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2019 Program
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Monday November 4 2019

8:00am – 3:00pm        Dick Warren Memorial Golf Classic

Situated on the edge of Charleston Harbor and offering spectacular views of the city, Fort Sumter, and ships arriving from all over the world, Patriots Point has been for years a favorite place to play for local Charleston golfers and resort guests.

Buy your tickets during the registration process


9:00am – 4:00pm        Food Safety Plan Course - US Dairy Council - Lunch Incl

NICRA and the US Dairy Council is offering a heavily discounted Safety plan Workshop taught by members of the US Dairy Council and the faculty of North Carolina State University. Cost is $45.00 with all materials and lunch provided. This workshop is taking place the day before the commencement of the annual Convention and Trade Show in Charleston SC.  REGISTER HERE

9:15am - 10.30am        Exec Committee Meeting

10.45am – 12:00pm     Membership Committee Meeting

1:00pm - 5:30pm          NICRA General Board Meeting


Tuesday November 5, 2019

9:00am – 5:00pm        Open Registration

11:00am - 11:30pm     First Timers Meeting

If it’s your first time at a NICRA Convention, come meet with us to get the most out of your ice cream and frozen dessert convention – Oh yeah– and there are prizes.

9:00am – 1:00pm        Suppliers Setup in the Trade Show Hall

1:00pm - 1:30pm         Convention Kickoff

Come meet as a combined group and let’s get this party started. Explanations about the NICRA app, general agenda items and the first chance

1:30pm - 2:30pm         Dr Bob Roberts – Principles of Freezing

Dr Roberts’ work as a thought leader in the field of frozen desserts and cultured products is greatly respected, as is his current leadership of the Penn State Ice Cream Short Course and the Penn State Ice Cream 101 Courses. Regardless of what type of ice cream or frozen dessert equipment you run, this valuable insight into ingredient formulation and freezing will greatly benefit the quality of your product


 2:30pm - 2:45pm        Break


                                     Ice Cream Business Options and Developing Your Concept

Starting out in the ice cream business can be daunting. In this session we look at your options for frozen desserts, equipment and other menu items as well as how to develop your brand and target audience


Increasing Wholesale Business through Bulk Ice Cream & Pint Sales

This session looks at creating and growing supplemental revenue streams through selling bulk ice cream to other businesses and also how to get your pints into local grocery stores and other businesses


Start and Grow your Event Catering Business

There is an art to pitching your products and services to other businesses to cater for their special and corporate events. In this session we cover the equipment, set up, and permits you will need as well as a plan for the day of the event

3:00pm - 6:00pm        Trade Show Floor Opens

3:30pm - 3:45pm         Break


                                     Growing Sales through Cakes, Pies and other Novelties

Cakes pies and novelties are an effective way to increase average sales and to diversify your menu. Learn what options are available to you and how to display and market them to increase impulse or take away sales.

                                     Labelling Laws and How they Apply to Your Business

Growing your business through other channels can be hampered by incomplete or inaccurate nutritional and ingredient labelling. Learn in this session how these laws and regulations apply to you and best practices to avoid compliance issues.

                                     Adding Food Truck / Trailer to your Existing Business

Once your brick and mortar sales are established, adding a food truck or trailer can be the next step to dominate the market and grow your brand. Find out the pros and cons to adding a mobile venue to your established business.

4:30pm - 4:45pm         Break

5:15pm - 6:00pm         MARKETING SESSIONS

                                     Social Media Best Practices for Local Targeting

One of the challenges of social media is to use effective targeting techniques to focus on your local market and maximize your marketing dollar. Learn the steps to identify your key demographics and how to focus marketing efforts to them exclusively.

                                     Planning and Executing a Successful Promotion

A great promotion doesn’t just fall together. It takes time, planning, and effort to get the best return on your promotional investment. This session covers what your promotional goals should be and how to execute and evaluate a great promotion.

                                     Social Media Photography

What works on some platforms, does not work on others. Learn the hacks to stage and take great product photos for social media purposes and the best practices for posting on the various social media platforms

6:00pm - 6:15pm         Break

6:30pm - 7:00pm         Welcome Reception & Meet the NICRA Past Presidents

7:00pm - 8:15pm         Welcome Dinner

8:30pm - 10:00pm       Best New Flavor Contest in the Trade Show Hall- Exhibits Open


Wednesday November 6, 2019

7:30am  - 8:45am        Supplier Meeting

8:45am - 10:30am       Combined session

Including comments from the Charleston Visitors Bureau and a message from Steve Christensen NICRA Executive Director


 Keynote Speaker -    Tyler Malek Salt and Straw

Since opening Salt and Straw, Tyler has created more than 600 flavors and spends most of his time working with his R&D department, which designs future flavors and hunts for new stories. The team constantly partners with more than 100 industry leaders each year, collaborating with James Beard Award-winning chefs, renowned national microbreweries, best in class local and organic farmers and a variety of other food experts. 


