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12 Networking Tips for Culinary Conventions

Jacky Hayward | Chef's Blade

Know the Layout


You’ll spend a lot of time just getting from place to place at a conference, so it pays to learn the lay of the land. Go over a copy of the show map before you leave and highlight some key locations. In fact, if you’re scheduling lots of meetings or attending lots of talks and breakout sessions, it pays to break out the map before you schedule appointments. If the show floor is a half a mile from your first key class, don’t book a meeting on the floor five minutes after the class ends. Leave yourself time to get from place to place. And ask coworkers who’ve been to the show before for tips — convention maps often do a poor job of capturing the scale of a location, so its great to talk to someone with first-hand knowledge. If you can arrive early and scout out locations in person, that’s helpful, too.

Tip #4: Don’t Overschedule>>