During my training sessions, before the official kickoff, meals provided were mainly bagels, cereal, muffins, and fresh fruit for breakfast (pretty good) and boxed meals for lunch (meh). The first day’s lunch was good with plain chips, apple, cookie, and choice of veggie, ham, or turkey (if I recall correctly). The second day’s boxed lunch included the apple and cookie, but the sandwiches were what I would consider fairly exotic and the chips were all choices that I personally didn’t appreciate. Fortunately there are many restaurants in the hotel that are just a short walk away. All meals had great camaraderie with attendees and great conversations.
After the official kick-off, meals were all hot buffet-style and tables were all set with silverware and glasses in advance. The plates were large and allowed us to get all the food we wanted without having to waste time going back for seconds. However, attendees would sometimes waste time looking for a spot at a table that didn’t already have used cutlery. Also, one would have to wait (though not more than a couple minutes) for conference center staff to come by with a pitcher of the meal’s drink selection and fill up your glass.
I suggest Aruba save some money and just provide silverware and napkins as we go through the buffet lines. Then have drink stations scattered around the room for us to choose from. Notably missing from EVERY meal was any selection of soda. This was really unacceptable to a lot of folks who like to have our caffeine but don’t drink coffee. Put some coolers with iced-down cans of soda and let us just grab our own. Even at breakfast. That way we can take a can with us to our first session after breakfast.
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