Countdown has begun! It is that time of year to get ready for FNCE® (Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo). This is truly my favorite conference every year because there is so much to learn, see, and connect with. And for those that have never been or it’s been awhile, this conference can be a bit overwhelming. In this blog post, I want to help you to plan ahead and truly get the most out of your experience. It’s worth it!
In last years FNCE® blog post we talked about how to Crush it! All from what to pack, what shoes, and even how to pack up all the swag when coming home. If you didn’t get the FREE Download you will want to now. Today’s post will be a bit more detailed on how to connect and make those connections even more lasting. The number 1 reason I continue to attend FNCE® is the networking and how much I am filled up and energized by the people I meet there.
It is the 100th anniversary celebration, so let’s focus on how to continue to grow this amazing profession of ours to a new level. Today’s post will be a bit more detailed on how to connect and make those connections even more lasting. “How do we to make those connections to grow personally and professionally?”, continues to be a question I get all the time from my students. The number 1 reason I continue to attend FNCE® is the networking and how much I am filled up and energized by the people I meet there. So if you are like me, let’s learn how to get the most out of this amazing conference! What is your reason for attending?
Why attend FNCE®?
Honest talk real quick- FNCE® is an investment. And with all investments you make I always ask my students to know exactly why they are making the investment. As you click to register today for FNCE®- have a very clear answer to why you are attending. A few reasons to have the why answered:
- There is no buys remorse. You are confident and calm about your purchase and know that this investment will serve your professional carries and fill up your dietetic soul.
- You are clear to what and how you plan to benefit from attending. Knowing what is in it for you when making this investment is also key. Knowing how you will actually attain those benefits makes this investment seem like a no brainer.
Your first action item after figuring out your motivation to attending FNCE® is to get crystal clear on what and or how you plan to accomplish this why. For example, if your reason to attend FFNCE® is to network with fellow RDN’s (totally my why) then planning out how I will accomplish networking and what that will actually look like. For me, that looks like making time in my schedule to have coffee with a few key people I have been meeting to connect with. Planning ahead and reaching out, which we will talk about a bit more below.
Mindset Shift- How Can I Grow?
On this blog, we talk a lot about shifting our mindset and here we are going to do it again. As you are getting ready for FNCE®, shift that mindset from overwhelm to growth. Growth can come in any form. Learning new MNT procedures, connecting with RDN’s across the country, or meeting the faces behind your favorite products. Each of these interactions forces us to grow which in turn helps how we serve our patients.
Take some time right now to think about how you want to grow while attending FNCE.
- Do you want to get plugged in more to your DPG?
- Are you wanted to learn about the curring edge products for your patient population?
- Do you want to connect with dietitians you follow on social media to learn from them?
- Is there a session that you are dying to see, and plan on connecting with the speakers after?
Thinking about this before you get to FNCE® will help you to feel more in the mindset of calm and growth.
Who Do You Want to Meet?
Have you checked out the expo list and all the sessions yet? If not do that first! Is there anyone you want to meet? I know this might sound a bit bananas for some of us who are not in private practice or media to make a list. Yet, I am sure we all have a list of Rock Star Dietitians or products we just admire from a far. They might be doing amazing things you admire, or in a totally different space than you. Make a list of them. Don’t worry or over think this list just write out a few people’s work or products that you have followed for awhile.
Why do this? Y’all know I never ask you to do anything unless there is a good reason for it.Connection with others and products helps you to build up your network. What I mean by that, is having a larger pool of people you know only helps you professionally when you are needing support. I can’t tell you how many times I have needed a dietitian in another state or needed to connect with a product and because I have taken the time to meet with people in person on a personal level those conversations have been seamless.
With this list see if you can reach out to them prior to FNCE® and see if y’all can connect. Even if you see the person is not speaking still reach out.
Hi, I see you will be attending FNCE® this year. If you have a free moment I would love to chat over coffee about … My cell is … text me what works best for you.
If there is a personal connection that is even better.
Hi, I see you will be attending FNCE® this year. My mentor Adrien Paczosa said I should reach out because we both …If you have a free moment I would love to chat over coffee about … My cell is … text me what works best for you.
When you do meet in person try to sell them or get something from them, be yourself and learn from them. How you meet someone just as important. Think about how being a friend and how can you help and be of service to that person.
- Know your why for investing in FNCE and yourself this year? Write it out!
- How will you accomplish your why when you get to FNCE?
- Mindset shit time! Think about how you will grow at FNCE and what will help you to fuel that growth while there.
- Who do you want to connect with while at FNCE? This can be people and products. make a list and begin connecting with people to set up times to chat. I am happy to make any indications if needed- just ask!
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the founder of Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals and I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice started in 2007. In 2015 Adrien launched Fearless Practitioners to help other Dietitians and Wellness Professionals build and grow their own private practices.