Category Archives: NWA Futuristic Fridays

The Internet of Things Is Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes

DANIEL BURRUS, BURRUS RESEARCH

WHEN PEOPLE TALK about “the next big thing,” they’re never thinking big enough. It’s not a lack of imagination; it’s a lack of observation. I’ve maintained that the future is always within sight, and you don’t need to imagine what’s already there.

Case in point: The buzz surrounding the Internet of Things.

What’s the buzz? The Internet of Things revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication; it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors; it’s mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection; and they say it’s going to make everything in our lives from streetlights to seaports “smart.”

But here’s what I mean when I say people don’t think big enough. So much of the chatter has been focused on machine-to-machine communication (M2M): devices talking to like devices. But a machine is an instrument, it’s a tool, it’s something that’s physically doing something. When we talk about making machines “smart,” we’re not referring strictly to M2M. We’re talking about sensors.

A sensor is not a machine. It doesn’t do anything in the same sense that a machine does. It measures, it evaluates; in short, it gathers data. The Internet of Things really comes together with the connection of sensors and machines. That is to say, the real value that the Internet of Things creates is at the intersection of gathering data and leveraging it. All the information gathered by all the sensors in the world isn’t worth very much if there isn’t an infrastructure in place to analyze it in real time.

Cloud-based applications are the key to using leveraged data. The Internet of Things doesn’t function without cloud-based applications to interpret and transmit the data coming from all these sensors. The cloud is what enables the apps to go to work for you anytime, anywhere.
Let’s look at one example. In 2007, a bridge collapsed in Minnesota, killing many people, because of steel plates that were inadequate to handle the bridge’s load. When we rebuild bridges, we can use smart cement: cement equipped with sensors to monitor stresses, cracks, and warpages. This is cement that alerts us to fix problems before they cause a catastrophe. And these technologies aren’t limited to the bridge’s structure.

If there’s ice on the bridge, the same sensors in the concrete will detect it and communicate the information via the wireless internet to your car. Once your car knows there’s a hazard ahead, it will instruct the driver to slow down, and if the driver doesn’t, then the car will slow down for him. This is just one of the ways that sensor-to-machine and machine-to-machine communication can take place. Sensors on the bridge connect to machines in the car: we turn information into action.

You might start to see the implications here. What can you achieve when a smart car and a smart city grid start talking to each other? We’re going to have traffic flow optimization, because instead of just having stoplights on fixed timers, we’ll have smart stoplights that can respond to changes in traffic flow. Traffic and street conditions will be communicated to drivers, rerouting them around areas that are congested, snowed-in, or tied up in construction.

So now we have sensors monitoring and tracking all sorts of data; we have cloud-based apps translating that data into useful intelligence and transmitting it to machines on the ground, enabling mobile, real-time responses. And thus bridges become smart bridges, and cars smart cars. And soon, we have smart cities, and….

Okay. What are the advantages here? What are the savings? What industries can this be applied to?

Here’s what I mean when I say people never think big enough. This isn’t just about money savings. It’s not about bridges, and it’s not about cities. This is a huge and fundamental shift. When we start making things intelligent, it’s going to be a major engine for creating new products and new services.

Of all the technology trends that are taking place right now, perhaps the biggest one is the Internet of Things; it’s the one that’s going to give us the most disruption as well as the most opportunity over the next five years. In my next post in this two-part series, we’ll explore just how big this is going to be.

 

The Internet of Things Is Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes

 

 

Why Should You Eat Watermelon Everyday?

This weeks Futuristic Friday post we are looking at one of the most important things in the future. Your health! This article is packed full of interesting tidbits that explain how eating watermelon everyday can have a positive impact on your future self. Enjoy! – National Watermelon Association

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Experts recommend that increasing consumption of watermelons can decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease! One cup of diced watermelon (152 grams) contains 43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fiber) and 1 gram of fiber. Some health benefits of watermelons are they help prevent asthma, prevent cancer, reduce risk of blood pressure, reduce inflammation and are great for the skin.

