Those who attended this year’s America East Media Business and Technology Conference in Hershey, Pa. March 12 to 14 were sure to walk away with new revenue ideas and successful strategies that can be applied to the newsroom, advertising department and production side, no matter what the paper’s circulation.
With more than 20 sessions on the agenda, this year’s theme of transformation in the industry was on the mind of every speaker and attendee. Minneapolis Star-Tribune publisher and CEO and News Media Alliance chairman Michael Klingensmith opened the conference with a keynote speech about the state of the industry. Along with Altoona (Pa.) Mirror publisher Ray Eckenrode, The Republican (Springfield, Mass.) publisher and CEO George Arwady, and The News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) president and publisher Sara Glines, Klingensmith led a thoughtful discussion about unusual revenue streams, the importance of local journalism, and how they overcame challenges in their markets.
The program featured a wide range of topics that benefited every news leader. Among them were best practices in digital design, engaging audiences and bringing in new revenue through events and the state of online subscriptions.
On the exhibit floor, nearly 50 companies were on hand to display the latest in print and digital technologies able to aid newspapers in their search for creative opportunities—from ticketing services to augmented reality. A redesigned show floor also helped create more opportunities for attendees and suppliers to network.
“Feedback from the attendees was upbeat and positive about our speakers and agenda topics. I think we struck the right mix of ideas for newspapers that could be quickly implemented after they arrived home. Also, our tracks regarding topics about pivoting for the long run were well-received,” said Mark Cohen, president of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, the group that organizes the show every year. “I found more optimism in Hershey at our conference as attendees felt some revenue categories were on the uptick and many had action plans to accelerate digital, social and database marketing. Certainly we all have challenges but conferences like ours and others along with vendors who can help us are of great value.”
PNA vice president of association services Tricia Greyshock added, “We were pleased to be able to offer another year of networking, educational content and a showcase of solutions for those engaged in this important industry. We look forward to continuing to serve this audience, now and in the future.”
The next America East conference is scheduled for April 1 to 3, 2019 in Hershey. For more information, visit america-east.com.