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PRINT PERSPECTIVES
APS 'SPRING BREAK' IN TAMPA INFORMS, ENTERTAINS, REJUVENATES
More than 400 ag communications professionals from across the United States and around the world attended the Sixth Annual Agricultural Publications Summit (APS), held July 25-28 at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Fla.

The joint annual conference and trade show is a combined meeting of the American Agricultural Editors' Association (AAEA), the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) and the ABM Agri Council. APS also attracted about 80 members of Ag Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT), as well as members of the Ag Relations Council (ARC), which held separate meetings in conjunction with APS.

APS was organized around the "Spring Break This Summer" theme. Saddlebrook Resort, a world-class golf and tennis venue with a two-acre lily-pad shaped swimming pool, offered opportunities for attendees to network and renew acquaintances in a relaxed atmosphere. But the bulk of activities took place indoors, including three days of professional improvement sessions, the large InfoExpo trade show, and business and awards sessions hosted by APS member organizations.

The first official APS event was a "Back to Basics" design seminar conducted by Deb Norton, co-owner of Graphic Arts of Topeka, Kan., on Sunday afternoon. Following the seminar, APS attendees had an opportunity to relax with friends and colleagues at an opening night kick-off party.

The Blues Brothers, Greg Lamp (right) and Joe Roybal, were brought back by popular demand to perform alongside the APS band Quasi-Mojo at the kick-off party. — Photos provided by: Jim Bret Campbell, American Quarter Horse Journal
Entertainment at the party included a reprise of APS' own rock band, Quasi-Mojo, made up of AAEA members Mike Wilson, Andy Markwart, Den Gardner and Owen Roberts, who represented the Canadian Farm Writers Federation (CFWF) at APS. Sitting in with the band was special guest Nancy Sinatra (aka Marilyn Cummins), whose white patent leather boots looked like they were almost made for walking.

A fundraiser held in conjunction with the kickoff party, as well as a competitive cardboard boat-building contest among attending organizations, raised $9,000, which is used to pay for APS interns. The contest winner, a boat built by the ACT team, was determined by a time-trial paddle-off across the swimming pool. The AAEA boat came in second and won a head-to-head race against the ACT boat.

The professional improvement program and the InfoExpo trade show, which made up the bulk of APS activities, got under way Monday, July 26, and continued through Tuesday, July 27. Myriad seminars and breakout sessions featuring writing, design and photo clinics, as well as sessions on marketing, branding, legal issues and workplace management, took place both days.

The InfoExpo trade show opened Monday night with a Grand Opening Party. The 54-booth trade show featured exhibits from agricultural companies, commodity groups, government agencies, printers and others. The trade show sessions gave editors, publishers and exhibitors a chance to meet with old and new acquaintances and learn more about new products and services.

APS concluded with separate AAEA and LPC awards programs on Tuesday night. The organizations held business meetings on Wednesday before APS concluded with a brunch and a keynote speech by Dr. Mario Garcia, a leading international authority on publications design. AM

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


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