I just returned from the 2014 annual Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) in Atlanta and I don’t know about you but I am energized! Most people return home from this conference exhausted, but I tend to return home each year energized. I love all the great people I met, the knowledge gained from the sessions I attended and all the new and fascinating products in the Expo hall.
One of my favorite sessions this year was on branding, titled “Creating Fame: The Power of Branding to Elevate Your Career” presented by Yvette Quantz and Thomas Karam and moderated by Sarah Koszyk. This session was well presented and provided many take away points that I will be incorporating into my professional toolkit. The presentation focused on how to brand yourself as a dietitian, no matter the focus of your practice. The also demonstrated how two simple things, “vocal tone” and your “default look”, can determine whether someone will like/trust you within the first 10 seconds of meeting you. This was excellent information to be reminded of since we, as dietitians, deal with patients, clients, vendors and many other groups of people on a daily basis. The session served as a great reminder of the importance of focusing on making a positive first impression. Because we interact with so many new people on a daily basis, the first impression is key to our success. If we fail to impress, it lessens the impact of the rest of our message.
Another favorite for me this year was the expo hall. Come one, who doesn’t like a place where great food vendors and sponsors showcase their products. This year, I especially enjoyed learning about the new natural food products on the market, and the trend of decreasing processed ingredients and additives that are currently in so many of our foods. This is a trend that dietitians have been focusing on for quite some time. It’s great to see it becoming a more mainstream trend. While I believe there is room in a person’s diet for most foods, I also believe it is important to get back to the basics. Because of this, it was nice see so many companies working with dietitians to produce a healthier product for consumers to choose.
For those who were able to attend the 2014 FNCE conference, I would love to hear about your favorite session(s), as well as your favorite part of the expo. For those of you who were unable to go this year, I look forward to connecting next year in Nashville. Finally, for those who are questioning whether it is worth it to attend FNCE in the future, I would definitely recommend it. Although it is a long weekend, I think you will be surprised at how you leave feeling more energized and excited about the future of our profession.
Talk to you soon!
Carrie Mark, MA, RD, LD
Chief Acquisitions Director