A Look Back at the 2022 Engage Conference
Last month, Intertek Alchemy hosted hundreds of food processors, manufacturers, distributors, and packagers for the 13th Engage Conference in Austin, Texas. It has been three years since we’ve all been able to come together in person, making this reunion all the more special.
Austin again greeted our guests with beautiful weather, delicious food, incredible views of Lady Bird Lake, the bats under the Congress Avenue bridge, and live music.
More importantly, the event – themed “People Make a Difference” – provided a forum for attendees to learn about how their industry tackled a global pandemic, built successful cultures, and expanded their sustainability efforts. The event offered HR, learning & development, food safety and quality assurance, safety, and operations professionals, an opportunity to learn, connect, and apply best practices throughout numerous sessions and networking events.
We welcomed everyone to Austin by hosting a game of networking bingo during happy hour. Each person received a bingo card with instructions to find their peers that meet specific criteria, such as “meet someone who is over 6 feet tall” or “find someone who is SQF certified.” Once their cards were completed, they were entered into a a raffle drawing for some fun prizes, one of which may have been bacon bandaids!
We then kicked off the sessions with with a juggling keynote (yes, we said juggling) on Teamwork: The Power of Partnership. Owen Morse and Jon Wee of The Passing Zone – an act you might have seen on America’s Got Talent – showed us how good things can happen when we all work together. Only they demonstrated with bowling balls, chainsaws, machetes, and flaming torches.
The following two days featured sessions where clients and Intertek Alchemy training specialists presented how they use Intertek Alchemy solutions to address challenges like employee turnover, building and maintaining a food safety culture, and creating on-the-job training programs.
Presenters included professionals from Aspire Bakeries, Ajinomoto, Bonduelle-Strathroy, the Gluten Free Bar, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, JB, NewCold Logistics, Maple Lodge Farms, Salm Partners, Smokey Denmark, and Tyson Foods. We thank them for all their hard work and willingness to share their stories!
Engage featured sessions where clients and Intertek Alchemy training specialists presented how they use Intertek Alchemy solutions.
We also introduced our new Vice President of Product Management and Engineering Susan Blakely. She highlighted recent updates to the Alchemy Training System and provided a sneak peek at what her teams are working on to further enhance the training solution for our clients.
Following Susan, we hosted an Intertek Alchemy showcase and happy hour for attendees to see and interact with Alchemy solutions and services.
Our team was there to provide a hands-on look at our behavior validation app – Alchemy Coach, our on-the-job training app – Alchemy Playbook, our extensive line of premium course libraries, professional development opportunities on Zosi Learning, and meet our amazing consulting team…to name a few.
One of our most popular sessions at this year’s Engage was the Agile Leadership Workshop. The workshop was led by Kevin Karschnik, an author and renowned speaker who specializes in helping business professionals become highly effective communicators. Attendees came away from this workshop with a clear understanding of their communication styles, leadership strengths and how to flex them to build successful teams.
And finally, you can’t come to Austin without experiencing our great food and live music – we are, after all, the live music capital of the world. So, we took our attendees out and celebrated with live music from The Reverent Few and Nik Par, along with some of the best food Austin offers at one of its most popular brew pubs Central Machine Works. A great time was had by all!
You can’t leave Austin without great food and live music.
Here’s what some of the attendees had to say about this year’s Engage Conference.
“I learned a lot at this conference and look forward to attending more in the future. Having the ability to network and see how these programs are implemented and manipulated to fit different scenarios opened my eyes even more.”
Blake DeJesus, QA/FS Manager, Petit Jean Meats
“It was a great collaboration of all the individuals in attendance, verifying how people make a difference!“
Greg Bigus, Packaging Compliance Manager, Accord Carton
“The Alchemy Engage conference was fantastic! All the sessions were very informative, and provided multiple opportunities for networking, and gained a better understanding how to utilize the Alchemy tools and resources for my company. I’m already looking forward to the 2023 conference!“
David Leonard, Training and Development Manager, HP Hood
“The Alchemy Engage Conference provided many opportunities to learn, share, network and build relationships! The conference sessions were informative, well-planned and enriching. I appreciated all the effort the Alchemy staff put into organizing the entire event from the opening session with “Passing Zone” to the amazing food and fun activities and providing a cool app to access all the information from – it was an outstanding experience!”
Amy Valek, Director of Learning and Development, JB
“The Engage conference is always a great place to meet with others and share new ideas on Alchemy and how to get the most out of it.“
Colby DeFriese, Plant Manager, Smokey Denmark
If you didn’t make this year’s Engage Conference, please keep it in mind for next time. We’ll announce the dates for our next conference soon.