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The 2021 AAFCM Season is on!

Have you ever had that perfect night where everything fell into place and it’s hard to find the words to describe just how great it actually was? That’s exactly how we’re feeling trying to recap our first-ever AAFCM Kickoff Party.

We’re still salivating over the delicious pizza. Green Mill did not disappoint. As if that wasn’t enough, they also helped us create a signature drink for the event. What was the inspiration? Glad you asked! Well, when you attend the American Advertising Awards (AAA), you have the opportunity to win an Addy award. So, we decided to give out our own “Addy” in the form of a delicious beverage for our members and attendees to enjoy. They’ve earned it. So “The Addy” was born!

Didn’t have a chance to try this delicious drink? Make your own at home!

The Addy:

  • 1 oz Saint Germain
  • 1 oz Gin or vodka
  • Soda water
  • Lime Juice
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice

There was no better place to enjoy this cool and refreshing drink than out on the patio, listening to the musical stylings of the one and only Askel Krafnick. Not only did he provide great entertainment, but he also walked away with a free ticket to the AAA’s in one of our three drawings. Brittany Kapsner also received a ticket to the awards show and our biggest giveaway of a free one-year membership was awarded to Amber Miller. Congrats to you three! Look for more giveaways and fun throughout the season.

We weren’t kidding when we said we were ready to make this a season to remember and this was a great way to kick off the season. If you didn’t immediately leave this event and sign up for a membership, what are you waiting for!? This is just the beginning of an incredible programming year. What can you expect to see?

  • Have you ever wondered what it’s like to start a business? You won’t want to miss Hustle Hour in September.
  • Is history your jam? Keep an eye out for our first-ever Ancient Advertising Luncheon at the end of September.
  • Do you fancy yourself a designer? You’ll want to show off your skills in this year’s CMYK Poster Show.
  • Or are you just looking for some fun social events where you can network with other creatives? This is the place for you!

Keep an eye out for all our fun events that will be announced this year!

Thanks to everyone who came out to support AAFCM in our first event of the season and we look forward to seeing you all throughout the year!

A Letter From The President

When thinking about the message I wanted to write to introduce myself as the new board President for AAFCM, I initially thought I’d write a piece about myself and all the great things about AAFCM. In fact, I wrote a really polished blog and then deleted it. Nothing short of the unfiltered truth felt right for this. So here it goes.

When I talk about the year our club had in 2020, I won’t use words like unprecedented or tell you how challenging it was to engage not only our members virtually but our very own board, myself included. I mean, it was, but you’ve heard that story and those words from everyone. So I’ll tell you a new story.

In 2020, I happily accepted the VP seat with excitement and pride. If memory serves, that was February of 2020. Shortly after, everything changed. We finished out the 2019-2020 season and entered 2020-2021 programming with our fearless leader Taylor Sellnow at the helm. What followed can only be described as something akin to building the plane while trying to flying it. Taylor handled it with dignity and grace and a work ethic like no other. Seriously, she deserves a cape #superhero.

Looking back, I knew that having agreed to the VP role meant I would be President the following year. Full transparency… I just remember feeling grateful that 2020 wasn’t my presidency year. I thought for sure the pandemic would be long over by the time I took the reigns…

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely been on this ride along with our club. It hasn’t been easy. I won’t sugar coat it with “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” or “we’re a stronger club because of it” or {insert another cliché about challenges and overcoming obstacles}. While that’s all true, 2020 was not kind to our club. Or our membership numbers. Virtual events when everyone and their mother were doing virtual events didn’t bode well for us. Don’t get me wrong, we still brought quality content and tried to provide as much value to our members as possible, but we get it. It wasn’t the same.

And at the risk of sounding like an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend trying to win you back…. I’m here to tell you that we’ve changed. It’s true what they say. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone (in-person events and YOU). We’re different now.

What does that mean, you ask? Well, we thought about playing it safe and providing the same events we had pre-COVID, but that just didn’t seem like enough. So this year, we have completely shaken up our programming. We’re not only creating new events; we’re adding more to the docket and dropping old ones that no longer serve our members or us.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel the pressure to make this a banner year and recoup the members we’ve lost. While I do feel those things, most importantly, I want to provide the programming and value our past, present, and future members deserve. “If you build it, they will come” or something like that. We’re building it, so… come! From our CMYK poster show to our new Friendsgiving event and so much more. There is something for every type of creative.

