CRMA Annual Conference May 21-23, 2016 - Denver, CO

The track chairs have been hard at work putting together a fantastic program for the 40th Annual Conference in Denver, the Mile High City. Below are some highlights for each track to give you an idea of the line-up for the upcoming CRMA conference. To review the final conference program click here.

Editorial

Program Track Chairs: Elizabeth Hudson, Our State and Brian Kevin, Down East

Editorial Track sessions in time order. Below are also summaries of the sessions.

  • Heds Will Roll. Panelists: Geoff Van Dyke, 5280; Jill Taylor, New York Times; James Ross Gardner, Seattle Met — Arresting, tantalizing, enigmatic, droll — the art of the hed-and-dek pairing is the art of coaxing all of this from a few concise words and phrases. Your headlines and decks should be more than just labels. What makes headlines into dynamic invitations, even challenges to read onward? To what extent should a deck do the work of summary? Panelists offer dos, don’ts, and examples of their all-time favorite headlines.
  • Eat it!: Panelists: Adam Sachs, Saveur; Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine — For regional magazines, food is identity, and as local sourcing and heritage foodstuffs enjoy peak cachet, regional magazines are well poised to capitalize on a new Golden Age of food coverage. A pair of veteran food editors offer insight into what readers want from a restaurant issue, recipes feature, cheap eats compendium, and more.
  • The Most Fun You Can Have Editing a Magazine. Speaker: David Granger, former Esquire editor-in-chief — A magazine can do anything, says David Granger. The former editor-in-chief of Esquire, who stepped down in March after 19 years at the pioneering men’s mag, shares his insight on how editors can (and should) do impossible things deliberately to show how important and exciting a magazine can be. (Joint session with Management)
  • Why So Serious?. Panelists: Reyhan Harmanci, Atlas Obscura; Amanda Heckert, Indianapolis Monthly — Many readers approach city/regional magazines with a sense of reverence for this or that place — but there are pitfalls when writers and editors adopt a similarly earnest sensibility. How to honor the reader relationship without taking ourselves too seriously? When does civic pride cross over into tedious boosterism? Where in your pages can you indulge playfulness, parody, even mockery? Editors from across platforms weigh in! 
  • Covering Covers: The Merger of Art and Cover Lines- Speakers Chin WangESPN The Magazine, Kathleen Fleury, Down East Editor in Chief — A good cover sells newsstand copies. (Or does it?) It’s a billboard that communicates your brand to passersby. (Or is it?) And the more cover lines you squeeze in, the better. (Or is less more?) Panelists dissect assumptions about covers and cover lines and examine a few that work (whatever that means). 
    (Joint session with Art/Creative/Design)
  • What Good Are Essays, Anyway? Panelists: Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker; Brian Calvert, High Country News — Where, if at all, does a personal and/or topical essay belong in your magazine? How do readers approach an essay differently from a reported piece? What distinguishes a feature essay from column material, and how do both of these read differently in the era of the "take"? Essay writers and editors weigh in on what great essayists — from E.B. White to Maureen Dowd — bring to a magazine, and how the role is changing in a media environment crowded with talking heads.
  • Trending — The print publishing world moves in moments. What's enjoying one (buzzy longform? luxury cover stocks? aspirational lifestyle mags?), and more importantly, what's coming next? Industry vet and Advertising Age editor at large Simon Dumenco discusses what the next generation of readers will be looking for (and how to provide it). Speaker: Simon Dumenco, Advertising Age.

Marketing

Program Track Chair: Kelley Lavin, Sarasota Magazine

Marketing Track sessions in time order. Below are also summaries of the sessions.

  • Events for Super High Profits and Super Fun! Speaker: Carl Landau, Niche Media — This two-part session will help you find new revenue through new event models. You've probably got the basics down with your assortment of “best of" and wedding planning events, but there are plenty more models to explore. As head of Niche Media, Carl has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over a decade. He has helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments!
  • Social Media 1 — Building brand, trust and value: Speaker Joe Strupp, Director of Social Media at Chipotle (Joint session with Audience Development) Learn why social media is so important to a strong brand Chipotle, and the strategies they put in place to build a loyal audience.
  • Best Ideas: A session guaranteed to make you money. A panel of CRMA marketing folks share their best ideas. (Joint session with Advertising)
  • Product Perfect - Speaker Peter Svenneby  — Leveraging collaboration between sales and marketing to drive new products. With the landscape of media and publishing changing so rapidly, honing in on the right products and the right messaging is a challenge. Use collaboration between your marketing team and your salespeople to drive innovation!  Salespeople are in touch with the customers and prospects daily – equip them to ASK your market how they see the future, what needs they foresee, and what products they would invest in. This creates better client relationships, more immediate sales and more intelligence about what products to create and how to talk about them.  (Joint session with Advertising)
  • Customer Service the Southwest Way. Speaker Samatha Unell, Social Care Team Leader (Joint session with Advertising and Audience Development) who tells us how How customer experience and customer service can shape your brand and loyalty.
  • Non profit-big revenue generators - Learn ways to turn non-profit and charity organizations into profit partners. Panelists share a wealth of practical tips and examples. (Joint session with Advertising)
  • Contests, Contests, Contests. Speaker Liz Crider, Second Street. It's a group effort; Take those entries from the contests and get them converted to subscribers. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. This session explores how to leverage contests leads into subscribers.(Joint session with Audience Development)

Creative/Design/Art Directors

Program Track Chair: Joe O’Donnell B-Metro Magazine

Art/Creative Track sessions in time order. Below are also summaries of the sessions.

