Conference

Annual Conference
November 3-5, 2014
Omni Dallas Hotel
Dallas, Texas

IFEC in Dallas
The New Food Frontier

_____________________________________________________________________________________  When IFEC convenes in Dallas we'll find a progressive, cultured, socially conscious city where big, exciting things are happening on the food frontier.

It's Texas after all, so everything is big, from the massive office towers that dominate the skyline (which, btw, was voted best big-city skyline by USA Today readers), to the home of the Dallas Cowboys (largest domed stadium in the world), to "Big Tex," the iconic 55-ft.-tall cowboy who welcomes folks to the State Fair grounds, and, in tasteful juxtaposition to Big Tex, the largest Arts District in the country.

"Big Things Happen Here" is the convention bureau's motto, and they're calling it right. Yet there are plenty of things in human scale, as well, including neighborhoods that look like the Mid-West and small artsy districts close to downtown where you can shop hip clothing stores, sample artisanal chocolates and cheeses in storefront "factories" and hoist a cold one at a craft brewery or even a hard cider from the first cidery in North Texas.

"Big D" also boasts the state's first craft bourbon distillery, along with 6,000 restaurants, from high-profile independents to barbecue and burger joints, innovative healthcare foodservices, plus, it's a hotspot for restaurant chain headquarters as well as C-stores that have big-time foodservice programs. The breadth and diversity of its food business may surprise you.

CONFERENCE BASICS

Dates
Monday, November 3 through Wednesday, November 5
Opening event: Monday, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Welcome reception with F&B Activities and conference check-in

Closing events: Wednesday, 12:45 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Food Tours

Board Meeting, 2014 & 2015 Boards, Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Hotel reservation cut-off is October 17th.

Omni Dallas Hotel
555 South Lamar Street
Dallas, Texas 75202
214-7444-6664

Make hotel reservations

Please contact the IFEC office with any questions:  845-229-6973, ifec@ifeconline.com.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
Welcome Reception
Check-in for the conference in the Omni grand ballroom and start your creative juices flowing by visiting sponsored Activity Stations to sample products, try your hand at do-it-yourself projects, and more.  Also in the ballroom, you can sign-up for a food tour, meet your buddy, re-connect with friends and of course, gab and laugh a lot.
Monday, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The Executive Roundtable: A Conversation with Dallas's Big Guns

Dallas isn't just a hub for independent fine diners, barbecue joints, and casual eateries. It's also home to several prominent national restaurant brands that have stood the test of time while answering consumer demand and adapting with the U.S. marketplace. So what can foodservice manufacturers, suppliers, and operators learn from these brands? Hear from executives at some of these Dallas-based restaurant companies about how they balance growth, innovation, and company culture in the fast-evolving foodservice landscape. IFEC President and QSR Editor Sam Oches will moderate. Participants to be announced. Monday, 5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.

Meet the Press
Editors' briefings about their requirements will be accompanied by sponsored snacks and sips and other fun surprises in a new rendition of this long-standing program.
Monday, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Chef
Showcase
A baker's dozen of high achievers from all segments of Big D foodservice will demonstrate the delicious diversity of Dallas cuisine as they craft dishes using sponsors' ingredients. This tantalizing tasting event takes place on opening night. Chefs and sponsors to be announced. Monday, 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Office Hours

IFEC's signature program brings editors and publicists together for private, 10-minute meetings to discuss editorial placements. Publicists wishing to participate must register for Office Hours appointments on the conference registration form. Make sure you check the Office Hours box before submitting the registration page!

Seven and one-half hours of Office Hours are interspersed between other activities on Tuesday morning and afternoon and Wednesday morning. To participate in Office Hours you must be available during those times. Schedules are generated by computer and distributed approximately 2 weeks before the conference.
Tuesday morning and afternoon and Wednesday morning


Panel: Retail Foodservice Opportunities

What's in it for us? Foodservice sales at retail - while still relatively small - are outpacing traditional foodservice as well as traditional grocery retail sales growth. This panel explores the state of foodservice at retail through convenience and grocery channels, and speaks to the opportunities - and first steps - for CPG and foodservice companies wanting to get a slice of this pie.

Panelists:
Abbie Westra, Editor in Chief, Convenience Store Products at CSP Business Media
Joan Driggs, Editorial Director, Progressive Grocer, Stagnito Business Information
Peter Baughman, Director of Communications at Foodmix Marketing Communications
Eric LeBlanc, VP of Marketing for Deli, Convenience and Bakery, Tyson Foods
Tuesday lunch, following The Betty Award

Food Tours
The Tour Committee is zeroing in on our destinations.The short list features a chocolaterie, cidery, whiskey distillery, brewery, cheese-maker, the innovative cafes of a major hospital, a chain HQ test kitchen (or two) and a C-store whose foodservice offerings will drop your jaw. You'll sign up for the tour of your choice during the Welcome to Texas! reception.
Wednesday, 12:45 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Sponsorships
Dozens of new and exciting products will be presented by member sponsors for learning and sampling in meals, receptions and breaks, Learning Stations, Activity Stations, chef demonstrations and other formats throughout the conference, including special activities like the Annual Dole Fitness Walk on Tuesday morning. Sponsors also help underwrite programs and print.

Other Events
Presentation of The Betty (The Bastion Outstanding Service Award), IFEC's highest award which is given to one member annually who has made long-term valuable contributions to IFEC and the foodservice industry.
Tuesday, The Betty Lunch


Announcement of the recipient of the TerrIFECer award, which goes to a member who has made a significant impact in from three to eight years of membership.
Tuesday, The TerrIFECer Cocktail Party

The annual Scholarship Auction, conducted online in the weeks leading up to November will wrap up with final bids taken until 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The Buddy program, where new members will meet up with their mentoring buddies.
Monday, Welcome Reception


IFEC's Annual Business Meeting
Wednesday Breakfast

Full conference agenda

For questions:  IFEC at 845-229-6973; ifec@ifeconline.com

To brush up on Dallas:

Visit Dallas
100 Best Restaurants in Dallas
Trip Advisor - Dallas
Cowboy up you Style