2019 Specialty Food Business Summit Highlights
As people arrived at the Hilton Rosemont O’Hare on Sunday afternoon to attend the first day of Specialty Food Business Summit programming—a Finance 101 short course—it was clear that they were excited to learn. That eagerness carried through the next two days in Chicago, with more than 25 speakers sharing their knowledge and insight on a variety of topics, from strategic planning and getting free publicity for your brand, to growth hacking and exploring new markets for your products.
The Specialty Food Association designed this year’s Business Summit to give people the tools they need to spark growth in their businesses, and oh, how the sparks did fly. Here are some highlights:
- During his opening keynote, Clayton Christopher, of CAVU Ventures and founder of Sweet Leaf Tea and Deep Eddy Vodka, shared inspirational words on entrepreneurship and the secret to success: persistence, patience, humility, and hunger.
- Dave Donnan of AT Kearney talked about mapping a business strategy and remembering that attention is most important feature. “Strategy is really, really, really simple. It’s about focus and discipline. Strategy means setting priorities.”
- Dhaval Patel, a growth hacking consultant, walked attendees through how to use growth hacking as a means to build viral buzz. His seven digital marketing hacks provided tips to skyrocket traffic, leads, and sales.
- Sessions on managing risk and unlocking profit through freight and logistics gave people real-world insight into some of the grittier aspects of running a business.
- Jack Acree, of Saffron Road Foods, and Andrew Lynch and Todd Tedder, of Zipline Logistics, provided tips on how to do freight correctly, and how it can add to your bottom line.
- A panel on managing risk gave attendees an in-depth look at topics that can seem daunting: the importance of proper insurance and understanding trademark and claims. Pro-tips: don’t make claims about competitors’ products; when it comes to creating a new brand name, a made-up name is best.
If you missed out on the Specialty Food Business Summit, you can purchase and download the sessions in our Online Learning Center.