Two Truths and a Lie: CMEpalooza Edition

Some people probably think that the CMEpalooza team is super creative in coming up with ideas for our various sessions. While it pains me to disavow you of that idea today, I figure after more than a dozen ‘Paloozas have come and gone, I’d let you in on how we really get our best session ideas.

[Derek/Scott sit down at the dinner table]

Derek/Scott: “So kids, what did you do at school today?

Kids: “We played this cool new game with our class. It was called (fill in the blank).”

Derek/Scott: “Huh, that sounds interesting. How does it work?”

Kids: (Begin 5 minute circular explanation that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense)

Derek/Scott: (Make a mental note to check the Google after dinner to find out how the game really worked)

And that’s how the proverbial sausage is made. OK, maybe not always, but probably at least a handful of times over the years.

Perhaps you recall last week that Derek gave you all a sneak peak at one of the sessions we’re planning for CMEpalooza Spring (Wednesday, March 24) focused on the “Would You Rather” theme. Yes, that came from the Warnick kids.

Today, you get another sneak peak (does it stop being a “sneak peak” once we tell you about every session before publishing the actual agenda? Hmm) from me for a Spring session we have planned based upon everyone’s favorite elementary school game, Two Truths and a Lie. Guess where the idea came from for that one? Wrong! I came up with it totally on my own. It was 100% my idea. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a fool. A fool, I say!

See, that’s an example of what they call “a lie” to get you into the spirit of the game.

For anyone not familiar with how this is played, you read three statements. Two are true. One is a lie. Your job is to pick the lie. Easy enough, right? Let’s see how you do with a few pieces of biographical data from Derek and I, as well as a few CMEpalooza-themed items. Answers are at the bottom of the page.


Question 1

A. I played backup bass guitar for a band while at Syracuse University, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Kurt Cobain randomly came on stage one night to sing Come As You Are with us.

B. At my local gym in Philadelphia, I once guarded NBA Hall of Famer Maurice Cheeks at a pickup basketball game

C. While vacationing in Vancouver, I ate dinner sitting next to Movie Hall of Famer (not a real thing) Liam Neeson

Question 2

A. My first job after college was in Yuma, AZ

B. My first CME-related job was in El Paso, TX

C. My last newspaper job was in Decatur, IL

Question 3

A. I hate mozzarella cheese

B. I hate cheddar cheese

C. I hate provolone cheese


Question 1

A. While not vacationing in Exton, PA (I worked there), I ate breakfast sitting next to NBA Hall of Famer Maurice Cheeks

B. My best friend in high school once went out on a date with Brooke Shields (but only one date)

C. While visiting a friend who was attending Oxford University, I played a round of laser tag with rebel billionaire Richard Branson

Question 2

A. As a kid, I would help my Grandpa Warnick nose ring pigs on his farm in southern Delaware

B. As a kid, I would help my Grandpa Landis wash parts at his transmission shop in Lancaster County,  PA

C. As a kid, I would help my dad setup new IBM computers for his business in Milford, DE

Question 3

A. I like dark chocolate

B. I like milk chocolate

C. I like white chocolate


Question 1

A. The most watched CMEpalooza of all time occurred in the Spring of 2020

B. There have been 11 companies that have sponsored every CMEpalooza since its beginning

C. The most watched session in CMEpalooza history currently has more than 2,500 views

Question 2

A. Derek hosted the first CMEpalooza as a solo venture

B. CMEpalooza has twice taken place over the course of multiple days

C. We have never had a CMEpalooza panelist back out on the day of a live broadcast

Question 3

A. Lawrence Sherman moderated the only 2-hour CMEpalooza session in our history

B. Brian McGowan was the presenter of the first-ever CMEpalooza session

C. John Ruggiero has appeared as a CMEpalooza panelist more than anyone else





Would You Rather: CMEpalooza Edition

The team at CMEpalooza HQ is hard at work putting the finishing touches on our Spring agenda, and we hope to have something for you relatively soon. As a reminder, CMEpalooza is a little earlier than usual this year (Wednesday, March 24), so if you haven’t already marked it on your calendar, please do so now.

