Attend Like a Pro at FPI Conferences

Some of our members have been coming to our conferences for a long time, but we have quite a few new members and new faces showing up at our conferences these days!  Newbie or frequent flyer, how do you navigate the only event in North America that focuses solely on foodservice packaging?  Read on!

We know our members go to a lot of events throughout the year, so we try to make their experiences at our conferences special and unique.  With that, our first conference in 2019 is just around the corner – April 17-19 at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn in Sonoma, California!  We have put together a valuable program that makes this a conference our members can’t miss.

With so many new faces around, we thought we’d list some FAQ’s about our conferences and address what to expect when coming to an FPI event – whether it be this one, our upcoming fall conference October 24-25 in Louisville, KY, or another one in the future.

We’ve broken this down into the before, during and after that goes into each conference:

BEFORE:

How is the location selected?
FPI’s Board of Directors reviews a list of options, and they select the location for FPI’s events. We try to find locations that are convenient, or of high interest – like Sonoma!

Why does the conference overlap with another industry event?
This is one of our biggest challenges when scheduling our conferences.  FPI works with allied organizations to avoid conflicts.  We schedule conferences 1.5 – 2 years out and we post our event dates as soon as they are confirmed.  Additionally, we keep a calendar of industry events in addition to our own.  (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to view.) If you see one that isn’t listed and should be, let us know!

How is the content determined for FPI conferences?
FPI staff works with the Board to identify relevant topics and speakers. Content is usually more educational in nature, addressing topics relevant to the entire industry. These may include things like market trends, environmental issues, the economy, etc. We’re always looking for suggestions, so if you have one (or two!), please pass them along.

Am I able to give a presentation about my company, our products or a specific topic of interest?
Unfortunately, no. We try to maintain a “neutral” environment, not promoting one member or product over another (that’s your job, not ours!).

Several people from my company want to attend.  Is there a limit?
There is no limit to the number that can attend.  The more, the merrier!

How much does it cost to attend an FPI conference?
Registration fees are not included in membership dues and vary slightly between the spring and fall conferences. FPI conferences are not meant to be a money-maker for us – we just try to cover our costs. For a sampling of fees, please check out the registration page for the upcoming spring 2019 conference.

We also strongly encourage distributors and operators involved in foodservice packaging to attend – so much so that we give them 50 percent off the registration fee! For our supplier and converter members: next time you meet with these folks, please ask them to join us at a future FPI conference.

Are hotel reservations made automatically with FPI registration?
You must make your own reservations following the instructions on the “Hotel Reservations” page.  Hotel charges are not included with your FPI registration.

May I bring my spouse or significant other with me to the conference?
Absolutely – just be sure to register them if you want them to participate in conference activities.  Check registration for the rate applicable for each conference (the rate varies.)  Spouse registration includes all official conference food & beverage events, unless indicated otherwise.  It does not include any committee meeting food functions.

Can non-member companies attend FPI conferences?
Non-member companies cannot attend, however we do have a program for converter and supplier companies to attend for the first time on a complimentary basis.  This gives companies an opportunity to experience this member benefit firsthand and learn about other valuable benefits of FPI membership.  Interested in checking us out at an upcoming conference?  Please contact us regarding eligibility for this program.

AT THE CONFERENCE:

When do I pick up my badge and conference materials?
The registration table is made available at the opening reception at spring conferences, and the opening lunch at fall conferences.

What are the networking opportunities?
Our events are the “who’s who” in the foodservice packaging industry!  For the spring program we have networking events on Wednesday and Thursday nights.  We keep these relaxed and casual so that you have plenty of time to interact with each other.  Our spring program also features a golf tournament on Thursday afternoon, offering an opportunity for even greater networking (and yes, some fun and friendly competition!).  If you’re not a golfer, take the time to catch up on some emails or take in the local sights!

Am I supposed to attend the Semi-annual Member Meeting?
All attendees are encouraged to participate to get updates on FPI’s activities.

Can I attend the Paper Recovery Alliance and Plastics Recovery Group Meeting?
This meeting is limited to members of this self-funded group, unless stated otherwise.  Invitations are sent to members of these groups separately.  If you have interest in joining these groups, please contact Natha Dempsey.

Am I supposed to attend the Board of Directors Meeting?
This meeting is only for the elected Board of Directors, and meeting details are communicated directly to those members.

What is the dress code?
The dress code is usually business casual for all events, unless otherwise noted.  That said, we usually recommend bringing along a sweater or jacket to wear in the meeting rooms as they are usually cold!

Sonoma vineyards

AFTER THE CONFERENCE:

Do attendees receive copies of presentations from the conferences?
Yes, presentations approved by presenters for distribution are posted on FPI’s meeting page following each conference and take approximately one week to post.  Presentations are available to all members – even those who were unable to attend.  You must log into the website to view (if you forgot your login, simply click the login button and click the prompt to send your password).

Members frequently tell us that FPI biannual conferences are one of the most valuable member benefits. Why? Because it’s the ONLY event in North America that focuses solely on foodservice packaging.   Haven’t checked one out yet?  We hope you’ll join us for one soon!

If you have any questions about FPI conferences, please contact us.

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