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PRINT PERSPECTIVE
'SPRING BREAK' TIME
The organizers of the sixth annual Agricultural Publications Summit (APS) invite agrimarketers and publication professionals to join them for a "spring break" this summer at Saddlebrook Resort near Tampa, Fla., July 25-28.

The theme of this year's APS, "Spring Break This Summer," highlights the resort's informal setting, which is expected to create a relaxed atmosphere conducive to learning, networking and fun. And it's perfect for those attending with families who'd like a much-needed vacation in sunny Florida! "With dozens of big-name attractions located within two hours of the resort, attendees are encouraged to build a family vacation around APS," says Shauna Hermel, chair of the APS Steering Committee in 2004. "A post-convention cruise from Tampa to Cozumel, Mexico, also is being planned. It's going to be a great time for all of us."

APS, the largest gathering of agricultural publications professionals in the United States, is a combined meeting of the American Agricultural Editors' Association (AAEA), the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) and The Agri-Council of the Association of Business Media Companies. Ag Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) and the Ag Relations Council (ARC) are holding separate meetings during APS, and their members will participate in APS events.

This year's professional improvement program is designed to have something for everyone, with a strong commitment to providing as much take-home value as possible, says JoAnn Alumbaugh, program committee co-chair. It is being crafted based on feedback from the successful 2003 APS meeting in Cleveland.

In addition to a full slate of professional improvement sessions, APS will again feature the InfoExpo trade show, which gives companies an opportunity to share their messages and build relationships with those attending the conference. More than 50 groups secured booths for last year's meeting.

This year's InfoExpo is located in the spacious Saddlebrook Resort Grand Pavilion, which has an open, well-lit layout. The trade show floor will be the site of the APS grand opening party, as well as meals and other events designed to encourage interaction among exhibitors and APS attendees.

APS formally gets underway on Sunday, July 25, when registration opens at 9 a.m. Afternoon sessions include a "Back to Basics" design clinic, as well as an optional leadership training program on Saddlebrook's ropes course. The kick-off party Sunday night at the pool will feature games, food and the second appearance in as many years by musical sensations Quasimojo and Friends.

Many attendees will participate in the 4th Annual APS Golf Open, which will be played in the morning on Monday, July 26, on one of Saddlebrook's two championship golf courses. In addition to golf, the resort also has a lilypad-shaped swimming pool almost two acres in size, as well as 45 tennis courts. The resort offers supervised children's activities through the S'Kid's Club, which is designed for kids age 4 to 12. It operates each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Monday, July 26, attendees will be treated to several worthwhile sessions, though they may have difficulty picking which ones to attend. Workshops on creativity and how to work effectively with different personality types will highlight the morning, followed by a lunch geared toward health and wellness. The afternoon will feature the popular "Issues and Newsmakers" session, which will focus on crisis management. The BSE situation will be the jumping off point for this thought-provoking panel discussion.

Breakout sessions on writing, photography, design and marketing topics will highlight the program on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 27-28. Marketing topics will include enhancing a brand's value in a time of consolidation, designing results-oriented presentations and thinking outside the box when designing marketing partnerships.

More information on the Agricultural Publications Summit, as well as registration and exhibitor materials and information on the post-event cruise, is available from AAEA at www.aaea.com, via e-mail at ageditors@aol.com or by calling 952/758-6502. Information also is available from LPC by visiting www.livestockpublications.com, via e-mail at dianej@flash.net or by calling 817/336-1130. AM

David Hest is on the staff of the American Agricultural Editors' Association and is a marketing communications consultant.


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