Half A Dozen Reasons to Attend NOA 2017 Annual Convention

Santa Fe, New MexicoSanta Fe, New Mexico
By Kim Reddin

By Kim Reddin


With so many great ways to learn and sharpen your skills – blogs, podcasts, videos on YouTube, webinars etc. – you may find yourself thinking, “Why bother with the time and expense of going anywhere?” If these thoughts sound familiar, you could be missing out on a grand opportunity to take your game to the next level. Live events provide ideal learning and career-building opportunities you do not find with the other skill-building formats previously mentioned.

Here are six reasons you should attend the National Onion Association (NOA) Annual Convention Nov. 29 – Dec. 2 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

6. Sharpen your saw.

Sometimes you get in a rut, literally just plowing through the day-to-day chores and items on the ever-expanding to-do list. Sometimes, taking a break from the routine work to sharpen your skills is necessary. Do not be the woodcutter in the forest hacking away with a dull axe while the competition cuts it down in half the time with a sharp one – or uses a chainsaw like they saw demonstrated at a convention.

5. Meet experts and influencers face-to-face.

We live in a digital world, but we’re still human. Knowingly or unknowingly, we need in-person interactions to make connections to both people and content. Taking a selfie with someone who’s influenced or mentored you, or hearing the person you bump into confirm that the idea you’ve had brewing in your head is worth pursuing is hard to match in the virtual world. The connections you make could be the next business deal or mentor you need. When immersed in the atmosphere of a live event, you can step away from your daily routine, be surrounded by your peers, speakers and valuable information. This is a surefire way to absorb more and leave with a better understanding of the topics or the general state of the industry. The level of comradery at a live event is unmatched. As an added bonus, you’ll have a great new selfie to post on Instagram.

4. Network.

Similar to number five, yet distinctly important unto itself, convention is the opportunity to mix and mingle, form new relationships and strengthen existing ones. What will you miss if you don’t come to convention? Ask your competitor. Plus, the energy of being around like-minded folks that want to better themselves and their operations has an energy level difficult to reproduce from your seat in the tractor, the packing shed or your office.

3. Invest in yourself.

Yes, invest in yourself; you are certainly worth it! Time away from your daily routine will refresh and rejuvenate you. For years, you’ve been saying you should go; make this the year. To quote Corey Kincaid, “You can always learn something new at an NOA meeting and leave with something you can take back to your operation.”

2. Learn new tips and tactics or regain focus.

The internet makes us think we have everything at our fingertips. While it certainly can be, it also has an overwhelming amount of data we often can’t wade through. Worse yet, we never get to the best material. Convention will jumpstart new ideas, present a different way of solving a lingering problem or just give us a new approach.

1. Experience what makes Santa Fe a unique city in America.

“The City Different” has indescribable appeal, fantastic food and moving artwork. Santa Fe is consistently rated a Top Ten Culinary destination. This is no surprise as the food here takes the form of art. Crafted, designed and passionately prepared dishes stimulate all the senses through flavor, aroma, texture and presentation. NOA intends to immerse members in the culture and food scene in Santa Fe. As an industry, we focus much of our time on the production side of the farm-to-fork equation. This year, we will focus on the plate in a “Food in Focus” adventure.