NNA’s convention is a place where you can learn and innovate

Jun 12, 2017

By Matt Paxton

NNA President

I remember my first National Newspaper Association convention vividly. It was in Atlanta, in 1988. The News-Gazette had been an NNA member for many years, but no one from the newspaper had ever attended the convention. My reason for going was because a major national retailer was building a large store in our town, and the company’s marketing director was speaking at the convention. I felt I needed to hear more about the retailer’s marketing and advertising strategy, particularly as it applied to newspapers.

I wasn’t disappointed. Because of what I learned, we created a new publication to serve that retailer’s needs and those of other advertisers who were using other media. That publication was a profitable part of our company for more than 20 years.

Every NNA convention we have attended since has provided insights into new revenue and cost savings opportunities. The networking with other newspaper people opened our eyes to different, and often better, ways of doing things. We found products and services at the trade show that made a different in our business.

This year’s convention in Tulsa, OK, from Oct. 5 through Oct. 7, should be every bit as productive as previous ones. The theme is “Innovation Starts Here,” and innovation is more important to our newspapers every day.

There will be sessions on new ways to increase traditional newspaper revenue, as well as using new technologies to reach additional readers and serve advertisers.

Find out how you can remove postal bottlenecks to get the best possible service for your subscribers.

See what’s new with vendors you currently use, and what other vendors may have that could help your newspaper.

Appreciate the impact of award-winning community journalism as an integral part of maintaining civic engagement in our local towns and counties.

Gain insights into managing staff—long-term employees and those newly-hired millennials.

Come away with an idea from another newspaper that will be applicable to your publication.

Besides all of the nuts and bolts content of the convention—the speakers, the flash sessions, trade show and idea exchanges—the convention planners have a terrific evening planned at Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum.

The 72-room Italian Renaissance-style mansion was built in the 1920s by Tulsa oilman Waite Phillips. The Phillips family gave the home and the surrounding 23 acres to the City of Tulsa in 1938 to be used as an art center. Today, the home, its beautiful gardens, and additions showcase an impressive art collection, and offer a look at the opulent lifestyle of Tulsa’s oil pioneers early in the 20th century.

The convention’s headquarters is the Hyatt Regency Tulsa, adjacent to Tulsa’s art deco downtown and an easy walk to shopping, restaurants and funky art districts. You can register online now at www.nnaweb.org/convention.

The NNA convention is our association’s town hall meeting. I hope to see you in Tulsa in October, and with you, get new ideas, refresh my enthusiasm for the civic role we play, see old friends and enjoy meeting new ones. Register today!