So I may have mentioned this before, but I’m a Registered Dietitian and five years ago in my previous job I was able to attend the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE, as we call it) in Philadelphia and had a blast and was completely overwhelmed as I was a “first timer” and knew I wanted to go again.
I found out about a year ago that FNCE was taking place in Chicago, which was pretty perfect as it’s so close and I knew I had to go! I was the solo dietitian from my job attending but knew that I would be seeing some of my former coworkers and friend. I’m an eager beaver and love to learn! I printed out the schedule two weeks in advance to see what sessions I wanted to attend. Thankfully they had an app that I could use to keep track of what rooms and sessions to go to. Five years ago there was a giant book I had to lug around. I think at these types of conferences you have to go in with an open mind and realize that not every session is going to be as interesting as you had hoped for. I think when you attend conferences it’s important to try and pick sessions pertinent to your job but also be a bit selfish and pick sessions that help you grow as a professional and individual alike. I mean, let’s face it, if you don’t grow as an individual how does that help you professionally?
Over the course of four days, I attended 15.75 hours of sessions, 2 hours at a symposium on portion sizes, 5 hours at general sessions (more on those in a minute) and 3.5 hours at the Expo, where I worked my arm muscles from carrying my “haul” of goodies.
I enjoyed many sessions but some of my favorites included:
- The opening session where Dr. Sanjay Gupta gave a great presentation on media and its influence on healthcare. If you were asked who you would invite to dinner, he’d be on my list. He had such a conversational tone, easy to listen to and provided such great information. I was so engrossed with what he was saying my notes for that session is blank. He told a story about operating on Jesus in the desert when he was on assignment in Iraq and the surgeons wanted his Neurosurgery expertise.
- I attended two sessions that Second City presented. One was on creating inclusive environments and one on improv for effective and adaptive communication. Best three hours of conference.
- Fear boot camp was also a great session. We worked through the stages of fear in order to do what you’re afraid of. Nope, not gonna get a dog, but it was a great exercise and fun speaker.
Because FNCE was in Chicago I was able to be my sister’s roomie for three nights!
I was excited to see and spend time with my friend and former coworker Allison over the past four days. We haven’t seen each other in a while so it was fun catching up. Of course when in the city, you have to have delicious food. Elisabeth took me to Quartino and we had the best orecchiette EVER! Allison joined us for dinner at Little Goat Diner. My love for Stephanie Izard runs deep and have been to her restaurant Girl and the Goat.
Here’s some of my pictures from the expo!
This was the hottest exhibit in the expo. The line was ALWAYS so long. Sadly, I didn’t get to partake.
I’m wet from three days of rain, my feet are sore and my eyelids are heavy! Here’s to public transportation to get me home!
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