FNCE 2012- Personal Take Home Thoughts

Last week I attended FNCE 2012 in Philadelphia. I’ve been asked what I learned, so I thought I would write a blog to describe my take home thoughts. This was actually my very first FNCE. (Gasp, I know right?) Well, I’ve only been a dietitian for 4 years and this was honestly the first time because of schedule and finances that it was able to work out.

Here are the talks/sessions that I attended:

Saturday: The photography workshop, the general session, and the NE DPG networking dinner.

Sunday: Achieving 6 figure careers in dietetics, calling all food bloggers, and legal use of social media

Monday: Appetite for Technology: Food in the Digital age, Ins & Outs of Social Media, the RD tweetup, and then attended a dinner for bloggers on Monday night with Chobani.

Take Home Thoughts:

1. Twitter contacts are real. I’ve been on twitter for almost 3 years now and I really started using it as a way to connect with RDs. I got to meet RDs from all over the country that I have been building an online relationship with the past few years. It was truly awesome to connect with them and meet them in person.

2. Haters gonna hate. I realized that while sifting through the hundreds of tweets, there are several RDs who simply want to be known as the haters of our professional organization. I was raised to believe that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I didn’t spend the money to attend FNCE just to hate on it. In fact, during the social media session, the speaker said “What benefit do you have in slamming in your employer online? Very little.” I believe the same thing applies to professional organizations.

3. Hurry up & Wait. One thing that I found myself doing a lot at FNCE was waiting in line. Whether it was waiting in line for coffee, standing on the escalator, or waiting in line at expo booths, there was always an opportunity for a conversation. The time spent waiting in lines is when I got to meet several folks and exchange ideas. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation. Some of my most memorable from FNCE included talking to the lady that got locked out of her hotel room, meeting another RD while walking to another hotel, and the airplane ride on the way home.

Maybe you’re wondering what I learned from the actual sessions? I’ve got another post coming AND lots of photos. =) Stay tuned.

 

5 Responses

  1. Carlene Thomas RD
    October 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply

    Twitter contacts are totally real!!! So good to meet you at Chobani and pick your brain.

  2. Ker
    Ker
    October 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply

    Nice summary, I didn’t go but did follow the posts. Corporatised organisations aren’t my thing and I do question them. I take your point about the honey and vinegar and perceptions. It’s definitely a difficult rope to walk about putting criticism out in the social media sphere. Those comments stick and can have repercussions which I doubt few of us can foresee.
    For me the other side of the coin is who we are, not just online but in life. What do we stand for? People watch us always, our friends, our followers and perhaps even employers and future employers. So from my perspective being perceived as agreeing and supporting something which runs counter to my normal message could be just as detrimental too. As dietitians we are advocates for food and health. Although in that advocacy we aren’t all going to share the same priorities or interests. This is a good thing, it differentiates us and shows that we aren’t all the same. What matters more I think is the respect we show each other and those organisations when we disagree. That we disagree from an informed position so that those who follow us are able to explore those issues for themselves with all the information and make their own conclusions. This is the power of twitter and social media, that no longer can those who have the means and money control the conversations. That’s what it’s really about, is having conversations with each other and allowing our critical thinking ability to be engaged, to keep questioning and holding to account those that we entrust with the responsibility to govern at any level. I realise that no everyone wants to or sees the need to be political in their approach and that’s ok too. And yet still we all have thoughts and ideas and beliefs and we can all share and be part of that discussion as much or as little as we like. I like that and encourage and support everyone in that right. Thanks for your post and look forward to reading the next bit

  3. Carol Plotkin, MS, RD
    October 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply

    I’m glad you enjoyed your first FNCE! I’ve been a dietitian for over 20 years and the meetings are very inspiring! I do want to comment on your second take home thought (Haters gonna hate). The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is comprised of over 71,000 dietitians. We (the members) are the Academy. I believe that we need to let the governing body of the Academy know what is important to us. I don’t believe that RDs raising their voices against certain policies of the Academy means that we hate our organization. We want change. I know that we will probably never do away with big agrabusinesses/food manufacturers as sponsors, but I think that it is important to let the Academy know what we think about it. We should have an opinion about it. There are many with much less training and experience than we have trying to discredit our education/experience and they use big industry sponsorship to do so. They view us as contributing to the health problems in America (silly, yes, but I’ve seen this comment left on blogs). When RDs raise their voice against policies of the Academy, it’s not so much that we are being haters, rather we are hoping for change. I love being a dietitian, I love my colleagues, and I’m proud to be an Academy member, but I will always raise my voice in agreement or disagreement if it is important enough to me to do so and I hope that we all would be able to do that!

  4. Leah McGrath
    October 15, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply

    I was also appalled at the dietitians who seemed to be spending a great deal of time bashing AND during FNCE. I think there’s a time and place to voicing concerns about AND & Sponsors and doing so on Social Media during FNCE and berating speakers and people manning booths at FNCE is not time nor the place. I wonder if this crowd of “haters” as Amber so aptly called them, has the guts to run for an office at the state or regional level?

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