Want to learn more about what our club does? If you’ve read this far, you’re clearly invested ;). Our kick-off event is coming up on Thursday, August 19th, from 5-8 pm at the Green Mill in St. Cloud. Come check it out and learn a little bit more about AAFCM. Register here.

Wishing you an abundance of health, wealth, and happiness.

– Tiffany

2021 American Advertising Awards FAQ

It’s AAA Season! If you’re not familiar with the AAA it’s one of our staple events – the American Advertising Awards – a national competition that’s available to all creatives on a local level. Like any award submission, the process has several steps. If you’re new to the AAA submission process or even if you’ve entered in the past – we get it, it can be a bit overwhelming. Knowing this only happens once a year, we wanted to help answer any questions you might be asking as you prepare to submit your American Advertising Award entry (or entries!) And yes, if you haven’t heard, our 2021 show will be virtual. It doesn’t change much, but we did address that in the questions below, too.

If you have additional questions regarding the American Advertising Awards or the submission process after reading this, check us out on Facebook, as we’ll be sharing some more video resources there – or reach out to us! We’re happy to help and want to make this a successful and fun event for everyone.

Q: How are submissions for 2021 (VIRTUAL) different? 

A: The actual submission process for 2021 will be no different than in previous years. The only difference will be all of your work will be submitted digitally, there will be no physical files given to us. Details on submitting your work can be found on the 2021 American Advertising Awards website.

Q: Do I still need to print and mount my work? 

A: No! This year you will not need to print and mount your work. Our judges will not be coming in person and we will not be hosting an in-person event to display the work so your submission, along with the files and graphics will all be digital. When you submit your work you will have the opportunity to attach up to 5 files and an optional video upload. This is the case for all local, regional, and national events this year due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.  

Q: Who can I reach out to if I need help with the submission process? 

A: Please reach out to Taylor Sellnow at taylor.s@horizonroofinginc.com with any questions regarding submissions. She will be happy to help!

Q: Do I have to be a marketing agency to submit? 

A: Absolutely not! The American Advertising Awards highlights the work of all creatives no matter how big or small. Whether you’re a student or you work Freelance, In-House, or at an Agency, your work is welcomed! We are so lucky to live in a community with strong talent, we want to see it all. 

Q: Where do I find a list of categories to submit?

A: You can find Professional categories here and Student categories here

Q: Does virtual judging change anything? 

A: Short answer: No!

Long Answer: Traditionally, the judging weekend for our Central Minnesota American Advertising Awards show is one of our favorite weekends of the year. It’s our shot to show 3 people from different corners of the country the incredible work that happens here in Central Minnesota. Not to mention putting our awesome area on display and showing our pride in living, working, and creating here! However, each year, all the judges do at least some virtual judging, even when we aren’t in a pandemic. Some clubs from across the country even do all their judging virtually, it’s just the process that works for them. We’ll probably go back to in-person judging when it’s safe to do so (I’m talking about you, 2022!), but until then, we’re working within the guidelines and recommendations that our national AAF leaders are asking us to follow. 

Q: What if I feel like my work is best seen tangibly/in-person? 

A: We get it! Often, the best part of a project is seeing it all come together off-screen. Being able to touch it, feel it, and show it off to all your friends. Our recommendation is to take the time to get quality proofs of your work and present it as best you can on-screen. This might mean mocking up a scene in which your work might appear. Think about how you might present a concept to your clients/boss before it’s actually been created. Anything you can do to help someone visualize the work will help. 

Q: How do I make sure I buy a ticket for The Show?

A: You can buy tickets for The Show on our event page. If you wish to receive a Commemorative American Advertising Award Show Box for $25, you will need to purchase tickets by Friday, January 22nd. You can also purchase a link to The Show for $10 which will be available until the day of The Show. 

Q: Are there any AAA entry/show ticket discounts? 

A: Yes! If you are an AdFed member, both student or professional, you will receive a discount on your submissions and ticket prices for The Show. Discounts are as follows: 

  • Single Entry: Professionals $55 (Non-Member $95) – Students $35 (Non-Member $50)
  • Campaign Entry: Professionals $95 (Non-Member $155) – Students $45 (Non-Member $65)
  • Ticket Pricing: 50% off Commemorative AAA Show Box

If these price breaks aren’t enough to convince you to become a member, check out all of our member benefits!

