2010 LaPorte, Ind.
Despite heat indexes over 105 degrees, attendees claimed POMA's 5th Anniversary Business Conference in LaPorte, Ind., was the "best ever" and "an incredible investment."
Approximately 175 individuals descended on LaPorte and the Best Western for for the event. Representing 58 journalists, 61 corporate entities and several colleges, attendees enjoyed high-level business eduction, hands-on opportunities to test and review outdoor equipment, and a beach bash along the Southern shore of Lake Michigan.
- "I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars promoting several businesses over the years," said Russell Lynch, CEO Muzzleloading Accuracy Xperts. "Coming to the POMA conference is, by far, the best investment I've ever made. Shortly after arriving in LaPorte, I already had recouped my investment several times over."
- Mary Jane Williamson, communications director for the American Sportfishing Association said, "I would have had to spend several thousand dollars to access the information and business advice speaker Blake Discher provided. Add to that the other experts who presented here, and this was just an amazing event."
- "The presenters were unbelievable," said media member and videographer Tron Peterson. "For a videographer, being able to learn from Douglas Spotted Eagle is like learning from a creative god."
- "I am new to the industry, and I know there is a lot of water left to tread before I find my own sweet little island," admitted Andrew Chamberlain, ballistition and author of Cartridge Comparison Guide. "However, because of POMA and the commitment and conviction of its founding members, I now have more confidence and better tools than I could have imagined receiving from any other source. For any new or struggling outdoor writer, photographer or outdoor content provider, I rely on what someone told me. The best advice I can give is to join up with POMA. There is nothing else I can tell you that will help you more than that.
In an incredible and unified show of support for traditional outdoor sports journalism, more than 75 outdoor industry companies and individuals donated to the Professional Outdoor Media Association's (POMA) annual fund-raising auction. And, the generosity of conference attendees, who bid on items and who purchased raffle tickets, resulted in the donations netting POMA more than $28,000.
"We're overwhelmed by the generosity of the donors and bidders," said Bill Miller, POMA president and auction chairman. "These folks understand the critical role the media plays in ensuring the future of the traditional outdoor sports and educating outdoorsmen and women about the sports and wildlife conservation. The importance of these donations and auction purchases can't be overstated."
The funds generated by the raffles and auctions, held Aug. 13, 2010, at POMA's 5th Annual Business Conference in LaPorte, Ind., will be used to support and enhance membership benefits and services.
Four to five business tracks each day, consisting of three sessions each, were presented morning and afternoon. They provided attendees with a plethora of educational choices from videography, to business planning, to the psychology of success, to social media trends, to new media opportunities and much more.
"The track concept was ambitious," said Laurie Lee Dovey, POMA's executive director. "But attendees, at the membership business meeting, resoundingly supported the tightly packed schedule and wide range of programs. They asked POMA to continue the format at the 2011 Ogden, Utah conference.
Sixty-one Corporate Partners attended the POMA conference to show products and provide journalists with content and photo opportunities.
"In addition to visiting with company representatives I've known for years, I was also able to learn about, see and generate copy about products I might not have otherwise," said John Zent, editorial director of the National Rifle Association publications.
Some first time POMA Corporate Partner conference attendees generated excitement among the ranks. RAM Trucks selected the POMA conference to unveil its new Sportsman truck. When the cover was pulled from the truck during a luncheon and the myriad of tremendous features explained, the buzz from the crowd was audible. When the media was able to test the truck along a rugged trail through the Kingsbury Fish and Wildlife Area, the smiles on drivers and riders faces told the tale.
CamoFormal.com also grabbed the eye of attendees as lovely models sashayed through the Product Showcase wearing a wide variety of bridal and formal wear made specifically for outdoor enthusiasts.
Other first time Corporate Partner attendees included: A&A Lobster, Camp Chef, Camp Traditions, Columbia Sportswear, Extreme Technologies, G. Loomis, Hawke Sport Optics, Irish Setter, Ithaca Gun Company, Mule Deer Foundation, Remington Outdoor Foundation, Shimano, Trophy Hides by Uber Tanning.
Veteran attendee, Rocky Brands, also got cameras flashing and journalists scribbling in notebooks when it brought the LaPorte community into the Product Showcase picture. Rocky traded attending media members a new pair of Rocky hunting boots for a pair of lightly worn boots or shoes, which Rocky then donated to the local Salvation Army homeless shelter.
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The Professional Outdoor Media Association's (POMA) 2010 Pinnacle Award honorees were announced by Tim Anderson, director of communications for Mossy Oak. Anderson presented the awards at POMA's 5th Annual Business Conference in LaPorte, Ind. last week. Mossy Oak is the presenting partner of the Pinnacle Awards.
POMA's Pinnacle Awards honor journalists for exceptional achievement in traditional outdoor sports-focused communications, including writing, photography/illustration, broadcasting and pieces focused on wildlife conservation.
The 2010 Pinnacle Award Honorees are: Bill Konway, Photography; Dennis Dunn, Book; Mike Marsh, Conservation; Kendal Hemphill, Newspaper/Web; Steve Pennaz, Broadcast; and John Jefferson, Magazine.
The Professional Outdoor Media Association's Emerald Cornerstone Award is presented to individuals whose volunteer efforts in assisting the organization go beyond the norm... they are extraordinary. This year, POMA honored Vickie Gardner, VP of Stuff and Marketing with Alpen Optics.
"Vickie Gardner has selflessly served the organization from the day POMA was launched," said Laurie Lee Dovey, POMA executive director. "Vickie served for several years as the Corporate Partner liaison on the POMA Board of Directors, but it's Vickie's behind-the-scenes efforts that are so amazing."
