Agenda

Each year, our keynote speakers, panelists and master class presenters address the critical areas within the rapidly expanding and evolving Food Tourism industry.

We are excited about the engaging presenters and educational topics for 2017. There will be several programming sessions occurring simultaneously, it is recommended to bring several company representatives in order to "divide and conquer" all educational components of the conference.

Sunday

EzTix Welcome Soirée

6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Join us Sunday evening to kick-off the GFTC with great food, drink, and company. Mix and mingle with colleagues from around the globe while enjoying delicious tastings & cocktails at one of Montreal's landmark culinary venues, L'Auberge Saint-Gabriel. Nestled in the heart of Montreal's famous "Old Port", this historic inn was built in the 1600's and maintains an authentic Quebecois ambience with its dark masonry, candelabras and Mondrian inspired stained glass. The EzTix Welcome Soirée is your first networking opportunity at GFTC17 in Montreal and your chance to check-in early for the conference.

Monday

Check-in and Breakfast

7:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Check-in with the EzTix team and pick up your conference badge.

Start the day right with an included, delicious breakfast including iconic bagels and toppings from Bagel St-Viateur, a 60-year local icon in Montreal. Fruit, coffee and tea will also be served during this networking opportunity with colleagues and friends.

Opening Remarks & Welcome To #GFTC17

8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Speakers: Shane Kost

Global Food Tourism founder, Shane Kost, talks about the present and future of GFTC. He will also give you the A to Z on getting the most out of your conference experience.

Conversion or Engagement? Making Sense of The Online Marketing Ecosystem

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Speakers: Eulanda and Omo Osagiede

Keynote Session - Space A (Main Floor)

“No, I didn’t see an increase in sales, but ‘wow’ look at my engagement metrics” is a popular mantra that often leads small businesses to invest time and money into areas that can cause marketing confusion. As business owners, employees and marketers, to understand where best to invest your marketing resources, you must first understand what your brand represents. If you want to increase your conversion rates, you need to identify, learn, understand and measure how well customers move through your online ecosystem. This session will help you identify whether engagement or conversion marketing methods, or a strategic combination of both, is the most advantageous for your brand in order to maximize ROI and increase sales conversion rates. Eulanda and Omo Osagiede from HDYTI will review key takeaways, KPI's and topics including which engagement statistics correlate to conversions, how to ensure your central brand message is marketed effectively, what types of content lead to an increase in sales, practical budgeting tips for your marketing strategy and how to leverage influencer marketing to simultaneously enhance engagement and conversion marketing success.

Facebook is NOT a PR Strategy

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Speakers: Taryn Scher

Keynote Session - Space D (4th Floor)

Business leaders and staff often wonder why their competitors and colleagues are making headlines when they feel they are offering an equally great (or even better) product or service. The answer is usually quite simple: Public Relations. How would you describe your current PR strategy? If your answer runs along the lines of "We use Facebook", then its time to learn step-by-step how companies get their products, events and special announcements featured on local and national TV, newspapers, radio, national magazines and other media without paying a dime. With industry case studies and 10 easy-to-digest How-To tips and tricks, this session will teach you how to capture the media's attention and promote your business along with the Do's and Dont's when dealing with journalists and PR media. Sharing the inside scoop on the world of PR, including clients featured in O The Oprah Magazine, Fox Business News, Time Magazine and more, Taryn Scher will cover topics including pitching journalists, maximizing opportunities in your city, leveraging local tourism bureaus to host journalists, how to create newsworthy topics and converting positive press into sales.

Staying Small and Loving It: Strategies of a Boutique Culinary Tourism Business

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Speakers: Daisann McLane

Keynote Session - Space D (4th Floor)

In the travel and tourism sector, there is no 'one size fits all'. Hotels and restaurants range from 1 to 5 stars. Airlines offer economy, premium economy, business and first class. Should Food Tourism companies be any different? In this session, former New York Times and National Geographic Traveler journalist Daisann McLane will highlight the strategies that has enabled her company, Little Adventures, to achieve incredible growth in the highly competitive market of Hong Kong by breaking from the standard food tourism model and instead opting to offer high-end services to a variety of highly specialized client segments. With corporate clients ranging from Cathay Pacific to American Express and regularly hosting top celebrity chefs and restaurateurs, this session will review tactics on how electing to stay small, boutique and high-end rather than going for scale and size helped Little Adventures discover an untapped market of super-foodies and credentialed their brand as industry insider experts, all while adopting sustainable tourism strategies. Whether you're trying to or already running a scaled business model, attendees will find it valuable to adapt the product ideas and strategies from this session to add this market into your customer mix.

