This year’s America East Media Business and Technology Conference returns March 12-14 to Hershey, Pa. at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. Administered by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, past shows have attracted close to 1,000 attendees from news media organizations, vendors and suppliers, and schools.
The conference this year will focus on the theme of transformation. “This is an obvious reference on how our industry is responding to rapid change. The big pivot is on, and we wanted to reflect that in our agenda and speaker choices,” said PNA president Mark Cohen.
The program includes a wide range of sessions centered on topics like best practices in digital design, the challenges of managing print circulation, artificial intelligence and the added value of commercial printing.
“I think we did a great job of getting speakers who have implemented programs and ideas, and will share what they did to be successful and be honest enough to acknowledge what they missed on,” Cohen said. “It’s hard to pinpoint a session or speaker (to highlight), so I have to say we have folks that will share ideas that are transferable to all size newspapers. A great balance of digital and print which is crucial for our industry in transformation.
The conference will also be “shifting gears” with the keynote speaker this year, according to PNA vice president of association services Tricia Greyshock.
“We’ll begin with Michael Klingensmith, Minneapolis Star-Tribune publisher and CEO and News Media Alliance chairman, who will give an overview of the state of the industry,” she said. “Then, we’ll transition to an interactive, candid discussion featuring a panel of publishers who will share their challenges and successes within the industry. It should be an informative and energizing session.”
Greyshock continued, “This year, we’re creating even more opportunities for attendees and suppliers to network by offering one-on-one meeting discounts, an exhibit hall passport program, and more. One of the biggest advantages of attending America East is the face time you get with folks committed to the news media industry—it’s a great opportunity to learn, collaborate and jump start ideas and initiatives that can be implemented back at your own organization.”
America East will also reveal a redesigned tradeshow floor this year.
“After collecting feedback from both attendees and exhibitors, we took the time to redesign a tradeshow floor that allows for better interaction, higher visibility and a cleaner layout,” Greyshock explained. “We’re identifying exhibitors by category and strategically placing our networking stations, food and beverage breaks and show theater in a traffic pattern that’s conducive to exploration.”
In an industry focused on revolution and transformation, America East continues to successfully attract newspaper professionals from all markets.
“I think we are a perfect combination of being both a large and small conference,” Cohen said. “We are able to be small enough to integrate with vendors and see colleagues, but large enough to have world class speakers.”
For more information, visit america-east.com.