The 5 Biggest Take-Aways from Orlando iX 2015


By: Ashley Bravo

First and foremost, what is Orlando iX?

As described on their website, Orlando iX is five power-packed days of dynamic keynotes, panels, exhibits, and entertainment, that showcases leading advancements in entertainment technology, interactive media, and digital arts. The conference targeted different industries within the Central Florida community including gaming, start-ups and digital.

So let’s get to the point- these are the 5 biggest take-aways from Orlando iX.

1. “We are not another Silicon Valley, we are so much more!” –Mayor Teresa Jacobs

This was clearly seen through out these five days. All who attended were exposed to indie games, tactics on start-up, the future of digital media and so much more. We are more than Disney theme parks, and it was evident that the digital talent and energy present in Orlando is ready to be taken seriously.

2. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid

I learned this tip at the “Two Minute Pitch Deck” speaker session.  I find this to be extremely relevant in all aspects of Marketing, not just when you are a start-up. You need to find a way to create and communicate a solid and direct connection between your brand and your audience, preferably using K.I.S.S. strategies. “We are like the Starbucks of frozen yogurt,” was an example that was given. In this particular example, a recognizable brand was used to explain what a new brand represents- all in one simple sentence. Another example is what AMA-Orlando uses to describe what we stand for, “We are an organization that brings marketing professionals within the Central Florida community together.” Short. Simple. Sweet!

3. Develop brand guidelines

During the “When Creativity Meets the Corporation” panel, the speakers talked about creating brand guidelines. Whether you are a freelancer, work for an agency, small company or a corporation,  developing a brand guideline helps all forms of communication stay consistent. As a freelancer, or agency employee, if you were assigned to create a company’s website or brochures, it makes life so much easier if they have guidelines you can work from. If they don’t, make the next designers job easier by providing a guideline for them, or at least offer that company the service of creating a brand guideline. Small and big companies, if you do not have brand guidelines, the brand can become distorted as too many “cooks” begin to stir the pot. Make sure you are using consistent color palette, fonts, icons, etc. with in all forms of marketing.

4. Mobile is #1

If your website is not compatible with mobile, or if you have not developed an app yet, you are 2 years late! At “The Web is Over as You Know it, and What You Can do it About it” speaker session, Mathew Knell, VP of Social Media and Community Strategy for, explained how mobile has officially passed desktop as a way of looking up information. I mean let’s be honest, even when you are at work in front of your desktop you’re probably still using your phone to Google something. The easiest way to start is to check if your website is mobile friendly, for example if it loads fast, if the contact us information is quickly shown, if the fonts are big enough, etc. If it isn’t mobile friendly, you definitely need to hire someone. In regards to apps, there is a lot of competition within the app industry.  Consider how willingly consumers are to download your app and the implications of losing phone storage space. Don’t just develop an app just to say that you have one.  Develop an app that solves a need within your target market and encourages engagement with your brand.

5. “We are moving into a world where the only way to survive is to be an innovator” –Jim Stikeleather, CIO at Dell.

Jim was the last keynote speaker, and he finished with a bang!  It was really hard to pick one lesson from his 45-minute session on “The Future Economy and The Need For Innovation.” Creating an environment within your home, workplace, city, where innovation is encouraged is probably the most important part of keeping a brand alive. Innovation comes from failing time and time again. You must fail fast and fail furious, do it again-and-again until you succeed.
In a nutshell, this wraps up the key information for this year’s conference. AMA-Orlando is looking forward to coming back to Orlando iX next year and following up with the amazing people we met at booth 603!

AMA- Orlando Booth OrlandoiX

5 Reasons to Attend Social Fresh

By: Amber Bloom

banner-ads-300x250If you look at the calendar of any marketing professional, you’ll see it’s full of networking events, meetings and conferences. We’re busy people! So it’s no secret that we’re selective when it comes to which conferences we choose to attend. We need to know that our time (and money) won’t be wasted, and that we’ll walk away eager to take what we learned and apply it to our careers.

