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Friday, October 14, 2011

ALCOP's Inaugural Conference Is a Hit

Attendees first met in the castle's ornate Mirror Room.
A month ago, I wrote a post about the upcoming ALCOP conference, the first meeting of a fledgling organization that's just for marketing & PR folks. This new Association of Communications and Outreach Professionals, or ALCOP for short, was the brainchild of Bob Kieserman and his associates at The Communication Group. For some time, those of us in this area of the library field have had sections in regional, state, and national organizations, but not anything independent that we could belong to without being members of those larger groups. Now Kieserman is starting ALCOP so there's something we can afford to belong to, and so we can move the communications professionals (and amateurs!) forward.

There's a lot I'd like to say about this conference, but let me start by assuring you it was a success. It was held in Arcadia University's Castle Conference Center, a charming historical building where the rooms look more like a palace in Europe than an academic building in Glenside, PA. There were about 60 attendees, and the small size worked well with breakout sessions in four rooms that were all near each other. This made for a cozy atmosphere and lots of networking and meeting people who you'd "known" online for years. 

To get the full gist of the show, go to this site and download the program. There were sessions on topics from giving presentations to working with the media to fundraising. It was great to be in small groups where you could really interact with the presenters and with each other. 

During the 2 days of the meeting, I posted pictures and quick tips in real time over at my Libraries Are Essential Facebook page. Please "Like" the page to get content like this on a regular basis.

On Sunday night, I gave a keynote on Communicating Your Value where I introduced 7 rules for doing it well. We also did a little role-playing to practice proving value, and had lots of laughs in the process.
On Monday morning, longtime marketing guru Chris Olson gave a keynote on Customer Experience Insights that taught the group a lot about "touchpoints" and "brand promises." And I definitely want to explore more about the "customer journey maps" that Chris covered! (That's her silhouette in this photo.)

Kieserman told the enthusiastic attendees that he plans to put up a website shortly, and that he wants to open ALCOP for people to start joining, then elect a leadership, etc. The hope is for the group to do various activities throughout the year and to hold PR-centric events in different U.S. cities to make them accessible and affordable for everyone. 

Stay tuned, because I'll definitely be writing more about this group as it comes together! 

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