[looks at calendar for March 24]

[realizes he forgot to block it off for CMEpalooza]

[quickly adds it]

[breathes sigh of relief and chuckles that Scott will never know]

In the meantime, I thought I would give you all a sneak peek at one of the new sessions we are planning. I don’t want to ruin the surprise by revealing too many details, but I think it’s a cool idea and thought we could have a little fun with it now.

Basically, the session will be based on the party game “Would You Rather?” which I would imagine many of you have played at some point, you know, back when we went to parties (sigh.) I put together a few sample questions for Scott and I to respond to, some related to CMEpalooza and some not. Our responses are below. Feel free to play along at home and leave your answers in the comments. It’s fun!

(Side note: I told Scott he wasn’t allowed to say “It depends” and he did a good job sticking to it. The same applies to you and your responses.)

Would you rather…have a boring speaker with crystal clear sound or an entertaining speaker whose sound cuts out for 2 seconds every minute?

  • Scott: Let’s go with the krr-gzz-krr speaker whose sound cuts out every so often. You know that a boring speaker is never going to get any better. For someone with tech issues, you can always hope they will magically resolve themselves.
  • Derek: I have to go with the boring speaker with crystal clear sound. I die inside a little bit every time we have a speaker with bad audio quality and listening to a glitch every minute would be agony. Nothing makes me happier than a glitch-free session.

Would you rather…time travel back to the 1980s or 1990s?

  • Scott: The 1990s. I came so close to being able to dunk a basketball when I was 18 (note from Derek: define “so close.”} I would spend all week practicing with the lone goal of the weakest dunk in history. But it would count in the record books.
  • Derek: Unlike Scott, I actually could dunk when I was 18 (barely), so I am going to go with the 1980s. Such an iconic decade. Also, Philadelphia sports teams won two championships in the ’80s and I could never pass up a chance to attend the 1980 World Series or 1983 NBA Championship.

Would you rather…produce a CMEpalooza session done entirely as a Broadway musical or a session where one of the panelists is a mime?

  • Scott: Little known fact about me – I love musicals! (note from Derek: I did not expect this. I am stunned.) I would pay good money to hear you “announce” all of our sponsors in the key of G minor. Let’s add that to the spring to-do list.
  • Derek: Little known fact about me – it is my dream to someday have a CMEpalooza: The Musical! I am a very bad singer and would not sing the announcements (keep your money, Scott), but if anyone wants to do a musical for the fall ‘Palooza, apparently Scott and I are both open to it!

Would you rather…eat every meal with only a spoon or every meal with only a fork?

  • Scott: What a stupid question – of course a spoon. How do you eat soup with a fork? (Ask my 9-year-old son though and he’ll happily respond, “Neither. I’d just use my fingers like I do anyway.”)
  • Derek: Definitely a fork. You can always drink soup from the bowl. How the heck are you going to cut a steak with a spoon? Eating peas with a fork would be super-annoying, though.

Would you rather…moderate a CMEpalooza session wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey or a Boston Celtics jersey?

  • Scott: There is one rule in the Kober household – the day you dare say anything nice about the Cowboys or Cowboys fans is the day you are no longer welcome to live here. Plus, when it’s Jerry Jones vs. whoever owns the Celtics (I have no idea), it’s an easy call.
  • Derek: It can be argued that the Eagles/Giants rivalry is on par with the Eagles/Cowboys rivalry. There is no question about who the Sixers biggest rival is. We hate the Celtics, and a Boston Celtics jersey will never grace this body (sorry, that got a little weird).

Would you rather…the only thing you can watch be an episode of 80’s sitcom “Webster” or the only thing you can listen to be 90’s hit song “Macarena”?