That’s where Social Fresh comes in. As the longest running social marketing conference, industry leaders consistently cite it as the best social marketing conference of the year. Bringing together social media thought leaders and experts from companies like Twitter and Priceline, it’s one conference you won’t waste your time on.

If you need a little more incentive, here are 5 reasons why you should attend:

  1. Brush up on your social media skills: Social Fresh is a fast-paced, two-day conference that covers a huge range of social media topics. Speakers are only given 30 minutes or less, so you’ll get to dive deep into a specific topic without all of the “fluff” that comes with normal presentations. Attendees will walk away with actionable tips and resources they can take back to their teams and implement easily.
  2. Network & meet new people: This is a highlight of any conference. We all have unique skills and areas of expertise. Take the time to get to know those at the conference with you – you never know what they can bring to the table for you down the road!
  3. Learn from experts in their fields: From New York Times best-selling author, Chris Brogan, to professionals from Patron, Buffer, The Today Show and Twitter, Social Fresh isn’t short of experts. Each brings with them unique experience and knowledge that each of us can learn from.
  4. End each day with Happy Hour: What better way to end each day of the conference than with a networking opportunity with our peers that includes a few drinks? Take this time to network, talk about what you learned that day and relax.
  5. Save on tickets: Tickets are on sale now! Don’t forget to use amacentralfl to receive $80 off your registration.


Here are the rest of the need-to-know facts about Social Fresh:

  • What: Social Fresh is the social media conference that keeps it simple and focuses on quality content with actionable insights – No panels. Industry leaders will focus on success stories and tactics. Social Fresh is a high-quality networking event where you will meet and get to know other social professionals.
  • When: September 23 – 25, 2015 
  • Where: Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, Tampa, FL
  • Cost:
    • June 1 – July 19 — $947
    • July 20 – Sept 6 — $1097
    • Sept 7 – Sept 23 — $1197

A look back, 2014-2015 President Recap

As I reflect on this past year as Central Florida chapter president, it has been an honor serving you. I remain excited and energized as I conclude my fourth year of board leadership and service to you, my fellow marketers, because we’ve not only accomplished a lot in a very limited time, but I also know there’s still more great opportunities ahead for you.

One year ago, when our executive committee team got together to plan the year, I did not expect in my wildest dreams to be able to assemble such a more engaged and committed group of board leaders. Our leadership team was often more dedicated to pushing the Central Florida chapter forward than even I was considering given the number of challenges we faced at the beginning of the year.


AMA-Hard Rock

However, as I look back on our collective board goals designed during our leadership retreat last summer, we set forth to

1) galvanize the marketing community;

2) continue to serve as the primary source for marketers in our community; and

3) provide a variety of opportunities for you to learn, connect and grow.

I feel strongly we’ve successfully accomplished this mission!











Before I conclude, I must recognize the talents of our entire board, who have often gone above and beyond their volunteer duties to ensure the events and your experience this past year was nothing short of fantastic. Many of our distinguished leaders gave up valuable time with family and friends to deliver the best experiences possible, and for this I’m grateful. I’m also grateful for the many partners, from our event venues to our vendors and sponsors, who have made this year a success.

AMA-Happy Hour

Finally, I would like to share some awesome news with you. However, I think it would be best delivered by President-Elect Maria Del Amo next month as she begins her term as president. Be sure to watch for an exciting announcement in July!

Continued Success…and, go ahead, be AMA-zing!


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    AMA Central Florida Lends a Hand or Two at the Second Harvest Food Bank

AMA Central Florida Lends a Hand or Two at the Second Harvest Food Bank

Volunteering is one of the most important contributions that a person can make to the community they live in. Volunteering is a decision that brings with it a wide range of different benefits that cannot be ignored, including but not limited to:

  • Giving back to the surrounding communities and helping make your towns/cities the best possible place to live.
  • The opportunity to make new friends and develop the types of relations that can enrich your life both personally and professionally.
  • Lastly, it fills your heart knowing that any effort you put into volunteering doesn’t go unnoticed and gets multiplied 100 times while helping those in need.

