Loud, proud, bold, boisterous, spirited.
Those are just a few of the words I would use to describe the fervor and elation the American Advertising Federation of Central MN’s Board of Directors are marching into our 2019-20 season with. Grab your sunnies, because we’re bringing a bright future.
Welcome to 2019, Baby
You might be thinking, “Hey Bridget, you’re about 9 months late to the ‘yay, 2019!’ party.” But I’m not. I know we celebrated flipping our calendars to 2019 on a cold, dark December night – but as a Board of Directors, our chapter is celebrating the kickoff to another American Advertising Federation season.
I am a proud, proud President of a fiercely inspiring group of Central Minnesota Creatives. We come from all backgrounds, levels of experience, shapes, sizes, passions, and music preferences … but we all believe in our club and what it can mean to our community. To students, professionals, business owners, and everyone in between.
And that’s why – as we step into a gleaming new season of events, chock-full of enthusiasm and imagination – we’re bringing some updates along with us.
What’s New in the 2019-20 Season
1. Our Board of Directors (BOD)
Every spring we dust off our recruiting shoes and seek out new additions to our Board of Directors before our season draws to a close. This year, we have an impressive balance of individuals who are brand new to the board, are in their second term, and are 5+ year veterans. If you haven’t yet, check out our Meet the 2019-2020 AAFCM Board of Directors blog and learn a little about us. It never hurts to be able to put a face to a name, right?
This – in my opinion – is one of the highlights of this blog and our 2019-20 season. (If this was a drinking game and you took a shot every time I said “2019-20 season” we’d all be a little hazy right about now, but, ANYWAY.)
The people have spoken, and we have heard them. You told us our memberships were pricey. Some said complicated. Frustrating. Not worth it. And in a world of subscriptions, jam-packed calendars, and a desire for as-instant-as-possible gratification, we knew we needed to make our membership – and what it means – more accessible and appealing. So, we’ve changed it.
A week or so ago, I wrote a blog announcing the updates to our Membership, but I’ll summarize here, too. We have three levels of membership: Student, Freelance / First-Year College Grad, or Professional. Each of these membership tiers comes at a reasonable cost – but all have the same Membership Perks. There is also Corporate pricing if you and your department or group of colleagues want to join. We’re excited to roll out our updated membership and the INCREDIBLE benefits. Click here to learn more (and, you know, GET YOUR MEMBERSHIP!)
3. Coffee with Creatives
This little offshoot of our monthly events has been years in the making. With movers and shakers on our board (that I seriously cannot say enough great things about) we are making it happen. On the last Tuesday of every month, we’re hosting Coffee with Creatives: Where Connection, Conversation, Caffeine, and Creatives come together. This monthly meet-up is exclusive to Members. However, anyone can come for their first time as a guest! So, if you’d like to check it out and test the AAFCM waters before you jump in, this is a great place to do it.
Why are we championing Coffee with Creatives? Simple. We feel there aren’t enough professional networking events dedicated to the St. Cloud creative community, especially ones that deep dive into the trends and challenges of our industry. Accessible, insightful, caffeinated. Our own Taylor published a blog all about our morning meet-ups, check it out!
Oh… did we mention that coffee + food is provided? Yeah, pencil this in your calendar!
4. Event Surveys
In the past, we’ve had printed event surveys at events for you to fill out while it’s fresh in your minds. But, to be a little more digital and a little less wasteful, we’ll be sending all event surveys out via email. You’re probably used to this for … like, any event or purchase you make online.
This is where we have an ask for you… please, please, please, fill them out! Making updates to how we run our club and the events + opportunities we bring are simply not possible (or are guesses, at best) without your input. We want to know what you think of every detail of every event. So when you see that survey email come through, fill it out, please!
5. Sponsorship Opportunities
A big focus of our club is collaboration. It often happens in the form of partnered sponsorship and helping us cover the costs of speakers, presentations, refreshments, and venues… and damn, are we thankful for you all. This season, we’ve established “official” sponsorship tiers + benefits for those of you who continually partner with our club as well as those of you who would like to get in front of our group of marketers, advertisers, designers, writers, by joining forces. Have I piqued your interest? Let’s talk!
6. …and More
That’s not all. Some additional exciting updates and events are coming to the Central MN AAF group – but I didn’t want to overload your brains. And besides, we can’t give away all our news at the beginning. What fun would that be? Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for events + updates and sign up for our email list to get promo info, first chance at tickets, and news.
Onward & Upward
So, yes … while there are a lot of places to find doom and gloom in the world today, our club just isn’t one of them. Sorry, not sorry. We are here to learn, laugh, celebrate, and create. We are here to relentlessly grow and shape ourselves and our world. There are enough places to find competition, calamity, and crappy attitudes. We’re not saying we’re going to erase all that or fight all those fights, but we can promise we will rise above. We are here for our fellow creatives.
Come at us, 2019. You ain’t got nothin’ on this Board of Directors.
We are here. You’ll hear us.