The Birding Business Event of the Year
The 2023 WBFI Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA was an unparalleled success, bringing in over 115 attendees from North America and Asia. Held at the scenic Paradise Point Resort, the event featured three days of insightful discussions and unique experiences.
WBFI kicked off the event with early morning brainpower at the Board of Directors Meeting and a Quality Standard pow-wow. The excitement continued with a trip to the USS Midway Museum, immersing ourselves in rich maritime history. Exploring the decks of this legendary aircraft carrier, we marveled at exhibits, felt the pulse of naval aviation, and even climbed into the cockpit of iconic planes. The day wrapped up with a lively Welcome Reception featuring the musical talents of Nalu the Piano Man, sponsored by Northern Bag and Box Company.
Early birds caught more than worms on day two with Zach Hutchinson from Flocking Around leading a Birding Tour. The day's agenda was packed with highlights, starting with a mind-blowing keynote from Scott Shellstrom. His talk, "Unleash Your Inner Da Vinci," sponsored by High Country Mercantile, got us all thinking creatively. The paintings that he did were used for a silent auction that raised over $2,000 for the WBFI Research Foundation.
The rest of day two unfolded with a panel discussion on sustainable packaging, Zach Hutchinson's scoop on "The Next BIG Food Thing," insights on commodity markets from Randall Fortenberry, preventing bird-window collisions with Feather Friendly & USGS, and polarized light in bird feeding. The evening ended with an Off-Site Reception at Belmont Park, sponsored by All Star Trading, offering a refreshing change of scenery with ocean waves and panoramic Pacific views.
The final day of the event began with a Members Meeting and the prestigious WBFI Inaugural Member Awards Ceremony, recognizing stellar contributions from Wild Birds Unlimited, WBU Colorado Springs, and Bird Buddy. The highlight of the day was the keynote address by Mike Uyboco, renowned for coaching peak performance and sharing insights from his SEAL training. Uyboco's talk, "Creating a Culture of High Performance," sponsored by Scoular, left a lasting impression on attendees.
The day kept the good vibes going with updates on Nyjer® studies, WBFI Market Research Reports, and lively panel discussions on standards and regulatory updates. We wrapped up on a Zen note with Tammah Watts talking about the therapeutic wonders of birdwatching, followed by a Mindful Outdoor Experience. In those tranquil moments, amidst the chaos of life, we recentered ourselves, finding solace in the beauty of nature.
As we said goodbye in style at the Closing Reception with DJ Julian Keyz, sponsored by Cerco Group, the 2023 WBFI Annual Meeting proved to be a wild success. The night was filled with laughter, camaraderie, and even a bit of musical magic as attendees rocked the karaoke stage. Excited about WBFI's growth and triumphs, we look forward to the next gathering. Until then, keep those bird feeders full and the good times rolling!
WBFI members have access to all Annual Meeting presentations through the Info Hub! To access the presentations, simply log in to your WBFI Info Hub Dashboard and navigate to Resources > 2023 Annual Meeting Resources.
Save the date for November 12-14, 2024, in Charleston, SC for the next WBFI Annual Meeting!