  • Scott: I have often considered legally changing my last name to Papadopoulos (“What’s the name for the reservation?” “Papadopulous. Do you need me to spell that?” “Of course not. I loved Webster too”). Does that answer your question?
  • Derek: Ugh, this might be the worst one. I guess I have to go with Webster, too, but that show is terrible. I can live without watching TV, but I couldn’t handle only hearing the Macarena every time I put my airpods in. That is a bridge too far.


The Vote Is In (Or Is It?)

Among the many accolades that CMEpalooza has won over the years is the prestigious “Best Online Conference” award given by the National Organization of Online National Events (NOONE). In fact, we won it 4 years in a row between 2015-2019. With the banner year that CMEpalooza had in 2020 – record-breaking attendance, sponsorship, and blog readers – we thought for sure we’d win it again this year.

But, shocker to us all, we lost. To, of all things, a meeting called YEPpers. We don’t even know what that means, but eh, whatever? We’ve won enough over the years, right?


And so over the weekend, the much-aggrieved Derek Warnick decided to take matters into his own hands and had our crack lead intern, Meadow Marcus, place a call to Mary Bergeraff, who monitors the annual voting for this award at NOONE. Meadow secretly recorded the call to prove to her family once and for all that the stories she’d been telling them about the wacky things that happen at CMEpalooza headquarters are true. 

Here is a truncated transcript of their discussion. A full version will be online, well, never. It’s too embarrassing. 

Marcus: Ok. Alright. Mr. Warnick, everyone is on the line. This is Meadow Marcus, the CMEpalooza head intern. Just so we are all aware, on the line is, well, no one else. I’m not even sure what this call is all about, but I just do what I’m told. Mr. Warnick, er, I mean Derek, I’ll turn it over to you.

Warnick: OK, thank you very much. Hello everybody. So I’ve spent a lot of time on this, and I’d just like to go over some of the numbers. I think it’s pretty clear that CMEpalooza won. We won very substantially among female voters whose name starts with the letter “S.” You can see it by the number of people who read our blog. We get 250-300 people who read each post and the competition would get less than 100. It never made sense.

Anywhere from 150-200 votes were mysteriously submitted via SurveyMonkey. Much of that had to do with male voters between the ages of 49-52 who live in Uruguay. We think that if you check the IP addresses of everyone who voted from Uruguay – a real audit of their IP addresses – you’ll find at least a couple hundred of people logged in from the same computer and duplicated many, many votes.

It’s a tremendous number. We’re going to have our intern’s little sister – she’s a 10th grader taking Calculus. I bet you couldn’t do that — she’s going to re-run the votes to give us an accurate number. It’s in the tens – and that’s people that went to vote online and were told they couldn’t vote because someone had already logged in using their username and password. And it’s a very sad thing. They didn’t complain because, let’s be real, no one else really cares, but I care.

I think the margin was 19 votes. Mary, you agree with that right? That’s a number that everyone agrees upon.

We had, I believe, 45 voters who voted but they weren’t on the eligible list of voters. One of them we found doesn’t even own a computer. Then you had 183 people who don’t have Internet access. They can’t log into a computer so how can their vote be counted?

In the Netherlands, they said very clearly that there was a large hack, and everyone logged off the Internet. But before they announced it was safe to get back online, there was that one family – I think it’s the Hjerkenbergers – who logged back online and supposedly submitted a whole batch of fraudulent votes. They weren’t submitted through the actual SurveyMonkey link, but they somehow hacked into a backdoor and entered their votes.

And that’s just for starters. I know you say you would like to get to the bottom of this, but I saw you interviewed on a podcast today – wait, you can’t see a podcast, right? – and you said you found nothing wrong. I mean, you know we didn’t lose the vote, Mary. People have been saying more people voted in this competition than have ever voted before. There was no way they beat us.

Marcus: So Mr. Warnick, er Derek, if I might be able to jump in, and I’ll give Mary a chance. In some of these areas where the facts are indisputable, in the spirit of cooperation and compromise, can’t you just tell the people that CMEpalooza won so Derek will stop whining about it?

