For most of us, the decision to attend IFT’s Annual Meeting and Food Expo is not entirely our own. It hinges on budget realities, management approval, and busy personal schedules. So you may ask yourself, is the overall value of attending the event equal to or greater than the overall cost, including time out of the office and the hard costs of registration and accommodation? Past event attendees will tell you without a doubt, it most assuredly is. But how great of a return depends on you.
Professional Development and Networking Opportunities Abound
Attending IFT20 is akin to packing an entire year’s worth of professional development, supplier/customer relationship building, new product development, and innovation thinking into four intense days. If you do it right, you’ll leave Chicago exhausted, but inspired by your career, your job, your future, and the important role our profession plays in providing a safe, nutritious, and sustainable food supply. You’ll also arrive back at work with new ideas to share with your management and colleagues. Plus, a stack of business cards from potentially lucrative new business contacts, customers, suppliers, collaborators, and innovators.
Largest Product Development and Ingredient Food Expo of Its Kind
At IFT20, you’ll have the opportunity to visit over 1,200 supplier booths, representing the largest ingredient and technology Food Expo in the world. IFT’s Food Expo is where you explore new products, find solutions, and make buying decisions all in the three Food Expo intensive days.
Inspirational Thought-provoking Content
One thing we know about creating a good mix of experiences at IFT’s Annual Event and Food Expo is that the content must include something that inspires, and IFT20 has that too. Choose from over 100 scientific and applied sessions— each peer-reviewed and selected for their novel topics and innovative content. You’ll also have access to the latest research and consumer insights, not to mention the IFTNEXT stage, where you’ll hear from some of the most forward thinking of our professional peers to help inspire new ideas and prepare you for the future. We’ll also have Traceability Central where you can learn about innovative approaches and products leading the way in food traceability and security.
Opportunities to Recharge and Give Back
While you’re at the event, don’t forget to recharge. Feeding Tomorrow uses the annual event to host one of its largest fundraisers, which benefits its many programs directed at bringing the best and brightest young people into our profession, rewarding the efforts of students in food science, and providing opportunities to leverage the knowledge of our community for the greater good. Attendees and non-attendees alike are able to participate in the Virtual Fun Run + Fitness to experience wellness through running, walking, or yoga while supporting important Feeding Tomorrow programs. You can participate both at the event and remotely.
Feed your passion. Feed your career.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to network and learn at a global scale with access to the most innovative strategies, newest solutions, future trends and insights.
Tips for Securing Funding to Attend IFT20
Here are some helpful tips, tools and techniques, including a ”Request for Funding” template (doc), you can use to present IFT19’s return on investment for your organization.
- Capture the goals. Write down 3-5 important initiatives or issues critical to your organization right now. How might your event attendance provide a solution? How is your work aligned with the larger organization's strategy or mission? Be specific.
- Map the programming. The event schedule and the exhibitor listings will be available for online viewing after April 2020. Identify the sessions, activities, and exhibiting companies you want to visit. Be sure your selections support the goals you stated previously. Identify particular speakers or companies you’d like to connect with.
- Build the case. Describe how attending these educational sessions and activities, visiting these exhibiting companies, and meeting these people will help you contribute to the success of your organization's initiatives. Include relevant event facts and stats to further support your case. We’ve provided a request template (Word document) you can use as a starting point.
Once you’re registered to attend…
Browse our About section for additional resources and tips you can do before, during, and after the event to maximize your value and demonstrate to your organization that their investment was worthwhile.