Best Practices For Today’s Times

Your guide to the International Foodservice Distributor Association’s annual event.


Baltimore is one of America’s great historic ports. Known by locals as “Charm City,” the city is a perfect location for the annual Distribution Solutions Conference, hosted by the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA).

Several hundred foodservice distributors will head to Maryland to attend the event, which will take place Oct. 19 to 21 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The convention center and conference hotels are adjacent to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, which includes many restaurants, historic ships and Fort McHenry, the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner. Places to visit around the harbor include the Baltimore National Aquarium, the Baltimore Maritime Museum and Little Italy.

Themed “Best Practices for Today’s Times,” the conference enables attendees to learn about practices that can be implemented now to improve efficiency and to see the latest in warehousing and transportation hardware, technology and services.

Supported by UniPro Foodservice Inc., Progressive Group Alliance, F.A.B. Inc., Frosty Acres, Federated Foodservice, Bellissimo Foods and the Independent Marketing Alliance, the conference provides an opportunity to meet counterparts from across the industry.

Some of the highlights of this year’s event include:

Expo—New Resources and the Latest Solutions: Distribution Solutions is what the conference exposition is all about, providing foodservice distribution professionals with an opportunity to see suppliers and service providers that support the operational side of the industry. Two days of exhibit hours provide an opportunity to find solutions that add to the bottom line and help serve customers better.

Vendors showcasing the latest in warehousing and transportation hardware and technology, as well as engineering, consulting, construction services, and more are available during Expo hours on Monday and Tuesday.

Workshops—Hot Topics and On-Target Resources: The conference’s five educational tracks offer practical take-away knowledge for executives with responsibilities in operations, transportation, human resources, technology and supply chain.

From the latest ways to squeeze costs out of operations to leveraging technologies and meeting human resource challenges, more than 40 sessions will help attendees make better, more informed decisions.

Networking: Meet People You Won’t Meet Elsewhere: The conference provides opportunities to expand professional contacts and talk with peers who deal with the same challenges. Some of the many opportunities to network include breakfast tables identified by discipline area, receptions, lunch events, breaks between sessions and discussions with peers who speak at the conference.

Member companies of IFDA as well as every major buying group attend this conference, providing an invaluable networking opportunity that can’t be found at any other foodservice distribution event.

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, join friends and colleagues for a fun-filled reception at the Maryland Science Center and the Dinosaur Mysteries Exhibit, where you can enjoy refreshments with a T-Rex. The reception overlooks Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and includes beverages as well as hors d’oeuvres. This is an ideal opportunity to meet industry counterparts in a relaxed setting.

New this year—One-Two Punch Sessions: Designed to help attendees plumb the depths of some of the industry’s hottest topics. Following a formal presentation, a discussion leader will take over in a follow-up session for dialogue. Please note, space is limited to 20 attendees for the roundtable portion and is filled on a first come, first served basis at the session location. These sessions include:

Best Routing Practices;

Top Five Safety Concerns and How to Deal with Them;

Cost-Saving Ideas through Technology;

Top Purchasing Pain Points and How to Heal Them.

The conference provides education for foodservice distributors, with timely topics for broadline, systems and specialty distributors. Whether you have a single facility or distribute on an international scope, you will find education at this conference that meets your needs.

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