Supersize Me: Scaling a Tour Business in the Travel Industry

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Speakers: Stephen Oddo

Keynote Session - Space A (Main Floor)

Are you looking to create and offer multiple products? Have you considered expanding your brand into a new market or city? Do you want your company to clear over $1 million in sales per year? If you've asked these questions but aren't sure how to get to the next stage in your company’s growth, it's time to stop thinking of your business as a group of tour and event guides, and realize that you are working in the world's largest service sector industry-- travel, tourism and hospitality. This can be both a passion project and a business, but the greater business approach you take, the more people you’ll reach. In this session, Stephen Oddo will provide valuable scaling lessons and behind-the-scenes strategies and insights that allows his Walks, LLC company to employ over 50 staff members across 6 offices in 5 countries, with hundreds of products and services in the portfolio, while working with over 1,000 suppliers, vendors, contractors and tour guides that yields close to 250,000 customers per year. Learn the building blocks of scaling including organizational charting, team management and retention, risk management, financing, margins and analytics analysis, and quality control.

Spending Time in the Data Layer: People, Processes, Projects and Priorities

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Speakers: Terry Rice

Keynote Session - Space A (Main Floor)

The world of business data has evolved like no other time in history. There are more opportunities and channels available to understand and engage business data effectively in your decision-making processes. However, measuring and managing these vast amounts of data on a growing number of platforms can seem daunting despite the fact that hidden in those data points are key insights that will help you truly understand your brand and customer experience. This presentation will discuss how the decisions that we make every day impact the quantity and quality of our brands data and digital footprint: how do you prioritize your work; what tools should you invest in; when and who are you hiring; what processes are you implementing? Whether reviewing social measurement, email open rates, web analytics or sales data, learn how spending time in the data layer when you’re making people, priority, project and process decisions can have positive impacts on digital and business outcomes. You will also learn best practices for communicating with data, finding a sweet spot of the tools you’ll need to leverage and steps for implementation.

Brand Continuity: How To Create Small-Business Crisis Management & Succession Plans

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Speakers: Suzanne Urpecz

Keynote Session - Space D (4th Floor)

On May 13, 2016, Suzanne Urpecz's life and business changed forever when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the age of 34. She was immediately admitted to the hospital and underwent her first chemotherapy session days later, leaving no time to make any strategies or preparations for her Food Tourism business to continue functioning without her. All businesses, large or small, will eventually face a major crisis of some sort including health-related or death, natural disaster, financial, technological, theft, terrorism, etc. In this session, Suzanne will cover why it is of critical importance for a business to have a crisis management and succession plan, and how to develop key strategies to protect and ensure your business keeps running. The session will include tangible advice on communication procedures, policies and protocols, recovery and turnabout and how to handle a crisis while minimizing the impact. With or without a crisis occurring, leveraging her tools and best practices will help to enhance and improve your brands continuity and longevity.

Food Truck Lunch and Networking Break

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Food Trucks are a big deal in Montreal with over 60 trucks to choose from. GFTC has partnered with the #1 Rated Food Truck, Grumman 78, which specializes in outstanding tacos, fresh salads and seasonal vegetables. Gumman 78 will be parked just outside of Centre Phi promptly at 12pm and remain until 1:30pm. Lunch is not included with the Conference pass, however Grumman 78 and GFTC staff will direct attendees on where and how to place an order and make payment for a quick and efficient process. Enjoy this awesome, local Montreal experience!

Content is King: How To Build a Customer Focused Marketing Machine

1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Speakers: Joseph Martin

Master-Class Workshop - Plateau Space (Main Floor)

Brands are modern day content machines, or at least they should be. In online branding and marketing, what’s “new" changes each year, yet the forever constant will always be a quality business with quality content. Yet while quality content can help ensure the success of an organization, this also hinges on your brands ability to promote and deliver your services and products where, when and how customers want it.

