VNEXT Helps IFED Reach Record Numbers


IFED, the International Foodservice Equipment Distributors, utilized the virtual conferencing platform VNEXT to hold their first-ever virtual conference during October 14th-15th.

VNEXT, developed just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, was built from the ground-up by the team at Foodservice Equipment Reports Media LLC, in conjunction with Specifi LLC’s software development team, and enables immersive virtual events to continue, even while in-person meetings have been sidelined.

In addition to holding a series of their own events — FER Media in the US and Specifi internationally — FER has opened up the platform to companies inside and outside of the foodservice industry to create and host their own custom events.

The two-day IFED event broke all previous attendance records, demonstrating the power that virtual events can have in attracting deeper interest and participation when the time and cost of traveling to an in-person event is removed from the equation.

The event included advanced functionality from the VNEXT platform and featured a series of educational sessions and organizational meetings with strict criteria regarding user access levels.  Those meetings were then followed by suite-to-suite rotational meetings where each of the 200+ participants were automatically transported between private meeting rooms for 15- minute sessions without so much as a click of the mouse.

Asked about the VNEXT platform and its users experience, Mike McNeel, executive director of IFED said, “It worked like a swiss watch, and folks seem to like wearing it!”  Keith Kidwell, president of Central Restaurant Products and IFED board member said, “IFED’s collaboration with VNEXT produced a 100% fully-functional remote buying group meeting right down to the one-minute hallway chats with our teammates between suites…minus the coffee and dessert tray (that was sorely missed).”

Randy Hano, president and publisher of FER Media commented, “We are more than pleased to be able to offer VNEXT as a solution to the foodservice industry and others that are so profoundly impacted by the pandemic. Our recent successful partnerships show virtual conferences give us a way forward and offer a glimpse into the future as business is done in an increasingly virtual format. Digital is the new face to face.”



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