Annual Marketing and Social Media Conference Continues to Grow
By Parks And Recreation
Posted on February 19, 2016, February 19, 2016

Annual Marketing and Social Media Conference Continues to Grow

The Arlington Parks and Recreation Department hosted its 5th Annual Brand+Aid Marketing & Social Media Conference last month at the Bob Duncan Center.

Bringing over 160 marketing and parks and recreation professionals from around the country to the American Dream City, attendees learned new skills and tools for better marketing their businesses in the digital era.

Brand+Aid started in 2012 as a way for Arlington Parks and Recreation staff to improve their marketing skills in order to better communicate the services their department offers to the community.

"We realized that all of our staff were marketers in some form. This conference allowed us to provide marketing education to our park planners, program coordinators, golf pros and more," said Gary Packan, Parks and Recreation Assistant Director.

Other cities saw the success and impact of Brand+Aid and wanted to join in. Since 2012, Brand+Aid has grown from an Arlington employee-only event to a conference that hosts business professionals from the private and public sector from all over the country. Popularity grew so much for Brand+Aid that in 2015, a Brand+Aid Conference was hosted in Colorado due to the high demand in that area.

Speakers from the public and private sector present various topics on branding, social media, design, and more. For example, last year US Olympian and McKinney native, Johnny Quinn, spoke about his inspirational journey to the 2012 Sochi Olympics and talked about the whirlwind of social media that followed him after breaking through a door after being stuck in a hotel bathroom during the games.

"Brand+Aid provides staff from Arlington Parks and Recreation and other city departments the opportunity to receive high level training from industry expects on technology and the marketing industry that most city governments could not typically afford to provide for due to the amount of staff that attend annually. Brand+Aid was created to bring industry leaders and marketing professionals to us." Packan said.

Any revenue generated from the conference is directed toward education and professional development for Parks and Recreation staff. Typically, municipalities have not put a priority on marketing in the past. That trend has been evolving as budgetary pressures and community expectations have elevated. But the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department believes otherwise.

"It is important to provide opportunities for city staff to improve their skills in the profession. We are honored to be the leader of Brand+Aid and marketing training for our profession," said Lemuel Randolph, Parks and Recreation Director.

The Arlington City Council has identified "Put Technology To Work" as a priority in 2016. Technology touches all parts of the city life -organizations, residents and businesses. It is also integral in achieving the City's other four priorities including investing in our economy, supporting quality education, enhancing regional mobility and championing great neighborhoods.

The Brand+Aid Marketing & Social Media Conference works to achieve two of the City Council goals; "Putting Technology to Work" and "Supporting Quality Education" at the same time.

Brand+Aid is tentatively planned for January 18-19, 2017.

Put Technology to Work
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