Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Go West, America'

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Go West, America'

Article excerpt

CNPA hopes young conference has the right stuff

It's tempting to call this a critical year for the America West Regional Newspaper Operations and Technology Conference. But when a show is this young, they are all critical years.

"We figured when we started this that it would take five or six years for it to get going. And we're on track for that," says Jack Bates, executive director for the California Newspaper Publishers Association (cnpa). "It's gotta grow and it is growing."

cnpa started America West in 1996, two years after the final collapse of the Western Newspaper Production Conference. By 1993, the Western show had declined to the point that vendors far outnumbered newspaper production attendees. The next year, a planned conference in San Diego was canceled due to lack of interest.

America West got something of a running start in its first three years because the industrywide Nexpo shows those years were held in the South instead of Las Vegas. America West hit a high-water mark last year because it was held in conjunction with the National Newspaper Association (nna) convention.

Vendors, who have made America East in Hershey, Pa., a successful show year after year, were looking for a Western equivalent.

"As long as there is a show in the West, you go," says Carl Ban, director of marketing services for gma/Muller Martini. "It allows us to focus on the Western geographical area and see key people in the area." But this summer's Nexpo was in Vegas, and next year the Newspaper Association of America show will be in San Francisco. This fourth America West will take place, as always, in Reno, Nev., at John Ascuaga's Nugget, Oct. 6-8. Is it all too much of a Western focus?

"Nexpo is so different," Bates says. "They're throwing in everything but the kitchen sink, in terms of programming. At America West or America East, you can have an 8-foot-by-10-foot booth. …

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