American Mag Conference Draws Big Picture with Good Details
It's no wonder 600-some magazine executives headed to Fajardo, Puerto Rico, in October for the American Magazine Conference. The big names on the docket were a draw for publishers and editors alike—Martha Stewart; Susan Lyne, president and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; Sarah Chubb, president, CondéNet; James Kelly, managing editor, Time; and the chief editors of Glamour, National Geographic, Elle and GQ, among many others.
The conference is a members-only event hosted by the Magazine Publishers of America Inc. (MPA) and the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), so those who aren't members of the organizations missed out.
This year's theme, "The Future of Magazines," featured panels and individual presentations that touched on topics such as "Going Digital," "Consumers and Media: The Changing World," and "The Future of Advertising."
Big-picture issues were the focus of the conference, but one portion of the conference honed in on the practical. The first day of the conference was specifically focused on independent magazines—the MPA-IMAG (Independent Magazine Group) general sessions—and packed the day full of interesting and practical presentations from some big names in independents, including Joel Gurin, executive vice president, Consumer Reports; Cathryn Cranston, publisher, Harvard Business Review and Nancy Gagliardi, editorial director, Weight Watchers Magazine, among others.
The MPA-IMAG portion of the conference offered a smaller, more intimate environment, including roundtable discussions among groups of five or so publishing executives, and fostered a sharing environment where people could exchange ideas and learn from each other.