Bergeraff: Well, I listened to what Mr. Warnick has just said. Mr. Warnick, we’ve counted the vote twice now, and, um, we don’t agree that CMEpalooza won. And we don’t agree with those numbers that you mentioned.

Warnick: Well, Mary, I’m just giving you minimal numbers. We have evidence that puts us many, many times above the margin. But what’s the difference between winning the competition by two votes or 200 votes? I think we probably did win it by 200. You look at all of the people who say they love CMEpalooza, the people who log onto our LIVE page the night before our events. It’s not possible to have lost.

Bergeraff: Well Mr. Warnick, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong. We talked to the technical team at SurveyMonkey and, frankly, they said they had better things to do than interfere in a piddly competition like this, but I pressed the issue and they looked back at the IP addresses of the voters. The actual number of duplicate voters was two.

Warnick: I mean, look, Mary. We have a new tape that we’re going to release tomorrow. It’s devastating. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m sure it shows massive, massive amounts of fraud. People being paid to vote for that other meeting. Did you know they paid people? Yes, we have it on video. Fifty cents changing hands. We have it magnified. Fifty cents. Terrible.

Bergeraff: Mr. Warnick, the problem you have with social media, they — people can say anything.

Warnick: Oh this isn’t social media. This is the CMEpalooza blog comments. I don’t care about social media. Social media is Big Tech. Big Tech never liked us since they shut down Google Hangouts On Air. I don’t even know why you have a side, because you should want to have an accurate competition.

Bergeraff: We believe that we do have an accurate competition.

Warnick: No, no you don’t. No, no you don’t. You don’t have. Not even close. You’re off by hundreds of votes.

So what are we going to do here, Mary? CMEpalooza only needs 20 votes. Give me a break.

Bergeraff: Mr. Warnick, you have your people – I guess your intern’s little sister – who calculate the vote and we have our people, who are actual adults with real jobs, who calculate the vote. We believe our numbers are right.

Warnick: Your numbers aren’t right. They’re really wrong, and you know they are really wrong. You said last year that you like CMEpalooza. Why don’t you just say that CMEpalooza wins again?

You guys are so wrong. Between you and your CEO, who I endorsed for a 10 percent pay raise, and like a schmuck I endorsed him and he got the pay raise, but I will tell you, he is a disaster.

We only need 20 votes. I have given you evidence of many, many times that number of fraudulent votes. Just 20 votes. That’s all we need. My kids aren’t speaking to me. They are calling me a loser. C’mon, I am not asking for much. Scott doesn’t even know we’re talking today. He says he doesn’t care. Please, Mary, I’m begging you. Just 20 votes. What will it take?

Bergeraff: Goodbye Mr. Warnick.

Warnick: Wait, please don’t hang up on me. (They hang up) Hello, hello? Meadow, get me Giuliani’s second cousin once removed on the line. She’ll know how to handle this.

Palooza Bells (and 2021 Dates)

Dashing through this post
On a crappy old laptop
Scott hates these the most
Laughing, I can’t stop (ha! ha! ha!)

We have news for all
We think it’s pretty neat
Palooza dates for spring and fall
Let’s sing them to the beat! Oh!

Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fourth
Twenty fourth of March
Oh! What fun it is to watch
In a warm house eating starch. Oh!

October, October
October 13
Oh! What fun it is to watch
On a 13-inch wide screen

Be sure to mark your calendars for CMEpalooza Spring on Wednesday, March 24 and CMEpalooza Fall on Wednesday, October 13. More details to follow. When the agenda is ready, Scott promises to announce it using modified Dominick the Donkey lyrics.

Side note: Dominick the Donkey ranks high on my worst holiday songs list. Here are my Top Three Worst Holiday Songs (all rankings final):

3. Dominick the Donkey
2. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (note from Scott: This is the clear winner. It ages like a fine wine made of dog pee.)
1. Christmas Shoes

CMEpalooza Spotlight: It’s Today!

