Promoting ALHFAM “in the Field”

The ALHFAM booth in the exhibitors hall at the 2016 AASLH meeting in Detroit, Sept. 13-16. Right after setup.

The ALHFAM booth in the exhibitors hall (right after setup) at the 2016 AASLH meeting in Detroit, Sept. 14-17, 2016.

I realize the title of this blog could confuse. It is quite logical, given our organization’s mission, that I might literally be referring to promoting ALHFAM in a field. However, in this case I’m speaking of the larger “museum field” at the American Association for State and Local History conference last week. Still bountiful but with fewer draft animals.

As ALHFAM and AASLH appeal to a similar audience, we decided to participate in the exhibit hall and spread the word about our volunteer-run organization. I’m happy to report that the booth was very well received. During my shifts I had an almost steady stream of people stopping by and, during refreshment breaks in the hall, it was sometimes hopping. People seemed genuinely happy that we were there. Many lapsed members came by and reminisced and chatted about joining again. A lot of people who work at ALHFAM appropriate sites stopped by and were pleased that such a group as ours exists. We gave out dozens of past Bulletin issues, t-shirts and tote bags from conferences, and business cards promoting ALHFAM.org. We showed off the website on a laptop (not featured in the above picture) and promoted our regional and national conferences.

Jon Kuester, ALHFAM member and MOMCC board member, chats with visitors to the booth.

ALHFAM member and MOMCC board member Jon Kuester (that’s his back) chats with visitors to the booth.

Susan McCabe tells folks about ALHFAM and the Bulletin.

ALHFAM member Susan McCabe tells folks about the organization and the Bulletin. Thanks to Susan for all the time she spent setting up and staffing the booth.

In addition, a group of ALHFAM members including  Jim McCabe (The Henry Ford), Deb Reid (Eastern Illinois University), Deb Arenz (Nebraska State Historical Society), Debbie Grinnell (Naper Settlement), and Jon Kuester (Volkening Heritage Farm) presented a session titled “From Farm to Fork: Narratives that Connect” as a webinar and live. The webinar had 90 users logged in and will be available for future viewing on the AASLH website. There was good attendance at our live presentation as well with lots of questions and discussion afterwards. One person, who used to come to ALHFAM long ago, said our live session was like a “breath of fresh air” and made her remember why she thought ALHFAM was great. I’m certainly glad we could jog her memory.

Happy ALHFAM members at the booth. From left to right: Dale Jones, Jim McCabe, Deb Arenz, Leo Landis, Jon Kuester, Deb Reid

Happy ALHFAM members at the booth. From left to right: Dale Jones, Jim McCabe, Deb Arenz, Leo Landis, Jon Kuester, Deb Reid

Although I haven’t yet quantified our success, I do believe we made a positive impression on at least some of the 850+ AASLH attendees. Anything we can do to maximize our exposure in the field (literally and figuratively) helps the organization.

–Deb Arenz

Advertisements
This entry was posted in ALHFAM and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Promoting ALHFAM “in the Field”

  1. Michelle Zupan says:

    Your reach was larger than you think — 940 attendees at preliminary count!

  2. Dan Jones says:

    I was in the session at the conference and know what a great job everyone did presenting. Well done! And it is great to see like-minded groups such as ALHFAM and AASLH come together. There is so much to be gained by the cross pollination of ideas.

  3. I was thrilled to see so many ALHFAMers there, including long-time members who haven’t attended the annual meeting lately such as POOPs Tom Woods (fresh from Hawai’i!), Donna Braden and Candace Matelic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s