by By Jonathan Vatner | August 07, 2009

BanquetToo often at banquets, diners speak with just the people seated next to them. At a recent health-care event, Faith West Gorman, CSEP, CMP, CFEE (908-387-0387;, assigned a different leader from the organization to be the host of each lunch table. That person led a discussion about the morning's meetings or brought up a topic that wasn't addressed thoroughly in other sessions. West Gorman also asks her hosts to write thank-you letters to their tablemates after the conference. "You'd be amazed how far a little civility can take you -- and your company," she says.