Growing New Business at the 2023 FEDA Annual Conference

Every year, when professionals from the foodservice equipment and supplies industry descend on the FEDA Annual Conference they can be confident they will experience a full schedule packed with learning and structured discussions about the challenges and opportunities ahead for the industry. But what many remember most every year is the unstructured parts of the conference. The casual conversations at the bar, catching up with a colleague while walking together to one of the evening events or sharing a few thoughts while filling up on coffee.

By moving to the brand-new Omni PGA Frisco Resort in Texas, the 2023 FEDA Conference, Oct. 24-27, is set up to make even more of those spontaneous moments possible while still delivering on all the educational, advocacy and technology programming that members have come to expect.

Hotel Information
Modern luxury amenities will be found around every corner and within every space, but for a conference full of foodservice equipment and supplies professionals, foodservice must be a highlight. The Omni PGA Frisco delivers with 13 dining outlets, providing plenty of options to meet up after each day’s sessions to connect over drinks and signature dishes. Among the announced culinary venues is Ice House, a modern ranch-style restaurant inspired by the barns that were once prevalent across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Appealing particularly to golfers, Ice House will offer six live hitting bays alongside an extensive selection of beer, wine and cocktails. Another highlight will be Trick Rider, a vibrant venue with a horseshoe-shaped bar that pays homage to Texas’ rodeo culture.

“We’re excited to present the conference at this brand new, centrally-located resort,” says Erin Bedell, director of meetings and operations for FEDA. “The robust amenities, well-manicured golf courses and perfect fall Texas weather will make for a great meeting space where attendees can unwind.”

Golf Outing — Tuesday, Oct. 24
Golf made a big return to the FEDA Annual Conference in 2022, proving to be one of the most popular social and networking events. It’s difficult to top a course as beautiful and memorable as the ocean views of Torrey Pines in San Diego, but the Omni PGA Frisco Resort could be an even more exciting destination for golfers.

Located right next door to the new Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) headquarters, the Omni PGA Frisco Resort bills itself as the new home of modern American golf. The resort will have two unspoiled 18-hole championship golf courses, known together as Fields Ranch. Fields Ranch East will use the natural features to create a compelling strategic challenge for golfers. On the other hand, Fields Ranch West will aim for a more strategic test with wide fairways that make it suitable for golfers of all skill levels. Beyond the signature courses, the resort will provide a 10-hole par-3 course and a two-acre putting course, giving those who want to refine their game even more options.

FEDA Annual Conference attendees will have an opportunity to test out their skills on one of these new courses during the conference’s golf outing. Following the success of 2022’s golf event, FEDA is doubling the number of spots available in the golf contest, ensuring more people will have a chance to participate in 2023.

Networking and Free Time — Tuesday, Oct. 24
Ahead of the Advocacy Council presentation and the opening night reception and dinner, attendees will have a large block of free time in the afternoon available for private networking with other attendees. It’s a good chance to hit one of the resort’s many restaurants or take advantage of the business lounge for one-on-one meetings.

Advocacy Council Presentation and Reception — Tuesday, Oct. 24
As inflation remains high and businesses worry about the supply chain, labor shortages and other economic and regulatory challenges, the conversations around legislative proposals are only going to continue heating up. Advocacy is a cornerstone of FEDA’s mission and the association is excited to bring that element back to 2023’s conference. The Advocacy Council Presentation will allow attendees to hear directly from congressional leaders and policymakers about upcoming legislation that could benefit or hamper the foodservice equipment and supplies industry. A reception with members of Congress and their staff will follow, giving attendees time to speak directly with the people setting the legislative agenda and putting their imprint on important bills.

Opening Night Reception and Dinner — Tuesday, Oct. 24
The opening night reception and dinner will mark the first official gathering for all 2023 FEDA Annual Conference attendees. Music and a selection of Texas dishes and hors d’oeuvres will help members relax and get into the right mindset for connecting with their colleagues across the industry.

General Session — Wednesday, Oct. 25
The general sessions are the heart of the educational component of the FEDA Annual Conference, and they will continue to evolve in the 2023 iteration. As in the past, next year’s event will continue to feature insights from restaurant association leaders – including Emily Knight, president and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association – top foodservice CEOs and c-suite executives from dealers and manufacturers, and there will also be a session devoted to FEDA’s data governance project.

Boot Camp Sessions — Wednesday, Oct. 25
But the audience won’t just be passively listening to the general session presentations – they will be more involved than ever. The 2023 conference will introduce new boot camp sessions that will divide the crowd into groups to drill down into specific subject areas, such as design, installation and large projects. These sessions will be moderated and serve to actively engage the audience in the topics being presented on the main stage.

Topical Roundtables — Wednesday, Oct. 25
Scheduled for the afternoon following lunch, the topical roundtables will build on the topics and industry challenges presented by the morning’s speakers and panelists. New in 2023, participants attendees will be able to choose from a group of topics and then sit at the tables corresponding to those subjects. By allowing each group to delve into several specific issues, the conversation will get deeper and more detailed, allowing more well-thought-out solutions to emerge.

Networking and Free Time — Wednesday, Oct. 25
After these problem-solving discussions, we know attendees will want to unwind and talk in a less formal setting. There will be a large block of open time for the remainder of the afternoon through the evening, giving dealers and manufacturers another opportunity to hit the fairways, head out to dinner together or meet over cocktails and craft beers at one of Omni PGA Frisco’s many restaurants or bars.

Gold Awards Breakfast with Guest Presentation — Thursday, Oct. 26
One of the most powerful ways to reinforce the professional connections and enormous value of the industry is to celebrate its accomplishments. The Gold Awards Breakfast does just that by recognizing the people and companies that move foodservice equipment and supplies forward. The Gold Awards will open the final full day of the conference by honoring companies that create dynamic and unique workplace cultures, set new standards for service and champion the development of the next generation of young leaders in the industry. The breakfast will be followed by a special presentation by a nationally-known and well-regarded leader. More details will be announced in January.

Networking and Free Time — Thursday, Oct. 26
Following the morning session, conference attendees will have the full afternoon to conduct their final networking activities. Omni PGA Frisco’s two 18-hole courses will be available for groups looking to talk business over a game, and the resort’s restaurants, bars and business lounges will provide a smaller setting to hammer out details or close out conversations that started earlier in the week.

Last Night Event — Thursday, Oct. 26
FEDA will close out the 2023 conference with one final chance for attendees to network and meet with their peers and colleagues in a relaxed setting, perfect for decompressing after three days of learning and connecting. The Last Night event will offer live music, food and drinks amidst the seclusion of the Omni PGA Frisco Resort.

The 2023 FEDA Annual Conference promises to power up its networking opportunities and deliver deeper dives into the challenges facing the industry than ever before. “We can’t wait to see you at the 2023 FEDA conference where you’ll have the opportunity to engage with foodservice executives that are moving the industry forward, hear from congressional leaders who will speak about their efforts to speed up the economic recovery and remove barriers for businesses’ success, and meet leaders at restaurant associations to learn about their policy priorities and advocacy work,” says Valentina Tomov, chief program officer for FEDA. “In 2023, members will have more opportunities to hear and learn from each other via roundtable with topic options, boot camp sessions addressing specific subject areas, and more time for networking. Please, plan to be with us in sunny Texas!“