Legacy: Feeding the Hungry in Host Meeting Destinations

March 29, 2017

Legacy: Feeding the Hungry in Host Meeting Destinations

In January of last year, Jeannie Power, CMP, co-founder of Power Event Group, was on site in Miami, Florida, preparing for a financial-sector meeting. Outside of Power’s hotel room, it was sunny and warm. Meanwhile, in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the U.S. — where all the attendees were traveling from — a major blizzard was gathering strength. Their flights were canceled; the meeting followed suit. – Words Michelle Russell, editor in chief of PCMA Convene

Among the loose ends that Power — contracted for this event by Strategic Meetings & Events — had to tie up was what to do with all of the food that had been ordered for the two-and-a-half-day event. Fortunately, Power was in a unique position to put those meals to good use. In her former role at event-technology company EventMobi, Power had worked with hunger think tank Rock and Wrap It Up! to develop the Whole Earth Calculator mobile app.

On the RWU website, she used the Hungerpedia search tool, a resource that matches food donors with agencies in need, and then she reached out to RWU’s founder, Syd Mandelbaum, and Meeting U. President James Spellos, CMP, RWU’s volunteer IT director and board member. “I wanted to make sure they didn’t have any recommendations beyond what I saw on Hungerpedia,” Power said.

Mandelbaum and Spellos connected her with the Miami Rescue Mission, which arranged to pick up the approximately 540 pounds of food to serve at its homeless shelter. According to the Whole Earth Calculator, the food equaled 415 meals.

Power is quick to point out that the entire process was easy, and not because she’s in the know. Unfortunately, she’s found that many of her colleagues in North America don’t make the effort to donate leftover food because they think it’s too complicated — or that it would make their organizations liable to lawsuits.

Indeed, Spellos said many in the industry remain unaware of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, signed into U.S. law in 1996, which removes any legal liability for organizations and their food suppliers “if they donate food that is prepared but not served, and connect with an organization that is charitable,” he said.

RWU evaluates charities to ensure that they “have the necessary equipment to take the donations and serve them safely,” Power said, and many of charities can pick up the food as well. “Event planners and hotels — individuals, venues, and caterers,” she said, “need to know that this is not something that’s going to require a lot of effort on their part.”

March 27, 2017

Knowledge Sharing at the European Association Summit

The annual gathering of professionals from the association sector, the European Association Summit (EAS) will be held in Brussels on 30 and 31 May 2017 at SQUARE-BRUSSELS MEETING CENTRE.

For the fifth consecutive year, visit.brussels is organising the European Association Summit together with its partners from the association world. Over the years, the event has become an important opportunity to share information and knowledge, and network with other international associations. As the headquarters of many European and of international organisations, Brussels is a fitting place to host such an event with particular focus on associations and the issues and challenges they are facing.

The summit is designed by international association executives for international association executives. The idea is to offer them the chance to put their success stories and innovative ideas under the spotlight, and so boost the number of people involved.

This year, the programme is spread over two days in total and the content has been enhanced with the addition of new topics, featuring a range of subjects and speakers who will share their experience with an audience on the lookout for new knowledge. The summit will kick off with a speech by Jean-Paul Philippot, President of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and CEO of the RTBF, the French-Speaking Belgian TV and radio broadcaster, on innovation, big data issues and the latest advances in communications.

A new session involving destination partners from the Global Association Hubs Partnership (GAHP) will ensure that delegates can learn about the challenges and opportunities for associations to grow internationally. Moderated by Terrance Barkan and Hervé Bosquet, the session will involve representatives from different continents, delivering their experience on working at global or regional level, from the Middle East to Singapore, from Washington D.C. to Dubai.

Distributed in breakout sessions, speakers representing a wide range of sectors (e.g. heritage, wine, education, health, process safety) will also tackle good practice trends in event organisation, the management of members and campaigns, communication, and representation and lobbying techniques. Professionals from human resources, legal or European affairs will also speak to the audience at thematic workshops, prior to the closing session.

The EAS is organised in collaboration with leading partners in the sector: ESAE (European Society of Association Executives), FAIB (Federation of European & International Associations Based in Belgium) and UIA (Union of International Associations).

 

March 23, 2017

How to Grow Your Association

With 50 per cent of associations reporting that they are not experiencing any growth in membership, Boardroom looks at a new white paper created by Kenes offering advice for associations looking to grow. (more…)

February 23, 2017

World Obesity Federation recognises Vancouver Convention Centre for healthy food

The World Obesity Federation has accredited the Vancouver Convention Centre as a Healthy Venue.

The federation’s Healthy Venue Award recognises venues worldwide who support their visitors and staff in making healthier choices in terms of nutrition and well-being. One of the key factors that lead to the Healthy Venue recognition was everything from dressings and stocks to bread and pastries being made in house and the kitchens offering healthy menu items that feature reduced fat, sugar and sodium.

The Healthy Venues Award is part of World Obesity’s Action Initiative that aims to stimulate and support practical actions that will help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight and reverse the global obesity crisis. The award focuses on steps that venues can take to support healthy eating and to encourage more activity. The venue worked in partnership with the World Obesity Federation for its international congress, looking holistically at the attendee experience, from healthy snacks in vending machines through to encouraging people to use the stairs rather than lifts.

Chris Trimmer, Executive Director of the World Obesity Federation, says: “The Healthy Venues Award was conceived to help combat the unhealthiness of meetings and conferences and the impact these can have on people’s lives.

“We chose to hold our International Congress on Obesity at the Vancouver Convention Centre because of the efforts they have made in this area. They were able to offer us and our delegates a healthy meeting, with hydration stations, a wonderful healthy menu, standing space at the back of session rooms, not to mention the wonderful location on Vancouver seawall for long lunchtime strolls!”