America East 2013: Another Successful Conference

  • Apr 18, 2013

Andrea Merovich, Communications Manager

HERSHEY, Pa. (April 18, 2013) — 600 attendees and 276 exhibiting personnel traveled to the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center for the 2013 America East Technology and Operations Conference from April 8-10. This year’s event proved to be informative and inspiring, with sessions geared toward productivity, discovering new markets and navigating the technology trends of today and tomorrow. America East was also a place for meeting old and new friends, and networking with this year’s 82 exhibiting companies on the exhibit hall floor.

Ken Doctor, news media analyst for Newsonomics and Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab and author of “Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get.”, opened the 2013 conference with a keynote luncheon presentation. Doctor’s presentation, titled “The Newsonomics of Crossover,” addressed the changes sweeping through our industry and others, changing our once-primarily print-based business into a primarily digital business.

Also during the opening remarks, Patrick Kilgallon was honored with the 2013 Edward Thomas Distinguished Service Memorial Award. Pat first served as a Print Quality judge and joined the America East Committee in 2004. Since then, his vision has helped shape the direction of America East. Pat’s technical-savvy has helped the show evolve away from the moving parts of a press to the flashing changes of technology.

Over twenty educational sessions touched on all areas of the industry: sales and marketing, editorial, circulation, digital, production and social. Topics focused on ways to improve productivity and efficiency, leveraging hyperlocal content, generating new revenue streams and adapting to the constantly changing technological trends that are shaping the industry.

Some of the highlights include:

In Audience Engagement & Outreach, Nancy March of The Mercury (Pottstown) and Buffy Andrews of the York Daily Record/Sunday News talked about ways in which newsrooms can connect with readers. A community newsroom and a mobile media lab were discussed, as well as several products and techniques engaging with local businesses via Pinterest and using social media tools like Storify and Geofeedia.

Jim Hart of DMforNewspapers led a session titled “The Valassis/USPS NSA: Competing for Pre-Prints and Other Non-Subscriber Revenue,” during which he discussed ways news organizations can get their share of the revenue by focusing on current non-paid products and working closely with Valassis’ target market (grocery stores) now before Valassis gets to them first.

Adobe certified instructor Russell Viers led two workshops geared toward production. The first, How Production Changes Today Can Save You Money Now and in the Future, focused on ways to improve your production processes and your workflow. His second workshop, Putting Out Your Newspaper Faster with InDesign and PhotoShop, covered some key techniques in these two Adobe products that will improve your weekly production cycle.

In A Case Study of The Columbus Dispatch, the newspaper’s executive VP and CIO, Joe Gallo, was on-hand to share how the newspaper converted from a two-around press to a three-around press. He also shed some light on the actual conversion process and shared results from the project.

Josh Williams, multimedia producer for the New York Times led the Evolving Our Storytelling session, which focused on the tools that newsrooms can use to enhance their storytelling abilities. He also showcased some stand-out pieces created by the New York Times team, like the Pulitzer Prize winning “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.”

Scott Lynett, CEO and Publisher of Times-Shamrock Communications, led the rapid-fire Solutions in a Snap! session. Ten exhibiting companies each had four minutes to showcase their latest and greatest products and services, providing solid examples of ways their companies successfully generated new revenue or created efficiencies with newspaper clients.

ISCMA also developed solid circulation programming, including Modern Acquisition Marketing, USPS and Your Business and a Circulation Roundtable.

The America East Technology and Operations Conference is the leading regional trade show for the newspaper industry, organized annually in Hershey by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association. For more than 50 years, the show has succeeded as an affordable and accessible avenue for vendors and attendees to reach one another.

The PNA, founded in 1925, is the nonprofit trade association for print and online media in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Its mission is to advance the business interests of Pennsylvania news media companies and to promote a free and independent press. It has more than 300 newspaper and media members, including daily, weekly, and college newspapers and online publications.

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