Special Report: Thriving in the New Media Universe
Hannah was followed by special guest speaker, consultant David Aldea, who spoke on digital transformation and prioritizing financial investments going forward. Monday also featured the Fourth Annual Digital Magazine Symposium, now a staple of the show and featuring several panels of leading innovators in the digital magazine arena.
Tuesday was packed with high-profile events and hardline tactics for adapting to today's publishing marketplace. In a special event called "All About Growth," Apprise Media Chairman and CEO Charlie McCurdy (who buys media companies, grows them and sells them) and Spanfeller Media Group President/CEO (and former Forbes.com CEO) Jim Spanfeller shared their insights into evaluating company weaknesses and pain points, and building on the most promising areas, as well as the secrets to building an online audience.
An all-star executive roundtable featured Frank Anton, Hanley Wood CEO (also co-chair of the conference); Samir "Mr. Magazine" Husni, founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center @ The University of Mississippi; Don Hawk, TechTarget president; and Hugh Wiley, Bloomberg Businessweek publisher. The panel discussed the major challenges they are currently facing and how they are addressing them, their greatest opportunities in a new media environment, and how they are building on their print-brand foundations.
Wednesday featured a half-day social media workshop, presented by social media expert Sundeep Kapur, author and digital evangelist, NCR, which was run in cooperation with the Online Marketing Summit. Kapur engaged the audience with success stories and tactical strategies, and provided specific solutions to audience members' social media hurdles.
Social media strategies were also addressed in-depth by Jim Hopkinson, Wired's "Marketing Guy." Hopkinson explained the strategies used to build Wired's Facebook followers to 186,000+ (at the time of the conference) and Twitter presence to 776,630+, among other topics.
"[This was] probably one of the most useful conferences on social media strategies for publishers I have attended," said Rob Whitaker, senior vice president, group publisher at SourceMedia.
Many attendees commented on the practical nature of the content, and the mix of big-picture and hands-on, how-to strategy.