Have you ever visited a Bubba Gump's Shrimp Company? My first visit to this international chain restaurant was in 1999 with my friend Barb. We were attending a conference in Breckenridge, CO and happened upon the cute little restaurant. Bubba's food is tasty (although certainly not the very best seafood I've ever had), but one of the things about Bubba's that I love is the sign system on the tables. A "Run Forest Run" and "Stop Forest Stop" license plate is on a stand on every table. If you need something, flip over the "Stop" sign. Otherwise, servers leave you alone to relax and chat with friends. While I ended up eating on my own tonight, I've found it a nice place to go with a group of friends to chat. The fact that Bubba's restaurants are usually situated along waterfronts and many have nice waterfront views (Front Street in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii is my fave thus far) doesn't hurt the desire to sit and chat at all.
The conference I'm attending has been pretty engaging - one of the more engaging I've attended lately. One of the things I didn't think I'd like, but have found I love, are the 30 minute presentations. These force the presenters to focus and only deliver critical information. I've gotten quite a bit more from these quick hit presentations than normally derived from 50 minute or 75 minute presentations. They also have kept food and snacks flowing - a big challenge of recent conferences as well. Our afternoon snack was certainly not healthy, but it took care of all the junk food groups.