The Power of Convergence

American Marketing Association Summit 2016

The author, second from left, with San Diego AMA’s Rachel Brown, Co-VP Communications; Scott Robinson, VP Corporate Engagement; and Anetra Henry-Hunting, VP Sponsorship.

Four San Diego board members gain valuable insights at 2016 AMA Summit

What do you get when you bring together 350 marketing leaders from all over North America, representing all kinds of brands and agencies, with diverse experiences and interests? An incredible growth experience, that’s what.

As San Diego AMA’s content wrangler, I was lucky to join three other San Diego AMA board members at the 2016 national AMA Leadership Summit Apr. 29-May 1 in Chicago: Rachel Brown, Co-VP Communications; Anetra Henry-Hunting, VP Sponsorship; and Scott Robinson, VP Corporate Engagement.

With a theme of “Converge”, AMA convened the Summit to provide chapters the strategies, tools and inspiration they need to provide their local marketers the best possible AMA experience. After three days of structured presentations and discussion workshops, the group leaves Chicago prepared to work with the rest of the board to do that for the rest of 2016 and beyond.

By orchestrating this opportunity to share nationwide best practices and lessons learned each year, AMA ensures every chapter can provide its local marketing community compelling programming and educational sessions, rewarding networking and social events, enhanced membership and sponsorship value, and enriching thought leadership and community involvement.

Clearly, the primary objective of the weekend was helping us improve our chapters. But we all agreed the trip brought tremendous carryover benefits for all of us personally and professionally.

Sure, we heard from award-winning speakers from Google, TD Bank and Hilton Hotels, but what really made the event incredible were the interactions with our peers from all over the country. It was through these exchanges of ideas and experience that we learned about strategies, tools and technologies that will help us well beyond supporting our chapters:

  • The latest email marketing best practices. What platforms people are using, which are the most flexible and user-friendly, which integrate best with select CRMs, ways to ensure our messages are received, opened and acted on.
  • Project management & collaboration tools. People are loving Trello and Asana for PM, Slack for collaboration. Data visualization dashboards like Geckoboard are also getting their share of props.
  • Social media trends. Facebook Live is killing Periscope, Facebook events can be more effective than posts, and there might yet be a constructive use of Snapchat for professionals. Stay tuned…
  • Presentation skills. We’ve all heard it, a picture is worth a thousand words, but we got some fantastic illustrated tips and techniques to help us deliver winning presentations.

Of course, everyone had a ton of fun. There were Twitter wars, inter-chapter trash-talking, late-night laughs, rude awakenings and an optional trip to downtown Chicago for a guided tour of the AMA’s inspiring new workspace, courtesy of CEO Russ Klein.

And here’s an awesome little secret: there’s an incredibly fast track within San Diego AMA to fantastic professional development opportunities like the Summit. I joined AMA and raised my hand as a local volunteer in August, 2015, first supporting communications for the Nov. 2015 Art of Marketing conference. From there, I joined the board in my content role and booked passage to Chicago shortly thereafter. Anetra and Scott followed similar arcs, joining the board this year. Rachel is the group’s seasoned veteran, taking on her communications role in July, 2015.

Making the leap from San Diego AMA event attendee to member is the first simple step on the path to powerful experiences like the Summit, where the local rewards of membership — knowledge sharing, networking and fun — are magnified exponentially. With AMA offering a $50 new membership discount through June 24, there’s no better time to start your AMA journey. Then just raise your hand to accelerate it!

About Bill

Bill is VP, Content at AMA San Diego. He is a member of the sales team at Neil Patel Digital. He enjoys coffee, CrossFit, golf, traveling, current events and post-apocalyptic fiction. Find him on Twitter: @BillWinnSD