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2015 Mega-Conference: Attendees leave with new ideas, contacts and perspectives

Slightly more than 700 attendees were in Atlanta this past week for the Key Executives Mega-Conference, sponsored by SNPA, Inland Press Association and the Local Media Association.

Coverage of the outstanding conference sessions continues this week, with more to come next week.

If you missed visiting with the the 75 exhibitors and additional sponsors at the Mega-Conference, here's a link to that portion of the conference program.  They offer invaluable resources and can help you uncover new solutions to problems, grow revenue and take the next steps on the pathway to a prosperous future.

Two of our platinum sponsors created videos that were shown at the Mega-Conference.  View them at the links below:

SNPA, Inland and LMA value the feedback that has been offered so far about the conference and welcome additional comments.  We are always seeking ways to make these events as valuable as possible for our newspaper and R&D members.

Among the success stories reported from the Mega-Conference:

"Our presence at the Key Executives Mega-Conference was a really great opportunity for Olive Software to get meaningful exposure for our new strategies, programs and platform with the leadership of multiple publishing organizations.  The Quick Bites format also really helped us move the needle, advancing our thought leadership around eEdition as an under-leveraged strategic digital output channel as well as demonstrate how our flexible architecture and revenue models can support our industry to maximize the opportunities within this change. Overall I feel exhibiting and speaking at the Mega-Conference was a valuable investment we hope to convert into a meaningful return."   Drew Bartlett, director of product management & marketing, Olive Software, Inc.

"Sometimes we can all get a little stuck in the day-to-day, year-to-year grind. Just trying to get the next thing done before ten more urgent things hit the desk. We keep the production moving, keep the world turning – getting done what has to be done. This is important, and praiseworthy. But at other times it becomes important, even necessary to step aside and look at things from a different angle. Call it out-of-the-box thinking, innovation, entrepreneurial thinking, or whatever buzz word is currently used in motivational seminars, that little change of perspective can be enough to improve everything."  Read about the creative new approach PuzzleFlow Media Technologies and the Gannett Imaging and Ad Design Center took at the Mega-Conference this year.

"LEAP Media Solutions was proud and privileged to have collaborated with the Mega-Conference in the introduction of the LEAP Luxury Box. The event team did a terrific job of helping us take a creative idea and make it a reality. The LEAP Luxury Box proved to be an innovative concept to reinforce and grow the LEAP brand, reward our clients and connect with new opportunities. We look forward to making it even better in 2016." Tom Ratkovich, managing partner, Leap Media Solutions

"This Key Executives Mega-Conference was a great experience for Libercus this year.  It is always intriguing to hear new ideas and meet new people, but this year was even more beneficial.  The commitment by the organizers to ensure everyone has a meaningful trip has improved year over year, this past year being the most noticeable.  Breaking down the walls between exhibitors, sponsors, and newspaper executives has helped engender a more collaborative culture which is good for the entire industry.  We look forward to next year." Logan Echave, North American Sales, Libercus

"The Mega-Conference is the best forum for any stakeholder in the publishing industry to network with the leaders in this industry. From publishers, editors, R&D vendors, it’s a great event that allows for the exchange of ideas and a chance to renew friendships and network. Its an event you don’t want to miss." Lee Little, CEO, Bar-Z

Comments from newspaper executives included:

"The topics and talented speakers assembled at this year's Mega-Conference were incredible, especially those that provided great insight and actionable revenue, advertising and audience items relating to our digital transformation and continued vibrant future as a multi-media industry." Rufus M. Friday, president and publisher, Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, Ky.

"If you missed Mega-Conference this year, you missed a mega opportunity to learn, grow, and share. Outstanding programs this year – if you didn't learn something new you were playing with your phone too much. Programs were only one aspect of why attending this year's Mega-Conference was a great investment. It is impossible to attach an accurate value to the little 5-minute exchanges of ideas you share with others while walking down a hallway. In many ways, sharing with your peers is the 'secret sauce' of the event." Leonard Woolsey, publisher, The Galveston County Daily News, Galveston, Texas

"The event in Atlanta was over the top! Great speakers, great vendors and great time connecting with colleagues. Two thumbs up!" Bill Masterson, publisher, Tulsa World, Tulsa, Okla.

