The Newspaper Association of America is heading to the nation’s capital for its annual mediaXchange conference. This year’s event will be held at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Washington D.C. on April 17-20.
The 2016 conference theme is “local” and will focus primarily on the importance of newspapers providing localized information, and how to better engage with and improve their communities.
“Local is a huge focus for a block of our membership,” said David Chavern, NAA president and CEO. “Local is a place (newspapers) can deliver value to their readers.”
When E&P spoke with NAA, Lindsey Loving, communications manager, said they expected about 1,000 attendees, and approximately 40 exhibitors and 50 advertisers, and they anticipate the numbers to grow by next month. Last year’s mediaXchange conference in Nashville, Tenn. hosted about 1,000 attendees as well.
According to Chavern, the conference will feature key Washington D.C. media figures, including Washington Post editor Martin Baron, who will discuss how to cover national politics. In addition, Cory Haik, Mic chief strategy officer and former executive director for emerging news products at the Washington Post, is slated as the keynote speaker for the Audience Development Symposium. She will address strategies on how to grow and engage newspaper mobile audiences.
Although the theme of the show is focused on local coverage, this year’s mediaXchange will also feature the top 2016 presidential candidates (to be confirmed) who will speak about the importance of newspapers and the media.
While presidential elections are interesting to read about, Chavern said, the conference will stick to its theme of “local” and feature information about local elections as well. Chavern said there will be sessions on how to cover and monetize elections in communities, including a session on how newspapers can track political ads.
“In a presidential election year, a lot of people forget thousands of local elections are happening,” he said. “Local politics is an area where newspapers are still hitting the mark. Small newspapers are more likely to attract advertising dollars from local candidates than national ones.”
Additional sessions include: the evolution of local news; monetizing mobile; prospects and solutions on ad blocking; revenue beyond advertising; and improving local sales. The conference will also highlight newspapers that have experimented with innovative ideas to attract advertising dollars.
During the show, the NAA will also announce the winners of its inaugural Top 30 Under 30 awards program, honoring young industry leaders, and host its third annual Accelerator Pitch Program, where eight startup companies get to pitch their services to industry members.
For more information, visit naa.org/mediaxchange.