INDI Conference is an event I produced and developed to help bridge the gap between the front and back of the house in every type of hospitality business. Inter-discipline is the practice of teaching one person or group how to do another’s work in hopes of learning a new skill to apply to their own work.
INDI taught chefs to learn about wine cost, sommeliers to learn about recycling food waste and owners to understand their manager’s struggle to staff their establishments.
With a focus on local businesses and their particular needs, I restricted the conference to state-wide, inviting all the restaurant associations in the state to bring in c-level management and owners. In addition to the local industry experts like Nathalie Dupree, Steve Palmer and Mitchell Crosby, I brought in two national industry experts.
The first, Chef Sam Mason, who had recently successfully launched a product Empire Mayo. (2005 was the year of the chef-made product.) And another fascinating Chef/Owner, Ed Schoenfeld of Red Farm who delighted the audience with his whimsical Pac Man Dumplings and Pastrami Egg Rolls that were all the rage in NYC at the time.
Every session included a workshop where we broke into small groups to focus on each person’s needs and connect the attendees so they could help and draw new conclusions together.
The speakers were drafted from the community leaders in each individual space focusing on a topic that was being discussed. I hired them, built the site, the schedule, drafted sponsors, worked with vendors, found the event site (a Certified Green Building) and worked with a graphic designer to build the brand and environmental graphics for the event.
South City Public Relations handled the PR while I developed the marketing platform on social media based on informative and educational hot-topics facing the hospitality industry.
The event commenced with a cocktail hour on the patio with live Brazilian music snacks from chefs Louis Osteen and Frank Lee and drinks from High Wire Distillery and Bittermilk.
A few of the seminars:
- Preparing for the Press: Helping chefs learn to plan for the press when a reporter calls for a quote or recipe.
- Green Dreams: Leading local experts taught owners and staff about small and large ways to add green practices to their business.
- Counting Straws: How to craft trendy cocktails and still make a profit.
- Wine Menus that Sell: How to build a wine list for your clientele and style of business that is stylish and still profitable.
“It was so refreshing to hear from other business owners about issues that can stump us all. Being able to experience it in a small “class” setting, and discussing our thoughts with speakers themselves, was very rewarding. INDI was also a great networking opportunity for my business.”
“I liked the laid back feel of it.” – “Good platform for sharing ideas!” – “Hoping that this conference will develop and grow into an opportunity for people in the industry to share ideas.” – “Tremendous value.”
“It was also interesting to hear from other business owners and see where we would help each other to become more symbiotic in the hospitality industry as a whole.”