Benefits of Watermelon

For all watermelon lovers, here’s the good news. Experts recommend that increasing consumption of watermelons can decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease! One cup of diced watermelon (152 grams) contains 43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fiber) and 1 gram of fiber. Also, the National Watermelon promotion Board states that watermelons contain more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. Have a look at all the health benefits of watermelon due to which you should consider consuming this delicious fruit everyday:

Asthma Prevention

So, your risks of developing an asthma can maximize if you’re not consuming enough nutrients, especially Vitamin C. Hence consuming this fruit can help increase your nutrient intake.

Cancer

Watermelons are an excellent source of antioxidants and can help combat the formation of free radicals that are the cause of cancer. Lycopene intake, for example, has been linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer prevention in several studies.

Blood Pressure

According to the American Journal of Hypertension, watermelons are known to reduce blood pressure of middle-aged adults with hypertension. The study also showed that watermelon consumption improved arterial function.

Inflammation

Watermelons contain choline which alleviate chronic inflammation. This vital nutrient aids in sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. It also helps in the transmissions of nerve impulses, maintains the structure of cellular membrane and helps in the absorption of fat.

Skin

It’s a food for great skin! Watermelons contain vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production that keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.

Edited by Pragya Sharoff

Why Millennials Are Out-Selling Boomers and Xers

By Tom Silk

 

Much has been written about the annoying habits of millennials, and I myself have been known to tell my 20-something reps to get off Tinder and pick up the phone. As the head of a sales and marketing team that is mostly millennials, I’ve had my fair share of the well-documented annoyances of the younger generation, but I’ve also noticed something else. My millennials are selling better and smarter than many of our company’s older, more seasoned sales partners.

The Sales Landscape Has Changed

Historically, buyers relied on salespeople for information about products and services, so the salesperson needed to be “consultative” and provide expert advice on the industry, as well as the company and its offerings. Today’s buyer has already visited Google, Yelp and Consumer Affairs, and watched your case study videos before they ever speak to you. They may have already reached out to LinkedIn contacts who have used your services to get the inside scoop.

Older, more traditional salespeople still believe they are the main sources of information, and they miss completely that their job is to assist the sale rather than to educate the buyer. They are constantly trying to send materials and supporting proof that will make their case.

Millennials intuitively understand that this is usually a waste of time, because they have grown up using social media and the Internet at large to do research before making purchase decisions. The 28-year-old sales rep isn’t calling the buyer to educate them, but to assist and support them in their research and answer any lingering questions that have come up and to move the sale along.

The Buyer Doesn’t Want You to Take Them to Dinner

Another advantage the millennial salesperson has is that they intuitively take up less of a prospect’s time. They don’t set up in-person meetings just to “build relationships.” And the thought of having a formal call to answer a simple question when you can send a text message or e-mail is preposterous. Buyers love this!

As their manager, I love this too, because it means I get almost zero requests for T&E budget from my millennial team. They aren’t trying to take a prospect out to dinner to discuss our latest product features; they send them a quick text message with a link to an article that covers them. And the buyer doesn’t want to go to dinner with them, so they appreciate being allowed to take in this information on their own terms.

Buyers Are Just Like You and Me

Millennials largely grew up learning to treat authority figures as equals, and they converse with buyers as such. They are also less likely to have enough experience to be embarrassed by saying or doing the wrong thing, so they just go for it. Older reps tend to put the customers on a pedestal, which can feel uncomfortable and make for stilted communication. Today’s buyers react better when there is honest, human conversation rather than brown-nosing.

There is no doubt that less experienced millennials can learn a great deal from salespeople who have been at it for decades, but the more seasoned seller also has some adapting to do to reach the modern buyer. We can all take some valuable cues from millennials who have grown up in this new world of online research, texting and emojis. You might find yourself improving your sales performance while saving budget, paper and time

Millennials In Produce

It’s no secret that Millennials are exceptionally different than the generations before them. Technology has given them different eyes with which to see the world. Their approach to life and all the aspects in it is so distinctly different that many struggle to relate to these “new-comers”. Their work style is foreign to Baby Boomers and Generation X. It leads us to wonder how the next generation will affect our industry, the produce industry, in years to come.