Q: What should I expect from a virtual show that might be different? 

A: Nothing! Well, except for being in-person of course. Our team has been working diligently behind the scenes to make this the best possible event for our attendees. The laughs and the recognition you love to receive will still remain. The best part is, you get to enjoy it all in your pajamas!

CMYK Poster Show 2020

Are you ready to say goodbye to 2020? We hear ya! That’s why we decided to focus this year’s 6th Annual CMYK Poster Show on the year ahead. 

The 2020 CMYK Poster Show Theme is 2021.

The fun thing about the Poster Show is that the theme can be interpreted in any way you want. Have fun with it! Check out 2018’s event recap and see how the theme Puns & Quotes was interpreted.

How should you approach this theme?

Well, that’s the beauty of this competition, you can approach it however you darned well, please. What inspires you? What tells the world a little more about who you are? What makes you say, “oh, I can’t wait to do that in 2021”? 

The idea is you’re designing a unique poster with your wishes for the future and sharing it with the world, er, at least some local foodies and poster enthusiasts. So, use your favorite font, textures, colors, etc., to share a little piece of you. Make it pretty, make it clever, make it whatever you will – just make it, and join us at the 6th annual CMYK Poster Design Competition. 

Show us what you wish and hope for in the new year. What does 2021 mean to you? 

Join us at the Poster Show

This year’s Poster Show will look a little different but still be the fun event you expect it to be. With social distancing in mind, this year’s show will be a come-and-go style. You will not need to be present to win at the silent auction, but you will need to be present to bid. Masks will be required, and we’ll have plenty of hand sanitizer. Plus, you can’t forget the food! 

Lingen Dairy will be selling cheese curds, burgers, and milkshakes! Anyone else’s mouth watering?! 

WHEN: Wednesday, October 21st

TIME: 4:30 to 7:30 PM

WHERE: Cooper Collective: 

COST: FREE – Bring your friends! 

THE FINE PRINT: The cost for poster entry this year is again $15. Competition is limited to the first 40 creatives. The deadline to submit your entry will be October 15th October 18th at 11:59 PM. All of the details can be found here.

Whether you’re an artist, a food truck enthusiast, or you’re just looking for some normalcy; this is an event you don’t want to miss. See all you cool cats and kittens at the show!

Meet Your 2020-21 Board of Directors

We’re the names you read in your inbox and on the AAFCM social channels. We’re the
voices you hear introducing speakers and moderating panels at
our events. We’re the faces you see at the registration tables and mingling with attendees. We’re the passionate, dedicated individuals committed to bringing our community of creatives together to inspire one another and learn together. 

We are your 2020-21 Board of Directors and we’re so excited to meet you!

 

Alicia Chapman, Content CuratorAlicia Chapman, Content Curator

  • Alicia is a Freelance Writer/Editor and Owner of Bluebird Creative. She loves finding unique stories in everyday interactions. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new places with her husband and son. She can typically be found at a local brewery, with her nose in a book, or cheering on a local sports team.
  • Favorite AAFCM Event: I’m looking forward to the CMYK event – I’ve heard so many great things about it!

 

BridgetBridget Deutz, Immediate Past President

  • Bridget owns a Digital Marketing company, Greenline Marketing. When she’s not working or having fun at AdFed events, she likes spending time with her family and friends, playing games, enjoying music, digging in antique stores, sipping iced coffee or red wine, and hanging out with her labradoodle, Dolly.
  • Favorite AAFCM Event: Do I have to pick? CMYK, AAAs, Beauty & The Bias … I love them all.

 

Bryce Jacobson, Website Design & Development 

  • Bryce is a web designer and developer at Meta 13. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife and three busy kids. If he gets the chance he also loves the outdoors, especially fishing.
  • Favorite AAFCM Event: CMYK and The American Advertising Awards (ADDYs)

 

Dan Maciej, TreasurerDan

  • Dan is a Marketing Specialist at Automotive Parts Headquarters, Inc. When he’s not at work, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and three kids, working on his hobby farm, or messing around in his shop with old cars and tractors.
  • Favorite AAFCM Event: I really enjoy the monthly luncheons!

 

Jessi Ewald, Digital Marketing
Jessi Ewald, Digital Marketing

  • Jessi is a Digital Project Manager at DAYTA Marketing where she helps clients in various industries achieve their marketing goals. In her free time she enjoys antique shopping with family, finding unique pieces they can repurpose. Of course, also spending time with her pup, Hank.
  • Favorite AAFCM Event: The CMYK Poster Show. It’s so cool to see all of the talent right here in Central MN.

