Reflections on the 2021 AAMP Convention
When the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) hosted its first in-person convention in Oklahoma City in July, it was the first time in two years that Excalibur Seasoning caught up with their customers and suppliers at the event. The 2020 show was cancelled because of the pandemic.
We spent some time with John Brewer, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, following AAMP to gather his impressions about the convention and the company seasonings that were the talk of the show.
What was it like to be back at AAMP this year?
It was wonderful to see all of our customers again who have become friends to us over many years. I was looking over my shoulder during the dinner event held at the Cowboy Museum and I saw a sea of people in our AAMP family. It was fantastic.
Nearly the entire sales team was there along with the new President & CEO Mike Shrier.
This was Mike’s first time at AAMP and it was an eye-opening experience for him. Not only did he witness the number of people attending the event, but most importantly he saw firsthand the number of people who visited our booth and how our staff interacted with our customers.
What was the sales team most excited about with the return to a major in-person trade show?
I would have to say the record attendance, and record number of new plants registered for the event. As usual, we had several processors win awards in the American Cured Meat Championship (ACMC) and that’s always a bonus for us as well. There was such a level of appreciation from everyone to be there and feel a sense of normalcy again.
AAMP gives us the opportunity to present not only new items, but also meet new prospects and interact with existing customers. There were a lot of new faces this year. Being on site, we are able to help answer technical questions that people may have. Excalibur has a great team with decades of experience and our customers really appreciate that.
What was the reaction to the featured product lines this year?
Our sausage flavors are always a hit during the AAMP show and this year was no exception. The tumble dry marinades came in a close second, and our Maple Korean BBQ flavor got a lot of attention. Samples of this flavor profile were the first to disappear.
Any parting thoughts about Excalibur’s experience?
I can say that the number of conversations our team had with new AAMP members and new business startups was like no previous year. There’s a bright future ahead for the organization and the supplier community.