The convention begins with a three-day School on Wheels. The Networking Bus Tour will be held on February 11-13. This popular tour will have six buses on the road to farms such as Carter Mountain Orchards, Virginia Farm Market, Belvedere Plantation, Great Country Farms and Cox Farms. Each bus will have an individualized focus to give attendees an in depth opportunity to network and share subject matter that is important to them.
The Trade Show will be open February 13-15. This unique trade show gives delegates a chance to taste test many specialty food products, compare corn maze companies and even test drive a pedal kart. As many as 90 trade show booths will promote the latest products and services available for farm retail and on-farm entertainment. Along with the trade show, this day features interactive sessions on some of the best marketing practices by NAFDMA members and round table discussions on a myriad of topics from liability and employee training to the next generation on the farm.
Wednesday, February 15 will offer full day workshops and mix and match half day workshops. Three workshops will be held off-site at locations in Busch Gardens, Jamestown Settlement and the Yankee Candle Flagship Store. These workshops will focus on agritourism attractions, school tours and retailing. Workshop presenters at the convention hotel include diversity marketing expert Kelly McDonald, retail guru John Stanley, agricultural financial educator Dr. Alex White, and family business advisor Ann Dugan.
The Keynote Presentation on Thursday, February 16 will be by Kelly McDonald, of McDonald Marketing on how to “market to people not like you". Her definition of diversity and how to effectively market your business through strategic marketing segmentation is the new opinion many marketers need to build their business. All featured workshop presenters will also return for one hour concurrent sessions. Additional speakers will present sessions on subjects that include market expansion, farm to school programs, on-farm weddings, QR tags and Facebook.