First Class of Future Watermelon Farm Leaders - Wiggins, Singletary, Page and MooreGeneration Y people want to enjoy their lives and the time that they spend, whether the time is paid or not. They tend to lean towards jobs that are interesting and fun, that don’t necessarily “feel” like work. As a recently employed millennial, I understand the draw to find a position that is intellectually engaging but is still enjoyable. Fortunately, for me, I have found an occupation that does just that and so much more. I get to use my creativity and (will) work with others to get major projects done correctly and working fluidly. My job is fulfilling and makes me feel as though I am working towards a greater purpose than just myself. That greater purpose and feeling of fulfillment is key to Millennials.

Millennials have a higher job turnover rate than their parents and grandparents. Perhaps this is because they are trying to find something that they enjoy and feel is worth sticking with. Fortunately for me I have found the “perfect fit” for myself. For the produce industry it’s important for us to appeal to the younger generation. With only 3% of college graduates choosing positions in agriculture we NEED to draw them to us and make these future employees want to stay and grow with our companies, association, and industry.

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If we provide these future employees with incentives for working in our companies, we can anchor them in and create a future for this industry. These incentives can be, but aren’t limited to, flexible schedules, professional development, training, team work and collaboration. Many of these incentives are beneficial to the companies too. Things like professional development and training will only create better workers and work environments.

The double edged sword of Generation Y is that they will require us to change, but all the while we need them. Without them we can’t proceed into the future. They may present some obstacles, but change is inevitable. Millennials can revolutionize and bring new ideas and technologies to our industry. Generation Y will help us bend and work with our ever-changing market.

Kelli Wilder

Harthin, Carrie. “Connect. The Network Media Partners Blog.” » Driving Millennial Engagement. Network Media Partners, 02 May 2016. Web. 06 May 2016.

College graduate agriculture job statistic. Digital image. Facebook. Adam Putnal, n.d. Web.
Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web.

Following the Facebook Frenzy #nwafuturist

 

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Two weeks ago, 9.5 million people tuned into a 45-minute live stream post to see a watermelon explode. Buzzfeed’s Facebook Live video not only had more viewers than many television shows, it was the primary focus of several talk shows and news articles. It seems the phenomenon created quite a stir. Social media specialists everywhere are modifying strategies to include live-streaming videos in hope of riding the wave created by Facebook. Although live-streaming has been around for a while, now that it has been embraced by Facebook, it’s universally acknowledged as the vehicle for future online social marketing. Facebook has apparently appropriated the audience that Periscope, Meerkat, and Snapchat had only begun to access. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is convinced that the personal connection that is made through live-video is the next big shift in how we communicate, and the company is offering monetary incentives to media agencies to create video content for Facebook Live.

Although watermelon was the focus of the extraordinary post and has gotten some favorable press, there are quite a few voices in the media that are not thrilled to follow the Facebook frenzy. News agencies are concerned that Facebook is overshadowing major news coverage and influencing popular opinion in ways that threaten their future. In her article on Wired.com, entitled, ‘Facebook has Seized the Media, and That’s Bad News for Everyone but Facebook,’ Julia Greenberg warns that Facebook looks at news as a commodity to be sold and an experience to share and discuss. As more people go to social networks like Facebook for news, those platforms determine the value of the stories and influence the perspective of the audience. “Facebook now tells the industry what matters most, which dictates how resources are spent and what stories are told.” Julia cautions, “Facebook has immense power. It has become a crucial distribution platform for publishers. Facebook has the audience news organizations are trying to reach, so they have little choice but to chase it there.”

