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A packed schedule of marketing sessions to help you navigate social media, online reviews, branding and more.


Focused training in continuous 15-minute presentations offers great tips and best practices for driving business.


Think Geek Squad for your social media questions! Get key info and on the fly “how to” demos for any social channel.


Find products and partners to help with websites, social, customer data, and more in 100s of exhibits for everything foodservice.


Attract new customers.

Cut through the marketing clutter.

Build your social channels.

Find these solutions and more at the Restaurant Marketing Symposium in Milwaukee. It’s all about… moving business forward.

Social SpeakEasy
A drop-in resource center for everything social.

Sit 1-on-1 with a social media pro to learn best practices, strategic tips and helpful Q&As to navigate the social space. 

Have questions about Facebook ad campaigns?
Wondering how to deal with online reviews?
Not sure how to set up an Instagram page?
Want to develop a brand voice for Twitter or Snapchat?

Stop by the Social SpeakEasy and get on-demand resources from an expert in social media.



Marketing seminars cover a wide-range of topics presented by a diverse group of experts in marketing for foodservice. Whether you are just emerging or an iconic establishment, you’ll find what you’ve been looking for—and what you didn’t know you needed.

2018 seminars listed below—watch for updates on the 2019 line-up!

Skyrocket your Reputation with Social Media
Spencer X. Smith, Founder of spencerXsmith.com and instructor at University of Wisconsin and Rutgers University

With 1.5 billion Facebook users, 320 million active Twitter accounts, 80 million daily Instagram photo uploads, and countless digital sites—social media is the best means ever invented to grow both your personal reputation as well as that of your business. During this session, Spencer Smith of spencerXsmith.com will share what works for both himself and his clients around the country.

How-to tactics and strategy tools will include:

  • Identifying which social platforms make sense for your business
  • How you should spend your time online
  • The type of content you should be utilizing
  • Which analytics are important and which to ignore
  • Points from Spencer's "Personal Branding Power Hour" that will skyrocket your restaurant's reputation
  Spencer Smith

How to Use Effective Storytelling to Showcase your Brand on Social
Elly Deutch, Global Social Campaigns and Corporate Content Manager of McDonald's Corporation

Are you telling stories on social media that resonate with your followers?  In this session we’ll cover strategies to engage your fans through effective storytelling.  You’ll see real-world examples from a multi-national quickservice brand—McDonald’s—and get immediate take-aways to implement in your restaurant’s social outreach.

  Elly Deutch

Shaping the Future:  The macro forces, consumer and industry trends shaping foodservice
Tracy Clark, Customer Marketing Manager of National Food Service, Coca-Cola North America

How will economic, workforce, consumer, technology and food trends guide the future?  What disruptors are on the horizon?  This session will walk you through six core trends that are shaping where foodservice is headed.  This insight will help you make strategic decisions to better connect with your customers, build loyalty and grow your business.
Learning objectives include:

  • Understand industry trends holistically in the foodservice industry
  • What overarching macro forces, like demographics and technology, are at the foundation
  • Discover consumer cultural trends that are influencing the way consumers act and the decisions they make
  Tracy Clark

Stand Out from the Crowd
David Caruso, President & Creative Director of Dynamic Events

Using social media, television, radio, print media and expert networking skills, David has gained an impressive following. Learn his highly sought after tips to effectively (and creatively) brand your business in the food, beverage and hospitality industries. Take aways will include:

  • Learn how your "brand introduces you before you even speak"
  • Discover ways to get your business on TV and in the press
  • Learn the best tools and tricks to increase your social media exposure
  • See examples of branding campaigns that communicate effectively
  David Caruso

Restaurant Website A to Z
Chris Remington, Digital Strategy Consultant of Graydient Creative

Upgrading or re-platforming your restaurant’s website will impact your team and your customers. Learn what to consider before, during and after a professional website rebuild. This interactive session will cover all the basics, help you avoid ‘gotchas’ hidden in the project details, and ensure a successful launch that enhances your restaurant’s digital presence. Website basics to be covered include:

  • Content Management System (CMS) options
  • Design considerations
  • 3rd party functionality integrations
  • Content publishing workflows
  • Determining Key Performance Indicators(KPIs)
  • Traffic-building strategies
  Chris Remington

Managing Reviews
Kay-Tee Olds, President of Engaging Results Communications

"Mediocre", "Disappointing", "Overpriced", "Unappetizing" ... Do those terms sound familiar? Self-proclaimed food experts have swept the country with their unapologetic criticism of restaurants. Chances are, your establishment has been a target of unhappy customers at one point or another, but what did you do about it? Customers aren't always right but their reviews matter.

