MPA's two largest meetings — the winter conference and summer convention — will merge into a single event in 2023.
The 157th Annual Meeting will be held June 15-17 at the new Sheraton-Refuge Hotel and Conference Center in Flowood. The $50 million resort opened in 2021 and boasts a number of amenities, including a golf course on site, rooftop bar, and resort pool and lazy river.
The event will merge the annual Mid-Winter Conference and summer convention and include programming on industry, editorial, and revenue topics as well as presentation of the Better Newspaper Media Contest Awards and the MPA Hall of Fame.
The annual MPA Education Foundation Celebrity Roast will continue as a stand alone event. Next year's fundraiser is set for Feb. 16 at The Westin Jackson.
"After resuming in person meetings in 2021 following the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the MPA Board looked carefully at attendance and how the Association can better use its resources for events that are beneficial to our members and provide the best value," said MPA President Stephanie Patton, publisher of The Leland Progress.
"We decided holding one meeting that focuses on both editorial and revenue was the best use of the Association's efforts and our members' time and money."
MPA Executive Director Layne Bruce said Jackson was chosen for next year's meeting since it is the longtime venue for the winter conference and also since 2023 is a statewide election year.
"We think holding the annual meeting in Jackson provides us with the best opportunity to invite as many statewide elected officials and candidates to appear and meet our members," Bruce said.
He indicated the 2024 meeting is tentatively scheduled to return to Mississippi's Gulf Coast and will likely rotate between there and Jackson in the future.
The annual presentation of the Better Newspaper Media Contest Advertising Division awards will likely shift to a virtual program next spring.
"But we will hold back the largest categories such as Advertising Excellence, Advertisement of the Year, and Silver Dollar Idea for an in-person presentation at the summer meeting," Bruce said.
For more information about the annual meeting, contact Layne Bruce at 601-981-3060, ext. 4.
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