If you've chatted with me IRL recently, you've probably heard me talk about one of my biggest 'projects' right now: FNCE. FNCE ("Fence-y"), or the Food and Nutrition Conference/Expo, is the annual meeting of dietitians. And it's kind of taking over my life until it comes the first few days of October in Nashville. If your interested in the dietitian part of my life, please continue reading. Or if you give zero cares about that and are looking for a recipe, you'll want to bypass this post until tomorrow.
October seems far away, right? NO. NO IT DOESN'T. Since I'm speaking again this year (On personal branding- catch my session Monday at 8 AM! You can read about my talk last year here.), our outlines, slides and handouts are due to the Academy the first part of September. I'm also hosting an amazing event and that too has been in the works for weeks now because we have to stalk locations/catering/invites etc. And then there are requirements for a dietetic practice group board I sit on. Things need to be ordered or go through a lengthy approval process to get the entire board to agree on it. Or shipped a month in advance. It just sneaks up on you (like a Prius).
Needless to say, any way I can streamline or organize that packed part of my life, I am way into it. I figured there are some of you in the dietetics world who feel the same way, so I made a video on how I organize my to-do list, travel, RSVP's etc for FNCE.
The reality is there is SO much to learn about FNCE and while attending FNCE. I have many FNCEs ahead of me, so if you have a smarter way of doing one of these things, let me know! I yield to your wisdom and scheduling tactics.
FNCE 101 Tips
- If you're getting reimbursed, pull the amounts and line item numbers NOW. I keep the numbers in 'Notes' on my computer along with the direct link to the AND Expense website.
- Book your hotel IMMEDIATELY. You can always cancel or end up sharing a room. This is the worst part of FNCE: limited rooms.
- Book your early bird registration. Why not save some cash?
- Book your travel 2-ish months out. When I arrive, I like to pick the time, not be limited by what flights are left. I'm giving myself time to actually SEE the city this time.
- Make a spreadsheet for each day of events and talks. I have four rows for each day: RSVP yes, RSVP no, Possible and Required. Required is what I HAVE to attend because I'm presenting, hosting or sitting on a board. Possible is where everything goes when I get an invite until I decide. I also like to put in the RSVP drop dead date so I can respond as needed.
- Eventually block off hour by hour. I like to see what I have open and then organize time to connect with friends!
- Make a FNCE folder/tag in your email. Trust me. Inboxes explode. Find what you need FAST.
- Set up your out of office email. Do not go to FNCE without setting up your out of office email. Let people know you cannot respond or attend to what they may consider a 'RIGHT NOW' thing. If they need you, they'll call you. Tell people in advance you'll be out and they can ask what they need before you go.
- I love to pack sheath dresses and statement jewelry. It's one piece of clothing and it makes my life so much easier.
- Always pack chargers. My most important piece of equipment at FNCE is my phone because it holds my schedule, notifications etc. It's how I get everything done! Pack battery packs and wall chargers.