Alaska’s most popular annual seafood marketing meeting is making plans go online instead of in person. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s annual “All Hands on Deck” meeting typically brings a huge mix of industry and interested public together to “talk fish” – but Covid has corked the event for this year. Ashley Heimbigner is ASMI communications director:
“Typically, this event is held over the course of several days in Anchorage where we can all get together in the same room and have these conversations. Obviously, with travel and large meetings continuing to be uncertain for the foreseeable future, we’ve had to make a decision with our board to move to a virtual platform for 2020.”
The All Hands meeting always provides a look back at Alaska’s seafood industry economics and trends for the previous year, and a look ahead. ASMI, which is a public/private partnership between the state and industry, is guided by a wide range of committees that cover nearly every fish in the sea.
“One group we refer to as the species committee and they focus on issues specific to whitefish, salmon, shellfish … because their issues are all very different and they differ across Alaska, and so we have representatives from those fisheries to guide us there.”
Others provide expertise on domestic and international marketing programs, communications and technical support.
Bringing all those hands and the public together in a virtual platform is going to be very different, Heimbigner says, and they are researching ways to make it the best event possible. Input from the public in a short survey can help. ASMI also wants to know the status of reliable internet for remote participants.
“From what is the most important part of All Hands to you, what kind of topics do you want to make sure we discus,s and to learn from a base level what kind of technology our partners have. It’s really important for us to know whether the majority of participants have access to reliable internet and can access these video conferences to look at presentations online, or if most of them will be calling in and might not have access to the video aspect.”
On a positive note, Heimbigner says many people who have not been able to attend ASMI’s All Hands event can now do so on line.
“If you have not been able to attend All Hands in the past due to travel reasons, this is a great year to start because it’s open to the public and we welcome everyone to join in November.”
All feedback is welcome by August 12. ASMI also is seeking committee members. Find links to the All Hands survey at the ASMI website and on Facebook.