Read More

The Idea Method: A Proven Framework for Clarity in Business Communication, Decision Making and Growth

1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Speakers: Dolores Hirschmann

Master-Class Workshop - Space D (4th Floor)

How often do you stare at your computer not sure what to do next or how to move forward in growing the business you run or work for? How many times do you lose track of the core idea behind the business or your role? Simon Sinek calls it your why, but Dolores Hirschmann calls it the core idea for impact. This Workshop is designed for business leaders and employees who want to begin taking intentional and assertive action towards growing a business that is aligned with its values and unique value propositions. Dolores will teach you the steps and proven framework for consistent clarity in communication and decision making, including your brands UVP and messaging, designing and committing to an action plan, and helping you to arrive to a place where there is purpose, intention and outcome(s). This is an interactive Workshop to help you find alignment between your strengths and individual brilliance, so that your role flows naturally for you within your brand while also uncovering and engaging in a clear marketing voice that is authentic and distinctive to your market.

SEO 101 – Optimize Your Google Ranking Like a Pro

1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Speakers: Casey Markee

Master-Class Workshop - Space A (Main Floor)

SEO is the most powerful key to unlocking your business websites potential to drive traffic and bottom line referrals. Yet the Search Engine Optimization landscape is constantly shifting and can be very confusing. With millions of sites to rank and only ten first-page results per search engine query, things can get discouraging very fast. The ability to implement a SEO strategy and measure the impact in driving website visits has moved from “nice to have” to “required” amongst all leading brands. In this Workshop, SEO and Wordpress expert Casey Markee will cover the ins and outs of Google, and search engines in general, while teaching the tactics and methods that will help you understand what it takes to rank competitively. Divided into two parts, Casey will first provide a basic introduction to SEO Best Practices with topics including blogging and content, Google’s algorithm, page speed, link-building and on-page optimization. The second part of the session will focus on advanced topics including recommended performance plugins, positive and negative ranking factors, leveraging Wordpress for optimal results, competitive keyword research and the importance of Google Search Console. SEO is a marathon not a sprint- learn how to run the race effectively and with the best chance of victory.

City Host Tribute Experience by Local Montreal

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Join GFTC colleagues, speakers and partners at the official Monday evening event produced by this years City Hosts, Local Montreal Food Tours. The City Host Tribute Experience is a unique food and cultural experience carefully crafted and curated specifically for the Global Food Tourism community.  

These experience are not included in with GFTC17 registration. Friends and family of attendees are welcome to register for these experiences!

Get tickets before they are sold out. Buy today! Click here.

Read More

Tuesday

Breakfast & Networking

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Join your collegues on the final day of GFTC17 with an included breakfast served from Boulangerie chez Guillaume, Montreal's premiere artisan bakery featured on GFTC17 City Hosts Local Montreal Tours. Fruit, coffee and tea will also be served during this networking opportunity with new and old colleagues.

Breaking Onto the Beaten Path: Exposing Unsung Food Scenes

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Speakers: Ashley Day

Keynote Session - Space D (4th Floor)

When traveling to report on a food location or assigning a story to a contributor, USA Today Eats editor Ashley Day looks for a well-rounded scene that incorporates the community, stories and immersion that defines and distinguishes the destination's flavor. Seeking not only restaurants for dinner, but great experiential options such as markets, artisanal makers, breweries, distilleries, wineries and trademark flavors. In this session, Ashley will share the surprising stories from her travels that have warranted reporting (and return trips) and what she finds food-driven visitors are craving today. She’ll provide insight on how to expose the ingredients of a food scene that have nothing to do with its domestic or global popularity and offer tips on the best way to share these types of authentic experiences. Additional topics include ideas for what to uncover and share beyond restaurants, how to trace your scenes' roots to help define a sense of place and how it influences the local food and drink, a better understanding of determining what’s most effective in food travel while providing examples of what stands out in memorable food scenes.

Understanding the Consumer Food Psyche: The Undiscovered Key to Unforgettable Food Experiences

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Speakers: Sophie Egan

Keynote Session - Space D (4th Floor)

Weaving together history, food psychology, and insights from the fields of behavioral economics and consumer attitudes, journalist and author Sophie Egan will reveal the values that shape our eating habits, for better and for worse, and the impact it has across international borders. Between Sad Desk Lunch, customized food choices, and eating alone and on the go, when consumers do finally check out from the daily grind, they are in desperate need of experiences that nourish both their bodies and souls. The resulting implications of primarily U.S.-based insights and research reach far beyond American borders, helping to distinguish the elements that are universal to human nature versus unique to American culture. Audience members will leave equipped to distinguish fads (short-term, fleeting, and soon to disappear) from trends (long-term, based on generations of shared values, here to stay), explore topics including commensality and conviviality, hear predictions about the desire for food experiences that are casual and personal, novel and familiar, as well as consumers’ ever-expanding daringness and the idea of the “experiential resume.” Take-aways from her presentation will help position your food tourism platform to offer what consumers are truly looking for in a food experience—now, and in the long run.

