Are you attending ANC 18 in Las Vegas this year? We are, and we’d love to see you there! ANC (Annual National Conference) is SNA’s School Nutrition event of the year! With over 7,000 attendees and hundreds of exhibitors in the second week of July, it’s bound to be even more exciting and informative than previous years!

ANC 18 Las Vegas will host more than 120 education sessions over four days, from food allergy management, to food safety in schools, to farm-to-school programs, to forecasting. Whatever your role and interest in school nutrition, ANC has you covered.

How can you get the most of your trip to ANC 18? We’ve got a few tips and tricks to help.

First, get organized. Do you have everything you need for ANC 18? Registration confirmation and hotel confirmation are the big ones. Are you Ubering? Getting a taxi? Sharing a ride with co-workers? Get a basic plan figured out. Las Vegas can be a little crazy, but having a plan and being organized can make a big difference.

Second, plan ahead. What sessions will be the most beneficial to you? What will be the most interesting? Look at the ANC 18 session schedule to find the perfect mix of sessions for you and your goals. Aside from education and training credits, what about people and networking? Who else will be attending? Are there any vendors you’ve been wanting to meet in person? Software you’ve been wanting to get a look at (we’re big fans of school nutrition software!)? Hardware that’s been catching your eye? New food products? Or maybe you’d like to catch up with some colleagues you’ve met from across the country over the years attending ANC. Whatever the case, have some sort of a goal or list in mind of contacts to meet.

Third, make sure you’ve packed comfortable shoes and clothing to give you some flexibility. Any trade show–especially a large, national trade show like ANC–requires a lot of standing and a lot of walking. Make sure your footwear can handle it! Las Vegas in July can see some killer heat, so you’ll need cool clothing when you’re outside, but maybe a light jacket for the highly air-conditioned convention center.

Fourth, make sure you’ve packed a lot of business cards, breath mints, and hand sanitizer (bet you never thought you’d see those three items in the same sentence!). Even with ANC badges and badge scanners at the event, exchanging business cards can still be the easiest way to exchange information. Jot down whatever information you can about the person right after you chat; you’ll be meeting so many folks at ANC 18 that any notes that can jog your memory after the fact will help. Breath mints and hand sanitizer are just a smart move when you’ll be in a room with 7,000 other people in close quarters and shaking lots of hands.

Lastly, download the ANC 18 app by searching iTunes or Google Play for “SNA Events.” The app will help you build your own agenda, evaluate education sessions, explore the floorplan of the show floor, message attendees and join discussion groups, and receive alerts and schedule changes.

Outside of ANC 18, Las Vegas provides a ton of entertainment and dining options. From the ANC-planned Cirque du Soleil “One” event to O to Gwen Stefani to Mariah Carey, there’s a show to appease any taste. Buffets seem to be one of the classic food options in Las Vegas, catering to all different styles, budgets, and cuisines.

One of the great benefits of shows like these is getting to spend time with colleagues while traveling together, so while you will be learning and networking during your time in Las Vegas, you can also take advantage of the beautiful scenery around you and have fun with friends!

Health-e Pro will be at booth #1587 and we would love to see you, so stop by and say hello. Whether you have a question, want to see what’s new, or would like to watch a demo, we would love to have you!

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