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Ice Cream Tech: Multiple First Timer’s Perspectives

In April, multiple Denali Ingredients team members had the opportunity to attend Ice Cream Tech. For a few, it was their first time. Below are the perspectives of a first timer at Ice Cream Tech, with different backgrounds and industry experience.

Mike Ploeckelman

“After working in the industry for 8 years, this was my first time at Ice Cream Tech. It was great to meet people who you’ve been working with forever, while also seeing familiar faces. It’s like a family reunion, because everyone knows each other, everyone has a good time, and everybody has an opportunity to catch up not only about work, but also their personal lives.Conference attendees tasting multiple ice creams.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences and Ice Cream Tech is one of the best networking events. Between the breaks, lunches, and dinners, you can connect with so many people and build rapport with them. Beyond it being a networking event, it’s also quite informative. There were many relevant seminars I attended daily and they all did a great job with educational content. If I had to pick one of my favorite moments at Ice Cream Tech, it would be the ice cream prototype and in-market contests, where we got to try and judge 30+ ice creams. There were a lot of innovative concepts in the contest, and I think it’s useful to see where trends are going in the ice cream industry.

If you’re going to Ice Cream Tech for the first time, I would recommend to soak in all the time you can, because it goes by so quickly. Beforehand, create a list of everyone you’d like to connect with and then reach out to as many people as possible outside of the sessions.”

Megan Slaven

“I have been in the industry for under a year, but I had the opportunity to attend Ice Cream Tech with some of my team members. I think it was beyond beneficial for me to attend, not only to meet people in the industry, but also to deep dive into the world of ice cream and have questions and ideas to come back with.

Ice Cream Tech was my first industry event, and this conference was the first time for me to introduce myself to people in the industry, whether new like myself or established. I left feeling like I had met and networked with more people than I could have imagined, and I was excited to have them in my professional circle going forward. Beyond networking, I learned so much from the seminars and felt like the presenters did a great job with the content and keeping the attendees engaged. Topics covered ranged from marketing, purchasing, equipment, formulation, and regulation. It truly is a conference for all in the ice cream industry!A name tag being held up for a photo.

At each conference, IDFA allows participants to submit new and innovative ice cream flavors for a contest judged by the conference attendees. Not only was it exciting to see our Frosted Animal Cracker concept in action for attendees to try and enjoy, but I got to try around 30 other concepts that were inventive and overflowed with creativity!

If you’re attending Ice Cream Tech for the first time, my advice would be to go in ready to learn and ask questions. This conference may seem like a lot of information, and it is, but if you’re prepared and ready to soak it all in, you’ll leave feeling educated and enlightened rather than burnt out.”

Mike Ploeckelman is the Senior Sales Manager at Denali Ingredients. Based out of the headquarters in New Berlin, WI, Mike’s favorite part about his role is selling a fun product that the entire world loves! 

Megan Slaven is the Marketing Administrator at Denali Ingredients. Based out of the headquarters in New Berlin, WI, Megan’s favorite part of her role is to enhance digital strategy by developing content and interpreting syndicated data.