October 22, 2019

How to Make the Most of Your FNCE® Experience, According to FoodMinds

The FoodMinds team has quite a few years of participation under our belt when it comes to attending FNCE®. As the 2019 conference approaches, we wanted to share some of our team members’ most coveted tips on how to make the most of your FNCE® experience. See you in Philadelphia!

“Plan ahead. Make your own run-of-show using the agenda on the website and plan out your day to day activities. Go into it feeling prepared to avoid being overwhelmed.”

Grant Prentice

“Map out a schedule for yourself detailing sessions of interest, time at the Expo and networking events. And don’t forget to include a few breaks – walk around the block for some fresh air, grab a balanced meal and recharge or re-hydrate. No one can subsist on booth samples and reception hors d’oeuvres for 3 days straight!”

Lauren Shelar, MBA, RD

“Between the packed program of expert speakers and sweeping concourse of Expo booths, it can be hard to know how to prioritize your conference time. When possible, buddy up and devise a plan to divide and conquer. Not only will having a partner-in-continuing-ed help ensure you don’t miss any of the insights coming out of concurrent sessions, it will also encourage you to take copious notes and explain the content back to your fellow FNCE®-goer, which helps all that new content cognitively “click.” Bonus: do a swag bag dump-and-swap to make sure you get all the giveaway goodies. (It’s basically like RD trick-or-treating.)”

Jean Curran Owen, MS, RD

“If networking is your goal at FNCE®, I recommend outlining groups or specific contacts that are of interest, in advance. For groups, research if they are hosting open events or try to snag an invitation by reaching out to a board member. For specific contacts, I recommend adding them on LinkedIn and sending personalized messages of your interest to set up a meeting during FNCE®. If they don’t have time during FNCE®, keep the lines of communication open and plan a time to chat after the busyness of FNCE® has subsided.”

Laura Campbell, RD

“Don’t over commit! While everyone is vying for your 24 hours of attention, do leave time for yourself – this could mean a meal in your hotel room while you unwind or a quick 20-minute power nap. You will only be as good as you are rested! Before leaving, have an agenda prepared outlining committed time slots and most importantly, highlight the times you are free for last-minute get togethers or sessions you would like to attend if time allows. Have a flexible schedule – travel a day early or stay a bit longer, this may alleviate some of the stress.”

Sherry Watkins

“Make sure to attend a session when your schedule allows. The sessions are invaluable and innovative, plus the topics can help shape programming for your clients. Nutrition is an ever-evolving science and in order to keep up on the latest research, you must stay educated. Scope out the agenda in advance and make the session you want to see a priority and take turns with your colleagues.”

Joanne Tehrani, MPH, RD

“There is so much to take advantage of at FNCE® and sometimes it’s easy to pack your schedule from 6 AM – 9 PM. From engaging sessions to fun events and networking with new and old colleagues, it can be hard to keep up! Be sure to rest your mind (you may hear me refer to this affectionately as a “brain break”) so you can recharge and make the most of your time in Philadelphia! My favorite brain break? A brisk 20-minute walk in a local park!”

Katie Pawelczyk, MS, RD


See more of our tips from previous years here

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