You may wonder if Greenberg’s perspective is extreme. Recent evidence seems to support her claims. On February 26th, 2015, major news publications covered the threat of a federal government shutdown, Senate debates regarding Homeland Security funding, three men arrested for providing material support to ISIS, etc.,  while a controversy over the color of a dress posted on Facebook received 28 million ‘views’, 105,000 ‘shares’, 16,000 comments, and 21,000 ‘likes.’  On April 19th, while Facebook captivated 9.5 million viewers waiting to see a watermelon explode, Assad’s ceasefire violations stalled peace talks with Syria, 300 people were arrested in Washington, DC while protesting the influence of big money in politics, New York held its primary elections, and Texas sought emergency aid due to severe flooding. My news feed on Facebook that day did not include much discussion about any of these issues.

Live-streaming video may indeed be the preferred medium for news, marketing, and communications in the near future, and social platforms may provide the best forum for discussion, but be aware that the news you receive may not adequately provide the best coverage of what is happening in the nation and the world.

Nicole Schrader

Greenberg, Julia. “Facebook Has Seized the Media, and That’s Bad News for Everyone But Facebook.” Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 16 Apr. 2016. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.

Why Are Millennials Anxious? #nwafuturisticfridays

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The root of anxiety is fear. But what we afraid of? Or more particularly, what are Millennials afraid of?

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), ‘Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.’

In a study conducted by the APA and Harris Interactive, Millennials showed higher levels of stress and anxiety than any other living generation. The main causes they gave for their anxiety were work issues (76%), money (73%), and relationships (59%). Their concerns are not irrational, Millennials make up about 40% of the nation’s unemployment, the majority of them graduate from college without a job and a burden of financial debt, and they live at home longer which may cause relational frustration and hesitation to make relational commitments. These are the realities that they face. But theses concerns are not unique to Millennials, nor are Millennials the first to transition into adulthood and meet with issues that pose threat and create anxiety. So why is this generation at a greater risk to anxiety disorder and depression?

There are many varying opinions as to the causes of this higher rate of anxiety. Millennials report higher levels of stress factors in their lives and the APA suggests that they are not managing those stresses as well. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy and regular meals, and maintaining a consistent exercise routine are effective methods for reducing stress and consequently levels of anxiety. But Millennials do not seem to be able to get a good handle on these routines. If not managed well, living with high levels of stress and anxiety result in very real physical disorders. Stress-induced gastrointestinal disorder, insomnia, chronic depression, hypochondria, panic attacks, high blood pressure, and eating disorders are just a few of the real consequences of anxiety that Millennials are experiencing.

There is a difference between stress and anxiety. The APA differentiates the two this way, “The difference between them is that stress is a response to a threat in a situation. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress.”

Stress is inevitable and even necessary in this life. High levels of stress, in short bursts, motivates us to get up and get moving, to work harder and more efficiently. It can be exhilarating and push us to accomplish great things. Consider the lives of olympic athletes, mountain climbers, novelists, politicians, lawyers, surgeons, nurse-midwives, sailors, etc. The stresses they face keep their senses sharp and inspire perseverance in the face of challenges and obstacles. I read that ‘good stress’ does not involve ‘threat or fear,’ but I beg to differ with that opinion. There are real fears and threats that lurk in the shadows for all of us. Athletes often face serious injury, climbers fall, novelists face writer’s block and missed deadlines, politicians sometimes face security threats, and the list goes on. About the only stress that I can think of that does not involve some threat or fear is that which you might feel on a roller coaster – but even then there is a possibility of accident. We all fear failure and do our best to avoid humiliation.

Fear of terrorist attacks, too many choices which leads to decision paralysis, FOMO or fear of missing out in regard to social media, and the blurring of reality online that creates in some an expectation that they must obtain perfection, are some specific stresses that Millennials feel are unique to their generation (and perhaps Generation X).

