar on Grilled Papadum,Vegetable Tofu Crepe Roll, Aldersmoked Free range Chicken, Chanterelles and du Puy Lentils

Platters of Double Chocolate and Lemon Cake Pops, Light Raspberry Ricotta Cakes, Apple Kuchen 

Afternoon Energy Bar

Build Your Own Trail Mix 

Garden Vegetable Crudités,

Gluten-free Crisps, Yogurt Dip and Hummus

Cranberry Oat Bites, Kamut Shortbread

and again the Fruit Energy Shot Blocks, Espresso Drink Bar,  Hydration Station were again available.

We knew we were providing the nutritional basis for keeping the attendees alert, so we added small details, a sand trough to play in, playdoh and markers at the lunch table, and an amazing environment to ensure that all the senses were engaged, each piece leading to greater retention of learnings and more “connecting the dots” which leads to greater future application of learning.

Thank you to the Vancouver Convention Centre and Centerplate Catering for understanding and working with us to deliver this innovative menu.

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Bell… the possibilities

Technology for meetings has evolved exponentially in the last decade.  Our clients’ expectations and our guests spoken and unspoken requirements have changed as well. We are so fortunate that when groups are hosting meetings at the Vancouver Convention Centre, that with some advance planning there are many cool ways that you can meet and exceed the new needs of the guests.  Here are some of the ways we enhanced Event Camp Vancouver with the existing technology in the building. ECV11 used one specific space within the Centre and Bell was able to isolate the monitors in this space.

#ecv11 game

One of the check in points - infomation uploads to the Bell Leaderboard

  1. Collaborators could all be recognized on the existing monitors so no additional standard sintra or coreplast signage was required
  2. The program of what was happening was tim
  3. ed to change outside of the room on the digital signage, handy as we relied on this with no paper program printed
  4. The internet bandwidth allowed us to host a seamless hybrid meeting where we not only worked with MediaSite to stream out the meeting live, we also skyped in presenters and the Montreal pod in real time (they also have amazing video conference capabilities, we just didn’t have anyone on another end to test this out with)
  5. The wifi, now expected by many has capabilities to serve even the largest meeting and its needs and we had people tweeting, gaming, blogging and all their normal use without issue for the duration
  6. The digital signage at the entrance of each room we were using could also show the twitter stream (which we chose not to have distracting inside the room so having in the foyers worked well)
  7. The leaderboard for the Get Your Green On game integrated into the overall program was updated from the mobile app and sent automatically to specific screens set to track this
  8. Kiosks throughout can also be branded and be used as a tool for a variety of functions from surveys to sponsorship
  9. BONUS – Bell set up a QR code on the screen that uploaded an EventCamp Vancouver postcard that could be sent from any smartphone with a scanner app – really how cool is that!?

More importantly though, as the planner we found the team at Bell to be both thoughtful and proactive throughout the process, offering suggestions on the best way to use the technology to enhance the guest experience.

There is naturally a cost for the services required and if a planner starts early in the planning process to identify the opportunities and to budget appropriately you may find that you can save in other areas.  This may include reducing some of the traditional paper products (signage, programs) and may also give you added benefits such as the use of QR codes, you may not have considered before. You may find there are layers of benefits to your meeting, including sustainability initiatives matching those of your own organizations. The opportunities are interesting.

Check out this video too.

Technology at the VCC with Bell

This is a short interview with Kiki L’Italien and Greg Davey of Bell that talks a little about how technology is being used in the centre, and how they help you save paper, money on creating, shipping and setting signage, and allow you to incorporate social media easily into your meetings using technology already in place in the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmy3TQM7HCE&feature=youtu.be