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

IFEC Suits Up for Dallas --
Where the Food Biz is Big Biz

_____________________________________________________________________________________ Don't pack cowboy boots or snap front shirts, we're on the trail of the real Dallas, where business suits are the downtown uniform and foodservice is big business. You, our valued members, colleagues and industry friends, are invited to join us there for the annual conference, a welcoming community for learning, sharing, building relationships and rounding up food trends and leaders who spark them.


Back in the Eighties before reality TV, the blockbuster Dallas had us thinking the city was all glitz and glamour, power and money. Ten-gallon hats, towering skyscrapers, big hair and JR Ewing - everything was larger than life. Well, forget Dallas. When IFEC convenes in the real-life Dallas we'll discover a progressive, cultured, socially conscious city, and yes, a big one. Dallas is the country's ninth-largest city and bigger than the state of New Jersey; "Big Things Happen Here" is the CVB motto; and massive reflective  glass-sheathed office buildings dominate the skyline. Yet there are plenty of human-scale places, too, neighborhoods that look like the Mid-West and small 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 the food business offers a lot to learn.


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.

See the full agenda

Conference Registration
Early-bird registration is $500 for members; $895 for non-members, now through September 22

Regular registration is $600 for members; $1,075 for non-members, from September 23

Conference registration cut-off is Friday, October 17

Registering for Office Hours:
Publicists who wish to participate in Office Hours must check the Office Hours box on the conference registration form before submitting the form.  Don't skip it unless you're planning to skip Office Hours. Editors should not check the box. Office Hours are available to members only.

Members must log-in to register for the conference and office hours. Non-members, please contact IFEC at (845) 229-6973 or email

Accommodations at the Omni Dallas Hotel are $189 single/double
Reservation cutoff is Friday, October 17.

Omni Dallas Hotel
555 South Lamar Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Make hotel reservations

Please contact the IFEC office with any questions:  845-229-6973,

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, in between F&B activities, you can sign-up for a food tour, meet your buddy, catch up with friends.
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
In this year's revamped edition sponsored snacks and sips and other fun surprises will accompany the editors' briefings about their requirements.
Monday, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

A dozen high achievers from all segments of Big D foodservice will demonstrate the delicious diversity of Dallas cuisine with dishes crafted with 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.

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
A fourth panelist to be announced
Tuesday lunch, following The Betty Award

Food Tours
The Tour Committee is zeroing in on the final destinations. The short list includes a chocolaterie, cidery, bourbon distillery, brewery, cheese-making workshop, and a chain test kitchen or two. You'll sign up for the tour of your choice when you arrive at the conference. Tour sites will be announced soon.
Wednesday, 12:45 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

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 materials.

Other Events
Presentation of The Betty (The Bastion Outstanding Service Award), IFEC's highest award. The Betty goes 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 concludes at the conference.

The Buddy program, where new members 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;

To brush up on Dallas:

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