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Networking & Socials

IFT FIRST Networking & Socials bubble graphic of professionals networking at the event

Curate and Build Your Network

IFT FIRST offers myriad opportunities to meet and connect with science of food professionals from around the globe. This year’s event will host a robust lineup of intentional networking gatherings designed to help you gain and share knowledge, build and advance your career, learn about funding opportunities, and even close a business deal. Shake hands with international colleagues you’ve only met on Zoom. Get to know a scientist whose work you’ve long admired. Make connections with peers that lead to new collaborations. All of it is possible through IFT FIRST’s rich and varied networking events.

View Full Networking & Socials Schedule


Braindate is Back! Braindate is a digital platform that connects you to attendees in person, at IFT FIRST, to discuss topics/questions/insights that mean the most. Its your topic on your time. Whether it’s a 1:1 or a group Braindate, you'll meet attendees eager to talk, with intention and purpose. Braindate puts you in front of people you would have never met. You'll stay connected long after your Braindate is over.

Scheduling is open! Braindates take place Monday-Wednesday of IFT FIRST. Located in the Grand Concourse of McCormick Place, look for the Braindate Lounge near registration. IFT FIRST Registered attendees, download the IFT FIRST mobile app and look for the Braindate icon or visit

What is Braindate and is it worth my time?

Professional Networking Event

Invest in your future and attend the IFT FIRST Professional Networking Event on Monday, July 17. For just $75, you will have access to all 17 Division socials and gatherings plus food and beverage. It’s the perfect fuel to kick-start conversations and build productive connections. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to create business relationships and make lifetime connections!

IFT Divisions hosting socials at the Professional Networking Event:

Aquatic Food Products Division Social

Biotechnology, Food Microbiology, and Fruit & Vegetable Products Division Social

Carbohydrate Division Social

CFS 10-Year Anniversary

Dairy Foods Division Social

Education, Extension & Outreach Division Social

Food Chemistry Division Social

Food Engineering, Nonthermal Processing, Food Packaging, and Sustainable Food Systems Division Social

Food Laws & Regulations, Food Safety & Quality Management, and Toxicology & Safety Evaluation Division Social

Foodservice & Refrigerated & Frozen Foods Division Social

International Division Social

Marketing, Sales & Management Division Social

Muscle Foods Division Social

Nutrition and Nutraceutical & Functional Foods Division Social

Product Development Division Social

Protein Division Social

Sensory & Consumer Sciences Division Social

Are you already registered for IFT FIRST? Add the Professional Networking Event to your experience by logging in to your registration dashboard.

Meetups & Networking

Meet others as you fuel up for your day. IFT FIRST offers a range of Morning Meetups held in the North Concourse of McCormick Place. Grab a coffee and a donut and make a new connection before daily conference sessions and events begin. New to IFT FIRST? There’s even a Monday meetup session to help newbies make the most of their FIRST experience. If you’re not an early bird, there’s lots more networking in store. Attend an IFT Networking Hour near the IFT Member Central booth for an engaging, facilitated experience that connects you with others of similar interests. These hourlong sessions—many sponsored by IFT’s Resource Groups—include conversation starters and other icebreakers to help you make meaningful connections and discover IFT membership benefits you may not know about.

IFT First Timers Meetup

Nutritionists & RDs Morning Meetup

Intern Morning Meetup

Sustainability Morning Meetup

AI Enthusiasts Morning Meetup

Agriculture Morning Meetup

New Managers Morning Meetup

African, African American, Black Resource Group Networking

Early Careerist Networking

Research Chefs and Culinologists Networking

Women’s Resources Group Networking

Proud (LGBTQIA+) Resource Group Networking

Plant Proteins Networking

Upcycled Foods Networking

Food Scientists, R&D, and Product Developers Networking

View Full Networking & Socials Schedule

Join attendees from around the globe as they collectively share to discuss opportunities to combat world hunger through scientific collaboration and discovery.