AHF Wraps Up Successful 2020 Virtual Conference

By Leah Reily posted 23 days ago

  
OVU2SVB0TkOTLtJPAvOq_2020 Conf - Carousel-NEW-01-M.jpgThe Association for Healthcare Foodservice closed out its 2020 Virtual Conference on Thursday, September 3, 2020, with a final closing ceremony and a keynote presentation by Eric Eisenberg. The conference took place across a four-week period from August 11th to September 3rd, with live sessions every Tuesday and Thursday offering operator attendees with busy schedules an earlier format to participate in. The conference closed with rave reviews from over 460 attendees.

Eisenberg finalized the conference with a presentation titled "CREATE Commitment – The Cultural Balance Between Leaders and Those We Serve." The session discussed the human emotional and intellectual skills and traits needed by leaders to balance leadership presence and the human being within. During AHF’s closing ceremony the Association also "passed the President’s gavel" from current President Cyndi Roberts, Saint Joseph Memorial Hospital, to Ryan Conklin, UNC REX Healthcare, the incoming 2021 AHF President. Ralph Goldbeck, Kitchens to Go built by Carlin, also passed the Chair-ship of AHF's Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to Barbara Kane, EcoLab for the coming 2021 leadership year. 

In June of 2020 AHF canceled its in-person conference due to the impacts of COVID-19. With the cancellation, the Association, and its Conference Planning Committee (CPC) took to redrafting the conference into a virtual format launching registration in late June. Throughout the conference, attendees participated in 8 live sessions including AHF's 2020 Industry Awards Ceremony and its now virtual Culinary Showcase and Ceremony. Attendees also have access to an additional 10 sessions of recorded online learning presented by experts from across the foodservice industry and country.

Session topics included: diversity and inclusion, developing local procurement programs, building shared service models, leadership and influence training, industry innovations, retail trends, Benchmarking and data analytics, food-first approach to nutrition in senior dining, emergency preparedness, and more.

Furthermore, throughout the virtual conference, some attendees joined round table discussions for in-depth conversations about the future of foodservice, as well as Happy Hours for virtual networking between operators and business partner members.

More than 460 attendees joined the virtual conference with strong attendance throughout the four-week period. Operators who may have normally been unable to attend an in-person AHF conference were also able to participate and benefit from AHF’s high-quality education. Throughout those four weeks, thousands of personal messages were sent within the conference platform, and hundreds of connections made between operators and AHF sponsors.

While AHF hosted three virtual exhibit halls on August 11th, 18th, and 25th, operators had access to review sponsors booths, materials, and products 24/7. Operators made virtual appointments with sponsors and learned about the new innovations and services exhibitors had to offer.

AHF’s virtual conference platform will remain online until the end of September for attendees to access and recorded sessions will be accessible until the end of November giving operators ample time and flexibility to complete their courses within their busy schedules.

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