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New York Produce Show And Conference Retains DMA Solutions For Consumer-Influencer Outreach

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, October 25, 2010

Dan’l Almy of DMA Solutions has often contributed to the Pundit with pieces such as these:

Pundit’s Mailbag — Profitable Participation

‘Fresh For Ellen’ Raises A Question: How Should We Define Success?

How Will Success Be Measured For Fresh For Ellen Social Media Campaign?

DMA’s Philanthropic Anniversary Celebration

Plea For Ellen DeGeneres To Consider Produce In Her Sugar-Free Diet

Perishable Thoughts — Hope Obama Helps Country ‘Arise’

We’ve appreciated the input and have genuinely enjoyed watching Dan’l build her business. What is impressive is she seems to always have it together. At the United FreshPAC fundraiser in Las Vegas, everyone usually shows up at the bowling alley wearing whatever they put together. Dan’l’s team is there with embroidered bowling shirts.

Recently, on her blog, The Core. Dan’l addressed an issue of how to make the third day of PMA’s trade show more productive.

These third days are difficult at all shows because attendees always feel they can cut out early, especially if they are flying cross country and want to avoid an extra day out of town. Because the attendees are a little sparse, the exhibitors tend to downsize staff on that third day, with the top executives leaving. This causes a negative cycle because now any attendees who do come by the booth can’t speak to the top executives, which makes them feel the third day is not productive.

In any case Dan’l, who is very focused on outreach to the consumer, has been speaking for years to lots of people in the industry about how we can reach out to consumers. Well the thought of a down day at PMA and the desire to reach out to consumers sort of came together and Dan’l made a suggestion:

…reaching the consumer is not a simple move from point A to point B — it’s a journey that requires continuous nurturing. One of the steps along the way is to target those who are influencing our consumers’ knowledge and opinions about the trends and innovations that we so proudly put on display each year.

What if… next year’s 3rd day of Fresh Summit was about inviting select groups of “influencers” (and yes, they happen to be local consumers themselves) to attend an expo tour so that this one time a year, they have the chance to really be immersed in our innovations without the distraction of competing retail items, enjoy the flavor of our products, engage with the growers and suppliers, provide one-on-one feedback and share their experiences with our products?

What if… this effort was organized so that industry volunteers would host or lead these small groups of influencers and allow them to participate in a guided tour through the show floor on the last day?

Think about the mutual benefit of having, let’s say, 200 or so influencers divided into small groups and becoming involved in the excitement that we experience each time we come to Fresh Summit. Why shouldn’t they see firsthand the beauty that our industry represents?

Dan’l went on to suggest reaching out to several categories of people: Leading news groups, food bloggers, and food writers, local PTA presidents, regional healthcare providers, Human Resource VPs of large local corporations, sports nutritionists from local sports clubs, students and professors from local culinary schools and many other influencers.

Well, over at The New York Produce Show and Conference, both the Eastern Produce Council and PRODUCE BUSINESS have already been working on attracting many of these influencers, but Dan’l crystallized the idea in a fresh new way.

We had one disagreement with Dan’l — we didn’t see this type of outreach as something that had to wait for downtime; we saw it as part and parcel of what we are trying to do with The New York Produce Show and Conference — reach out to the community and build a stronger industry and a better world.

So what do you do when a person of energy and expertise comes up with a great idea? We hired her. We are proud to announce that The New York Produce Show and Conference has retained Dan’l Almy and DMA Associates to run an outreach program to consumer influencers.

Yes, time is short and the show is only one day, not three, and we suppose that lots of people would have said hold off to next year.

But there is no time like the present, and we will reach out to those who can be reached, influence those who can be influenced and begin the proverbial journey of a thousand miles by taking a single step.

We hope to do good for the industry and the world through this outreach to consumer influencers. We also hope, much as the state governments can serve as laboratories of innovation for the Federal Government, that The New York Produce Show and Conference can serve as a test market, a laboratory of innovation for ideas the industry can use in other places and contexts.

New York is America’s marketing capital so it somehow feels right that we begin this industry outreach at The New York Produce Show and Conference.

A sincere welcome aboard to Dan’l and the DMA Solutions team.

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