How we choose to react to or manage the stresses we face on a daily basis will determine whether or not anxiety and its host of consequences will result. I am sure that there are many that would disagree that they have a ‘choice’ in the matter. Nevertheless, many have found relief by changing lifestyle patterns and seeking help and support. Time with friends, healthy patterns of eating, sleeping and exercise, yoga, and engagement in religious activities have all been found to be very effective in reducing stress and relieving anxiety. I leave you with that which I have found the most effective means of reducing anxiety in my own life in closing, Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Nicole Schrader

 

http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/stress

 

The Maturing Millennial ~ #nwafuturisticfridays

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As a parent of three Millennial adults, I have witnessed the gradual changes that inspire gratification and gratitude. Financial and emotional independence, consideration of consequences, and humble application for guidance in decision-making, are signs to me that they will be all right in the world. I am sure that mine are not unique reflections, in fact I recall my father-in-law saying that we all were wonderful when we reached 25!

As Millennials mature, their lifestyles also become more ‘grown-up.’  The disposable income that used to be spent on pizza, beer, and movies, begins to go in different directions.  Settling into jobs, homes, and perhaps marriage and parenting, necessitates larger purchases that require delayed gratification and savings.  Although they may be paying off school debt and living on a tight budget, they are making more money now and consider buying that new vehicle or home furnishings more of an investment than a financial burden.  They have come to understand the benefit of building credit for that first home.

Targeted for being the largest consumer population, Millennials have been the focus of retailers and online marketing for some time. But between college debt and difficulty procuring jobs, these young people did not have the funds for bigger ticket items. While car dealers have been poised, waiting to realize the benefit of the largest generation to come of age, there was a delay that caused dealers to despair. Millennials were not buying cars, they were taking advantage of public transportation, Uber, and ZipCar. Until only recently have some of those retailers begun to see returns from their marketing efforts. In comparison to previous generations, Millennials have been later to get licenses and are only now beginning to make up a greater percentage of car sales nationally. In 2015, Millennials purchased 4 million cars and trucks. Last year they represented 27% of new car sales – up from 18% in 2010. Millennial car buyers will soon pass baby boomers and make up the largest population purchasing automobiles.

Car sales are not only increasing because Millennials have more spending power having been in the workforce longer, perhaps the fact that nearly half of the women between 18-34 years of age are now mothers has something to do with the trend. According to an article in Millennial Marketing, there are 10.8 million households with children with parents 25-34 years old. Author Jeff Fromm acutely asserts, ” A large portion of millennials have grown up. By overlooking the fact that many millennials are now parents, brands could miss changes in behavior and consumption that directly impact their bottom line.”

So what can be said about these maturing young parents? These insights were shared in the article, The Millennial Generation Becomes Parents.

They are practical consumers. Prior to parenting these Millennials purchased high-quality brands they trusted, even if it meant a higher ticket price; but after becoming parents they are willing to give up some quality for price. “Before they were parents, their buying decisions were 57% on quality. After parenthood, they buy just over 50% on quality.”

The majority are raising their children as they were raised. This traditional bent also shows up in their belief that, “children do best if a stay-at-home-mom raises them.” In spite of the fact that over 60% of these mothers are a part of the workforce, they want to have the most significant impact on their children.

They are compassionate and are socially concerned. According to Millennial Marketing, 50% of these Millennial parents say that they prefer products that support causes or charities. “The brands that win with millennial parents often help them feel better about themselves through purchases and brand engagement,” stated Fromm. In the same article, when Millennial parents were asked to complete the sentence, ‘I want my kids to…’ 82% said that they wanted their children to know that they didn’t need possessions to make them happy.

Millennials are growing up, as Jeff Fromm stated, and as we look at them in light of their values and choices, I hope you are as optimistic as I am about their future and our own.

 

Nicole Schrader

 

 

Bershidsky, Leonid. “Millennials Are Buying Cars.” Bloomberg Gadfly. N.p., 04 Jan. 2016. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.

Fromm, Jeff. “New Research: “The Millennial Generation Becomes Parents” | Millennial Marketing.” Millennial Marketing. Futurecast, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.