 

Jordan Rezac, ProgrammingJordan Rezac, Programming

  • Jordan is a Jr. Processor at New American Funding and previously worked in events and digital marketing. On the side, she channels her creativeness with her Etsy/Instagram shop: Jo + Co. When she’s not busy crafting, she enjoys spending time on the lake with her fiance, Zach, their two fur babes, Laila and Zeke, and her family and friends.
  • Favorite AAFCM Event: This year she is looking forward to the American Advertising Awards and Beauty and the Bias!

 

KristineKristine Sylvester, Membership + Community Connector

  • Kristine Sylvester is a Sales Representative at Facetime Business Resources.  She enjoys spending time with her husband Chad and her two children Kallie and Sam.  When she is not working you will probably find her at the hockey rink or at a horse show.  She also loves spending time with all of her fur babies which include her two horses (Kira and Stella), two dogs (Max and Finley), and her two cats (Sox and Snookie). When there is time, she also enjoys volunteering in the community at various events. 
  • Favorite AAFCM Event: Coffee with Creatives

Leah Rado

Leah Rado, Secretary

  • Leah translated her love of sports into a career and is the Athletic Media Relations Director at the College of Saint Benedict. When she’s not courtside keeping stats, taking photos, or writing, she enjoys playing volleyball, running, spending time with friends and family, and hanging out with George and Rudy – her rescue wiener dogs.
  • Favorite AAFCM Event: CMYK – I love the energy and seeing the amount of creative talent we have around the area.

 

Mandi Moon, Marketing Management

  • Mandi is a National Speaker and Brand Marketing Consultant for sales teams, professionals, and entrepreneurs. She works with those who want to do a better job of telling their story to build business. Mandi is also the Founder of The Good People, a networking group for those who want to start or level up their business by utilizing a Collaboration Economy. Growing up in Central Minnesota, Mandi has a heart for telling stories about all the good people and great business here! In her free time, you can find her at brunch or reading the latest in human psychology.
  • Favorite AAFCM Event: Always looking for an excuse to get glam – The American Advertising Awards

 

TaylorTaylor Sellnow, President

  • Taylor works at Horizon Roofing, Inc. as the Director of Experiences. She recently became a new mom and enjoys spending time with her baby boy Colt boyfriend Tyler, and dalmatian Floyd. On weekends you can find her on the lake, drinking a craft beer, or somewhere listening to live music.
  • Favorite AAFCM Event: It’s a tie between the CMYK Poster Show and the American Advertising Awards!

 

TiffanyTiffany Schultz, Vice President

  • Tiffany is the Director of Content Strategy and Promotion at Lake One. She also does freelance content creation and project management. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, consuming too much coffee, traveling, and reading.
  • Favorite AAFCM Event: Beauty & the
    Bias!

Introducing Coffee with Creatives

Aghhh, do you smell that? A freshly brewed cup of coffee, nothing better.

Wait, wait. That might not be true. 

How about a freshly brewed cup of coffee AND conversation with fellow creatives? There, that’s better.

AAF of Central Minnesota is beyond excited to invite our Members to a new morning meetup called Coffee with Creatives. This is a member-exclusive networking, open conversation, roundtable event where morning networking, learning, insightful conversation, and caffeine come together. 

Come Have Coffee with Us

Coffee With CreativesWhen we began talking about our membership changes for the 2019-20 season, we knew our crew deserved something special. We began rattling off ideas – nothing was off the table. As the conversation continued, we kept coming back to some type of ‘morning meetup.’ As a board, we are proud to create in the Central Minnesota community, but we felt something was missing in the creative landscape, especially when it came to professional opportunities to work both sides of our brain. From this, Coffee with Creatives was born. 

Our goal for Coffee with Creatives is to create a space where like-minded individuals can come together and share their triumphs and tribulations that come with this industry, and in the Central Minnesota area. Every month members will gather at the Capital One Cafe to discuss topics, trends, and challenges relevant to the creative industry. Think successful paid advertising, mood boards, freelance, B2B vs. B2C marketing, and more. 

