Not Another Meeting!

Managers spend on average 20 hours per week in meetings according to a Harvard Business Review study. Add in training sessions, team building, staff functions and it’s no wonder people hate meetings. So how can leaders make these sessions more appealing?

“Build it and they will come,” was the famous adage from the movie, Field of Dreams. But in the business world, there is a variation of that truth. “Feed them and they will come,” is what most training managers would say. Certainly, whatever the gathering – a training session, staff meeting, team building event, conference or somebody’s celebration – food increases attendance. If we eat with our eyes, then we train with our stomachs. Food on the meeting agenda is like a salmon run to bears. They come from every corner of the landscape to partake.

Pizza & Wings Rule

Combo Candy Avalanche

In this culinary corollary of, feed them and they will come, pizza and wings are king. No food has brought more people together in business than pizza. It is the undisputed champion of the training table. And if pizza is Batman, then wings are Robin. The faithful sidekick of this famous duo. But even classics can be refreshed from time to time. Training managers and business leaders looking to update the “pizza & wings” concept can turn from savory to sweet.

Chocolate Pizza® and Peanut Butter Wings® from Chocolate Pizza Company are a fun twist on meeting chow. Chocolate Pizza blends gourmet milk or dark chocolate with homemade English toffee, tops it with candies or nuts and serves it in a custom pizza box. The varieties are endless. There is the ever-popular Candy Avalanche. This hefty behemoth comes topped with a half-dozen of your favorite chocolate and peanut butter candies. Or, how about the original Chocolate Pizza with pecans, almonds and walnuts. Businesses can also customize a Chocolate Pizza. Imagine opening a pizza box to find a Chocolate Pizza with a colorful candy border and the training theme scripted in white chocolate.

Peanut Butter Wings add another reason people will flock to these gatherings. Crisp, rippled potato chips covered in creamy peanut butter and drenched in milk or dark chocolate make these irresistible. Wings are an instant fav. Smart meeting managers know that how every many Peanut Butter Wings you think you need, order double that amount. They are that good. The real payoff though comes when you have your next meeting and you advertise that Peanut Butter Wings are on the menu. People will show up early for that meeting – no one will miss attending.

Brown Bag

Chocolate Pizza Company has another creative offering that promotes professional development. The Brown Bag Lunch-and-Learn is a unique way to encourage learning. In a brown handled bag, recipients will find Peanut Butter Wings, 3 chocolate covered cookies and one of four quick-read, paperbacks focused on leadership. Business leaders can choose to include, Conquering Adversity: Six Strategies to Move You and Your Team Through Tough Times, Lead Like a Pirate: Leadership Secrets of the Pirates of St. Croix, Inspired to Lead, or Inspired to Succeed. The small bags make a perfect welcome gift or takeaway for any training session. The option of 4 different books means you can give participants something fresh over multiple meetings.

Read a Good Book

Conquering Adversity: Six Strategies to Move You and Your Team Through Tough Times is a book that you won’t put down. Set against the backdrop of tragedy, Conquering Adversity features six strategies for moving forward with passion and purpose no matter what the challenges. It is as inspiring and applicable personally as it is professionally and offers real-world insight for overcoming any setback. It also provides a glimpse into the climb from tragedy to triumph that Chocolate Pizza Company owner, Ryan Novak, made after losing his mom at age 9. Written by his dad and the topic of keynote presentations nationwide, the book chronicles how to handle difficult times and has been a much-praised resource to thousands of people from all walks of life. Powerful, practical and a book you will return to time and time again.

Inspired to Lead and Inspired to Succeed are two books that deliver a dozen inspiring vignettes and the leadership lessons behind the stories. Drawn from a broad spectrum of real-world experiences, they highlight how everyday challenges or situations provide opportunities to learn valuable lessons about being an effective leader. Unique as a professional resource, these books go beyond the story to the underlying nuggets of wisdom that each of us can take away and apply in our own journey as leaders.

Lead Like a Pirate: Leadership Secrets of the Pirates of St. Croix is professional development framed in the golden age of pirates, when transforming a diverse set of skills, backgrounds and attitudes into a fiercely effective crew was the difference between success and catastrophe. Lead Like a Pirate is fun without being entertainment – insightful without being boring – think of it as themed-learning in an easy to read, witty narrative.

brown bag lunch learn lead like a pirate

Be Creative

Meetings are destined to be part of the business landscape for a long time. There is no escaping that fact. But adding something interesting and fun like gourmet chocolate changes the dynamic. Creative leaders find new ways to energize key meetings. Considering the value of the people’s time that attend, adding a sweet surprise is a small investment.

Chocolate Pizza Company is Central New York’s largest chocolate maker. Owner, Ryan Novak, has been featured on Food Network, Hallmark Channel, and CNBC. He has appeared in Forbes, People and Entrepreneur magazines.