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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

LMCC 2017: Hat Trick of Success!

The biggest part of my professional year was chairing yet another successful Library Marketing and Communications Conference. That makes three in a row, so I'm declaring a hat trick!

Quick stats: 
LMCC 2015: 220 attendees
LMCC 2016: 330 attendees
LMCC 2017: 356 attendees

And each year we hear from more people saying they wish they could get the funding to attend... so we expect continued interest and growth.

In each of our first 3 years, I've led a group of 12-15 dedicated volunteers. Together with our amazing facilitators at Amigos Library Services, we've planned, promoted, and held these conferences in Addison, Texas (just outside Dallas). 

I've already written a full-length report about #LMCC17 for the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of Marketing Library Services, so if you subscribe, take a look when you get the next issue. (If you don't subscribe, start now!) Here on my blog, I'll create an accompanying "photo essay" to show you some of the event's excitement. 

But first, I gotta say: This year, our planning team really took it up a notch. We worked hard to realize two major goals:
LMCC logo
1. We created an official visual identity and worked with designers to create a logo and wordmark. What do you think?  

2. We founded an official nonprofit entity, the Library Marketing Conference Group. This will allow us to offer more educational opportunities and to grow steadily into the future. The organization, led by a four-member board, is already making policies, reorganizing workflows, and planning for next year. We're thrilled to have achieved this, and grateful for the guidance that Amigos Library Services provided in this area.

Now, for a look back at this year's popular conference:

Shel Holtz, an internationally recognized nonprofit marketing
 guru, opened #LMCC17 with a keynote on Crisis Communications. 

Lovely lunches were included with the
registration fee. We planned
discussion topics for each table --
great for meeting new pals and
solving shared challenges! 

Our Swag Swap brought in lots of
 cool, colorful collateral to share. 

Nancy Dowd, founder of The M Word blog,
gave a presentation on email marketing.

Gina Millsap, CEO of Topeka &
Shawnee County Public Library (KS),
gave the second keynote, on getting
buy-in from staff for marcom.

Trenton Smiley from Michigan's Capital Area District
Libraries shared knowledge on media partnerships.

Expert panelists shared secrets for entering (and winning!) the annual
 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards contest.

Thanks to our amazing sponsors for stepping up to support LMCC 2017!

In case you missed my reports on previous LMCCs, read about 2015 on this blog and in Marketing Library Services newsletter. Read about 2016 here, and in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of MLS (conference report not online), and learn more on the website.

We have not set our location and dates for the 2018 conference, but rest assured, we'll have one! To stay informed, join our email list and any of our social media sites, all accessible here

Goals: Set and Scored
While the conference will continue, I've decided to step down from being the Chairperson. It's been a fantastic and exciting experience, but it's also a ton of work, and I could use a break. I'll still remain on the Planning Committee, just in a lesser capacity.

When I took on the task of organizing this event, I had several long-term goals in mind:

1. I wanted to find a group of like-minded, experienced marketers to help curate and plan a really worthwhile conference that delivers exactly the sort of content that library marketers need to be successful. 

2. I was determined to build the conference into a successful, wide-reaching event with name and brand recognition. I wanted people worldwide to say, "Oh, LMCC -- I've heard that's a great conference!" (In fact, we've had attendees from overseas at all three conferences so far. In addition to Canada, they've come from South Africa, Norway, Qatar, and Singapore!)

Kathy Dempsey (me!) addressing
#LMCC17 attendees on Nov. 17, 2017.
[Photo by Curtis Rogers, SCSL]
3. I felt the need to shepherd this group until we had formed some sort of legal entity -- an association or a nonprofit -- to ensure that it was well-established and that it would continue. 

With these three main goals reached, I feel confident that the Library Marketing and Communications Conference is here to stay. I'm happy with my hat trick, and I'm going out at the top of my game. I intend to help LMCC and its nonprofit continue to expand its reach, its offerings, and its recognition. 

We'll be hosting another winning event in 2018, and you won't want to miss it. Plan now to ask for 2018 travel funding, and join us via email or social media to get 2018 announcements as they come out. Hope to see you next year!

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