How to get the most out of FNCE: A first-timer’s guide
So, you’re headed to FNCE this year? If you have perused the website or the schedule, you might be wondering where to go, what to do, and how to choose between all of the activities that seem to be happening at the same time! Read on for some tips to help you make the most of your first FNCE adventure.
Before you do anything else, download the FNCE app
It’s free and will help you stay organized and on schedule. The app has literally EVERYTHING happening at FNCE right at your fingertips. You can review the schedule of educational sessions, exhibitors, and demonstrations, then “star” your favorite ones. This will automatically add them to your own personal itinerary. Take notes from sessions, find contact information for speakers and vendors, and so much more!
Attend the opening session
FNCE veterans may tell you to skip the opening presentation on Saturday afternoon, but I would encourage you to check it out. If nothing else, it’s quite inspiring to see so many (thousands!) of other dietitians from all walks of life, all in the same room, and realize you are a part of this tremendous profession.
Make conversation and meet new people
When you check in, you will be able to select “ribbons” to add to your name badge: “student,” “preceptor,” “DPG member,” “first-time attendee.” Grab all the ribbons that describe you, and then strike up a conversation with someone who shares something in common….or someone who doesn’t! If you belong to a DPG, attend their scheduled event. Dying to meet Joy Bauer? Check the app, attend her session, and go introduce yourself!
Have lunch in the Exhibition Hall
Yes, you read that right. The Exhibition Hall has vendors, sponsors, and nutrition-related companies as far as the eye can see. Come early and come hungry. There are free samples and cooking demonstrations galore. (Make sure to stop by the Dietitians On Demand booth)
Step outside your comfort zone
FNCE is a great place to learn, so don’t miss out! In the app, you will notice that you can select a pre-scheduled “track,” depending on your interests. These tracks group together all of the sessions and events related to sports nutrition, malnutrition, being a young professional, etc. Even if you choose to follow one of these tracks, I encourage you to do at least one activity that is new and different — attend a session on an unfamiliar topic, review posters from a different field of study, or grab some brochures from a new vendor or company.
Attending FNCE for the first time is almost a rite of passage for a dietitian. It’s an opportunity to learn, grow, be inspired, celebrate what our profession has accomplished, and take a peek into what the future holds. Enjoy yourself!
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