A great conference builds many things; professional knowledge, industry insight and personal networking just to name a few. The 2016 AMIN Worldwide Integrated Conference Little Rock, April 24th through the 26th built one of the most important elements of an inspired workforce — connection.

AMIN Worldwide is an alliance of 50 independent marketing agencies. Each year the Integrated conference brings together representatives in media, public relations and creative of each U.S. agency to collaborate, learn and develop relationships that help members not only connect with each other but also with consumers.

The conference kicked off with attendees learning about connecting with themselves through a personality analysis that helped develop transformative communication. Dr. Nate Regier of Next Element leadership communication demonstrated the keys to building positive relationships in all aspects of work and life. Motivating others through language and learning to recognize personal behavior patterns helped set the stage for a conference that would allow attendees to create profound connections.

This year’s conference sessions focused on the theme in all its aspects — from the social media connection of U.S. Soccer fans to their team to the celebrities that help bridge connections for public service. Public relations specialists discussed connection in a digital age. Sessions also included a special keynote from Charles Morgan on how he used data to connect and grow Axiom and his present business endeavors.

Photo by Archipreneur  (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The physical aspect of connection presented itself as well. Downtown Little Rock proved a unique environment to explore this theme; through the connection between the Clinton Presidential Center, the Little Rock River Market, and Capital Hotel. Walking through the revitalized area delivered the message of the conference in a palpable sense that helped reinforce attendees’ experiences.

One of the most personally resonant aspects of the conference included connecting with other creative professionals throughout the country to share experiences and best practices. Through roundtable discussions, we shared our perspective on past successes and the future of creative work that truly connects consumers to brands in meaningful ways. Reconnecting with creative professionals throughout the country continues to help me grow my understanding of how to be a leader in this industry.

Even though it’s not my primary discipline, engaging with media vendors to learn about emerging media channels that shape how advertisers connect with consumers presented an opportunity to make sure that our creative always utilizes the cutting edge of media technology and strategy. 

This conference presented many opportunities to develop relationships with other agency professionals to grow our understanding of both our industry and our markets. And to see how we could build our independent agencies through collaboration, sharing, and connection.