"Vickie is always there to lend a helping hand -- at conference, at trade shows or anywhere else she's needed," added Bill Miller, POMA chairman. "No one need ask Vickie for help... she offers assistance before there's a chance to ask. Most amazing is Vickie's attitude -- always positive -- always a smile. She lifts us (POMA, her friends and POMA staff and board members) continuously. She's a beacon of energy, the power of positive thinking and caring."
For five years, just two POMA Corporate Partners have been able to claim the honor of being POMA Diamond Cornerstone members. The Outdoor Channel and Safari Club International (SCI) assisted POMA financially and by providing a network through which industry professionals could register and be assured of notification of the launch of a new traditional outdoor sports journalists association (POMA), prior to the organization's launch in 2005.
"POMA could not have made the leap from vision to reality without the incredible contributions of the SCI and the Outdoor Channel,” explained POMA Founding Chairman/President Betty Lou Fegely. “They were integral to POMA’s launch.”
On it's 5th Anniversary, POMA presented Diamond Cornerstone Memberships to two additional entities who have been integral in the growth of POMA and the stature of the organization as the premier traditional outdoor sports journalists association-- National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and Mossy Oak.
The Diamond Cornerstone Award and Diamond Cornerstone Membership are bestowed upon entities that were instrumental in the founding of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and/or growth of POMA programs and initiatives that help the organization meet its mission-based goals The National Shooting Sports Foundation and Mossy Oak have been POMA Corporate Partner members since the organization's inception.
NSSF was the first trade organization to partner with POMA to launch an industry-wide award, the POMA/NSSF Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award, which honors the important works and efforts of traditional outdoor sports journalists.
Mossy Oak took the reins and became the presenting partner of the POMA Pinnacle Awards, and has helped POMA establish a program that encourages and helps all journalists to strive for excellence in communications at all levels.
This year, the POMA Board of Directors established an award to honor POMA members who volunteer on committees and go beyond the call of duty. The Committee MVP Awards go to committee members who are selected by committee chairmen/women as outstanding contributors.
The inaugural recipient of the Committee MVP Awards is P.J. Perea for his work and dedication to the POMA Money Line Committee.
All POMA members, with the exception of board members, who serve on committees are eligible for nomination annually.
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Board Member of the Year Honored
"POMA's board of directors is one of the hardest working and most caring boards I've even seen in action," said Bill Miller, POMA chairman of the board. "Each director gives POMA dozens of hours of time and offers incredible expertise and deep passion to POMA. However, from time to time, the efforts of one director are so selfless, the person must be recognized for going beyond the call."
POMA's inaugural Board Member of the Year Award was presented to Tammy Sapp for her leadership on the Money Line Committee and other important work during the 2009 - 2010 board term.
More than 25 Corporate Partners selected to support the conference by hosting events, including meals, registration, sessions, reception, conference programs and more. Those partners are:
Meal & Beverage Hosts
- A&A (Hardware and) Lobster
- Columbia Sportswear
- Michigan City LaPorte CVB
- National Rifle Association
- National Shooting Sports Foundation
- RAM Trucks
- Remington Outdoor Foundation / Outdoor RoadMap
- U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance
- Archery Trade Association
- SHE Apparel
Shooting Day Target/Rest Partner
- ATK/Federal Ammunition
"As terrific as the POMA conference was, there's still plenty of room for us to grow," said Kevin Howard, president of Howard Communications, which represents POMA Corporate Partners Mossy Oak, Browning and Winchester firearms, Bushnell, Hunter's Specialties, Birchwood Casey and other firms."
Howard concurs with the POMA Board of Directors' assessment that it's time for POMA to bring in more visual content providers, bloggers and young communicators.
"I don't think television, Web video providers, broadcast show hosts, producers or individual videographers know how much POMA has to offer them," said Tony Smotherman, who attended his first conference this year. "I learned so much at this event, especially about social networking and how critical it is to my business. Every broadcast professional should join POMA and tell the organization how it can help provide business-building services. POMA will respond and will help us grow our businesses if we tell the organization leadership what we need."
POMA President Michael D. Faw challenged each conference attendee to reach out to and bring a new member or guest to the 2011 Odgen Business Conference.
"When outdoor business professionals takes a few days to attend a POMA conference and sees how much the organization has to offer, most become members and immediately start reaping benefits," Faw said. "The key for POMA is to connect and educate more communications and industry professionals about the myriad of benefits and services the organization provides. There is no better advertising than word of mouth."
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Save the DateS for upcoming conferences
POMA's 6th Annual Business Conference
Ogden, Utah -- Marriott Ogden, Aug. 11 - 14, 2011
Marriott Ogden representative Dan Turner spent the week with POMA members and staff at the LaPorte, Ind. conference observing and seeing how conference can run more smoothly. Lot's of great upgrades to the event and schedule are being planned and POMA is working closely with the CVB on the Welcome Event, Interactive Day (Shooting, Water, etc.) and on pre- and post-conference trips. So, save the dates!
POMA's 7th Annual Business Conference
Tunica, Mississippi -- Veranda Hotel (at Harrah's Resort), Early August Dates to be Annnounced
After listening to detailed presentations by Baton Rouge, La., Columbia, S.C., and Tunica, Miss., and visiting with conference attendees about their choice of locations for the 2012 conference, the board selected Tunica, Miss. Harrah's Resort, the Tunica CVB and the State of Mississippi, were all involved in making one of the best bids for the POMA conference in recent years.
The beauty of the Tunica site is all events, sessions, Product Showcase and interactive shooting and water events, can all be held on site. In addition, Harrah's offers shuttle service across the property and is working with POMA on airport transportation from Memphis, Tenn., just 30 minutes away, to conference.
You'll be hearing more about Ogden in the coming weeks and more about Tunica early next year at SHOT Show.