District 7 & 4 Conference in Destin, FL

Our trip started at 5 a.m. early Friday morning, the sun hadn’t even peaked out before we were on our way to Florida’s panhandle. We were heading to the 4th and 7th District Leadership Conference, the kick off weekend for all of the southeastern chapters of the American Advertising Federation. The 7-hour drive served as a great bonding experience for 4 of us Ad 2 Orlando Board Members as we brainstormed ideas and events for the upcoming year while simultaneously listened to some of Miley Sirus’ greatest hits.

Our Saturday started bright and early with coffee and breakfast, stress the coffee (we’re in the creative industry…always stress the coffee.) Scott Ginsberg—aka The Nametag Guy—spoke about making yourself an unforgettable brand. He has been wearing a nametag every day of his life, holding a Guinness World Record and becoming the most approachable guy in the world (He dares us to dispute this by googling “approachability”. You will find his name dominating the entire first pages).

For the rest of the day, our 9 Ad 2 Orlando Board Members split up, each attending the workshops that would best suit our committees.  I went to the following workshops, learning one key point from each:

Programs—Use the AAF as a resource for topic ideas and speakers, and advice. They are here to help.

Diversity—This is not a one-event initiative, it is YEAR-LONG.

Membership—Keeping member retention is difficult economy,  Personally know your members and make sure they are aware of every member benefit.

Club Achievement—Start now! It requires more work and organizing than you think.

Sunday morning, we began our day with breakfast during Dr. Culture’s “How Good Messaging Can Go Bad Across Cultures,” discussing the nuances of marketing across different cultures and giving examples of how campaigns can go very wrong if proper research is not executed. Dr. Culture gave many examples of how campaigns have been misinterpreted; although they were very funny, it was apparent how they have been found so offensive to other cultures.

The ride back was a little exhausting, but we had fun reminiscing on the preceding weekend. I came home with new friends, new ideas, and a new appreciation for the AAF and the benefits of being so involved. I couldn’t wait to come back to share everything I learned at the conference with all of you and the rest of our Board.

-Jen Gammichia (Ad 2 Orlando Diversity Chair)

Dinner with Destin's Sunset