How to Make the Most of Your 2016 FNCE Conference Experience…Part 1

conferneceplanner2016 FNCE Conference, It’s that time again!

It is that time of year again for the 2016 FNCE Conference. Where registered dietitians gather for the biggest show and conference of the year, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (also known as FNCE).  Unfortunately, this year I cannot attend, however I did want to take a moment and share some tips on how to maximize your time connecting with colleagues and building relationships.

FNCE is such a high energy, busy, fun, exhilarating time for dietitians to come together and collaborate; a time to share ideas and inspire each other! One of the most valuable things I take away from FNCE, (and what I know I will miss this year), are all the wonderful connections I make and relationships I get to build through this amazing event.

Here are a few tips I have learned through my years of traveling to FNCE, and hope this tips can help enhance your 2016 FNCE experience:

  • When you get a business cards, try to add a personal note to that card immediately so that you can remember why you enjoyed meeting them. You might feel you will remember everyone, but after days of networking, paired with lots of healthy snacks from the exhibit vendors, and lots of new research thrown your way, when you come home you will feel overwhelmed by all the wonderful people you have met and all the materials, business cards, and brochures you have collected. 
  • Find your way to write a personal note or make a notation on the business cards so that if time comes for the follow up, you’ll remember what that person has discussed. You’ll get re-inspired as to why you loved connecting in the first place!
  • Another great tip I’ve learned from nutrition expert and fashion model, Maye Musk, is to not wear your name tag low. Nobody wants to look at your crotch when they’re trying to search for your name.  Pull it up high instead (you may need to tie it in the back) to where it falls right above your breast line. Use your name tag holder as a place where you can insert business cards if you have plenty of business cards on hand.
  • This is your time to shine. This is your time to connect.  Have your business cards on hand and be ready to share those with others. Once you go back to your hotel room, try to put the business cards you have just collected in a certain file folder or place. This will help you to keep them close together in smaller increments rather than put everything you’ve collected over the whole trip in one place.
  • As you’re connecting with people, remember to be interested and not just interesting. As much as you want to share what’s going on with your business, listen to what’s going on in other people’s business and world. It’s amazing what things you can learn when you take the time to listen.
  • Step out of your comfort zone and experience the conference. You never know who you’re going to meet, a conversation you’ll have and what you will learn. It is very easy to get stuck in doing what you’ve always done. Challenge yourself to try something different.  Go to an event and maybe venture out alone, introduce yourself to people and smile.
  • If you haven’t done so yet, schedule time on your calendar for when you return you can already implement your follow-up plan. Personally, this is one I have always struggled with, but with the years I have blocked off the days and stuck to my plan, it has been much more successful return as I head back into the world of life and work.

Here is a fun and easy to use planner I have created to help you remember the special people and moments from your conference.

Enter your email below to download the planner, then make sure to print it out and have in your travel bags when you head to Boston!

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