by: Nu Yang
Nearly 900 hundred news professionals and exhibitors gathered in Hershey, Pa. March 30 to April 1 for the America East Media Business and Technology Conference. Vice president of association services Tricia Greyshock said attendance numbers rose again compared to last year. Full-time attendees also increased 20 percent this year.
The growth most likely is attributed to the fact that this year’s conference was a collaboration with 360 Media Alliance; the group helped tailor programming specific to circulation and audience growth strategies. Due to the success, Greyshock said they would explore new partnerships next year that could encompass other departments.
International News Media Association executive director and CEO Earl J. Wilkinson, this year’s keynote speaker, spoke during the first day’s luncheon about the News Media Outlook for 2015, in particular how legacy and digital media are two ends of a rope burning toward each other. The transformation, according to Wilkinson, begins with keeping up with consumer habits, leveraging data and diversifying revenue beyond print and digital.
“It’s culture first, audience second and revenue third,” he told the packed room.
On the tradeshow floor, 95 companies exhibited, and more than 20 of them were first-time exhibitors. Also on the floor was the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA) LaunchPad, a program matching tech start-ups with media companies, offering digital solutions. Greyshock saw it as an opportunity to open up more sessions on the tradeshow floor.
PNA president Teri Henning said she heard positive feedback throughout the show and overall, she was excited in the show’s direction, thanks in part to the vendors, attendees and co-sponsors.
“We want to focus on expanding the traffic on the tradeshow floor and extending our collaborations,” Greyshock said. “The growth of the show is a positive sign, and we look forward to next year.”
America East returns to Hershey April 4 to 6, 2016. For more information, visit america-east.com.