Confessions of a Compulsive Conference-Goer: Getting My Just Desserts

business events logo Andrew writes a monthly column for Business Events News (BEN) called “Confessions of a Compulsive Conference Goer” in which he discusses issues and observations from the conference front-line”
Business Events News is part of the Travel Daily group of publications which also include: Travel Daily, Cruise Weekly & Pharmacy Daily.


Andrew Klein, director of SPIKE Presentations, presents his front line observations on conferences in a regular feature in BEN.

IN LAST month’s column, I outed myself as a hotel snob, spoilt rotten by the conference industry which puts speakers up in beautiful hotels and as such, when travelling with my family, I find it hard to stay in less than 5 star accommodation. Pathetic, yes – but judging by the number of emails I received in response from fellow hotel snobs, I realised I’m not alone. So let me out myself again – this time as being a conference goer who finds it hard not to ferociously feast at the conference lunch buffet, especially on the often extensive dessert options.

dessertsLike most people, when not at conferences I eat a basic, modest (and quite healthy) lunch. A sandwich and a piece of fruit and not only am I happy, but I’m full. I don’t crave dessert after lunch. Actually, I rarely have dessert after dinner. So lunch dessert (“lussert”) is simply not on the menu – not that there is a menu as I work from home, so the “menu” translates to “whatever is in the fridge.”

But somehow when I’m at a conference (which worryingly for this 40-something with high cholesterol is very often), I simply can’t ignore the often dizzyingly delicious dessert delicacies dutifully displayed on the lunch buffet table. Cheesecake, little lemon meringue-pies, chocolate brownies laid out especially for us delegates, surrounded by a few lonely pieces of melon to make us feel that we are also balancing our diet with fruit. To NOT indulge in ‘lussert’ would be, well un-Australian, against the spirit of the conference, a waste of our registration fee (Okay, I know, I am a paid speaker so didn’t pay the rego, but the principle is the same).

Strangely, at conferences I feel hungrier than usual. I NEED dessert. And if we don’t eat the dessert, it will probably get chucked out. Surely the good folk of Oz Harvest are not going to schlepp out here to this remote island resort to collect a few pieces of apple crumble cake? So eating another few slices is helping everyone. A community service, shall we say?

Now all of this is fine for those of you who attend one or two conferences a year. Your waist lines and cholesterol counts are unlikely to be affected. But spare a thought for us ever- expanding compulsive conference- goers. And while you’re at it, pass the Lipitor.

For more information about Andrew and what he can do for you at your next conference email or visit his website at

© Andrew Klein 2014