New Meal Options at OACB Conferences


Image: Hilton Columbus at EastonOn behalf of the entire team at OACB, THANK YOU to the 414 survey respondents who shared open and honest feedback about the meal options offered by the Hilton Columbus at Easton during our events.

Using your feedback as a guide, we have changed our meal program for the 2019 Spring Conference to test three new concepts. These changes include:

1. Banquet-style meal service will be replaced with buffet-style meal service
An overwhelming majority of respondents (82%) told us that they would support replacing banquet-style lunch service (in which attendees receive an individual prepared plate from catering staff) with a buffet-style service option. In addition to offering improved seating availability and reduced wait time for lunch, transitioning to a buffet-style meal service will offer attendees several options for lunch based on their personal preferences and dietary restrictions.

2. Food options will be lighter and better suited to a mid-day meal
A recurring theme from participants was that the dinner-like aspect of the hotel’s prepared lunches was far too heavy for a quick meal between sessions. In response to this feedback, OACB will test a new lunch menu in an effort to better suit the eating preferences of event attendees.

The menu for the Spring Conference will consist of lighter fare such as soup, salad, and sandwiches (click here to review the new menu). Our goal with the this new menu is to offer greater choice and flexibility to members while appealing to a larger number of individual palates.

3. Attendees can now "opt out" of provided lunches during registration
In a first for OACB, attendees will be able to eat out at one of the many dozens of restaurants and fast-casual eateries in and around Easton Town Center during the lunch period without having to pay for the prepared meal in the Easton Ballroom. For those attendees that decide not to eat in the ballroom during lunch, individual registration fees will be credited $25 per day of the event. Please note the following:

- Meal preferences must be selected during the registration process for all attendees.
Please note that attendees who are registered by another person in their organization will need to communicate their meal preferences to that person at the time of registration— otherwise, the default option will be that lunch is prepared for you, and your organization will be charged the full registration amount.

- Meal preferences cannot be changed on the day of the event.
If you would prefer to eat at the conference, you must select this option before the close of registration. OACB is required to provide final registration numbers to the hotel at least one week before the event so they can have an adequate quantity of food on hand. Event participants will wear lanyards of different colors that correspond with their meal preferences and attendees who have chosen to "opt out" will not be permitted to enter the ballroom during the lunch period.

- Meal preferences must be selected for an event on an "all-or-nothing" basis.
This means that, if you decide to "opt out" of meals at the conference, you will "opt out" for all days you are in attendance.

- All attendees will continue to enjoy continental breakfast, coffee, afternoon snacks, and beverages as part of their standard event attendance fee. These amenities will remain unchanged, as they were largely enjoyed by survey respondents.

We hope these changes will result in a better overall experience for all conference and convention attendees. If these changes are well-received, then they will likely remain in place for all future OACB professional development events at the Hilton.

If you have questions or would like to offer your feedback about these changes, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Once again, thank you for your open, honest feedback—and your patience—as we work to address your concerns. Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we look forward to meeting expectations once again at the 2019 Spring Conference on May 30-31.


Communications Director, OACB