One of my favorite parts of the AgChat Annual Conference is something that was a sort of last minute add-on — we call it the AgChat Swap Meet. It is probably the piece of the conference that also gets the most questions ahead of time as folks are interested in what to expect so, as the person who had the late night idea in 2011 to create this, let me start the conversation here and I’ll gladly answer additional questions too!
What is the AgChat Swap Meet?
The AgChat Swap Meet is an optional part of the conference that has become a chance to showcase some of what each participants hometown and region offer up in the agriculture world.
How do you participate?
People can decide how to participate. The idea is we all get in one place with many of us bringing things from our farms, hometowns, etc. to trade with others as we talk about what we grow, who we work with, etc. And for people who don’t have time or care to pull together trinkets to swap, you should still consider coming down and mingling with folks to hear what all is going on in their area.
What kinds of things do people bring?
In general, people bring things that illustrate something about their operation, area or crops. The types of things traded ranges so dramatically that there is no typical swap meet item, and that’s part of the fun of it! Some times people bring really low cost things (or even free!) from local organizations like pens, stickers, etc. to home-grown popcorn or lavender and there are also a few treasured more expensive items like baseball caps, books, etc. that get traded. The great thing is, trading with others lets us share our stories more widely.
How many things should I bring?
Thinking about the realities of luggage, time and budgets, a lot of folks bring 2-3 dozen things to trade (some bring a few things with just handfuls of each). And some have brought enough for everyone to snag one.
What comes after the swap meet?
Just think about what sort of conversation piece these trinkets could be in another area of the country. A great way to get someone else to tell part of your story. There will be lots of snaps and instagrams shouting out who had what great trades and you never know, someone may end up writing a blog post about the awesomeness!