Retail Confectioners International (RCI) is headed to the rock and roll capital of the world for the 2018 Annual Convention & Industry Expo in Cleveland on June 18-22, and we’re cranking up the volume on the customer experience!

Despite the growing success of retail giants, chocolatiers and craft confectioners are creating their own stage by offering products and experiences that consumers really want. At this year’s convention, RCI’s focus is presenting retail candy makers and chocolatiers with ideas and inspiration that translate into actionable strategies for creating unique and memorable experiences for their customers. The net effect: businesses incorporating these strategies succeed and grow in a competitive environment.

In an energetic, interactive and funny keynote, Marvelless Mark (Mark Kamp), author of the acclaimed business book, Opportunity Rocks, reveals 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, attendees will discover how to reinvent and revolutionize their businesses. Additional educational sessions offered will cover topics such as how to cultivate a powerhouse team, fine-tune your retail space and create applause-worthy, new confections.

For confectioners looking to wow customers with new and innovative ideas, our two-day Expo allows attendees to explore what’s new in the confectionery industry and connect with industry suppliers of ingredients, confectionery equipment, packaging, wholesale, business services and more.

“Candy makers from across the Americas and abroad come to RCI’s Industry Expo each year to meet with suppliers and make their holiday orders,” says Doug Dressman, vice president of Esther Price Candies Corp. “It’s a great opportunity for us, as candy manufacturers, to meet face to face with industry suppliers.” Admission to attend the two-day expo is $10 in advance for non-members or $25 at the door, but admission is free to current RCI members.

A major highlight for many attendees is when RCI takes education to the next level through exclusive, behind-the-scenes tours. This year’s lineup of tours include rock star local businesses such as b.a. Sweetie Candy Co., Gorant Chocolatier, Linnea’s Candy Supplies Inc., Malley’s Chocolates, Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates, Popped! Sun America LLC and Tap Packaging Solutions. Each tour location was selected to help attendees gain a new perspective of their craft and inspire ideas whereby they can implement them in their own retail shops.

In the spirit of creating memorable experiences, RCI will be rolling out the red carpet for the Encore! Reception, sponsored by Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. Dressed as their favorite rock stars, attendees will roll VIP-style with exclusive private access to all seven floors of exhibits at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, while jamming with an ‘80s tribute band — Cleveland’s Breakfast Club. They will also enjoy a hosted bar, capture memories in photos taken by the “paparazzi” and soak in the venue’s musical history. This unforgettable and interactive event will offer attendees a chance to network in a fun and playful environment while celebrating the conclusion of another great convention week.

We hope you will join us and fellow confectioners and suppliers at RCI’s Annual Convention & Industry Expo in Cleveland! While this event is hosted by RCI, all confectionery professionals are invited to attend. A variety of ticket packages are available, giving attendees the option to create an experience that fits their schedule and budget. RCI offers a 1-Day Education Ticket for just $225 for those looking to focus on strictly on education.

Learn more about RCI’s 2018-2019 lineups of events at

Caramels, Toffees & Brittles (Registration Open Now)
August 15-17, 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland

Fall Regional Conference
September 17-19, 2018 | Portland, Oregon

Winter Getaway (Registration Open Now)
January 12-17, 2019 | Costa Rica