As timelines narrow, and days feel longer, the temptation to skip local face-to-face Iowa marketing events and focus on work, intensifies. That’s a mistake for three concrete reasons, however.

As a long-time board member and former president of the Iowa chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA Iowa), I see the value that comes from involvement in professional clubs and organizations. I have reaped the rewards of involvement time and time again and firmly believe it’s crucial for Iowa marketers to be aware of what they’re missing.


1. Local involvement demonstrates community commitment.

As marketing professionals and leaders, it is our responsibility to contribute back to the profession, supporting the industry not only through sponsorship but also by getting involved. This has real benefits too.

Iowa has an incredibly strong and connected marketing community, in part to the wide variety of local professional organizations that contribute to keeping it vibrant, competitive and fun. Because of the tightly connected Iowa marketing community, you and your company’s actions make an impact.

Association members, including potential clients or employees, are keenly aware of which companies are investing in the Iowa marketing community and who is noticeably absent. Becoming the champion and showing your commitment to the industry is rewarding for the community and your company.


“At Lessing-Flynn, it’s vital for us to support local organizations because they do so much for our business. From providing out-of-office growth opportunities for our team, to opening up new connections, we all love seeing how our involvement makes a difference both in our office and in the community.”

Emily Nichols, AMA Iowa member and former board member


2. Involvement with Iowa marketing groups builds key relationships.

Breaking away from the day-to-day environment to connect with others in the industry is refreshing, inspiring and motivating. The relationships built, serve as key resources outside the office and provide a broader perspective on the market.

In my personal experience, it’s surprising how small the Iowa marketing community and industry as a whole actually is. When you connect, you’ll quickly realize this community is tight-knit. The friendly faces at a social or educational event quickly become mentors, vendors, clients and even your latest new hire. Meeting with these folks in a more casual environment where specific projects and work demands aren’t top-of-mind also builds a deeper personal connection. Connections like these are key in growing not just the community as a whole, but your own company’s marketing prowess.


“Like many other organizations, Iowa NAMA is a great space for networking – bringing together C-Suite executives, Iowa State University students and everyone in between. The Iowa NAMA chapter has been a great space for me to grow my professional network and meet new talent to recruit! In my time on the Iowa NAMA Board, I have seen a few key positions be filled through relationships built and fostered through NAMA events.”

Ellie Wyatt, NAMA member and former board member


3. Organization involvement provides unique professional development.

At the foundation of all professional organizations is a focus on continuing education and professional development of its members. And while this is directly accomplished by attending speakers and workshops, there are educational bi-products that result as well.

It’s true attendees of various Iowa marketing organizations are re-energized, and bring back new ideas, broadening their industry knowledge, but committee volunteers and board members also provide each other with a great ad-hoc platform for refining skills they weren’t aware they even had.

Members curious about exploring using Instagram stories or trying their hand at planning a fundraising event need only to raise their hand. With a willing group of unlikely educators, you’ll be a pro in no time, developing leadership skills in a low-risk environment. Leading a team of volunteers is no easy task, but it’s a fast-track way to boost your leadership growth and gain some unique leadership experiences.


“The skills I utilize as a creative director are mostly associated with creating content and overseeing a team of creative professionals. Conversely, in my role as co-director of programs for AAF, I utilize a much different skill set that puts a greater emphasis on strategy, planning and coordinating logistics. The challenges I face in this role certainly give me a better understanding of the everyday responsibilities of the Lessing-Flynn client services team.”

Joe Winn, AAF board member


The benefit of getting involved in local marketing organizations is clear and events like the Metro Marketing Mixer – Central Iowa’s premier networking event for Iowa marketers – might just be a great place to start. (It’s back for the second year on January 23rd, and you can Register now!)


Hosted by American Advertising Federation (AAF) American Marketing Association (AMA), National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Social Media Club: Des Moines (SMCDM) — this event is the perfect opportunity to learn more about each organization and network with your marketing peers.