After the dust from the ag tour settled, attendees from across the country gathered at the Sheraton Crown Center in downtown Kansas City for two days of intense agri-marketing education courtesy of NAMA.
Gail Calhoun of Calhoun Consulting kept the crowd on their toes during the General Session of the first full day with case studies and a fast-paced presentation of different communication styles. She explained how to assess one’s own communication style and those of others to create cohesive teams that deliver stellar projects. Calhoun also broke down the best methods for memorable presentations and explained how to capitalize on individual communication strengths as well as counter weaknesses.
The Boot Camp favorite—The Producer Panel—was next and didn’t disappoint. This year’s panel featured two row crop producers and a purebred bull breeder. Each panelist gave candid, honest answers to questions about how they prefer to receive information important to their operations. A big takeaway across the board was the importance of relationships and trust when it comes to buying decisions. Panelists also commented on the necessity of testing seeds, chemicals and equipment on their own farms and the effectiveness of testimonials in advertising.
Even those familiar with ag learned something new at Boot Camp.
“As an agricultural public relations professional, NAMA Boot Camp was a great event for me,” shared Nora Nolden, Assistant Account Executive with PadillaCRT. “Even with a background in agriculture, I still found the sessions and topics relevant and useful to my everyday work life. The most beneficial part to me was definitely the producer panel. They gave us great insight into how growers interact with their products and make their decisions.”
First-time Boot Camper Carrie Sears echoed the kudos shared by Nolden. “My compliments and sincere thanks to all the 2014 NAMA Boot Camp organizers and presenters,” she said. “Every session had practical, timely and relevant information. Combined with the invaluable networking sessions, I not only increased my industry knowledge, I have creative ideas and useful solutions I can employ immediately.”
Day one was capped with breakout sessions. After a luncheon that included the presentation of an ag media usage study from Readex Research, attendees could choose from several breakout topics: crisis management, Ag 101, new tech in creative and a deeper dive into ag topics with Ag 201.
The conversations continued at Snow & Co in the KC Crossroads Art District where Boot Campers gathered for a reception and some great networking.
Everyone returned for day two and an opening session on how farmers use radio. Even as other traditional media usage declines, America’s farmers still rely on radio for information and news.
Before ending Boot Camp with an insider’s look at “Farmland—The Movie,” a panelist of digital marketing specialists shared their views on keeping up with trends and developments in marketing technology.
Boot Camp Chair, Amanda Sollman, Senior Account Executive at broadhead., was pleased with this year’s event.
“I think we had a great lineup of speakers at this year’s NAMA Boot Camp,” she shared. “I hope that attendees – whether they are new to ag or not – were able to glean at least a couple of nuggets of information that will help them in their careers.”
Thank you to all the speakers for sharing great information with all attendees. And thank you to everyone who attended Boot Camp this year. We hope to see you all next year!
To see photos of the Boot Camp festivities, visit the NAMA Flickr site.