10:30am - 10:45am     Break

10:45am - 5:00pm       Trade Show Exhibits Open

12:30pm - 1:15pm       Lunch (provided) - Speed Networking Session

1:30pm - 4:30pm         Business Finance Workshop Session

This concentrated 3-hour session covers all aspects of business finance relating to the opening and operations of a successful frozen dessert business. This session, back by popular demand, is taught by Bill Meagher of Lakeside Creamery and Dave Deadman of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream and runs concurrently with the other sessions on Wednesday afternoon.

1:30pm - 2:45pm         CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE SESSIONS

                                     Customer flow and store layout

Increasing your effectiveness with customer flow and your store design and increase sales and decrease your labor costs. Learn the process of maximizing your space and getting the most out of your peak customer hours   


             Increasing the quality of your ice cream

Dr Tonya Schoenfuss of the University of Minnesota shares her vast experience in sensory perceptions and the leading the Ice Cream Clinic teams as to how you can increase the quality and taste of your ice cream products through best production practices.                                   

2:45pm - 3:00pm         Break

 3:00pm - 4:15pm        EMPLOYEE MANAGEMENT SESSIONS

                                     The Psychology of Training & Motivation

Dig a little deeper as to what makes your employees tick and the psychology behind why they do the things they do. Using the principles in the session you will learn how to for effectively and efficiently manage your workforce and get the best out of your employees.

                                     Effective Scheduling to Reduce Labor Costs & Increase $$

There are many tools and practices available to ice cream shop owners to get the maximum out of their employee’s schedules and help reduce costs while increasing efficiency. Learn about these tools and practices in this session


 4:30pm - 5:00pm        Ice Cream History Demonstration

It is the 100th anniversary of the modified continuous ice cream machine, and to celebrate a functioning model on display in the trade show hall. Come listen to David Ford of Weber’s Ice Cream discuss its functionality and history.

 6:00pm - 9:00pm        Supplier Party & Bryce Thompson silent and live auction

One of the great events of ConCone2019 – The Supplier Party and Charity Auction held in the trade show hall. Come and enjoy the carvery and finger food, complimented with a cash bar and bid of some great ice cream memorabilia and products to support the Bryce Scholarship Fund.


Thursday November 7, 2019         

9:00am - 10:30am       The NICRA Food Safety Program Course and website

Employees from the National Dairy Council, University of North Carolina and Clemson share a presentation on the newly launched Safe Ice Cream Initiative with its accompanying website, online course and support functions free and available to NICRA members

10:30am - 10:45am     Break

10:30am - 3:45pm       Exhibits and Trade Show Open

10:45am - 11:45am     TECHNOLOGY SESSIONS

                                     POS equip / Order Kiosks

Technology with Point of Sale systems and the introduction of ordering kiosks are changed the landscape of customer service. In this session you will learn the functions and options available to operators and the pros and cons of upgrading your order taking systems

                                     Using Online Software to Support your Business

There’s an App for that, and just about every function you do to operate your business. From scheduling, bookkeeping, finance, loyalty programs and more. See what’s new on the market and how these services can free you to work on your business.

                                     SOP Management

Standard operating procedures need to be in place in order to effectively operate your business, both when you are there and in your absence. Are your SOP’s up to date? In this session we provide the framework for quality SOP’s and the current way to execute them

12:00pm - 12:45pm     Lunch (Provided)

12:45pm - 1:30pm       Ice Cream Clinic - Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate

Dr Tonya Schoenfuss from the University of Minnesota shares the processes and findings of this year’s submissions into the Ice Cream Clinic and Best New Flavor Competitions.

1:30pm - 1:45pm         Break

1:45pm - 2:45pm         Combined Trends and Demonstrations

Learn more about current and emerging trends such as CBD Ice Cream, KETO Ice Creams and flavor profiles. Also, we have experts attending and giving advice and demonstrations on waffles cones, bowls and a little cake decorating        

2:45pm - 3:00pm         Break   

3:00pm - 4:00-pm        Combined Session - DELIVERY SERVICES

The foodservice industry is embracing the advent of delivery services and how they are revolutionizing how restaurants and other concepts are growing their reach and strengthening their brand rapidly. Learn how you can engage and utilize a delivery partner to increase your sales and grow your business.            

4:00pm - 5:00pm         EXPERTS PANEL - Q AND A

Our traditional final session sees a panel of expert’s field questions from our membership as to aspects of the business they have learned about this convention and perhaps those topics that were not covered. A great range of industry professionals, representatives and  business operators answer your burning questions   

6:00pm - 6:30pm         Cocktail Party

6:30pm - 9:00pm         NICRA Awards Dinner

A wonderful plated dinner and the finale of a great 3 days of education, networking and learning. Winners from the Ice Cream Clinic categories are announced, and the evening concludes with a live band, drinks and dancing. Don’t forget to get your photo taken on the red carpet