AMA President and President Elect travel to Lincoln Nebraska for a regional retreat

This year I am serving as the President-Elect for the Madison Chapter of the American Marketing Association. As part of the leadership team, I was invited to participate in a regional retreat in Lincoln, Nebraska, with the theme of “Embrace”.  

Every time I commit to a professional development conference, I am so excited.  All the learning, camaraderie, and energy—but then I realize all the bumps in the road to get there. Time away from home and work, how draining it can be to travel, and how hard it can be to network (even for an extrovert!). 

But I went….and I am so glad I did! It was such an incredible event.

Nearly 30 chapter leaders across the Great Plains gathered for a jam packed 24 hours. The PCC team and the Lincoln Chapter hosted the event and poured all their energy into creating a phenomenal experience for all attendees.  Swag, local experiences, and a great location provided the backdrop for one awesome session after another.

What I learned at ‘Embrace’ can be applied to both my chapter volunteering as well as my day-job as a marketing manager. Here’s the top three concepts:

  • It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have a situation with lots of moving parts: work, home, volunteering, etc. The solutions to the challenges can often be a chicken and the egg situation.  So what’s the solution?  There were so many great ideas brought forth at the retreat, but my favorite was to ‘Go back to basics.’  I think this is a really sound tactic to deploy.  When a complex environment presents itself, take one layer at a time and lean into the tried and true techniques. This effort will get the cogs on your wheel to work together in perfect harmony. 
  • People join groups for a myriad of reasons.  But one piece is tried and true.  They always have a why. (Shout out to one of my favorite marketers, Simon Sinek!) It is essential to find out what drives your audience. What is their why?  Once you can segment the ‘why’s,’ you’ll be set to craft the right message, develop the right programs, and find the right ways to bring out their best.
  • The flip side to finding a why is ‘What’s In It For Them’–WIIFM. People don’t do things without expecting something in return. Is that goods, service, clout, knowledge or something else?  Understanding the WIIFM will help you add to their experience and in turn increase loyalty. This is the Holy Grail: Matching the ‘why’ to the ‘WIIFM’.

Being a volunteer for the marketing chapter is not just a title I have. It’s a mindset.  It’s that shared love of marketing that brings me to encourage others to celebrate this industry through being part of the chapter. That’s my ‘why’.  And what do I receive in return? Inspiration, relationships, knowledge and so much more! If I look at the reasons I encourage others to participate in AMA it’s pretty simple: AMA Madison is a group of individuals dedicated to driving marketing forward.  If you want to keep growing in your knowledge, network and career, then you can’t afford not to be a member. Join today.

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