Not only will this exclusive membership perk provide professional value, but it will also be FUN! No more snooze-worthy presentations, a “this could have been an email” lecture, or 2005-style powerpoint presentation. This is a new kind of professional development opportunity! One of the best parts? It’s open to students, freelancers, business owners, professionals … if you’re a Member of AAFCM and consider yourself part of the ‘creative’ field, come have coffee with us! 

However you define yourself: writer, designer, account executive, developer, human; Coffee with Creatives is for you. See you there!

Coffee with Creatives FAQ

Q: I’m interested in coming but I’m not a member … Now what?

A: Not to worry! Anyone is welcome to come once as a guest of the AAFCM Board. You’ll love it so much, after that you’ll want to become a member and you can come every time! Plus, when you’re a member you can bring a guest too

Q: Does Coffee with Creatives happen at the same time and place every month?

A: Yes! Capital One Cafe has graciously allowed us to use their space. Join us in Meeting Room 2 at Capital One, Downtown St. Cloud. We’ll be there on the last Tuesday of every month from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM.

Q: Will coffee and breakfast be provided? I’m not creative on an empty stomach.

A: You bet your sweet chocolate-covered donut it will! Capital One Cafe will provide the caffeine and the monthly sponsoring company will provide the eats. 

Q: Do I have to be professionally affiliated as a marketer, advertiser, designer, etc. on my LinkedIn page to come?

A: Heck no! If you identify as a creative person, you’re welcome to join us. Remember, the first time is free to guests but after that, you have to be a member to join. Trust us, you’ll love it. 

Q: How do I become a member? 

A: Easy as 1-2-3. Check out our membership page for pricing, benefits, member exclusives, and more on why you should join. We have a ton of fun and you won’t regret becoming part of our crew!

A Letter from the President: Come at Us, 2019

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.

AAFCM BOD

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?

2. Membership

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.

Say Hello to our New Membership Model

In a world of Facebook groups, professional development podcasts, and virtual networking, it can be hard to stay relevant as a professional development group. Especially for non-profit organizations like ours. In fact, research showed that starting in 2017, an estimated 62 percent of associations in the United States are experiencing flat or declining membership. SIXTY TWO PERCENT!

And we felt it.
Enter, change.

The Back Story

It’s not easy or fun to share that over the past five years I’ve been a part of the American Advertising Federation of Central MN (AAFCM), we’ve seen our membership number slowly follow declining trends. Blegh. It was no one’s fault – but it was real, and it was happening.

At the beginning of our 2018-19 season our then-President, Sarah Forystek, started the conversation about our club’s Membership mode. We talked about what we’re going to do to stay relevant in the landscape of “my only memberships deliver a box of goodies and gifts to my door once a month” and “I’d rather do something free.” Not a simple task, my friends. 

We knew if we were going to make changes, we needed to take our time and do it right. We needed to survey, ask questions, dig deeper, pull numbers, and have long (sometimes exhausting, sometimes exhilarating) meetings as a group. We knew we needed to do our due diligence – not only to historical club models that have (and haven’t) worked but also to the community (aka YOU) we’re asking to participate in and engage with us.

So, that’s what we did. Drumroll, please.

Our New + Improved AAFCM Membership

Without further adieu … 

MEMBERSHIP LEVELS

    • Student = $65/yr
    • Freelancers + First Year College Grads = $135/yr
    • Professionals = $185/yr
    • Corporate Memberships = $650/yr for 4 membership seats
      • Additional memberships for your company are $150 

EVENT PRICING

  • Members – $10
  • Non-Members – $20

You’ll notice we created clear, singular membership tiers and greatly reduced the cost of membership.  Another aspect changed is that all of our events are now the same price; we have a set ticket cost for members and a set ticket cost for non-members. Some aspects stayed the same; for example, all our memberships are still rolling memberships – meaning that it’s good for 365 days from the time you purchase it. We also worked our butts off to expand + identify true values and benefits of an AAFCM membership.

