Marketing revival taking root

Plans to revive the Alberta chapter of an agriculture marketing organization received a boost last month when more than 60 people gathered in Olds for a meeting organized by the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association.

Plans to revive the Alberta chapter of an agriculture marketing organization received a boost last month when more than 60 people gathered in Olds for a meeting organized by the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association.

Jack Zenert, who teaches business and marketing at Olds College, is spearheading efforts to bring CAMA back to life in this province.

He said he was pleased with the turnout and is optimistic that CAMA can succeed here.

“There’s a lot of interest in getting back up and running.

“A lot of people said, ‘Since CAMA shut down I’ve lost track of people I used to know, and I don’t meet as many people in the industry. I don’t have as many contacts to get projects done and to network with.”

CAMA, which has chapters in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, represents agricultural marketing and business professionals.

The opportunity to network with others in the industry is a benefit of membership, said Zenert, but the association also promotes professional development.

At the Olds meeting, a representative of marketing firm Woodruff Sweitzer conducted a presentation on the use of social media in agricultural marketing. Participants also had the opportunity to tour Olds College’s BioFuel Technology Centre.

Zenert said prospective CAMA members at the meeting told him they want quality guest speakers who can provide them with useful information. This would be a focus going forward, he said.

People who might be interested in CAMA include not only those working at marketing firms, but members of other companies who have marketing responsibilities, said Zenert.

“We think we have tremendous value to offer those everyday people.”

Attendees at the April meeting came from Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton and elsewhere.

The next get-together is planned for Calgary on June 15, but future venues could include places like Red Deer, said Zenert.

“I think we’re going to have to incorporate meetings in different locations to fulfil everyone’s needs.”

Zenert is not familiar with the circumstances surrounding CAMA’s earlier demise in Alberta. He said the branch wound down a few years ago.

“I don’t really know exactly why it didn’t work,” he said, adding that many agriculture marketers are anxious to try again.

The Calgary meeting is expected to focus on the return of CAMA to Alberta. Plans are already being made for Alberta to host CAMA’s national conference in 2011.

Additional information about CAMA can be found online at www.cama.org. Anyone interested in getting involved with the Alberta chapter can email Zenert at jack@zenert.ca or call him at 403-556-4631.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

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