Leaders Digest: Food Tourism and The Art of Storyfinding®

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Speakers: Warren Etheredge

Keynote Session - Space D (4th Floor)

A story is like a recipe — there are specific ingredients and proven methods for how to best prepare and serve it. A chef must also rely on experience and listening to those who have sampled the meal before in order to deliver the best outcome later. In this Keynote session, Storyfinder® Warren Etheredge will share tips and techniques for the most savory stories, encouraging the audience to "taste" along the way while providing insight on how to concoct and present memorable stories that will entice your audience and fully sate them, ensuring they keep coming back for more. Warren will share his expertise on three critical arts, including: Art of Listening- tips for how best to actively listen to colleagues, employees, and clients; Art of Storyfinding®- skills for finding stories of your own and those of your customers; Art of Storytelling- building blocks for constructing and delivering winning stories, including his patented Conflict Grid® method. By the end of this final keynote presentation, you’ll leave knowing how to listen to others in order to discover how to find the best stories in order to realize how to tell the stories.

Meet the Author: Sophie Egan “Devoured: From Chicken Wings to Kale Smoothies– How What We Eat Defines Who We Are”

11:50 AM - 12:30 PM

Speakers: Sophie Egan

Book Signing Session - Plateau Space (Main Floor)

Keynote speaker and author Sophie Egan will be available for a meet and greet in Plateau Space immediately following the final Keynote speaker session to learn more about her book "Devoured" and her role as a food writer and program director of The Culinary Institute of America.  Sophie will be signing bookplates and answering questions about her book and the role food plays in consumer decisions.

About "Devoured":

A provocative look at how and what Americans eat and why—a flavorful blend of "The Omnivore’s Dilemma", "Salt Sugar Fat", and "Freakonomics" that reveals how the way we live shapes the way we eat.

Food writer and Culinary Institute of America program director Sophie Egan takes readers on an eye-opening journey through the American food psyche, examining the connections between the values that define our national character—work, freedom, and progress—and our eating habits, the good and the bad. Egan explores why these values make for such an unstable, and often unhealthy, food culture and, paradoxically, why they also make America’s cuisine so great.

Egan raises a host of intriguing questions: Why does McDonald’s have 107 items on its menu? Why are breakfast sandwiches, protein bars, and gluten-free anything so popular? Will bland, soulless meal replacements like Soylent revolutionize our definition of a meal? The search for answers takes her across the culinary landscape, from the prioritization of convenience over health to the unintended consequences of “perks” like free meals for employees; from the American obsession with “having it our way” to the surge of Starbucks, Chipotle, and other chains individualizing the eating experience; from high culture—artisan and organic and what exactly “natural” means—to low culture—the sale of 100 million Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos in ten weeks. She also looks at how America’s cuisine—like the nation itself—has been shaped by diverse influences from across the globe.

"Devoured" weaves together insights from the fields of psychology, anthropology, food science, and behavioral economics as well as myriad examples from daily life to create a powerful and unique look at food in America.

Open Lunch & Networking Break

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Centre Phi is in the heart of Old Montreal, with incredible lunch options all within walking distance and we want you to get out and explore this wonderful part of Montreal!  GFTC City Hosts Local Montreal have put together a top-notch list of their favorite locations for you to consider for this Open Lunch & Networking Break.  

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Ticketing & Technology Workshop – EzTix Intensive

1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Speakers: Jeremy Mitchell

Join the EzTix team, including CEO Jeremy Mitchell, for an intensive Technology Workshop designed to help you learn more and make the most of your ticketing platform and available options.

Open to all attendees, learn how to truly leverage the automation and features available to help your business save time while taking your business to the next level. EzTix will be announcing new technology enhancements and major software updates that will have considerable impact on the Food Tourism industry for years to come.

Official GFTC Awards & After Party

6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Relax after the conference with new found friends and colleagues as we celebrate industry successes with an award ceremony and the conference after party.

6:00 PM - 6:30 PM - Conference Close
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM - Awards Ceremony
7:30 PM - 10:00 PM - After-Party

The Official GFTC Awards & After-Party is included with conference registration. Friends and Family of conference attendees wishing to attend must purchase separate friends and family passes.