This workshop focuses on building positive and lasting relationships with customers, and turning negative customer experiences into opportunities to increase diner retention. Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Leverage reviews to increase sales
  • Improve customer relations through Yelp, TripAdvisor and Facebook
  • Incorporate influencer marketing into their marketing strategy
  Kay-Tee Olds

How to Build Your Own Website
Brian Lee, APR; President of Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media

You’ve seen the ads on TV for do-it-yourself websites… is it really that simple to build and maintain your own site? Yes! In this workshop, we’ll cover step-by-step instructions, from finding an available website name to creating a mobile-friendly website that will attract customers. You’ll see it’s not as complicated as it may seem. By  the end of this session, attendees will learn:

  • How to search for available domain (website) names
  • How to set up website hosting
  • How to create email addresses
  • How to install the WordPress content management system
  • How to build pages and add content
  Brian Lee

Food Trends – Meeting the Needs of Tomorrow’s Consumer
Kevin Anderson, Consumer Insights Team Leader of Schreiber Foods

The foodservice industry is changing faster than ever and predicting trends can be a tough venture. This session will highlight the life cycle of key macro food trends and take a deeper dive into a few of America’s Dairyland specialties: cheese, cream cheese and yogurt. Be inspired and see how successful operators are turning creativity into innovation. This session will empower you to discover ways to meet the needs of tomorrow’s consumer.   

Take aways from this session will include:

  • Trends start at restaurant.  The Menu Adoption Cycle (MAC) is a proven journey of putting food trends into 4 distinctive stages.
  • Build a Better Burger – research shows that cheese is a key ingredient to increase craveability  and customer experience
  • Take Cream Cheese beyond the bagel and cheese cake – menu penetration is on the rise!
  • Yogurt is becoming a popular accompaniment to dishes.  Viewed as fresh and healthy, its new popular alternative for chefs.
  Kevin Anderson

Three Key Principles of Success for Small Businesses
Brian Mattingly, CEO of Welcomemat Services

This session will review the pros and cons of various marketing and advertising platforms, shaped by the real world experience from restaurateurs across the country. While the focus of the presentation will be on new customer acquisition methods, you’ll also hear about insights from recent studies that have developed best practices for customer retention and loyalty marketing. A case study will show how an already successful restaurant was able to use their data and analytics to take their business to the next level by truly understanding and meeting the needs of its target customers. You’ll gain smart marketing tactics to help grow your business.   

Take aways will include:

  • Methods to attract new customers
  • Tips on maintaining a positive reputation
  • How to stay top of mind
  Brian Mattingly

5 Digital Strategies to Drive Guest Engagement for Your Restaurant
Chad Horn, Technology and Consultant Partnerships at TableUp

Here’s a useful exercise: Take 25 seconds to make a mental list of the most important things your restaurant does to elevate your guest experience. Now consider how much or how little technology is impacting those activities.

Restaurants everywhere have woken up to the fact that their competitors are using technology in compelling ways to win. More operators are launching their own digital strategies to engage guests inside and outside of their restaurant. The result: a vital increase in guest frequency and spend. Learn about some of the most impactful digital strategies out there and how to identify your restaurant’s best opportunities. You’ll get:

  • Examples of some of the smartest and most accessible strategies
  • How to avoid some common mistakes
  Chad Horn

Culture Chicken / Brand Egg—which comes first?
D.P. Knudten, Chief Collaborator of COLLABORATOR creative

A culture of customer-delighting excellence. A brand which remains 'top of mind' with every customer. Every restaurant wants both—but which comes first?

That's what this highly visual, informative and provocative presentation by D.P. Knudten, co-author of 'ROTOMA—The ROI of Social Media 'Top of Mind' is all about. Using dynamic real-world examples and a lot of his own hard earned/learned insights, "Culture Chicken / Brand Egg—which comes first?" is sure to satisfy even the pickiest foodie who wants to have their Culture Chicken and Brand Egg—and eat 'em both too. This talk will get you thinking—and acting on:

  • Identifying the foundational pillars of your brand
  • Aligning your true brand and culture to attract both employees and customers
  • Engaging every customer touchpoint in a way that boosts your brand—and bottom line.
  D.P. Knudten

Using Data Science to Design the Perfect Menu
Mackenzie Miles, Senior Account Executive of Upserve

Your menu is the only communication with your guests that 100% of them will see, so learning how to design the perfect one is vital to your restaurant. Find out how to use the latest trends and data-driven insights to create a menu that can excite your customer, increase your average check, and build your brand. Takeaways will include:

  • Where and how often to use photos of your menu items
  • Which colors have the biggest impact on your menu
  • How to create descriptions that will capture your customers' attention
  Mackenzie Miles

Pragmatic Marketing for Independent Restaurants
John Kuehl, Founder and CEO of hankr

It can be overwhelming for operators to decide where to spend time and money on marketing, especially as new opportunities to promote your business appear almost daily. In this session, we’ll introduce planning tools to identify the right marketing to do – and what not to – in a logical, pragmatic way. We’ll cover how to put the most important marketing tasks first to get more from your outreach efforts and confidently ignore the rest without fear that you’re missing the boat.

Takeaways include how to: 

  • Identify the right marketing tools for your business
  • Prioritize your marketing and do more in less time
  • Take the guesswork out of your decisions
  John Kuehl
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