"I enjoyed it very much.  I really appreciated getting the perspective of all three media organizations under one roof and getting to network across all three groups. I thought the presentations I attended were well done and the ideas gained during the conference will keep me and my team busy for a considerable time.  It was also good to see such a strong vendor presence so I could see what is new from that side of the industry.  It was well worth my time."  Dan Easton, publisher, Victoria Advocate, Victoria, Texas

"Pound for pound, I believe this year's Mega-Conference was the meatiest ever! The meeting was well organized between thought-provoking general sessions with great speakers and plenty of breakout sessions dedicated to helping attendees take home ideas that were immediately applicable.  Sponsors and exhibitors were conveniently located, allowing more time for in-depth presentations and learning opportunities. Plus, with more than 700 at the meeting, the networking was wonderful!  I was happy to see lots of old friends and make a few new ones.  Good show, SNPA, Inland and LMA!  I'm already looking forward to next year's M-C in Austin!" Gregg Jones, president and CEO, Jones Media, Greeneville, Tenn.

"This year's Mega Conference was the fourth I've attended, and for the fourth time I came away challenged, enlightened and encouraged. Not only were the topics on-point, the presenters were top-notch. At times, it was difficult choosing which breakout session to attend as going to one meant not going to another."  Patrick Lowry, editor and publisher, The Hays Daily News, Hays, Kan.

The 2016 Mega-Conference is set for Feb. 22-24 at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas.

Conference program view all

While more money is still being made globally through advertising revenues than through circulation, audiences are increasingly becoming more likely to pay for content. Mobile is heavily responsible for that increase, according to Ben Shaw, director of global advisory at the World Association of …

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Newspapers should be encouraged to keep experimenting with new ideas, walking the tightrope between retaining traditional news readers and not giving up on new concepts that surprise and delight the entire audience. That was the key take-away from a strategy-sharing breakout session on content at …

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If newspaper publishers want to fully understand their readers, they have to start by analyzing data. During an address at the Key Executives Mega-Conference last Tuesday, Josh Awtry, executive editor and vice president for news in Gannett's Carolina region, argued that - armed with good data - …

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The only certainty in today's marketplace is that companies that stand still and keep doing what they've been doing will fail, Dr. Michael R. Burcham, CEO of The Nashville Entrepreneur Center, told attendees last week at the Key Executives Mega-Conference.

Burcham, who also recently was named …

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Jim Moroney, CEO and publisher of The Dallas Morning News, says business development is the only real way for newspapers to outrun the losses spurred by lagging digital revenue. The goal of that development should be businesses that give papers more ways to market to customers, he told attendees at …

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Quick Bite Solutions view all

In a recent article published by the Newspaper Association of America, James Smith, chief digital revenue officer for Hearst's San Antonio Express-News, said the paper began seeing revenue increase almost immediately after launching with saambaa. In less than a year, the app's revenue gains have …

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You are sitting on more data than you realize from years of running promotions and other engagement campaigns. With the right strategies and tools, you can organize this data around individual user profiles and sell targeted marketing campaigns to your advertisers. Plus, you can strategically grow …

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Guarantee Digital's Quick Bite session featured 3 Big Revenue Programs that show how to leverage print and online with a variety of digital solutions, creating truly unique opportunities that the competition could only dream about offering.

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Engagement is quickly becoming publishers' most important digital metric. Your most engaged digital product, your eEdition, should be just as important. Olive's next generation eEdition not only allows you to better serve your audience, but also provides unique active and passive monetization …

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Memoriams is a unique strategy for the newspaper industry that protects and grows the critically important Obituary category. The platform was developed with funeral directors for funeral directors. After considerable research, Adpay has developed an exclusive program to address the number one …

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Sponsorship and exhibit opportunities view all

View a list of Mega-Conference sponsors and exhibitors as of today.

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