I'm grateful for the opportunity to have attended this panel discussion! Following are my critique points:
1. The talk did not start until 6:50pm, but it was advertised to begin at 6pm. Thus, I arrived 10 minutes prior to 6, in anticipation of finding maybe a back row seat. However, I found that hardly anybody was there yet. Personally, this is one of my greatest pet peeves. If the centerpiece of the event is not expected to begin immediately on the hour, then there should be a NOTE that informs actual and potential guests that the first 45 minutes will be dedicated to (for lack of better words) socializing/networking. I was rather upset, especially being a student, as I could have used that time to work on material for other classes, rather than rushing to arrive extremely early for a talk. In the future, perhaps consider such a disclaimer when advertising the event via internet.
2. This is a trivial matter, but the website made it sound as though drink vouchers would also be given at the student rate of attendance, however, they were not included at the student price. I really didn't mind this. It just seemed like an overlooked detail that surprised me, considering it was a business talk in the business school. In addition, when I approached the bar to gladly purchase an alcoholic beverage (Karbach Oktoberfest) I had to wait for more than a few minutes as one of the bartenders scrambled to confirm how they were to be sold for. There seemed to be a lack of communication/preparation in this regard. But, maybe this was more at Karbach's doing, and not the event organizers.
3. In regards to the content of the talk, I was somewhat taken aback by the lack of concern for how to delegate healthy/local food options to groups of society that are void of such access. Or, how product pricing works to encourage low-income citizens to try these foods as well. I was surprised that (with the exception of Brooklyn) the cities which dominated the focus of the discussion were predominantly white and middle-to-high income areas of the US (and that's not to mention historically liberal). I think that the conversation could have had a more powerful impact if their success was contrasted, or channelled, into how these practices could solve other problems of food scarcity and education.
4. I didn't hear a word about waste. Food waste is one subject (which I won't address), but packing and handling of that waste is a significant subject that just seemed entirely overlooked. I would have liked to have seen some discussion in how these varying people and their companies handle their packaging waste problems, what sort of infrastructures they are experimenting with, and so forth.
In hindsight, while it was an educational talk, I would have wished for more delegated structure for the "panel director" to directly engage each speaker with specific questions. Maybe questions that were polled prior to the talk? This is one great way to utilize social media. I felt as though the discussion format was entirely too loose, indirect, and almost sounded more like an opportunity for the speakers to promote their platforms, careers, and accomplishments/current projects.
My final note is that, considering the event was advertised as a 2 and-a-half hour long discussion, but only realistically lasted for 1 hour and 15 minutes, I think that the general admission price for attendance was too high. Obviously, the market was glad to pay that price since most seats were filled, but I think that this resulted in a less diverse audience, and maybe even prevented others from attending who have a true desire to not only prosper as a business-owner, but who have a real, deep-rooted passion in changing areas of public health for the better.
Thank you for the opportunity to review! looking forward to the next event.