BWS DI Marketing Manager, Maureen Daugherty attended the Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) this year in Denver, Colorado. Attending FNCE in the mile-high city was quite an experience and if you’ve ever wondered what attending FNCE is like, keep reading to find out!

Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado

What was the overall experience like?

Going to FNCE was an absolute whirlwind of an experience. As a first-time FNCE attendee, I didn’t quite know what to expect but had heard really positive things about the conference.

Before going, I enjoyed the ease of registering and booking my hotel from the list of partnered hotels in the area surrounding the Denver Convention Center. This both helped in preparing me for my stay and also saved on the cost of the trip itself.

Regarding checking in to the conference upon arrival, I had heard that there can be long lines when getting your badge, but that was not the case for me. Arriving on the day of the Opening Session allowed me to check in quickly, venture around the convention center, and get the lay of the land without having too many other priorities.

2023-2024 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President, Lauri Wright, PhD, RDN

Attending the Opening Session was also a nice way to kick off the conference and hear from the 2023-2024 Academy President, Lauri Wright, PhD, RDN and other inspiring guest speakers, such as Keynote Speaker Stedman Graham who spoke about Identity Leadership.

The next few days were a mixture of attending sessions, networking with other nutrition professionals, and dropping by the Expo Floor for a midday snack. I loved the variety of different brands and products featured, offering insight into what is trending in the food industry. Plus, getting free snacks and tote bags was a fun way to break up the day and take a break from attending sessions.

Some of the brands featured at the FNCE 2023 Expo

Each day was packed with things to do so by the end of each day, I was nearly ready to collapse into my hotel but I still made a little time to venture around Denver checking out different restaurants in the area. One of the fun elements of attending FNCE was the opportunity to explore a new city. Some of the FNCE activities even took place around Denver for those who were able to attend (like attending a yoga session at Red Rocks or a walking tour of Denver’s food and drink scene). There were other activities, like the Pre-FNCE Workshops, Learning Lounge, and Member Showcase. Due to time constraints, I was unable to add those to my schedule but is something I would consider for a future conference.

Union Station in Denver, Colorado

Overall, I found attending FNCE to be a really enjoyable and worthwhile experience between the conference itself and the location of the event. I truly felt like I made the most of the trip and it was fun to learn about the latest trends, new research, and what’s currently impacting the nutrition and dietetics profession. Also, I felt reinvigorated by being around so many other registered dietitians who have a sincere passion for the nutrition profession. Especially after a few isolating years of remote schooling and work, being in a space to connect with others was a really special part of the trip.

What types of sessions were available?

There were so many good sessions to attend regardless of which area of nutrition and dietetics you’re interested in. There were sessions available for those interested in nutrition for cancer care, pediatric nutrition, sustainability, diabetes, workplace well-being, food security, and many more! Plus, there were some trendier topics like ultra-processed foods and the battle between dairy and plant-based milks. At the end of every session, session attendees were able to submit questions and comments and it was fun to hear the differing perspectives on a variety of different topics within the nutrition and dietetics field.

FNCE 2023 Session: Breaking Burnout: A Systemic Approach to Workplace Well-Being

If you weren’t able to attend FNCE this year but would still like to check out some of the sessions, you can do so by purchasing the recorded sessions here. This is a great way to chip away at some of your CPEUs, too! You can even check out our Instagram to view the story highlights from the trip.

What opportunities were there for students? New RDs?

FNCE is a great learning opportunity for students and new RDs! There was a FNCE for Students page, which was dedicated to all the opportunities for students attending FNCE. Many nutrition students also took advantage of the Internship/Supervised Practice Fair. This was a great opportunity to connect with admissions staff and learn about some of the different dietetic internship programs available.

The BWS DI table at the NDEP Dietetic Internship and Supervised Practice Fair

New RDs would benefit from FNCE to earn CPEUs, attend sessions within their specialty or an area they’re looking to break into, network with peers, and even attend the Center for Career Opportunities to share your resume with potential employers and educational institutions.

No matter if you’re a nutrition student or a new RD, getting the chance to network with others in the field and check out a variety of sessions with various nutrition specialties is a wonderful way to learn more about all the opportunities in the dietetics profession.

One of the best moments of FNCE 2023 was connecting with other BWS DI interns and alumni! A benefit of completing a distance internship is getting to meet other future nutrition professionals from all over the country. As a new RD myself, it was fun to connect with others just starting out in their nutrition careers.

From left to right: Maureen Daugherty (Fall 2020), Katie Cole (Fall 2022), Maddy McDonough (Fall 2018), Jessica Kreger (Spring 2022).

Considerations and tips for attending FNCE…

There are a few considerations of attending FNCE that someone should be aware of before committing to go.

  • Cost: The cost is a major consideration and could be an obstacle, but attending virtually via FNCE Front Row is also an option for those wanting to save on cost while still benefitting from the live sessions. For students wanting to attend in-person, make sure to check out the Foundation Student Stipends.
  • Book Early: Due to the number of individuals attending FNCE, I would recommend registering early, booking your travel arrangements, and signing up for any activities that require registration well in advance if you know for certain you will be attending. Getting ahead of schedule when planning your trip will help you to take advantage of as many experiences as possible while also saving money at the same time.
  • Schedule your Trip: Lastly, I would recommend putting together an itinerary to help plan out sessions, activities, networking opportunities, etc. There is truly so much to do and not all that much time to do them so trying to optimize your time will allow you to make the most of your time at FNCE.

Overall, FNCE was a great experience and the BWS DI team is looking forward to FNCE 2024 in Minneapolis! If you’re interested in attending next year, you can check out FNCE 2024 details here.

Have a question? Leave a comment below, or send us an email at! Don’t forget to check out our other posts on the BWS DI Blog for helpful tips during your dietetic internship and beyond.