“After the conference, we had great thought-provoking conversations about our company. The take-away points that we found relevant became part of our strategic plan. This doesn’t happen very often — anyway not for me — and I believe it probably does not happen for many companies. The conference helped us put into action our ‘because’ in today’s changing market place.”

Deborah Campbell
Vice President of Sales
Van Eerden Foodservice


Mark the Date for IFDA SMart 2017

July 16 - 18, 2017 | Renaissance Chicago Downtown | Chicago, IL

IFDA SMart Conference

Sales & Marketing Matters! Exceptional sales and marketing provide a competitive market edge, deliver value to operator customers, ignite the passion of employees, and strengthen your brand.

2017 IFDA SMart Conference

If that resonates with you, this is the perfect conference for your sales and marketing leaders. This dynamic, peer-driven forum addresses the hottest issues facing sales and marketing pros in foodservice distribution. It also pushes the envelope with thought-provoking subjects that help you think in new and different ways about your sales and marketing.

Planning for the 2017 SMart Conference is currently underway and we will have a full agenda available in March 2017. Below are SMart Minutes featuring some of the resources from our 2016 agenda.

SMart Minute #1: Joe Tortorice - Lesson's from Jason's Deli
SMart Minute #2: Gerry O'Brion - How DSRs Can Help Customers Build a Powerful Restaurant Brand
SMart Minute #3: Every Restaurant Will Have to Adjust to New Overtime Rules
SMart Minute #4: Independent Operators: The Flourishing, the Steady, and the Vulnerable
SMart Minute #5: Can Fitness Device Psychology Help Your Sales?
SMart Minute #6: Ben E. Keith Foods on Why SMart Matters


Moving DSRs to the Next Generation of Success
To increase sales, distributors must increase the credibility of the DSR. Gerry O’Brion returns this year with a framework for DSRs to add value to the customer by providing actionable guidance for restaurant growth.

Listening and Communicating: Lessons from Jason’s Deli
Joe Tortorice, president of Jason’s Deli, will share how a culture of listening and communicating with purpose can bring enthusiasm to the workplace, draw out input from employees, and deliver tremendous results.

Skin in the Game: Collaboration Success Stories
Experts from Cash-Wa Distributing, McCain Foods USA, and KeyImpact will share success stories about collaboration and tips on setting goals so that all key players have “skin in the game” and benefit from the results.

Fostering a Culture that Embraces Innovation
Dr. Robert Carraway teaches critical thinking, innovation, optimization, and organizational structure at UVA’s Darden School of Business. He joins us to discuss how to develop a work culture that drives peek performance.

Reach‘em, Teach‘em, and Keep‘em
Are you struggling to recruit, cultivate and retain fresh talent? In this TED session, experts from Ben E. Keith Foods, Dot Foods, and the University of Houston will share success stories on reaching, training, and retaining star talent.

The Economist Who Loved Me
Anirban Basu of Sage Policy Group will provide a data-driven update on the economy with special attention to key drivers affecting the foodservice market.

Foodservice Under Fire: Activists, Government, and the Impact on the Industry
From activism for a $15 minimum wage to new overtime rules, IFDA’s Jon Eisen NCCR's Rob Green will take a look at these and other issues that are shaping foodservice.

Ignite Employee Engagement: Lessons from the Fitness Tracker Phenomenon
Scott Klososky of Future Point of View will explore how the psychology behind fitness tracker technology can translate to improved sales and higher employee engagement.

Industry Outlook for Distributors and Independent Operators
Bob Goldin of Technomic will share insights on the dynamics and needs of the independent restaurants, as learned from a recent study released by IFDA/Technomic. He will also provide an outlook of the overall industry.


Sunday, July 16

Pre-Conference Networking Event

Still in the planning stages, but we'll have something great in store in Chicago.

Monday, July 17

Opening Day

A full day of dynamic topics plus networking breakfast, lunch, and an evening reception.

Tuesday, July 18

Final Day

Our final day includes breakfast and sessions till noon.


Registration & Brochure


Registration opens in March 2017.

Hotel & Travel

Rennaissance Chicago Downtown

Join us in the Windy City for the 2017 IFDA SMart Conference.