Nothing says “the holiday season” like a special CMEpalooza event. You think Rudolph, you think Frosty, and you think CMEpalooza. Even though Derek may sometimes seem like quite a Grinch, he’s really very jolly this time of year. He’s been seen walking around his neighborhood many years toting around some mistletoe to spread some very personal holiday fear cheer, but alas, 2020. Another thing lost due to COVID-19 (note from Derek: bah humbug.)

So pour yourself a frothy glass of egg nog, cue up Bing Crosby on your turntable, and join us this morning at 11 am ET for a very special CMEpalooza Spotlight where we’ll be talking about “Outcomes: Creating Value for All Stakeholders.” I’ll be joined by Jacqui Brooks, Stephen Webber, and Annette Schwind from the Haymarket Medical Education team as we delve into ways that providers can perform an internal assessment of their outcomes processes to ensure that they are meeting the needs of all interested parties, along with a host of other topics.

You can watch this broadcast on our LIVE page, with the usual opportunities to ask questions of the panelists. If you happened to foolishly schedule another meeting during the 11 am ET hour, don’t worry, you can come back later and watch the recorded session in the same location. As with everything else CMEpalooza, there is no cost and no pre-registration necessary.

It’s Coming Up Outcomes

Whenever we do surveys of our audience regarding what topics they’d like to hear more about, outcomes are always at the top of the list. Derek and I have stopped trying to explain it – we just shrug our shoulders and say, “OK, looks like we’re going to plan another outcomes session this spring/fall.”

Let’s face it, for the non-statisticians in this world — and despite a semester of Statistics in grad school, I am most definitely one of you — a lot of the data and numbers crunched to make up CME/CE outcomes reports can give us a headache. I think I sorta, kinda understand P values by now (note from Derek: it’s “p-value”, Einstein) (note from Scott: the comma goes inside the quotation mark, Shakespeare), but once you start getting into things like confidence intervals, risk ratios, etc., my head starts to hurt.

Fortunately, there are a handful of very smart people in our industry who play the role of the aspirin in the medicine cabinet. You show them these weird numbers and they explain to you, in actual English sometimes, what they mean. As announced last week, I’ll be joined by several of these smart folks from Haymarket Medical Education and the National Association for Continuing Education next week for our special CMEpalooza Spotlight at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday, December 9. We’ll be talking outcomes, and really not a lot about the specific nomenclature itself, but more about how to create value across the span of stakeholders with outcomes reports. What do supporters look for in outcomes reports? How can providers make sure their data is reliable? What do you do with all of the data you don’t use in your reports?

This is a free, 30-minute session that requires no registration, no credit card, no nothing. Just go to our LIVE page at the appointed time and tune in.

Encore!! Encore!!

I never quite understood the concert encore. It’s just dumb.

The singer or band does their thing for a while and then everyone “pretends” that the concert is over. “Show’s over people. Heh heh heh.” Except that EVERYONE knows it’s a sham. The stage lights stay dark, the entire audience stays in its seats, and the band is backstage doing, well, I don’t know exactly what they are doing (I mean, I have a general idea, but we’re a PG rated event so let’s just play dumb, shall we?).

To me, it would make a lot more sense if the concert encore was reserved for something rare, something special. Instead of a “Here you go, you average schlub audience, we’ll accept your tepid applause and play three more songs, capping things off with our most recognizable hit,” maybe it happens 10% of the time. Someone on stage decides with 30 minutes left in the “main” part of the show whether there is going to be an encore or not. If there isn’t, they tack on 1 or 2 of the planned encore songs into the meat of the concert and then when they say “Good night everyone. We love you, Pittsburgh!” they really mean it. The audience isn’t shortchanged much on the actual material they are hearing, so it isn’t a big deal. But on those special nights where everything is clicking, the singer or band decides to truly play an encore. And that’s a night the audience will always remember. “Hey man, were you there that night in Peoria where .38 Special came back and played an extended, 20-minute version of Hold on Loosely during their encore? That was epic!”

