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Solution Exchange

Networking and ingredient sourcing on steroids

Meet with suppliers who can help you solve your unique product development challenges at FIRST through 1:1 targeted 20-minute conversations.

Are you a product development innovator or influencer looking for ingredient, product, or service solutions to your unique challenges? Finding the right solutions can take months to achieve. Save time and connect with tons of suppliers by participating in FIRST Solution Exchange.

FIRST Solution Exchange, transitioned from IFT’s Annual Event Food Expo, is a new way to connect with preferred ingredient and solution providers. The FIRST Solution Exchange allows for ample time to attend 20-minute, 1:1 exchange virtual meetings with selected suppliers and participate in all of the engaging scientific, market insights, and business strategy content and networking opportunities provided during the full FIRST program.

Applications are Closed

When does it take place?

The Solution Exchange will take place July 19-23, 2021, extending past the three-day scientific, business, and networking programming to provide you ample time to wok everything into your busy schedule.

Who is Solution Exchange for?

Solution Exchange is for those working in the following food-related areas:
  • Product Development
  • Product Research
  • Quality Assurance and Food Safety
  • Purchasing
  • Food Processing
  • Food Packaging
  • Technical Services
  • Food Related Startups and Innovators

How does it work?

  • Start by signing up and answering a few questions about yourself and your product development goals.
  • Then, through our AI-enabled platform we’ll recommend the best suppliers for you to meet at FIRST.
  • Before the event, you’ll select who you want to meet with, based on your interests and secure a meeting time.
  • During July 19-23, you’ll attend at least four, 20-minute meetings online with suppliers.
  • You’ll learn about the suppliers latest ingredients, products, or services and have opportunities for further follow up post event.

As an added bonus, you’ll also receive complimentary registration to all of the FIRST digital experience programming—including access to all the latest science, research, market insights and business strategies, not to mention ample networking and engagement opportunities available through FIRST. Access to content is also available on demand through December 31, 2021 if you sign up by June 4.

Here is just a taste of who you will be able to meet with at the FIRST Solution Exchange:

0521_FIRST_Supplier Logos_Website

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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  • What criteria are used to determine Solution Exchange VIP eligibility?

    A Solution Exchange applicant's information will be reviewed to ensure an optimal VIP and supplier meetup experience. The following criteria will be needed in order to be considered for the VIP status:

    Applicants need to be working in one of the following areas product development/manufacturing/procurement areas:

    • Product Development
    • Product Research
    • Quality Assurance and Food Safety
    • Purchasing
    • Food Processing
    • Food Packaging
    • Technical Services
    • Food Related Startups and Innovators
    • Research & Development-Scientific-Technical
    • Management/Supply Chain
    • Purchasing/Procurement

    And be interested in learning/assessing the following through the meetup experience:

    • New products/ingredients/technologies 
    • Product/ingredient innovation 
    • Cost reduction opportunities 
    • Replacing current products/solutions 
    • Formulation development help 
    • Trending topics 
    • Quality Assurance /Quality Control 
  • How will the hosted Solution Exchange program work?

    Product development influencers and innovators will apply online, and IFT will review submissions to determine if applicant background fulfills Solution Exchange participant criteria. Once approved, participants will complete their digital profile, review suppliers, and request meetings with preferred suppliers.

  • What is Solution Exchange?

    Solution Exchange is a process of intentionally matching prospective supplier experts with product development influencers and innovators seeking assistance in researching prospective ingredients, product, services, and technologies to help solve development problems or challenges.

  • How many conversations do I commit to as part of my complimentary Solution Exchange Participant registration?

    You are required to commit to a minimum of four, 20-minute conversations by July 16, 2021. Additionally, you can request meetings throughout the event. There is no limit to the number of meetings that you can schedule. However, if you do not attend a minimum of 4 meetings, you will be charged a registration fee.

    A conversation appointment is a 20-minute meeting where participants meet with a supplier that can potentially support them in solving their product/product development questions. Participants will receive suggested suppliers and be able to search the AI enabled system to identify suppliers to request a meeting with. Suppliers can confirm or decline the request.

  • Why do I have to provide a credit card of my registration is complimentary?

    All Solution Exchange participants are required to supply valid credit card details as part of the application process. Your registration is free if a minimum of four, 20-minute meetings are completed by July 23, 2021. If fewer than four meetings are completed, you will be charged the standard registration rate.

  • How are appointments made, and who can make them?

    As a Solution Exchange participant, you will request meetings with suppliers through the FIRST platform. Suppliers will be able to review your application information to confirm if the meeting is a good match. Our goal to ensure participants meet with ideal suppliers. If a supplier feels their product will not be a good match for you, they will decline the meeting request.

To learn more about how your company can participate in the FIRST Solution Exchange visit our Sponsorship Opportunities page.