2012 NAFDMA Conference;Williamsburg, Virginia
Just back from the 2012 NAFDMA Conference [NAFDMA = North American Farmers Direct Marketing Association]. I was there on a study tour arranged by Taste of Anglia/via Landskills East. As I wrote in a previous blog, it was an unbelievable opportunity for a small business such as mine to see what the Farm Shop market in the US is like – and to hopefully bring those learnings back to the UK to further develop my own fledgling Posh Pop business!
The Conference took place in two parts: a 3 day bus tour, followed by a 3 day conference.
There were 5 buses in total – each having a slightly different theme. I was on Bus#1 – the Retail bus. It was pretty hectic [we visited up to 5 outlets a day], and very informative. We spent two nights in Charlottesville. The travel between stops was fully utilised and we used the miles on the road to share experiences with the rest of the bus via the microphone at the front! We swapped seats after every stop too – so a bus full of strangers at the beginning were definitely a bus full of friends by the end of it. It was almost sad coming back to Williamsburg for the actual conference – leaving the safe enclave of the bus and all the amazing folk on Bus#1!
We were then in Williamsburg for 3 days for a full-on conference – involving a Trade show, education day and participation day. Got to meet lots more people from all over the States and Canada – share stories, share experiences, share tips. I got to hear some great speakers – the highlight was probably having a full day seminar with John Stanley, ‘the retail guru’ who knows pretty much everything there is to know about farmshop retailing.
Home again after 8 days my mind is whirling around at a rate of knots with new ideas, having met some fabulous new friends from both sides of the ocean. Last, but not least a very big THANK YOU to Judy Randon for organising the whole trip on behalf of Landskills East – an amazing experience.