Tickets include food and 2 drink vouchers. Cash bar will be available during the After-Party.

Sunday

EzTix Welcome Soirée

6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Join us Sunday evening to kick-off the GFTC with great food, drink, and company. Mix and mingle with colleagues from around the globe while enjoying delicious tastings & cocktails at one of Montreal's landmark culinary venues, L'Auberge Saint-Gabriel. Nestled in the heart of Montreal's famous "Old Port", this historic inn was built in the 1600's and maintains an authentic Quebecois ambience with its dark masonry, candelabras and Mondrian inspired stained glass. The EzTix Welcome Soirée is your first networking opportunity at GFTC17 in Montreal and your chance to check-in early for the conference.

Monday

Check-in and Breakfast

7:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Check-in with the EzTix team and pick up your conference badge.

Start the day right with an included, delicious breakfast including iconic bagels and toppings from Bagel St-Viateur, a 60-year local icon in Montreal. Fruit, coffee and tea will also be served during this networking opportunity with colleagues and friends.

Opening Remarks & Welcome To #GFTC17

8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Speakers: Shane Kost

Global Food Tourism founder, Shane Kost, talks about the present and future of GFTC. He will also give you the A to Z on getting the most out of your conference experience.

Conversion or Engagement? Making Sense of The Online Marketing Ecosystem

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Speakers: Eulanda and Omo Osagiede

Keynote Session - Space A (Main Floor)

“No, I didn’t see an increase in sales, but ‘wow’ look at my engagement metrics” is a popular mantra that often leads small businesses to invest time and money into areas that can cause marketing confusion. As business owners, employees and marketers, to understand where best to invest your marketing resources, you must first understand what your brand represents. If you want to increase your conversion rates, you need to identify, learn, understand and measure how well customers move through your online ecosystem. This session will help you identify whether engagement or conversion marketing methods, or a strategic combination of both, is the most advantageous for your brand in order to maximize ROI and increase sales conversion rates. Eulanda and Omo Osagiede from HDYTI will review key takeaways, KPI's and topics including which engagement statistics correlate to conversions, how to ensure your central brand message is marketed effectively, what types of content lead to an increase in sales, practical budgeting tips for your marketing strategy and how to leverage influencer marketing to simultaneously enhance engagement and conversion marketing success.

Facebook is NOT a PR Strategy

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Speakers: Taryn Scher

Keynote Session - Space D (4th Floor)

Business leaders and staff often wonder why their competitors and colleagues are making headlines when they feel they are offering an equally great (or even better) product or service. The answer is usually quite simple: Public Relations. How would you describe your current PR strategy? If your answer runs along the lines of "We use Facebook", then its time to learn step-by-step how companies get their products, events and special announcements featured on local and national TV, newspapers, radio, national magazines and other media without paying a dime. With industry case studies and 10 easy-to-digest How-To tips and tricks, this session will teach you how to capture the media's attention and promote your business along with the Do's and Dont's when dealing with journalists and PR media. Sharing the inside scoop on the world of PR, including clients featured in O The Oprah Magazine, Fox Business News, Time Magazine and more, Taryn Scher will cover topics including pitching journalists, maximizing opportunities in your city, leveraging local tourism bureaus to host journalists, how to create newsworthy topics and converting positive press into sales.

Staying Small and Loving It: Strategies of a Boutique Culinary Tourism Business

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Speakers: Daisann McLane

Keynote Session - Space D (4th Floor)

In the travel and tourism sector, there is no 'one size fits all'. Hotels and restaurants range from 1 to 5 stars. Airlines offer economy, premium economy, business and first class. Should Food Tourism companies be any different? In this session, former New York Times and National Geographic Traveler journalist Daisann McLane will highlight the strategies that has enabled her company, Little Adventures, to achieve incredible growth in the highly competitive market of Hong Kong by breaking from the standard food tourism model and instead opting to offer high-end services to a variety of highly specialized client segments. With corporate clients ranging from Cathay Pacific to American Express and regularly hosting top celebrity chefs and restaurateurs, this session will review tactics on how electing to stay small, boutique and high-end rather than going for scale and size helped Little Adventures discover an untapped market of super-foodies and credentialed their brand as industry insider experts, all while adopting sustainable tourism strategies. Whether you're trying to or already running a scaled business model, attendees will find it valuable to adapt the product ideas and strategies from this session to add this market into your customer mix.

