Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Solutions, Success Stories and New Ideas: 2018 Mega-Conference Highlights 'Stronger and Smarter' Future for Newspaper Industry

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Solutions, Success Stories and New Ideas: 2018 Mega-Conference Highlights 'Stronger and Smarter' Future for Newspaper Industry

Article excerpt

Newspaper industry leaders from around the world flocked to San Diego Feb. 26-28 for one of the biggest Mega-Conferences in years. More than 700 newspaper executives and exhibitors attended the show in order to get the scoop on the latest industry technology, the state of newspapers, and how to forge a way into the future.

This year's Mega-Conference was hosted by the Inland Press Association, Local Media Association, the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, the News Media Alliance, and in association with the California News Publishers Association.

"This year's Key Executives Mega-Conference smashed our previous attendance records, and was met with resounding approval from both newspaper executives and our sponsors and exhibitors," said Jay Horton, the show's executive producer.

Kicking off the event was keynote speaker Ken Doctor, whose presentation titled "Destination 2020: How We Get There Stronger and Smarter" set the tone with details of what bigger newspapers are doing right and what it takes for smaller publications to garner the same success. Innovation could be felt buzzing throughout the session room and spilling across the tradeshow floor.

The conference also crowned the winner of its Innovation Award. The recipient, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, won for its creation and successful execution of a Digital Billboard Network, which reaped $1 million in revenue in its first year. The other finalists for the award included Block Communications, Shaw Media, and WEHCO Media.

Out on the exhibition floor, companies showcased new technology and prowess as digital and print media innovators. Attendees perused the more than 70 booths, searching for inspiration or the next big thing that could catapult their publication to the next level.

Back inside the sessions, innovation continued to brew with topics like "Investing in Newspapers in 2018," where top newspaper executives discussed strategies to maximize investments with a focus on digital subscriptions. A session with Facebook's director of news products Alex Hardiman broke down the effects of the company's new algorithm change and how her team was now prioritizing local news. In total, more than 40 presentations were made at Mega-Conference, each providing a window into fresh, new, and bold ideas.

'We were delighted to come together with SNPA, Inland and LMA this year on Mega-Conference. …

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