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2018 Annual Schedule
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Education sessions and the Industry Expo will take place at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland which is attached to the Hilton Cleveland Downtown.


Monday, June 18, 2018
All Day Arrivals
1:00-8:00 PM  Exhibitor Set-Up,  Hall A
3:00 PM  Associate Advisory Board Meeting, Room 6 
5:00-7:00 PM  Registration Desk OpenHall A Foyer
8:00-10:00 PM


Next Generation Event, Punch Bowl Social
Members in their twenties and thirties are invited to this fun mixer designed to help you get to know the next generation of industry leaders. Meet in the Hilton lobby to depart at 7:50 PM.

Event sponsored by Barry Callebaut. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
7:30 AM - 3:00 PM  Registration Desk OpenHall A Foyer
8:00-9:00 AM

Welcome Breakfast and Annual Membership Meeting
Global Center Junior Ballroom B

9:00-10:00 AM


Education: Opportunity Rocks
, Junior Ballroom B
Presented by Marvelless Mark Kamp
Get ready to rock with an energetic, interactive and funny keynote on becoming a business rock star. Opportunity Rocks reveals the innovative success secrets that created household names like The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Tina Turner and Aerosmith. Using the same techniques as these bona fide rock stars, you’ll discover how to reinvent and revolutionize your own business.

10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Industry Expo, Hall A
Including One-on-One Appointments

12:00-1:00 PM


Reception on Expo Floor, Hall A

Dessert Bar sponsored by Blommer Chocolate Company

3:00-5:30 PM 

Candy Clinic
 (RCI Member Exclusive), Global Center Ballroom B
Do you have a clever concept that has worked well in your business? You're invited to share it! This session will give you creative ideas for your store as fellow RCI members share during a short presentation about their best products, packaging and marketing. Attendees vote for their favorite entrants, and awards are presented to winners at the Awards Banquet.
Evening Dinner on Own
5:45-7:00 PM  2018-2019 Executive Board Meeting, Room 2
7:00-9:00 PM 2018-2019 Board of Directors Meeting (Dinner Served), Room 2

9:00-11:00 PM 


Sweet Meet,
Center Street BC at Hilton (3rd Fl)
Stop by RCI's networking reception hosted by incoming RCI President, John Asher III, after you return from dinner.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
7:30 AM - 2:00 PM  Registration Desk Open, Hall A Foyer
8:00-9:00 AM

Breakfast and Panel Discussion: Succession Planning,
Global Center Junior Ballroom B
Let’s face it; succession planning is a sensitive subject. Ever wonder what other businesses are doing to prepare for the future? Join in the conversation with professionals who are facing the same challenges. Learn from diverse perspectives and discover new solutions and ideas that can help you better prepare for the future of your business.

9:00-10:00 AM

Education: Merchandising - Turn Up the Volume
, Room 1
Presented by Kevin Smith
Crank up the volume with refined branding and merchandising techniques designed to outshine online retail giants like Amazon. Now, more than ever, an exciting, entertaining in-store experience is crucial to the success of retailers of all shapes and sizes. Learn how to challenge your brand perception and fine tune your retail space to not only survive, but thrive in today’s retail landscape.

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Industry Expo, Hall A
Including One-on-One Appointments

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM


Workshop: Merchandising
, Room 3 
Presented by Kevin Smith
Roll up your sleeves and apply key merchandising concepts gained from the morning’s powerful education session during this hands-on workshop. Practice implementing branding, imagery, color and other merchandising tools that will help you tune out the competition in your local market.

2:00-3:00 PM


Education: Developing Confections Worthy of Applause
, Room 1
Presented by Joe Sofia
Introducing new products can be risky, but don’t let fear hold you back from creating applause-worthy, new confections. Discover a streamline approach to create new and innovative confections while considering important elements like equipment needs, shelf life, ingredient sourcing and flavor authenticity.
3:00-4:00 PM 


Education: Attracting and Retaining Rock Star Talent
, Room 1
Presented by Denise Kestner
Cultivating a powerhouse team is key to the success of any business. Learn how to attract top talent, execute successful interviews and identify the right candidates for your business. Explore trends that are electrifying employee retention rates and learn how to apply these effective strategies to your own team of rock stars.

4:00-5:15 PM 

Kettle Talk
(RCI Member Exclusive), Room 3
RCI members engage in an open discussion, asking questions about chocolate techniques, production, labeling and more.
6:30 PM Reception, Global Center Junior Ballroom Atrium
7:00-11:00 PM

The Main Event, Global Center Junior Ballroom
Join us for The Main Event to celebrate highlights of the week and honor leaders of the confectionery industry. After dinner, we're cranking up the volume with live music by Cleveland's favorite cover band, The A-Band, known for filling the dance floor with powerful vocals and bringing the beat with a talented rhythm section.
Entertainment sponsored by Guittard Chocolate Company
Thursday, June 21, 2018
7:00-8:00 AM  Breakfast and Registration, Center Street BC at Hilton (3rd Fl)
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Off-Site Tours
Depart from Hilton Lobby, Ontario St Exit 


Dinner on Own
7:50-8:10 PM

Buses Leave from Hilton Lobby to Encore! Reception,
Ontario Street Exit

8:00-10:30 PM

Encore! - Reception at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Join Retail Confectioners International for a red-carpet after party you won't forget, sponsored by Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. Dressed as your favorite rockstar, roll VIP-style with exclusive private access to all seven floors of exhibits at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! Jam with 80s tribute band, Cleveland’s Breakfast Club, enjoy a hosted bar, capture memories in photos taken by the “paparazzi” and more! Don't miss an opportunity to connect during this fun, interactive event while celebrating the conclusion of another great convention week.

10:00-10:30 PM  Buses from Encore! Reception to Hilton
Friday, June 22, 2018
7:00-8:00 AM  Breakfast and Registration, Center Street BC at Hilton (3rd Fl)
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Off-Site Tours
Depart from Hilton Lobby, Ontario St Exit 

Evening  Dinner on Own