2016 Mega-Conference Arrives in Austin Feb. 22-24

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Austin hotel
The JW Marriott hotel in Austin will host this year’s Mega-Conference Feb. 22-24.

Time to strap on your boots because the 2016 Key Executives Mega-Conference is heading to Texas. This year’s event will take place Feb. 22-24 at the JW Marriott in Austin. Sponsored by the Inland Press Association, Local Media Association, and Southern Newspapers Publishers Association, the program’s theme is “Recasting Success: Building a Vibrant and Sustainable Future.”

According to program coordinator Carol Hudler, the exploration of new business models will be integrated throughout the conference’s schedule.

“While we’ll have some sessions with tactics on improving your current book of business, we’re also highlighting outcomes from some publishers who have dared to do things differently,” she said. “Newspapers are navigating massive changes in the way people consume information and businesses go to market—we want to explore possible approaches and the tools available to help us execute them to help create new revenue streams to replace the growth we once saw from parts of the business that now are stagnant or in decline.”

Just take one look at the program and you’ll find sessions focused on driving digital sales, data and dollars, and events as a key revenue source. But print will still play a major role.

“I know a lot of daily newspaper publishers are pondering the question about what is the best print frequency for publishing in the future,” Hudler said. “They all should be interested in hearing what Randy Siegal and Pam Siddall of Advance Local have to share—this company has been changing out the print/digital frequency mix in its markets for more than four years.”

New this year is the Revenue Stage. Hudler said the breakout sessions revolve around popular tech-orientated topics like video, data and mobile. The sessions will take place on a stage on the trade show floor and be presented by solution providers in each of those areas.

“We also plan to take advantage of the Austin tech scene by bringing in some local experts to share their ideas,” Hudler said.

The first-ever Mega-Innovation award will also be handed out at the conference. The award will honor a media company that has introduced a new project or service that has grown digital revenue, tapped into new audiences, and diversified revenue.

“We thought this would be a great award to introduce at the Mega-Conference, so we can showcase the companies that are making things happen and how they are doing it,” Hudler said.

It will be another full house this year as Hulder expects 500 to 1,000 attendees to travel to Austin, along with 75 to 80 vendors on the exhibitor’s floor.

“What sets Mega-Conference from others is its sizable trade show, and the fact that this is a combined effort of three different media associations,” she said. “This allows a diverse, yet intimate exchange of new ideas and approaches among top decision-makers across the country.”

The goal is the same as last year, Hudler said: “To motivate media leaders to think differently, take new risks, and to reward them for attending with ideas and approaches they can implement for their own organization’s benefit.”

For more information, visit mega-conference.com.

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