There, fixed the concert industry. Well, assuming there is a concert industry still left to fix.

All of this is just a meandering segue to let the adoring fans of CMEpalooza know that we hear your applause after each of our live events. We know you are all standing on your chairs, banging on your pots and pans, chanting “We want more, we want more!” It’s nice, and we appreciate the kudos, but it’s never raucous enough for us to actually want to do anything about it.

Until now. 

Thanks to the kind folks at Haymarket Medical Education, there will indeed be a rare encore of CMEpalooza in 2020. We’re planning a special CMEpalooza Spotlight to be held from 11-11:30 am ET on Wednesday, December 9 ,where we’ll be talking about the topic of “Outcomes Assessment: Creating Value for All Stakeholders.” Outcomes is always one of the big topics in our world, and this session will shine some light onto ways that providers of all types can assess their outcomes processes to ensure that they are reporting out information that is truly of value to various stakeholder types.

If you are not familiar with our CMEpalooza Spotlights, these are special events occasionally held outside of our main broadcast days. We did one in the spring with our friends at Educational Measures (that one was a pre-show encore a week before CMEpalooza Spring) and are now back for an actual encore this time around. You get to see me moderate a session — thrilling I know — instead of just suffering through one of my usual production gaffes. 

Just like our main CMEpalooza broadcasts, you’ll be able to tune in on our LIVE page and do all of the things you are used to doing in the era of all-online, all-the-time education (ie, ask questions, answer a poll question or two, check to make sure you aren’t wearing the same sweatpants for the 5th day in a row, etc.). 

So set aside some time in your busy calendar to join us, It goes without saying that this is free and doesn’t require pre-registration – c’mon, you all know the drill by now. Just don’t ask me to sing “Caught Up in You.” That would definitely NOT deserve an encore.


Where Do I Watch CMEpalooza Fall?

Where do I watch CMEpalooza Fall?
You watch it on the LIVE page.

Is anything different about watching this time? Do I still have to refresh the page to watch new sessions? That is super annoying.
Yes, it is a little different this time. No, you do not have to refresh the page to watch new sessions. Every session now has a unique link, so you don’t need to refresh the LIVE page to watch each new session. Just find the session you want to watch at the appropriate time and click that link to begin.

Will people be able to hear me on the broadcast?
No. You are not on the broadcast. You are only watching a video feed of the broadcast. You can play Cemetery Polka by Tom Waits at full volume and no one will hear you except your neighbors, who might call the police, who might interrupt you while watching CMEpalooza. So, don’t play Cemetery Polka by Tom Waits at full volume while watching CMEpalooza.

Can I watch CMEpalooza at home?

Can I watch CMEpalooza at the office?
Er…uh…maybe? (I answer this question every year and this is the first time I’m not sure how to answer it.)

Can I watch CMEpalooza in a conference room with 150 other people?
No! I mean…you “can” but…let’s not do that. 150 people in a conference room for anything seems like a really really bad idea right now. Stay home. Put on your pajamas. Relax.

Can I watch CMEpalooza while at a coffee shop?
That depends. Do you own your own coffee shop and will you be watching by yourself? If no, then…No! Stay home!

Can I watch CMEpalooza at home with my pets?
I don’t know. Let’s ask them.

Ehhhh maybe not.

Do I have to pre-register or register?

Do I have to pay anything to watch CMEpalooza? I love paying registration fees.

No. You don’t have to pay anything to watch CMEpalooza.

