Wow – we had such an amazing time at our 10th Annual Engage Conference this year! Over the week, we were excited to welcome more than 350 food industry professionals representing over 150 companies from the U.S. and Canada to our hometown of Austin, Texas.
To kick things off on Tuesday, our fearless leader and CEO Jeff Eastman talked about Alchemy’s commitment to the food industry and honored our client partners that share the same commitment to safety and quality, as we do, for over 10 years.
Whether you’re a “square” or a “squiggle,” everyone loved Author/Therapist/Psychology expert (and hilarious comedienne) Connie Podesta’s keynote. Connie got everyone thinking about how important understanding your employees’ engagement styles is to SHAPING communication and boosting retention and successful employee engagement.
And who doesn’t love new and shiny things? We were thrilled to unveil the newest upgrades and additions to Alchemy’s product suite during the much-anticipated Innovation Roadmap with Alchemy’s Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Raj Shah, and Archie Barrett, Alchemy’s Executive Vice President of Product Management. Attendees then got to see and try-out our new courseware and advancements to Player, Manager, Coach, and Creator, and Communications first hand during the Engage Showcase. But the star of the show was the Virtual Reality booth, in which attendees got a sneak peek into the future of training.
We kept the excitement going on Wednesday with more star-studded keynotes, including dynamic presentations from NASA’s International Space Station Food Systems’ Vickie Kloeris, H+M Industrial’s Jay Bice, and former FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Mike Taylor. Conference-goers also had a chance to learn from industry experts in their specific roles during the Food Safety, Environmental Health and Safety, Human Resources, and Operations breakout sessions. Notable speakers included Dr. Lone Jespersen, Kim Seeling Smith, Edwin Foulke, Doug Pontsler, Quesia McCambridge, and Jeff Chilton.
Thursday, bright and early, the Engage die-hards powered through the post-6th-Street morning to get dive into workshops led by expert Alchemists and client SMEs. We were thrilled that companies like Acord Carton, Greencore, Idahoan Foods, Jack Links, Rudolph Foods, Sargento, Tyson, Ventura Foods, and Wixon all showed up to share their time and talk about how they use Alchemy to ENGAGE their employees and improve performance!
And of course, as always, we made sure to have a lot of fun networking! Engagers explored Austin during Monday’s Adventure Day, shared insights with peers during the ever-popular Best Practice Mixer, raised over $10,000 for Stop Foodborne Illness during the Bingo FUNdraiser, and partook in a huge celebration at the Palm Door.
Whew — just writing that made me tired — so I can only imagine how some of you felt on the plane ride home — worn out but hopefully full of fresh ideas, new contacts, and actionable takeaways!
Stay tuned as we publish highlights from the conference on The Feed blog in the coming weeks, including key insights about engaging your frontline workers and supervisors — and how Alchemy can help you do that!
Until then, a huge Texas thank-you to everyone who came out – presenters, attendees, and partners. Engage wouldn’t happen without each and every one of you! We can’t wait to see you again for the next Engage Conference on September 17-19 in Austin, Texas — back at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
And as we say down here: “Y’all come back now — ya hear!”