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Rocky Mountain Association of Fairs - 91st Annual Convention


By Timothy Herrick

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The beautiful city of Spokane, Washington was the site for the 91st annual convention of the Rocky Mountain Association of Fairs convention held on November 9 - 12, 2016.  

The Doubletree Spokane City Center hotel is located on the banks of the Spokane River in downtown Spokane and served as the host hotel for 436 delegates representing fairs in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and North & South Dakota.  

Musical and variety acts showcased on the stages in the Grand Ballroom following each meal.  Johnna Johnson got the group motivated to "Just Jump" with her lively and humorous keynote address on Thursday morning.  The educational programing featured a variety workshops including:

Volunteers: The Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and the Millennials; Vendor Issues from A to Z; Farm to Fork Movement - It's Here to Stay' Volunteers: Recruiting & Retaining; To App or Not to App; Latest Social Media Treads - What? Not Again!; Service Member Marketing Materials - What Fairs Need; Interim Event Set-ups/Tracking to the Maintenance Staff; Livestock Shows at Fairs; The Power of Great Service; Gun Show/Concealed Weapons on Your Grounds; Fairgrounds Design Trends; Rodeo Trends & Issues; Using IPads for Exhibit Check-in, Judging & Kiosks; Unique/Creative Low Maintenance Landscaping; Gate Promotions that Work; Your Fair in the "cloud"; Spin to Win:  Insure the Media is Telling Your Story Your Way; Livestock Show Ethics.  The group loaded on buses on Saturday for a trip the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds for a tour, lunch and a workshop on Drones - Is there a proper place & time for this new tool?, presented by Bird Eye of the Sky.  

Award for recognition of outstanding individual in the RMAF membership were presented throughout the convention.  Janet Konkel, Weld County Fair, Greeley, Colorado is the Fair Manager of the Year, Criss Crozier Neiman, Wyoming State Fair, Douglas, Wyoming is the Fair Person of the Year and Marty Davis, is the Service Member of the Year.  

The Hall of Fame award was presented to Bob Batista, Western Idaho Fair, Boise, and the family of Lloyd Shelhamer accepted the Heritage award.  Mr. Shelhamer was very active in the RMAF.

The final dinner on Saturday night was highlighted by the presentation of the Summit Awards to the fairs that participated with their photos and marketing pieces from their 2016 events.

  The gavel was passed to the incoming President of the RMAF, Dane Dugan who announced the theme for 2017 "Set Your Wheels in Motion - active, elevate & innovate" and invited delegates to save the date of November 8 - 11, 2017 for the 92nd annual convention to be held in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Hotel Eleganté in conjunction with the Colorado Association of Fairs & Shows.

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