HIT THE JACKPOT AT THE AGRICULTURAL PUBLICATIONS SUMMIT
AGRIMARKETERS AND EDITORS SEEK PROFESSIONAL IMPROVEMENT AND FUN
by Karen Simon
Hit the jackpot! The prospect is exciting, isn't it? The organizers of the fourth annual Agricultural Publications Summit (APS) invite agrimarketers and publication professionals alike to hit the jackpot, literally and figuratively, at this year's conference in Reno, Nev.
The APS is a combined meeting of the Livestock Publications Council (LPC), the American Agricultural Editors' Association (AAEA) and APA: The Association of Leading Ag Media Companies, and is touted as the largest gathering of crop and livestock publication professionals in the U.S. This year's meeting is scheduled for July 22-25.
Professional improvement, networking and just plain fun are the goals of the Summit. A trade show allows companies to share their messages with those attending the conference. An eclectic variety of speakers and seminars are offered throughout the conference, as well as a number of opportunities for networking and fun, including the first Bowling Bonanza and the second annual APS Golf Open.
THE AGRIMARKETERS' PERSPECTIVE
"The Ag Publications Summit is a must-attend for every agrimarketer. It gives clients and their agencies the opportunity to meet editors and publishers they don't know, as well as cultivate relationships with those they already know," says Lyle Orwig, CEO of Charleston|Orwig, Hartland, Wis. "It's efficient. Last year more than 100 writers and editors were in attendance. Nowhere else could you get your message delivered to so many publications in such a short amount of time.
"It's effective. You can exhibit if you have a story to tell. If you're just on a relationship-building mission, you can attend and mingle one at a time. It's a good, down-to-earth group that takes their business seriously, but also knows how to have a good time." Several of Orwig's clients exhibit at the APS InfoExpo.
Charlie Hale, communications manager at Gustafson LLC, Plano, Texas, says he'd almost prefer that the APS remain a well-kept secret so he wouldn't have so much competition for "face time" with editors in attendance, but was willing to share his views anyway. Gustafson is an APS sponsor and exhibitor.
"Over the years, I've supported the AAEA ... and had the good fortune to work for companies and clients who also supported the organization ... for a number of reasons," he says. "Certainly there was the opportunity to tell the message about my company's or my client's products to the editors in attendance. But maybe of greater importance, it was an opportunity for me to show my support and appreciation for some of the most professional and dedicated men and women I've ever known ... the writers and editors who bring the news of agriculture to farmers, ranchers and me."
Hale adds, "In addition, over the years, I've had the opportunity to hear some really outstanding speakers deliver thoughts and ideas I could take back home and put to work."
THE EDITOR'S POINT OF VIEW
What is it about this meeting that attracts so many editors and writers?
"Besides the simple camaraderie at the meeting, I believe the program has been beefed up substantially since the formation of the APS," says Greg Lamp, editor, Soybean Digest, Minneapolis, Minn. "Based on a variety of other professional improvement programs I see, you couldn't find a better return on investment than the APS. Everyone likes a little fun mixed in with work, especially in these tight times. APS offers that, too, along with seminars that you can actually produce copy from - like the agro-terrorism panel scheduled in Reno.
"Mostly, attending a conference like APS gets you fired up again for why you chose journalism as a career path in the first place. That's terribly important for all of us who continue to watch the consolidation in agriculture," he adds.
THE CONFERENCE PROGRAM
The APS program offers a wide variety of opportunities, whether it's hearing the views of Ambassador George McGovern, or being inspired by Carl Heibert, one of Canada's eminent agricultural photographers who broke his back in a hang gliding accident, or learning something new in one of the seminars presented during the conference.
Learning opportunities include writing and design seminars and workshops, computer tips and tricks, learning about working successfully with people from other generations,
a panel addressing freelancer issues, an issues and newsmakers session addressing perspectives on agro-terrorism, and a panel of farmers who will discuss where they look for the information used in their businesses.
For more information about the Agricultural Publications Summit, please call 952/758-6502 or visit www.ageditors.com. AM
Karen Simon of Montgomery, Minn. is associate manager of the American Agricultural Editors' Association.