Supersize Me: Scaling a Tour Business in the Travel Industry

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Speakers: Stephen Oddo

Keynote Session - Space A (Main Floor)

Are you looking to create and offer multiple products? Have you considered expanding your brand into a new market or city? Do you want your company to clear over $1 million in sales per year? If you've asked these questions but aren't sure how to get to the next stage in your company’s growth, it's time to stop thinking of your business as a group of tour and event guides, and realize that you are working in the world's largest service sector industry-- travel, tourism and hospitality. This can be both a passion project and a business, but the greater business approach you take, the more people you’ll reach. In this session, Stephen Oddo will provide valuable scaling lessons and behind-the-scenes strategies and insights that allows his Walks, LLC company to employ over 50 staff members across 6 offices in 5 countries, with hundreds of products and services in the portfolio, while working with over 1,000 suppliers, vendors, contractors and tour guides that yields close to 250,000 customers per year. Learn the building blocks of scaling including organizational charting, team management and retention, risk management, financing, margins and analytics analysis, and quality control.

Spending Time in the Data Layer: People, Processes, Projects and Priorities

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Speakers: Terry Rice

Keynote Session - Space A (Main Floor)

The world of business data has evolved like no other time in history. There are more opportunities and channels available to understand and engage business data effectively in your decision-making processes. However, measuring and managing these vast amounts of data on a growing number of platforms can seem daunting despite the fact that hidden in those data points are key insights that will help you truly understand your brand and customer experience. This presentation will discuss how the decisions that we make every day impact the quantity and quality of our brands data and digital footprint: how do you prioritize your work; what tools should you invest in; when and who are you hiring; what processes are you implementing? Whether reviewing social measurement, email open rates, web analytics or sales data, learn how spending time in the data layer when you’re making people, priority, project and process decisions can have positive impacts on digital and business outcomes. You will also learn best practices for communicating with data, finding a sweet spot of the tools you’ll need to leverage and steps for implementation.

Brand Continuity: How To Create Small-Business Crisis Management & Succession Plans

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Speakers: Suzanne Urpecz

Keynote Session - Space D (4th Floor)

On May 13, 2016, Suzanne Urpecz's life and business changed forever when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the age of 34. She was immediately admitted to the hospital and underwent her first chemotherapy session days later, leaving no time to make any strategies or preparations for her Food Tourism business to continue functioning without her. All businesses, large or small, will eventually face a major crisis of some sort including health-related or death, natural disaster, financial, technological, theft, terrorism, etc. In this session, Suzanne will cover why it is of critical importance for a business to have a crisis management and succession plan, and how to develop key strategies to protect and ensure your business keeps running. The session will include tangible advice on communication procedures, policies and protocols, recovery and turnabout and how to handle a crisis while minimizing the impact. With or without a crisis occurring, leveraging her tools and best practices will help to enhance and improve your brands continuity and longevity.

Food Truck Lunch and Networking Break

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Food Trucks are a big deal in Montreal with over 60 trucks to choose from. GFTC has partnered with the #1 Rated Food Truck, Grumman 78, which specializes in outstanding tacos, fresh salads and seasonal vegetables. Gumman 78 will be parked just outside of Centre Phi promptly at 12pm and remain until 1:30pm. Lunch is not included with the Conference pass, however Grumman 78 and GFTC staff will direct attendees on where and how to place an order and make payment for a quick and efficient process. Enjoy this awesome, local Montreal experience!

Content is King: How To Build a Customer Focused Marketing Machine

1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Speakers: Joseph Martin

Master-Class Workshop - Plateau Space (Main Floor)

Brands are modern day content machines, or at least they should be. In online branding and marketing, what’s “new" changes each year, yet the forever constant will always be a quality business with quality content. Yet while quality content can help ensure the success of an organization, this also hinges on your brands ability to promote and deliver your services and products where, when and how customers want it.

Read More

The Idea Method: A Proven Framework for Clarity in Business Communication, Decision Making and Growth

1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Speakers: Dolores Hirschmann

Master-Class Workshop - Space D (4th Floor)

How often do you stare at your computer not sure what to do next or how to move forward in growing the business you run or work for? How many times do you lose track of the core idea behind the business or your role? Simon Sinek calls it your why, but Dolores Hirschmann calls it the core idea for impact. This Workshop is designed for business leaders and employees who want to begin taking intentional and assertive action towards growing a business that is aligned with its values and unique value propositions. Dolores will teach you the steps and proven framework for consistent clarity in communication and decision making, including your brands UVP and messaging, designing and committing to an action plan, and helping you to arrive to a place where there is purpose, intention and outcome(s). This is an interactive Workshop to help you find alignment between your strengths and individual brilliance, so that your role flows naturally for you within your brand while also uncovering and engaging in a clear marketing voice that is authentic and distinctive to your market.

