2019 Top2Top-NexGen How to Ask Your Boss





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Top2Top is now NexGen too.

Great leaders know: businesses are only as strong as their NEXt GENeration of talent.

This year, don’t just bring the top of the totem. Bring your budding talent, and empower them. Let your young leaders learn what FSMA is all about, ensure the succession of your company and our profession. Bring them to Phoenix to learn the upcoming trends, tactics, and real-life intel to make your organization thrive in 2019.

Save $400 to $700 per person off the regular price registration for 2 or more registrants from the same company--register today.

How to Ask Your Boss

It’s always daunting to talk about money and time away from the office with your boss, and no one understands that more than we do. 

When you provide a clear and present return on investment, coupled with an itemized and justified list of expenses, you’re creating a compelling case to attend FSMA 2019: Top2Top-NexGen Conference.

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the agenda and speakers.

Before you discuss the FSMA Top2Top-NexGen with your boss, you’ll want to be sure you’ve thoroughly explored the FSMA Top2Top-NexGen agenda and speakers. Speakers to be released by end of September.

Familiarize yourself with all the options available and start thinking about which sessions align best with your organization’s objectives and aspirations. Ask yourself: what are our short-term and long-term goals? Then, determine which sessions are likely to contribute to these goals.

With over 8 sessions of each of agency-only and manufacturer-only focused programming plus an additional 12 hours of agency-manufacturer focused education and 5 operator roundtables, you’ll learn from the very best minds out there, teaching you ways to increase your organizational skills and productivity, and better manage your partner relationships, all while learning the latest sales and marketing skills.  Combined, these sessions don’t just help you and your career. They’ll help and improve your whole company right away.

Step 2: Create a sample agenda with a list of workshops and sessions you’d like to attend.

Create an outline of your selections with a brief justification for each choice. In your justifications, be specific.

Here’s an example:

You could say something like attending the “Making the Most Out of Territory Visits” session aligns with our company's goal to reduce expenses and wasted time with our partners. As a participant in this session, I will engage in small group experiential learning and learn how other companies in our industry are successfully navigating this issue. Think of how much our company will save annually with these new strategies. Far more than the expense of sending me to the conference.

You may also want to think about which speakers you’d like to network with. Create a list of 5 speakers who will have the most relevant knowledge to share and develop a few questions you’d like to ask them. You can use this list of speakers and questions as another tool to help you prove that the FSMA Top2Top-NexGen will be a worthwhile experience and that you are prepared to make the most of it.

Step 3: Outline your top three reasons for attending.

You will want to explain to your boss as succinctly as possible why the FSMA Top2Top-NexGen is unique and why it is worth attending. Here are some example value statements we offered our guests for our last event to help them justify attendance:

  1. You will gain practical skills and learn proven methods for improving your performance. To deliver on your organization’s mission, you must ensure you are using the most strategic methods that are proven to get results. At FSMA Top2Top-NexGen, you will learn from other foodservice sector leaders and experts outside our industry who are using cutting edge strategies and tools to make your company better. Attending the FSMA Top2Top-NexGen will provide you with skills, knowledge, and methods to move your company’s plans forward.

  2. Learning from real success stories means you will save time and money trying to figure out what works. Many organizations waste time going through a lot of trial and error before discovering the formula to success. FSMA Top2Top-NexGen will challenge your current way of thinking, but will also provide you with actionable advice and takeaways. Our speakers will challenge you to think critically about your work. They will also provide you with actions and advice you can start using immediately.

  3. This is a networking opportunity you can’t miss. Some of the country’s top industry leaders and experts will be at FSMA Top2Top-NexGe. You will have the opportunity to interact with leaders in your field, learn from each other’s challenges and successes, and create lasting connections.

Step 4: Send a formal request letter to your boss (if required).

A good request letter contains all the necessary information your boss needs to make an informed decision:
  • You should be upfront in your introduction and state your top three reasons for attending.

  • You should articulate how the event will benefit you, your organization, and any relevant initiatives.

  • Consider including a few sessions you’d like to attend and a list of 5 speakers you’d like to network with.   

  • You should also include an estimated cost breakdown. (how much do you need for travel, meals, lodging?. This will provide you with a negotiating tool; your boss may be willing to send you if you can find a way to reduce meal or lodging costs (only $229 this year - same as most lower priced business hotels you travel to all the time!). Plus, Phoenix is such an affordable city to fly into. It is a huge airport, servicing every airline. If you fly in on Tuesday, and out on Friday, here are your approximate travel costs.

    • Flight: $300

    • Hotel: $250 (with taxes) x 2 nights = $500 (also, can you share a room with a colleague?)

    • Food: $50 (we are feeding you all meals, but you may need a meal at the airport)

    • Total Travel Costs: $900

  • Most importantly, registration for you to attend Top2TopNexGen is super affordable. Also, FSMA offers an ironclad money back guarantee.  If for any reason the conference isn’t what you thought it would be, or are in any way unsatisfied, FSMA will refund your full registration fees, no questions asked.