‘Think Like a Farmer’ – the real innovators #nwafuturisticfridays

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I know that I’m ‘singing to the choir’ when I write that the real innovators of the 21 century are farmers. We just returned from the National Watermelon Convention in New Orleans, where over 500 members of the watermelon industry gathered to hear what is new in the industry. During a morning impact session, our growers were introduced to a variety of new innovations in agriculture, including the use of drones and precision technology, bee pollination services, and revolutionary nematode control.

Jim Carroll, a futurist and trend and innovation expert, points out that the multigenerational nature of agriculture, blending the experience of older farmers with technologically eager younger farmers, creates an opportunity for innovation and success. In his post, ’10 Big Trends in Agriculture,’ Carroll shows us how farmers are poised to meet the demands that are just around the corner. He states that the growth in the world population, an increase of over 45% by 2050, will inevitably create a huge demand for food and potential in the marketplace. Limited arable land will motivate those in agriculture to become more efficient. Perhaps drone technology, vertical farming practices, and robotics will play a larger role.

Carroll notes that new methods to improve crop yield as well as intelligent packaging are the direct result of rapidly developing chemical substances. Emerging methodologies, practices and partnerships will continue to rise as those in agriculture focus on growth, efficiency, and ingestion of new science.

Trends that encourage a focus on health and convenience have created a surge in fresh-cut produce as snack alternatives at home and in schools. Concern over food safety has inspired greater relationships between producer and consumer. Jim Carroll is convinced that, “…an increasing number of partnerships between growers and advisers, suppliers, buyers, retailers and just about everyone else,” will continue to increase in order to , “… deal with the massive complexities that emerge from rapid change and innovation.”

The most impactful trend that Mr. Carroll notices is that of generational transformation – he is convinced that the as the younger generation of farmers take over the family business a “sea-change in the rate by which new ideas in the world of agriculture are accepted,” will take place. No doubt change is already taking place.

The National Watermelon Association is preparing for this tidal wave by embracing its future farm leaders. During the convention, four Future Watermelon Farm Leaders were recognized as rising leaders who will ride the wave of transformational innovation.

Nicole Schrader

 

 

 

Carroll, Jim. “10 Big Trends for Agriculture.” Jim Carroll Futurist Trends Innovation Keynote Speaker RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

‘Experience Never Gets Old’ – #nwafuturisticfridays

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Value of experience is the premise of the 2015 movie, The Intern. In this film, a successful startup online clothing company CEO (Anne Hathaway), is pleasantly surprised by the wisdom and contribution of her new intern (Robert DeNiro). The film highlights both the exciting, creative, Millennial workforce as well as the value of age and experience in the realm of business. Although the clash of generational cultures is very amusing, the emphasis on the friendship between generations is the most rewarding.

This is not a movie review, nevertheless, the film touches on a real concern regarding the future of leadership in our nation. It has been said that as senior management in businesses and associations retires, there will be a leadership vacuum that their Millennial replacements will not be adequately trained to fill. As satisfying as it may be to retiring managers to know that their experience is invaluable, the future success of the businesses hang in the balance, unless the next generation is sufficiently trained and mentored.

Highly educated and tech savvy Millennials may have the edge on their predecessors in regard to technology, but they are also the first to admit their need of education and training on the job. A recent workplace survey conducted by public relations firm, Finn Partners, states, “New research finds that Americans believe the most important initiative companies can undertake is investing  in their employees through training and growth opportunities, followed by recruiting and retention of talent.” Results also state that the majority of every age group would go back to school for more education if given the opportunity, with 74% of Millennials surveyed in the lead.

A study of our own membership, conducted in 2015, corroborates these results. Our Millennial members expect us to provide them with current industry trends and information. One younger member writes, “Value for me is education at this point in my career. Therefore, the educational sessions (at the National Conventions) are what I want to see and hear.”

