It’s a standing joke at Filament that if the Swine Team is on the road, they are probably in Iowa. It’s often true. Iowa is home to more than a third of the U.S. hog and pig inventory, and we go where the pigs are.
So why did the Swine Team go to London? Because it was London, Ontario, which is almost exactly like going to Des Moines, except everything was in kilometers. We went to the London Swine Conference as part of our work with a client that wants to grow sales in Canada.
Before I left, everyone I know outside work asked what in the heck one does at a swine conference. A lot, is the answer.
- Editor meetings – If you want to keep a finger on the pulse of an industry, you’re going to need to get to know magazine editors and farm show broadcasters. They spend an average of 23.5 hours per day reading, writing and talking to farmers, and they know what people are talking about.
- Presentations – How much, exactly, does it cost a farm when sows get injured while fighting in group housing? How can farmers use data to identify when their pigs might be getting sick? I came back with a notebook full of new data and story ideas.
- Making friends – My job is to find good stories and tell them using words, pictures or videos. The first step is letting people get to know my own story. Spending quality time with farmers and our client contacts is the first step in storytelling.
I admit I was nervous before the trip, even though this was no different than attending an industry conference in Iowa. But, this was new territory for my team, and we wanted to knock it out of the park for our client. How did it go? So great I can’t wait to do it again!