Ready to discover the coolest and most innovative food, beverage, service, supply and equipment offerings designed to improve the success of your school nutrition operation—all under one roof? Expand your horizons by scheduling time to examine the full spectrum of products available for your school nutrition operation at the Exhibit Hall at SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Denver. The Exhibit Hall is a valuable place to enrich your decision-making, as hundreds of exhibitors will be on hand to meet you, discuss your requirements, answer your important questions and provide you with innovative solutions to your needs! And if it’s future trends you’re interested in identifying, this is your destination for cutting-edge products and concepts that will influence the school market for years to come Whether you have the authority to make purchase decisions or you help to influence those decisions, you can make the most of your visit to the Exhibit Hall by coming prepared. Take a few moments before you arrive in Denver to preview this initial list of 2012 exhibitors and identify vendors you know and those who are new to you. When you arrive at the Convention Center, the onsite ANC Program Guide that you will receive features a list of exhibitors organized by product category. This will help you to create a “must-see” list of booths that can help you meet the challenges specific to your particular site or operation. Also, be sure to allow time on the floor to network and engage in conversation both with exhibitors and with other school nutrition professionals in attendance. You may find that your colleagues from other schools and districts can provide opinions and experiences that can help your own decision-making process by shedding light on the products and vendors on display. Exhibit Hall Excitement As you explore the Exhibit Hall, which will be brimming with the latest products designed for your school nutrition operation, throw in some additional fun to your visits to vendors’ booths by taking advantage of a few exciting opportunities! Scavenger Hunt Monday, July 16 – Tuesday, July 17 Expand your horizons by learning about new products as you vie for prizes in the “Denver Dash,” this year’s School Nutrition -sponsored Scavenger Hunt! Visit participating exhibitors and request that they punch, stamp or initial your playing card (found in your onsite Program Guide ) and return the completed card to the School Nutrition booth in the Exhibit Hall by Tuesday afternoon to be eligible for a drawing to win one of many fantastic prizes. Winners will be posted at the SN booth near the Hall entrance on Wednesday, July 18. All foodservice operator and state agency attendees are eligible to participate. Director’s All-Access Pass Tuesday, July 17 Are you an SNA director-level member? Don’t miss the special Exhibit Hall time, Tuesday, July 17, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., which has been set aside for you to walk the aisles at your own pace and network with individual exhibitors. Before entering the Exhibit Hall, be sure to pick up your directors-only All-Access Pass card. Visit the specified number of booths identified on the card and be entered into a drawing to win a 2013 meetings package, featuring free registrations to SNA’s Child Nutrition Industry Conference, Legislative Action Conference and Annual National Conference! Winners will be posted in the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday morning. Secret Shoppers Wanted For the third straight year, School Nutrition is assembling a group of ANC “Secret Shoppers,” who will be charged with seeking out the most exciting items on display in the Exhibit Hall. The mission of these volunteers is simple: Tell us what caught your eye—and why. Interested in being a part of the team at ANC in Denver? For more information or to volunteer, send an e-mail to email@example.com by June 30. Exhibit Hall Etiquette Long-time ANC veterans are well familiar with the overwhelming spectacle that is SNA’s annual Exhibit Hall. Hundreds of booths beckon for your attention and, if you are new to ANC, you might find yourself recalling your first visit to a giant toy store. This booth is offering free drawings for a DVR. Over there, you can get your picture taken with a familiar cartoon mascot. Right next door, everyone who visits gets a brightly colored t-shirt. Before you get swept up in all the exciting fun, remember that the Exhibit Hall is first and foremost a place of business . Savvy vendors make their booths fun as a way to entice you to consider their products and services as solutions to the challenges you face in your school nutrition operation. It is your responsibility to show them respect by taking time to listen to a pitch, trying a new food item, reviewing product literature and sharing honestly about the specific needs of your program. This is an important opportunity to demonstrate to vendors that school nutrition professionals at all levels are experts in this business. Make sure that you show that you are not just there to collect toys and t-shirts, but that you have some level of influence in purchasing decisions and you are here to make your program the best it can be. Be prepared. Know what you are looking for; establish priorities before you even get to ANC. Be polite and act interested. Take only what is offered. And, please, thank vendors for being at this conference. Exhibit Education At ANC, learning opportunities are everywhere—not just during the scheduled periods for Education Sessions. During Exhibit Hall hours, for example, you will want to make sure you stop by the Culinary Demonstrations and the new Cutting- Edge Complex. At the Culinary Demonstration stage, you will discover innovative ways to prepare and serve meals, learning how to apply culinary techniques to drive participation. Sessions are planned on the versatility of USDA Foods, making popular smoothies, incorporating whole grains into recipes and using sauces and seasonings. At SNA’s new Cutting-Edge Complex, you will be treated to presentations on some of the newest equipment and software technology options available to the school nutrition market. Don’t miss sessions on new efficient cooking equipment, biometric POS technology and an innovative produce washing system.
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