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VA Food & Beverage Expo 2010 logo.

Monday, March 4 – Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Jefferson Hotel
101 W. Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23220

2013 Theme:Power Up!Your pitch, your sales, your product line!

Register to Attend
Conference Highlights

Conference Schedule

Featured Presenters
Hotel Reservations

Contact Us

Photo of the Food and Beverage Expo.A unique marketing, educational and networking event for Virginia’s specialty food and beverage industry.
*Special Bonus:  Pitch your products to key buyers during a “Power Pitch to Buyers” program.

Virginia’s Specialty Food Advisory Committee (SFAC), in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), is pleased to present the 2013 Virginia Specialty Food and Beverage Educational Conference. The annual conference unites members of Virginia’s specialty food and beverage industry, including owners and representatives of new and veteran specialty food and beverage manufacturing firms, food distribution companies and retailers. The annual two-day educational program provides Virginia food and beverage producers with specific tools to help grow their companies and expand their customer base.    Nationally recognized industry experts host seminars and workshops focused on specialty food retailing trends, food safety, understanding product pricing and business financial essentials, moving products to the marketplace and proven marketing strategies, among other key topics. Attendees leave the conference with several practical ideas and techniques to take back and implement immediately.

Register to Attend

We are pleased that you will be attending the 2013 Virginia Specialty Food and Beverage Educational Conference at The Jefferson Hotel. 

The conference package includes all presentations, programs, workshops, as well as Monday breakfast, Monday lunch, Monday dinner, Tuesday breakfast and Tuesday lunch.
Conference fee = $199
Conference fee for each additional company representative = $175

To attend, please e-mail or call 804.786.2112.

Make checks payable to: 
Virginia Food and Beverage Association (VFaBA)
And send to:
Educational Conference
Olivia Wilson
VA Dept. of Agriculture-Office of Promotions
102 Governor Street
Richmond, VA 23219

* Your hotel room is an additional fee that you will pay directly to The Jefferson Hotel.
To make your hotel reservations click here.

Conference Highlights

Power Up!  Your pitch, your sales, your product line!

You helped create this powerful agenda for 2013, complete with presentations from heavy hitters from sales, marketing and food safety.  New for 2013 - the conference will include several hours of serious one-on-one business talks between you and carefully recruited buyers.  We call this segment “Power Pitch to Buyers.”

Monday, March 4 is “Marketing Monday.”  Not one, not two, but three..3...dynamic coaches will bring their decades of experience in innovative marketing and sales, showing you how to grow profitable categories, conduct business with brokers and distributors and energize your pitch to attract the buyers and audience you so desire.  What does it take to succeed in sales these days?  How do you attract the likes of the Food Network or QVC?  That kind of national interest will no doubt impact local buying decisions.  These answers and more will be answered for you on Monday, plus a visit from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT).  There will be plenty of time for group networking, sharing of best practices and potential sale opportunities.

Tuesday, the morning focus will be Food Safety, specifically how the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) impacts your business.  Dr. Rob Williams from Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science and Technology teams up with professional food technologist Anne Barker-Smith to review the latest requirements and help you develop your own food safety system, especially important for those of you working with co-packers.  Because so many of your businesses intersect with co-packers, the morning program will round out with a panel discussion on “Conducting Business with Co-Packers.”  Finding the right co-packer, contract requirements, developing a long-term partnership, these topics and more will be front and center during this portion of the conference.
Brand new for the 2013 conference – extended hours on Tuesday afternoon for the “Power Pitch to Buyers” program.  You may have heard of the NASFT’s “Business Builders” program.  Well, this is Virginia’s equivalent.  Virginia’s “Power Pitch to Buyers” will allow conference attendees to pre-schedule five to ten minutes each for one-on-one time with carefully recruited buyers who will be sitting at tables inside one of the conference rooms.  You’ll pitch your company or product and attempt to gain a contact for a follow-up meeting.  The “Power Pitch to Buyers” program will only be open to conference attendees.  This extended program will run from 1 – 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Conference Schedule

(Preliminary) Conference Schedule

Monday, March 4, 2013

8:30 – 9:30 am:  Registration Opens – Group Networking Breakfast
9:30 – 10:15 am:  Welcome and Morning Keynote Presentation
10:15 – 11:00 am:  Bonding with Brokers and Distributors, Deb Mazzaferro
11:00 – 11:15 am:  Break
11:15 – 12:00 noon:  Bonding with Brokers and Distributors (continued)
12:00 – 1:30 pm:  Group Lunch
1:30 – 2:30 pm:  Food Network..QVC..Maybe Me?!, Tim Forrest
2:30 – 2:45 pm:  Break
2:45 – 3:30 pm: The Right Recipe to Close the Sale,  Joan Bowling
3:30 – 4:00 pm:  Ice Breakers
4:00 – 5:00 pm:  State of the Specialty Food Industry, NASFT
5:00 – 6:00 pm:  Networking
6:00 – 8:00 pm:  Group Dinner

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
7:30 – 8:30 am:  Group Breakfast/Networking
8:30 – 8:40 am:  Opening Remarks
8:40 – 9:30 am:  Food Safety, Dr. Rob Williams, Virginia Tech
9:30 – 9:45 am: Break
9:45 – 10:45 am: How to Prepare and Enforce Supplier Agreements, Anne Barker-Smith
10:45 – 11:00 am:  Break
11:00 – 12:00 noon:  Conducting Business with Co-Packers – Panel
12:00 – 1:00 pm:  Group Lunch
1:00 – 5:00 pm:  Power Pitch to Buyers

Featured Presenters

Deb Mazzaferro

Tim Forrest

Joan Bowling

Dr. Rob Williams

Anne Barker-Smith

Tim Ashman

Pete Booker

Hotel Reservations

Your conference program fee of $199 includes all workshops, presentations, Monday breakfast, Monday lunch, Monday dinner and Tuesday breakfast.  Your hotel room is an additional fee that you will pay directly to The Jefferson Hotel.

Conference planners have reserved a block of hotel rooms at a special group discounted rate for conference guests. All hotel room reservations must be received on or before Friday, February 1, 2013. Reservations received after this date will be accepted on a space available basis only. Group rate may not be available and rack rate may apply.

Special Room Rate:  $120.00 per night
All rates are subject to state and local taxes.

The Jefferson Hotel
101 West Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Hotel Phone:  804.649.4750; 888.918.1895
To make your reservation, click here.
*Be sure to include Group Code:  VFBA0304G

Overnight Valet Parking = $16.00
Overnight Self-Parking = $12.00

Check-In Time:  3:00 p.m.
Check-Out Time:  12:00 p.m.
Luggage storage is available for early arrivals.

Contact Us

Olivia Wilson
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Office of Promotions

Phone:  804.786.2112

Lisa Lloyd
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Office of Promotions

Phone:  804.786.4278

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