How to Form a Regional Meet-Up

Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) regional meetups are excellent opportunities for chocolate enthusiasts, professionals, and businesses to come together, network, and learn from each other. Organizing such an event requires careful planning and attention to detail. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to form an FCIA regional meetup:
  1. Decide on a Venue: The venue should be easily accessible, accommodating, and suitable for the size of the expected attendees. Consider partnering with a local chocolate maker, retailer, or venue that aligns with FCIA's mission and values.
  2. Select Speakers and an Agenda: Identify key topics or themes relevant to the audience and the chocolate industry. Reach out to knowledgeable individuals, chocolatiers, industry experts, or FCIA members who can offer insights, presentations, or workshops. Craft an agenda that balances informative sessions, networking opportunities, and perhaps some chocolate tasting experiences.
  3. Choose a Date and Time: Consider factors such as the availability of the venue, speakers, and the target audience. Aim for a date that doesn't clash with major holidays or industry events. Weekends or evenings may be preferable for many attendees, but it ultimately depends on the preferences of your target demographic.
  4. Send an Email Notification to FCIA: Write a compelling email notification and send it to me at, providing a detailed description of the meetup, including the date, time, venue, speakers, agenda, and any other pertinent details. Attach any images or graphics you'd like to be included in promotional materials. I will post it on FCIA’s event calendar, in the newsletter, and on our social media accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. We’ll also send out an email blast just about your event, so please give us plenty of notice so we can have time to get this scheduled. 
  5. Promote the Event: Once the details are finalized, promote the event on to FCIA members in your region. Encourage attendees to share the event with their networks to maximize visibility and attendance. If you are an FCIA member you have access to the member directory to find out who is in your area and their contact information. DO NOT SPAM PEOPLE with non-relevant information. Also feel free to reach out to any non-members in your area (and encourage them to join FCIA). 
  6. Prepare for the Meetup: Ensure that all logistical aspects are taken care of, such as AV equipment, seating arrangements, refreshments (especially chocolate!), and any necessary materials for presentations or workshops. Arrive early on the day of the meetup to set up and address any last-minute issues.
  7. Engage and Network: During the meetup, encourage attendees to actively participate, ask questions, and engage with the speakers and each other. Provide opportunities for networking and collaboration, fostering a sense of community within the fine chocolate industry.
  8. Send Us Pics! If you send pictures (with information and captions) of your event, we will include them in the newsletter and on social media celebrating the success of your event and encouraging people to be sure to attend the next one. 
By following these steps, you can successfully organize an FCIA regional meetup that fosters collaboration, learning, and connections within the fine chocolate community. We look forward to seeing you at the next event!

All the best,
Cathy Ford
Membership Services Manager