Expert speakers and educational seminars may be venues for conveying industry trends, but the education and training needed to develop leadership must be taken on by senior members/leaders in companies. Mentoring programs, internships, and shadowing opportunities provide the framework for such training.  So if you’re a Millennial reading this article today, look for a mentor and take initiative in the relationship. If you are the seasoned supervisor, it is your responsibility to prepare the next generation to take your place. Give these young, eager Millennials the guidance and opportunities they need to blossom under your tutelage. As Ben Whittaker (DeNiro) would say, “You’re never wrong to do the right thing.”

 

Nicole Schrader

 

 

 

 

Lawrence, Chistopher. “REGARDLESS OF RACE, AMERICANS SIGNIFICANTLY VALUE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES OVER DIVERSITY PROGRAMS, NEW STUDY REVEALS – Finn Partners.” FinnPartners.com. N.p., 26 Jan. 2016. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.

Bascuas, Katie. “Tapping Training and Development For Top Talent.” RSS 20. Associations Now, 04 Feb. 2016. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.

“The Intern – Official Movie Site – Trailer, Film Synopsis – Own It On Digital HD 12/22 Or On Blu-Ray™ 1/19.” The Intern – Official Movie Site – Trailer, Film Synopsis – Own It On Digital HD 12/22 Or On Blu-Ray™ 1/19. 2015 Warner Bros, n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.

The Convention Provides Common Ground – Marketing to Millennials #nwafuturisticfridays

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The vitality of a trade association and its meetings requires a fully engaged membership, including professionals of all ages. But the long-term vitality of the organization requires a particular focus on millennials, aka Generation Y…”

It is true that the future of all associations depends upon their ability to engage the Millennial generation in its ranks, and the National Watermelon Association is no exception. But this is not a one-way street. For an association to be vital and effective, the senior members must draw Millennials into the workings, providing guidance and support; and the Millennials must actively seek out those seasoned professionals in order to glean from their experience and encouragement.

If they do not see sufficient value in membership and meeting attendance, they will not likely become the lifelong participants the association needs in order to maintain its numbers decades from now.”

As the annual National Watermelon Association convention fast approaches, it is significant that all of its members understand their importance to the vitality and longevity of the Association. Its value and the value of its meetings should never be overlooked or underestimated. The National Watermelon Association is ‘dedicated to making a positive difference in the business and lives of its members.’ This mission is accomplished by the active participation of our members. Our Committees invest in research taking place at universities and institutes nationwide to increase yield and prevent disease; they keep an eye on litigation and government regulations that impact business and labor in order to keep our members in good standing and aware of the laws; they sponsor events that promote watermelon and the industry as a whole; and they sacrifice their time and resources supporting all our members.

Millennials don’t just want electronic networking; face to face is still of a very high value to them, and the conference is a really good place to do that.”

Our conventions are like no other association’s. The focus of our event is not the exhibit hall, but rather educational sessions, opportunities to connect and encourage our members, and recognition for outstanding service. This year’s convention in New Orleans will feature impactful general sessions led by experts that will address issues like drones in agriculture, crop insurance, Phytophthora solutions, FDA food safety rules, seed certification, bees and bee health, and more! During the convention we will introduce the first class of the National Watermelon Association’s Hall of Fame and recognize the significant contributions of members in our long history. The National Watermelon Association is often compared to a family, as its members are concerned and invested in the welfare of all its members – young and old.

So, Millennial or veteran member of the association, both need to be intentional if ‘a positive difference’ is the goal. In 24 days, the National Watermelon Association will convene in New Orleans providing opportunities to learn, grow, support, connect, and lead. Find common ground on the golf course, in a tour bus, during the opening event, or over lunch after a general session. Make a plan today to attend, to engage others in conversation, to ask questions, and to make friends in the watermelon industry. It is your opportunity to become a ‘family member.’

Nicole Schrader

 

“Marketing to Millennials – Www.themeetingmagazines.com.”Wwwthemeetingmagazinescom. N.p., 30 Nov. 2015. Web. 01 Feb. 2016.