SEO 101 – Optimize Your Google Ranking Like a Pro

1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Speakers: Casey Markee

Master-Class Workshop - Space A (Main Floor)

SEO is the most powerful key to unlocking your business websites potential to drive traffic and bottom line referrals. Yet the Search Engine Optimization landscape is constantly shifting and can be very confusing. With millions of sites to rank and only ten first-page results per search engine query, things can get discouraging very fast. The ability to implement a SEO strategy and measure the impact in driving website visits has moved from “nice to have” to “required” amongst all leading brands. In this Workshop, SEO and Wordpress expert Casey Markee will cover the ins and outs of Google, and search engines in general, while teaching the tactics and methods that will help you understand what it takes to rank competitively. Divided into two parts, Casey will first provide a basic introduction to SEO Best Practices with topics including blogging and content, Google’s algorithm, page speed, link-building and on-page optimization. The second part of the session will focus on advanced topics including recommended performance plugins, positive and negative ranking factors, leveraging Wordpress for optimal results, competitive keyword research and the importance of Google Search Console. SEO is a marathon not a sprint- learn how to run the race effectively and with the best chance of victory.

City Host Tribute Experience by Local Montreal

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Join GFTC colleagues, speakers and partners at the official Monday evening event produced by this years City Hosts, Local Montreal Food Tours. The City Host Tribute Experience is a unique food and cultural experience carefully crafted and curated specifically for the Global Food Tourism community.  

These experience are not included in with GFTC17 registration. Friends and family of attendees are welcome to register for these experiences!

Get tickets before they are sold out. Buy today! Click here.

Read More

Tuesday

Breakfast & Networking

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Join your collegues on the final day of GFTC17 with an included breakfast served from Boulangerie chez Guillaume, Montreal's premiere artisan bakery featured on GFTC17 City Hosts Local Montreal Tours. Fruit, coffee and tea will also be served during this networking opportunity with new and old colleagues.

Breaking Onto the Beaten Path: Exposing Unsung Food Scenes

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Speakers: Ashley Day

Keynote Session - Space D (4th Floor)

When traveling to report on a food location or assigning a story to a contributor, USA Today Eats editor Ashley Day looks for a well-rounded scene that incorporates the community, stories and immersion that defines and distinguishes the destination's flavor. Seeking not only restaurants for dinner, but great experiential options such as markets, artisanal makers, breweries, distilleries, wineries and trademark flavors. In this session, Ashley will share the surprising stories from her travels that have warranted reporting (and return trips) and what she finds food-driven visitors are craving today. She’ll provide insight on how to expose the ingredients of a food scene that have nothing to do with its domestic or global popularity and offer tips on the best way to share these types of authentic experiences. Additional topics include ideas for what to uncover and share beyond restaurants, how to trace your scenes' roots to help define a sense of place and how it influences the local food and drink, a better understanding of determining what’s most effective in food travel while providing examples of what stands out in memorable food scenes.

Understanding the Consumer Food Psyche: The Undiscovered Key to Unforgettable Food Experiences

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Speakers: Sophie Egan

Keynote Session - Space D (4th Floor)

Weaving together history, food psychology, and insights from the fields of behavioral economics and consumer attitudes, journalist and author Sophie Egan will reveal the values that shape our eating habits, for better and for worse, and the impact it has across international borders. Between Sad Desk Lunch, customized food choices, and eating alone and on the go, when consumers do finally check out from the daily grind, they are in desperate need of experiences that nourish both their bodies and souls. The resulting implications of primarily U.S.-based insights and research reach far beyond American borders, helping to distinguish the elements that are universal to human nature versus unique to American culture. Audience members will leave equipped to distinguish fads (short-term, fleeting, and soon to disappear) from trends (long-term, based on generations of shared values, here to stay), explore topics including commensality and conviviality, hear predictions about the desire for food experiences that are casual and personal, novel and familiar, as well as consumers’ ever-expanding daringness and the idea of the “experiential resume.” Take-aways from her presentation will help position your food tourism platform to offer what consumers are truly looking for in a food experience—now, and in the long run.

