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David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 664
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 12:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Who here sets up product lunches for your office? How often do you have them? Do you feel that these product lunches offer value to the staff?

The firm I work for used to have product lunches every week, sometimes twice a week. Now we have them every other week.

This is unfortunate because the lunch time presentations are extremely valuable to the less experienced staff.
Brett M. Wilbur CSI, CDT, AIA
Senior Member
Username: brett

Post Number: 114
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 01:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Weekly, sometimes twice a week. I agree, they can be very productive. The AIA continuing education classes tend to be more informative, though. Product sales, well, its a free lunch. It is just frustrating to me that some of the people in my office who need the exposure the most, don't like to come. Don't people want to learn? I wish I could force them. I've even thought about keeping track and then bringing it up at their reviews. But, since lunch is their time, I don't think you can hold that over their head, but beleive me, I jot it down in the back of mind.
Lynn Javoroski CSI CCS LEED AP SCIP Affiliate
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 353
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 02:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I schedule them once a week, usually Wednesdays (took a poll to see if that was the best day). Holiday weeks where people are apt to be gone are skipped and the first Wednesday of each month is scheduled for project meetings in the same conference room. Right now, I'm scheduling in January of 2007. I tried scheduling around a particular "theme", like glass, but that was just more of a headache than I wanted to tackle, so now it's whoever wants to come in. Most are AIA sanctioned, so there's more information and less sales. But even the sales ones are informative if questions are asked. I get a good mix of people, from the "just out of schoolers", to the Project Architects, Project Managers and the Principal in charge of our office. People in the office have told me that these are appreciated. There are a few that attend for lunch, but most are there to learn something. It's become something that most in the office expect each week. Maybe the name for them here says something about it - it's not a "Product Lunch", but a "Lunch 'n' Learn".
Steven T. Lawrey, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: lawrey

Post Number: 48
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 02:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Product luncheons are scheduled weekly, on Thursdays. We also have informal presentations during the day that last about 30 minutes. Staff members may hang around to speak to the rep about a project application. These are used for finishes, furniture and certain specialties.

All these are scheduled through our resource coordinator. Prior to scheduling a lunch presentation an outline is requested and reviewed. I am one of a small number of screeners. Presentations are selected based on any number of criteria including learning units offered, usefulness to younger staff, and applicability to projects.

The luncheons usually draw a healthy audience (20 to 30 people). Some staff actually take notes. I atttempt to promote interaction by asking key questions or clarifying potentially misleading statements.
Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 368
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 02:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We are on much the same track as others, but perhaps 3-4 per month, Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

We have a very full schedule, in that we have a full University format in our office for in-house training, that takes a lot of hours.

Incidentaly we are an authorized provider by IACET [the CEU folks] so our programs are both extensive and intensive to meet that criteria.

But we try to treat vendors with respect and give them due hearing opportuntiies.
Richard L Matteo, AIA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: rlmat

Post Number: 158
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 06:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We usually have 2 to 3 a month, generally on Wednesdays. For some reason this appears to be the best day.

Biggest issue I have is people who sign up and then don't show up.

Also, some of the people that shoulds attend these, don't always.

I try to focus on ones that provide AIA credits - this reduces the amount of "dog & pony shows"
I tend to leave those to the (interior) designers.
Jeffrey Leemhuis, CSI, CCS
Username: jrlbarch

Post Number: 3
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Friday, May 12, 2006 - 03:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I schedule "Lunch and Learns" about 2 or 3 per month also, generally on Tuesdays so that the staff gets in the habit of setting aside that day of the week lunch time.

The progams are set up based on my meetings with product reps and others who offer to do these presentations for our staff, and specifically we are interested in the presentations that offer the AIA learning units now that it has become a requirement for licensing.

Suprisingly, it is the younger staff that constantly attend these presentations, with Project Architects attending as time permits.

I've found that over the years the presentations are valuable, not just for the content, but also for the younger staff to gain some confidence in communicating with the product representatives, connect a name with a face, ask the really important questions, and to not be afraid to ask a question in front of their peers when they don't understand something. An added benefit is that the staff frequently recall information presented when they are doing product research on their own.

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