Giving Back

One of the most important benefits of volunteering, however, has to do with the true meaning of the phrase “paying it forward.” We all benefit from living in a nice place, having family and friends that support us and enjoying comforts that at times we take for granted. By taking some of that love and care that you’ve received from your community over time and giving it back, you do your part to make sure that others are able to enjoy the riches and the success that you have in your lifetime.

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

It is with the spirit of these benefits in mind that the American Marketing Association Central Florida recently participated in a volunteering event at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. AMA CFL is a volunteering organization by its nature, but beyond that it is also dedicated to assisting other not for profit organizations as they work directly with their respective communities in an attempt to help make the world a better place, even in some small way.

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This AMA CFL volunteering event at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida was a rousing success. As we walked into the facility, we were welcomed by friendly staff that couldn’t be more thankful for having us.  The food bank itself is an amazing facility that is truly professional and well organized in every sense of those words. Since Disney was one of the main sponsors when the building opened its doors back in 2013, you will find a little Disney Magic everywhere you look. We were given the simple task of sorting dry goods that are distributed to local branches, that are then separated and packaged to provide food to families in need.

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Besides feeling a great sense of accomplishment at the end of our task at hand, our visit to the Second Harvest was topped off by an amazing tour of the whole facility given by Maureen Mikel, Event Specialist.  It was fascinating to learn that the food bank doesn’t just limit itself to providing food for those in need – it also goes out of its way to offer rich learning opportunities for people who want to better themselves. The Second Harvest also has a state-of-the-art kitchen that was donated by Darden Restaurants which serves as a learning ground to those who want to learn a unique skill.  The Second Harvest works directly with these individuals and provides them job internship opportunities in the area that can turn into full time positions.  As Maureen shared with us, special cooking class guest, John Rivers, from 4Rivers Smokehouse saw the devotion and ambition of one individual and hired her on the spot. That’s the power of the community!

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It is hard to quantify at times the value that volunteers bring to an organization.  The work of volunteers for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is particularly helpful, because it goes directly to their bottom line by reducing extra expenses that can be passed onto the work they currently do every day. The time that AMA CFL volunteers spent sorting dry goods and cans was extremely rewarding, particularly when it comes to knowing that something so simple could have such a tremendous impact on someone else’s life.

The peace of mind that comes with knowing that you truly made a difference in someone’s life is something that you just can’t put a price on.

Help Us Curb Hunger in our Community. Volunteer with us at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida on April 25

By: Amber Bloom, PR Chair


On April 25, the AMA-CFL chapter is heading out to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to lend a hand in efforts to curb hunger in our area. While we’d love to think the fact that you are volunteering at a local food bank with AMA would be reason enough to sign up, we thought a few stats on the current state of hunger in our community would help set the stage.

Imagine driving down I-4 at 70 miles per hour. Along the side of the road, kids are lined up shoulder-to-shoulder. It would take an hour before you passed them all – 200,000 kids in total. That’s what childhood hunger looks like in Central Florida.

It’s hard to imagine that in such a food abundant country, so many people, (and people in our community no less), struggle with hunger every day. It’s even more surprising to learn that those struggling with hunger include people who have jobs, raise families, pay taxes, and are working toward an education.

Last year alone, Second Harvest distributed enough food for 53 million meals, all collected through community food drives, grocery alliances, local farms and government food commodities. To help move that food through it doors, more than 21,000 volunteers contributed 67,000+ hours to sort and repack food donations.

Here’s another picture for you. If you lined up those 53 million meals on a standard dinner table with each plate spaced 3 feet apart, that table would begin in Orlando, stretch across the Mississippi Delta, the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains, through the Sierra Nevada, make a U-turn at the Golden Gate Bridge and find its way back to Orlando. That’s a lot of meals.

The AMA-CFL chapter will be at Second Harvest doing our part on April 25 and I plan to spend a few hours out of my busy week to help impact hunger in Central Florida in a positive way. I hope that you join us in giving back to our community and get to know more about your local chapter of AMA.

If you plan to attend, please email by April 10.