America East Conference Set for April 4-6

The Hershey Lodge and Convention Center will host America East.

Newspaper professionals will gather in Hershey, Pa. for the 2016 America East Media Business and Technology Conference April 4 to 6. Administered by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association and several co-sponsoring associations, the annual conference saw more than 900 attendees last year and anticipates even higher numbers next month.

“We’ve expanded our programming to offer circulation-specific content once again by partnering with 360 Media Alliance and I-SCMA,” said Tricia Greyshock, PNA vice president of association services.

This year’s circulation programming will start April 3 before America East kicks off with a keynote luncheon April 4. This year’s keynote speaker is Christian Hendricks, McClatchy vice president of products, marketing and innovation.

“The McClatchy Company has embarked on a significant company reinvention, including a redesign of newspapers, digital products and video efforts,” Greyshock said. “Hendricks will share insight and speak to the ‘untold’ transformation story of local media from an operator’s perspective.”

Greyshock said conference sessions will include a wide array of topics, from ad blocking and innovation in the newsroom to creative revenue streams and disaster recovery and infrastructure.

“Each year, our committee’s goal is to invite speakers and develop sessions that speak to important industry challenges, trends and opportunities,” she said. “It is important that we offer programming that meets the needs of anyone working in the news media industry.”

Other than the keynote speech, Greyshock said she is also excited about the podcast and virtual reality sessions. “These are intriguing topics of interest for the industry and potential revenue-generators, and we’re excited to offer some insight into unchartered waters for many news media organizations.”

On the exhibit floor, Greyshock expects more than 90 suppliers to be on display. “Our goal is to sell out the show floor, which we’ve done the last two years, and we’re confident that the final list of exhibitors will be robust once again.”

New to the floor this year is a theatre area, which will include general breakout sessions and vendor sessions. Greyshock said the area is a way for “attendees to learn more about (their) partners and their areas of expertise and solutions.”

The annual 2016 America East Digital Media Contest will also take place during the show. Contest categories include best overall digital experience, best overall use of social media and best use of multimedia. All winners will be recognized during an awards presentation on April 4.

“This year’s goal is to maintain the legacy of the America East conference,” Greyshock said. “It has a long-standing history and loyalty base for production and operations professionals, while balancing our continued efforts to grow attendance and participation in the areas of circulation, revenue-generation, digital efforts and future trends.”

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