Why Bringing the Whole Team Actually Makes Your Company Money

It’s not uncommon for FSMA members to select one or two senior employees to attend Top2Top each year. But did you know that sending a larger group actually provides more value to your company?

Here's 5 reason's why.

1. Strengthens Company Culture and Fosters Team-Building

Attending as a team is a great way for company to nurture collaborative team-building and fortify company culture. The FSMA Top2Top-NexGen environment allows for more relaxed and natural interactions to occur, it also helps inspire shared excitement and passion around work related topics. This leads to greater retention of both newer and even senior staff.

The greatest expense for every company is turnover, which happens most often when your employees aren’t emotionally connected to your goals or culture. Bringing them to FSMA Top2Top-NexGen shows them you are as committed to them, as they are to you. Plus, what better way to rally the troops for a banner year than to kick off the year, united as a company, all in one place, at our January 15-17, 2019 Top2Top-NexGen?

2. Helps Solidify Learning and Professional Growth

Learning in a new space encourages growth that is otherwise unlikely to happen in your company’s everyday environment. Attending FSMA Top2Top-NexGen as a team is a powerful way to develop new skills, catch up on the latest trends, spark inspiration, rekindle passion, hear from experts, and more.

3. Enables Greater Knowledge Absorption

As a team, employees can talk about and plan around a strategy for the conference. Having a larger group present at an event also allows individuals to take a ‘divide and conquer’ approach to the program, share notes, and explore resources that might be otherwise missed. It also encourages a dialog around the sessions, speakers, and topics that will likely lead to a greater overall understanding and appreciation for the content. This year's conference has over 20+ sessions (many concurrent), so unless you divide and conquer, you won't get to experience all our great speakers.

4. Social Support and Mentoring is Empowering, and Impacts Your Bottom Line

Let’s face it, conferences can be intimidating, especially for younger staffers. Attending events in groups provides a level of comfort that ultimately will help empower individuals to make the most of their time. Mixing younger and tenured staff together also provides a unique opportunity for mentoring among teams, and mentoring reduces turnover.

5. Significantly Reduces Company Cost

Financially speaking, it often feels like an expensive proposition to send a large group of people to a conference. But in truth, sending a team will help cut professional development costs in the long run for organizations committed to providing training opportunities for their employees. Think about it this way, traveling with a group to one event allows for shared lodging, transportation, and food costs (most of the meals are on us!), whereas if each employee attend different meetings on their own throughout the year, you are spending more annually (even if the meetings are regional) than you are sending everyone to Top2Top-NexGen.

New this Year - 3 Ways to Pay

Get the $200 Per Person early registration discount now, but lighten the load by paying later.

  1. Option 1: Pay in Full Now - Use Online Forms or Paper Forms
  2. Option 2: Three (3) Equal Monthly Installments* - Use Paper Form Only
  3. Option 3: No Payment until January 2019* - register now but fee will not be due until the first week in January 2019. This is a great option if you would like to budget Top2Top-NexGen in 2019 instead of 2018 - Use Paper Form Only
*Option 2 (Monthly Installments) and Option 3 (Defer to January) require a credit card. Checks will not be accepted for these options.

Registration Fees - click here to register.


SAVE $200

Before November 30

SAVE $100

Before December 31

After January 1
1st Attendee $1,295 $1,395 $1,495
2nd Attendee $1,095 $1,195 $1,295
3rd Attendee $795 $895 $995
New Member (2018) $795 $895 $995
Spouse/Guest* $195 $295 $395
Non-Member Join FSMA Join FSMA Join FSMA
Golf Outing
$150 for outing / $62 club rental fee

*Spouse/Guest may not be involved in the business and all spouses/guests MUST register for the event. Please use the appropriate form for your company type on the registration page and register your spouse/guest on your form. . Spouse registration includes Welcome Cocktails on Tuesday, January 15, Non-Extreme Sports Party and President’s Welcome Reception on Wednesday, January 16 and Awards Celebration on Thursday, January 17. Spouses are not allowed to attend the business breakfasts and lunches.

Be a conference sponsor. Be a legend.

For full details regarding our sponsorship opportunities, please visit our sponsorship page.

YOUR  COMPLETE  SATISFACTION  IS  GUARANTEED - OR YOUR MONEY BACK! If you are not satisfied with our 2019 Top2Top-NexGen Conference, simply let us know and we will send you a refund for your conference registration fee. Your complete satisfaction is guaranteed! Register today!

SHAPE THE FUTURE OF FOOD. Become a sponsor of the 2019 Top2Top-NexGen conference. Sponsorships start at $350. When you sponsor, you’re not only shaping the future of your company, you're shaping the future of our industry. Sponsor Online NOW and secure your spot before they’re gone.


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Questions? Please contact us at 410-491-7857 or [email protected].