Our fall ‘family reunion’ is still on

Jun 1, 2020


I’ve had quite a few publisher friends reach out to ask if we are still hosting the 134th Annual Convention and Trade Show in Jacksonville, Florida. … Let me say to all, definitively, that the convention, Oct. 1-3, will take place as scheduled.

Our plan is to meet in person, but we will also have a contingency in place should circumstances prohibit us from gathering.

NNA’s Lynne Lance, Kate Richardson and Wendy MacDonald are already hard at work planning our agenda, inviting vendor partners to the trade show and honoring our members’ outstanding work through the Better Newspaper Contest.

It is necessary that we have a contingency plan; therefore, we will be offering the convention both live (if we can) and online. This will actually draw some publishers who haven’t been able to travel to join us in the past, which will contribute more ideas overall.

We’ll have the same great educational sessions led by your peers, a trade show full of vendors with solutions, an Extravaganza, an expanded Better Newspaper Contest awards ceremony and the Great Idea Exchange.

This past fall at our Annual Convention & Trade Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I overheard quite a few people say, “NNA is like a family reunion.”
I agree. It’s the kind of family where new member newspaper publishers are welcomed with open arms.

Convention is a time to relax, share ideas, brag a little and brainstorm solutions to issues that give you headaches, which is why the Great Idea Exchange continues to be the most popular convention session.

Newspaper publishers, editors and advertising staff share their best revenue generators and audience builders. They take questions and offer advice and best practices to their peers.

We were proud to host 31 first-time convention attendees last year in Milwaukee.

First-time attendee Rinda Maddox — publisher of the Sidell (Illinois) Reporter — was able to apply something she gleaned from a colleague right away.

“For [all] my 28 years of ownership, I have always had a big Christmas issue, and we filled it with our readers sharing their Christmas memories and old photos,” Maddox said via email. “But the past five years, it has gotten harder to get those stories. … One of the [Great Idea Exchange] ideas was kids writing, ‘What Christmas means to me,’ and having kids draw Christmas pictures. We asked all our third graders to draw Christmas pictures … and our 4th graders wrote what Christmas means to them. Just those ideas to help us fill this issue was worth the trip to the convention!

“I just thought the national convention would be way over my head, but it was not,” Maddox said. “So many [attendees] were in the same small boat as I am. It was just awesome.”

NNA family members love to share successes and even discuss failures as future opportunities. …

We are stronger together as we navigate through another challenging time. I’m sure looking forward to celebrating together.

We want you to know that your NNA family will be there for you this fall, whether you can attend digitally or physically.

It is more important now than ever that we stand united as the press.

Matt Adelman, publisher of the Douglas (Wyoming) Budget, is president of NNA. Email him at publisher@douglas-budget.com.