Leaders Digest: Food Tourism and The Art of Storyfinding®

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Speakers: Warren Etheredge

Keynote Session - Space D (4th Floor)

A story is like a recipe — there are specific ingredients and proven methods for how to best prepare and serve it. A chef must also rely on experience and listening to those who have sampled the meal before in order to deliver the best outcome later. In this Keynote session, Storyfinder® Warren Etheredge will share tips and techniques for the most savory stories, encouraging the audience to "taste" along the way while providing insight on how to concoct and present memorable stories that will entice your audience and fully sate them, ensuring they keep coming back for more. Warren will share his expertise on three critical arts, including: Art of Listening- tips for how best to actively listen to colleagues, employees, and clients; Art of Storyfinding®- skills for finding stories of your own and those of your customers; Art of Storytelling- building blocks for constructing and delivering winning stories, including his patented Conflict Grid® method. By the end of this final keynote presentation, you’ll leave knowing how to listen to others in order to discover how to find the best stories in order to realize how to tell the stories.

Meet the Author: Sophie Egan “Devoured: From Chicken Wings to Kale Smoothies– How What We Eat Defines Who We Are”

11:50 AM - 12:30 PM

Speakers: Sophie Egan

Book Signing Session - Plateau Space (Main Floor)

Keynote speaker and author Sophie Egan will be available for a meet and greet in Plateau Space immediately following the final Keynote speaker session to learn more about her book "Devoured" and her role as a food writer and program director of The Culinary Institute of America.  Sophie will be signing bookplates and answering questions about her book and the role food plays in consumer decisions.

About "Devoured":

A provocative look at how and what Americans eat and why—a flavorful blend of "The Omnivore’s Dilemma", "Salt Sugar Fat", and "Freakonomics" that reveals how the way we live shapes the way we eat.

Food writer and Culinary Institute of America program director Sophie Egan takes readers on an eye-opening journey through the American food psyche, examining the connections between the values that define our national character—work, freedom, and progress—and our eating habits, the good and the bad. Egan explores why these values make for such an unstable, and often unhealthy, food culture and, paradoxically, why they also make America’s cuisine so great.

Egan raises a host of intriguing questions: Why does McDonald’s have 107 items on its menu? Why are breakfast sandwiches, protein bars, and gluten-free anything so popular? Will bland, soulless meal replacements like Soylent revolutionize our definition of a meal? The search for answers takes her across the culinary landscape, from the prioritization of convenience over health to the unintended consequences of “perks” like free meals for employees; from the American obsession with “having it our way” to the surge of Starbucks, Chipotle, and other chains individualizing the eating experience; from high culture—artisan and organic and what exactly “natural” means—to low culture—the sale of 100 million Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos in ten weeks. She also looks at how America’s cuisine—like the nation itself—has been shaped by diverse influences from across the globe.

"Devoured" weaves together insights from the fields of psychology, anthropology, food science, and behavioral economics as well as myriad examples from daily life to create a powerful and unique look at food in America.

Open Lunch & Networking Break

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Centre Phi is in the heart of Old Montreal, with incredible lunch options all within walking distance and we want you to get out and explore this wonderful part of Montreal!  GFTC City Hosts Local Montreal have put together a top-notch list of their favorite locations for you to consider for this Open Lunch & Networking Break.  

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Ticketing & Technology Workshop – EzTix Intensive

1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Speakers: Jeremy Mitchell

Join the EzTix team, including CEO Jeremy Mitchell, for an intensive Technology Workshop designed to help you learn more and make the most of your ticketing platform and available options.

Open to all attendees, learn how to truly leverage the automation and features available to help your business save time while taking your business to the next level. EzTix will be announcing new technology enhancements and major software updates that will have considerable impact on the Food Tourism industry for years to come.

Official GFTC Awards & After Party

6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Relax after the conference with new found friends and colleagues as we celebrate industry successes with an award ceremony and the conference after party.

6:00 PM - 6:30 PM - Conference Close
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM - Awards Ceremony
7:30 PM - 10:00 PM - After-Party

The Official GFTC Awards & After-Party is included with conference registration. Friends and Family of conference attendees wishing to attend must purchase separate friends and family passes.

Tickets include food and 2 drink vouchers. Cash bar will be available during the After-Party.

Presenters

The #GFTC17 agenda format includes several programming sessions occurring simultaneously, it is recommended to bring several company representatives in order to "divide and conquer" all educational components of the conference.

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