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

  • 50% off all Events (They will only ever cost $10, even with provided meals… sweat deal, right?)
  • 50% off your ADDY Ticket (This is new!)
  • Exclusive access to our new monthly Coffee with Creatives morning networking group 
    • Please note, each AAFCM Member is allowed (encouraged!) to bring 1 guest per month
  • Newsletter + Social Media Features for you and/or your company
  • Access to Job Boards
    • Get your creative job openings in front of the people that matter. Considering the U.S. jobless rate is the lowest in history, we know this is important!
  • Official Member of the American Advertising Federation – which means you get all the perks that go along with a national membership
  • Eligibility to serve on our awesome Board of Directors

Sign Up for Membership


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is there a Deadline to Sign Up for Membership?
    • Not at all! HOWEVER, we are offering a promotion right now. If you sign up for membership by October 10th, you’ll save $10. 10/10, $10. See what we did there?
  1. Are There Any Discounts?
    • Yes and no. As noted under our membership levels, we do offer a discount for companies purchasing 4+ memberships. Also, refer to question #1 (you can save $10 from now until 10/10!) So mostly yes, but “no” if you’re looking for a different kind of discount.
  1. How Long is my Membership Good For?
    • Our club offers a rolling membership. That means that from the day you sign up and (virtually) swipe your card, you are a Member for 365 days. And don’t worry, we’ll send you emails warning you when your membership is getting close to expiring.
  1. How do I know If I Should Become a Member?
    • Our organization is a group of people from all walks of life including age, industry, and experience, with one thing in common: creativity. Our mission is to educate, foster, and encourage learning + growth for all creatives. We are the hustlers, do-ers, movers, shakers, and dreamers.

If you consider yourself creative, love learning, are looking to network with other area creatives, and are seeking some kick-ass (we’re biased) personal growth, then we think our club is for you! The good news is, you can come to an event for just $20 (and food is usually included), or try our Coffee with Creatives networking group as a guest.

If you have questions about membership or want more information about who we are and if it’s a fit, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Or show up at an event, I’m betting you really won’t regret it.

A Marketer, Maker, & Picture Taker: Join us for the 2019 Hustle Hour

Hustle Hour 2019

Do you have a dream to start your own business? Do you have a million questions about where to begin? Are you obsessed with Guy Raz’s How I Built This podcast or other stories about building a business? Do you wish you had the opportunity to ask a successful entrepreneur what it takes, the lessons they have learned along the way, the ups, the downs, and everything else in between?

AFF Central Minnesota will be hosting our 2nd annual Hustle Hour Event on Monday, September 16th from 5 to 7 pm at Bad Habit Brewery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Join us to hear from an impressive panel of some of Central Minnesota’s finest entrepreneurs. They are the hustlers, the dreamers, the doers. The ones who weren’t afraid to follow their dreams and create their own legacy. You’ll learn all about their journey of starting a successful business from the ground up and hopefully walk away with fuel to add to your fire.

We are very excited about the panelists who agreed to join us this year. These three entrepreneurs cast away their doubts and worked hard to become experts in their own respective areas. We have a marketer, a maker, and a picture taker making this one of our most dynamic panels yet. Read more about Ashley, Luke, and Mariah and hear them tell their stories of triumph and failure on September, 16th.

Ashley Green:

Ashley Green of Green Thumb Etc. got her start as an artist from a very young age. She got her professional start in artistry as a floral designer in 2009, and as her passions evolved, so did her career. She fell in love with the puzzle of furniture, began her business with accent seating in 2013, and grew her product line in 2018 to include wedding and event floral. She now spends her days immersed in her craft of unique furniture reupholster, creating beautiful bridal arrangements, and living her best life. You can find her work at greenthumbetc.com or on Instagram @greenthumbetc

Luke Riordan:

Luke Riordan is the CEO and Founder of DAYTA Marketing. DAYTA Marketing opened in 2012. Since then DAYTA has grown from a team of 2 to 32 and counting. With a large team of experienced marketing and digital recruitment professionals, DAYTA’s consultative approach has created over 150 subscription-clients who partner with DAYTA to help their organizations grow. Luke also serves as a Board Member of Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Minnesota and is chair of the Talent Committee at the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation. Luke earned his degree from Saint John’s University in 2011 and lives with his wife, Karli, and his two sons in Sartell, Minnesota.

Mariah Elise:

Mariah Elise is a wedding and portrait photographer based in South Dakota. She travels regularly through the Midwest and beyond. Mariah is a tomboy at heart and used to love playing down by the swamp and most days would come home barefoot, covered head to toe in dirt. She picked up a camera long before she ever realized she would become a photographer. Some of her favorite moments were ones she captured as a child. When she realized she was documenting the in-between moments of her own life, she felt called to do the same for others.

Grab a friend, a fellow lover of business-owners and hustlers, and join us for an evening of learning, discovery, and fun!

Purchase Hustle Hour Tickets Here