Do I have to take a survey afterward?
Well, you don’t have to, but it would be nice if you did. It’s only seven questions and shouldn’t take you more than 60 seconds. If it takes you more than 60 seconds, Scott will parade by your house and recreate the Danke Schoen scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Can I get a certificate for watching CMEpalooza?
Actually, yes. Well, kind of. We’re not accredited or certified or anything like that, and we have no way of verifying whether you actually watched any of these sessions or not. But if you want a certificate of completion that you can use to self-report participation in CMEpalooza Fall 2020, here you go. I’ll also post it on the LIVE page tomorrow. Who knows, maybe these certificates will be worth something 2,000 years from now.

How do I ask questions of the presenters?
Good question. There are two ways you can ask questions:

  1. Send a text to the FreeCME text line at 267-666-0CME (0263)
  2. Tweet a question using the #CMEpalooza hashtag

We try to get to as many questions as we can throughout each presentation.

Do I have to watch all the sessions?
YES! No. Watch what interests you.

Will the sound quality for each presenter be crystal clear with consistent volume and no glitches?
I mean, really, have you been on, I don’t know, 500 web calls in the last month? Is it always perfect for everyone? Of course not. That said, we’re better with this technology stuff than the average bear – we HAVE been doing this for 7 years now so hopefully we’ve learned something. So will it be pretty good for almost every presenter? Yes, yes it will. There will be some people who sound better than others. There may be a few glitches and hiccups. That’s just how it goes with a free conference where presenters volunteer their time and use their own equipment. Some people aren’t comfortable doing a presentation while wearing headphones and a mic, so we don’t force them to use it. We do the best that we can with what we have available to us.

Will I be offended by anything during CMEpalooza?
There is a 99.9% chance that I will be drinking a beverage of an alcoholic nature during CME Pop Trivia (4:00 pm ET), so if that offends you, then yes, I guess. There also might be some Rock and/or Roll music playing, so plan accordingly.











What if I’m busy during the day of the live broadcast?
All the sessions will be archived on the website, like, immediately. How are we able to do it so fast? We have a co-worker who is a real crackerjack on the interwebs. Here she is hard at work, writing our latest blog post.

Yes, There Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

Among the many, many things I miss about the pre-Covid era is my lunch hour. Living in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, there were loads of great options I could either walk or drive to within a very short distance. Most days, I would block off 60-90 minutes (yes, I work for myself and can take as long as I please), sit down and enjoy my daily bounty. It was honestly one of my favorite moments of each day.

Now, well, it’s OK. Some of my previous favorite haunts never reopened for lunch takeout. Some serve food that simply doesn’t travel well. So out of my usual rotation of 7-to-10 really good options, I’m down to 4 or 5. It’s unquestionably getting a bit boring.

In an effort to try to spice up the lunch hour of our CMEpalooza groupies, Derek came up with what I thought was one of his brainier ideas back in the summertime (note from Derek: there are so many to choose from!). He had apparently been on some sort of call featuring someone from GrubHub and was intrigued by a program they had whereby you could provide limited-use gift cards for individuals attending a virtual event. Essentially, they are provided with a code to use to order lunch through GrubHub only during specified hours. Based on this program, we added a “Feed the People” option to our menu of sponsorship opportunities for the fall, and Derek even wrote a blog post about it last month.

And… crickets.

It certainly appeared, sadly, that Feed the People was going to hit the CMEpalooza graveyard along with other ideas we’d trotted out over the years.

But, “Aha!, Not so fast my friends!” A savior arrived earlier this week to appease the appetites of the masses.

Yes, the fine folks at FreeCME have graciously agreed to serve as the sponsor for our Feed the People initiative, providing solace to the grumbling CME tummies around the United States (sorry for anyone overseas, but you’ll just have to forage for your own food this year).

So who wants a free lunch next Wednesday?

If you are saying, “Yeah, free lunch sounds good,” just click here to give us your name and email address. On the day before CMEpalooza, we’ll send the first 25 respondents a $15 GrubHub gift card to use to order lunch during our live broadcast on Wednesday. That way, you don’t have to miss a second of the amazing content we have in store for everyone. Just be sure to put a napkin over your keyboard so you don’t spill any of that sriracha mayo between the “D” and “F” keys.