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News & Press: Press Release

Register Now for RCI's Fall Regional Conference in Portland, Oregon

Thursday, August 2, 2018  
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SPRINGFIELD, MO – July 20, 2018 – Retail chocolate and candy makers, as well as their suppliers, will be traveling to Portland, Oregon for an event hosted by Retail Confectioners International (RCI), a trade association that has supported the confectionery industry for over 100 years.

Join RCI and discover the sweet side of Portland on September 17-19, 2018, while connecting and learning alongside fellow confectioners and suppliers through numerous networking opportunities, education sessions and behind-the-scenes tours of area candy shops and a new, state-of-the-art hazelnut processing facility.

Known for its proximity to natural wonders like the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood, Portland is quirky with a side of sophisticated and offers plenty of inspiration for attendees to take home and apply in their own businesses. RCI will kick off the week’s events with the Columbia Gorge Waterfall and Wine Tasting Experience on Monday, September 17. This optional tour will be led and narrated by a local guide along the Historic Columbia River Highway, stopping at some of the 70 Columbia Gorge waterfalls, including Oregon’s highest waterfall, Multnomah Falls, as well as the numerous local wineries and beautiful orchards that make up the 35-mile Hood River Country Fruit Loop.

Tuesday will bring a thought-provoking lineup of education sessions geared toward expanding attendees’ confectionery and business knowledge. Leading with his presentation “The Amazon Opportunity: How to Know if Selling on Amazon is Right for Your Business,” Peter Kearns is the Vice President of Client Solutions for 180Commerce and an expert of Amazon policy and sales strategy with extensive experience working with hundreds of sellers ranging from world-wide brands to small home-based operations. During his presentation, Kearns will not only offer an overview of the massive opportunity through Amazon, but also provide strategies for success on Amazon and review case studies illustrating branding do’s and don’ts for surviving and thriving in this marketplace. In addition, presentations will cover topics such as generating innovative candy flavors, creating a retail destination and how to work with hazelnuts to develop indulgent confections.

RCI takes education to the next level with exclusive behind-the-scenes tours. On Wednesday, attendees will tour The Candy Basket, a local, family-owned business that has been making gourmet confections for four generations, as well as Portland’s international award-winning chocolate maker, Creo Chocolate. Followed by a trip to the heart of Oregon’s hazelnut country attendees will learn about these special nuts and what they have to offer the confectionery industry.

“At RCI we enjoy creating event experiences that encourage the idea-sharing and generosity that is already descriptive of the confectionery industry,” says Angie Burlison, RCI’s Executive Director. “Portland will not only be a great place for confectioners to connect with their peers and suppliers, but also gather ideas to implement in their own businesses.”

Registration for RCI’s fall regional event is open online at Additional event details such as schedule, registration and hotel information may also be found there.