2009 Publishers Conference

AAN's second Publishers Conference will be held Nov. 13-14 at the Charleston Place hotel in Charleston, S.C. It will be a relaxed and informal conference, with an emphasis on conversation and idea sharing. In addition, we will have lined up several accomplished speakers who will address publishing issues and business trends. Registration is limited to one publisher or senior manager from each member paper, or two partner-owners from the same paper. Total attendance will be strictly limited to 40 people. Registration
The registration fee is $375 per person.


Friday, Nov. 13
8 am to 9:30 am
Continental Breakfast and Introductions 9:45 am to 10:45 am
"Current Market Trends and What's Ahead for 2010"
Speaker: Gary Greene, partner, Cribb, Greene & Associates
Newspaper broker and former publisher Gary Greene will look back over 2009 and assess what has happened in the newspaper industry, and he will look ahead at what's likely to happen in 2010, with a recent survey of 130 newspaper publishers to guide him. 11 am to 12:30 pm
Group Discussion: "What Opportunities Do You See in Your Market?"
Moderated by Alan Leveritt, Arkansas Times
The kind of massive disruption we've seen in the past 24 months inevitably creates opportunities. In this session publishers will talk about the opportunities they are seeing at their papers, and what their plans are to exploit them. 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm
Lunch (Sponsored by Mediaphormedia)
Opening remarks: Sara Weaver, Ellington Content Management 1:45 pm to 3 pm
Group Discussion: "How Should AAN Change?"
Moderated by Mark Zusman, Willamette Week
The association is considering revising its membership rules to include online-only and other types of publishing ventures that have not been invited to apply for membership in the past. In addition, AAN is searching for a new executive director. So now is a great time to consider how AAN needs to change to meet members' needs and to survive. AAN President Mark Zusman will begin with a brief update on the association's long-range plans for 2009-10. 3 pm to 4 pm
Brainstorming: "What Can We Do to Improve Market Research?"
Moderated by Jim Rizzi, Salt Lake City Weekly
Few AAN publishers trust the market research provided by Media Audit, but many still grit their teeth and use it anyway. AAN Marketing Chair Jim Rizzi has done some work reviewing the various market-research options and he will begin the session by briefly describing his findings. Attendees will then discuss whether there is anything AAN publishers can do collectively to improve the situation. 4 pm to 7 pm
Publisher Networking Time 7 pm to 10 pm
Charleston Dine-Around
AAN will arrange reservations at local restaurants and organize small groups. Prices will vary by restaurant. Spouses and guests are welcome. Saturday, Nov. 14
8 am to 9:10 am
Continental Breakfast – Breakout Sessions (Sponsored by Analog Analytics)
Seating will be organized by circulation size so publishers can discuss issues relevant to their paper. 9:15 am to 9:30 am
Guest Speaker: Ken Kalb, Analog Analytics
Ken Kalb will talk about his company, which provides an easy-to-use hosted coupon portal that he says enables publishers to increase advertising revenue by 20 percent to 30 percent in as little as 30 days by capturing new advertisers and expanding the number of existing print advertisers who also utilize the online edition. 9:45 am to 10:45 am
Elements of a Great Interactive Experience
Guest Speaker: Robert Prioleau, Blue Ion
What must a newspaper like yours do with its website to create a compelling user experience? The interactive agency Blue Ion believes that there are certain core elements that all websites must provide to remain relevant. Blue Ion strategy director Robert Prioleau will discuss those elements, examine the changing dynamic of content delivery, and analyze the sites of the publishers who are attending the conference and tell you where you stand, and how not to remain standing in place. 11 am to 12:30 pm
Best Ideas Session
Moderated by Bill Bleakley, Oklahoma Gazette
Publishers will share ideas that have saved money, increased revenue or energized their staff. This is your opportunity to share your most successful new idea. Every publisher will be expected to give it his or her best shot. 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm
Lunch on your own 1:45 pm to 3 pm
Group Discussion: "What Kind of Leader Are You?"
Moderated by Steve Delgado, Portico Publications
In times of change, leadership is critical. In this session we'll focus on what you can do to be an effective leader as your business experiences convulsive change. What kind of sales training and professional development are you providing to your employees? How are you re-engineering your sales process to sell your website and other new electronic publishing products? How are you making time for you and your staff to develop new business opportunities? What are the hard conversations you need to have when you get back to the office? 3:15 pm to 4:30 pm
Group Discussion: "So What Have We Learned?"
Moderated by Bradley Zeve, Monterey County Weekly 7 pm to 10 pm
Closing Night Reception and Dinner at the Charleston Grill (Hosted by AAN)
You may register a spouse or guest for the dinner for $125 when you register online for the conference. Hotel
Charleston Place
205 Meeting Street
Charleston, S. C. 29401
Tel: 888-635-2350 or 843-722-4900
Reservations: Individual attendees may make their room reservations by calling 800-831-3490 or via email at groupres@charlestonplace.com. Please make sure to mention Association of Alternative Newsweeklies to take advantage of group rate. A first night's deposit must be guaranteed via a major credit card, which will be charged if the reservation is cancelled less than 72 hours prior to arrival. Rate: $189.00

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