  • Protect Your Brand. Speaker: Dan Monroe — Dan Monroe and his agency, Cayenne Creative, are brand story enthusiasts. They create stories for corporate clients that engage audiences and inspire dialogue. He will bring those same insights into how to visually remain true to a magazine brand and protect it in a chaotic world of media and messages
  • Telling the Story.  Speaker: DJ Stout, Pentagram. A partner at Pentagram since 2000 and art director at Texas Monthly from 1987 to 1999 (when it was nominated for 10 National Magazine Awards), Stout has built his career on a single mantra: solve the problem, don't decorate. He'll share his insights into the power of visual storytelling in this exciting session.
  • Compelling Journalism Covers: The Problem Solvers — A panel of city and regional magazine art directors share their headaches from production to platform, and how they have overcome them.
  • Slow Design: Let’s ponder the “slow design” movement. It happened to food. Why not design? How do we get everyone to pause and enjoy the engagement of thinking about quality of work and design? The slow movement is not about doing things at a leisurely pace. It’s about the things we value. Jeanette Abbink of the design firm Rational Beauty asks the question, How can we make decisions and act more thoughtfully?
  • A "Frank" Design. Speaker Carla Frank — Carla Frank is a highly accomplished, visionary Creative Director specializing in content development, design, branding, positioning, management and education. She is a results-oriented, decisive leader with proven success in a cross section of both traditional and new markets. She was the founding creative director of O magazine and creative director at Cooking Light and Italian Vogue.
  • Getting What You Need. A Photographers Panel — A panel of top photographers in the Denver market shares their experiences working in the city magazine space, offering insights into how to enhance the photo/art dialogue.
  • Covering Covers: The Merger of Art and Cover Lines- Speakers Chin Wang, ESPN The Magazine, Kathleen Fleury, Down East Editor in Chief — A good cover sells newsstand copies. (Or does it?) It’s a billboard that communicates your brand to passersby. (Or is it?) And the more cover lines you squeeze in, the better. (Or is less more?) Panelists dissect assumptions about covers and cover lines and examine a few that work (whatever that means).
    (Joint session with Editorial)
  • How Design Breeds LoyaltySpeaker Sarah Robinson — Sarah Robinson is a business strategist, speaker and author of the Amazon best-selling book, Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities. Sarah advises her international clients, including m-Wise and Microsoft, on how to build thriving, successful communities and set their companies apart from the pack. In this session, she will explore how the visual impacts a sense of  community and helps build the connections that make a community viable and fiercely loyal.

Advertising Sales

Program Track Chair: Rachel Winner, Pittsburgh Magazine

SATURDAY SALES WORKSHOP: Driving Sales Performance:  Peter Svenneby will lead us in this fast-paced, interactive workshop for Advertising Managers and Sales Reps.  This isn’t sales training… instead it is a facilitated work session focused on key things you can do immediately to increase new business revenue, improve revenue predictability, and improve month to month revenue consistency.  The session will be equally valuable to managers and individual contributors.  Everyone will leave with tools and a plan in hand to make 2016 your best year ever! 
Optional Workshop - separate fee required. See registration form.

Advertising Track sessions in time order. Below are also summaries of the sessions.

  • Outselling Your Competition — What is Your D Factor? Speaker Ryan Dohrn —  Tired of being compared to your competition?  Tired of selling against other media that offers rock bottom rates?  What about those competitors that are just liars?  Well… let me ask you this… What is your "D" factor?  What is the one thing that makes you DIFFERENT than every other ad sales rep that will call on an advertiser today?
  • The 10 minute sales call Speaker Ryan Dohrn — Ryan shares the secrets to hosting a successful sales call in 10 minutes. This simple approach boost confidence and creates a plan for success.
  • Contract Season: How to sell 70% of your year before it starts. What is Contract Season and what is it all about?  Well, Contract Season was invented years ago by Wiesner Media of Denver, Colorado. It’s a detailed plan of how to sell up to 70% of your year before it starts.  Q & A to follow.
  • Best Ideas: A session guaranteed to make you money. A panel of CRMA marketing/advertising folks share their best ideas. (Joint session with Marketing)
  • Customer Service the Southwest Way. Speaker: Samatha Unell, Social Care Team Leader (Joint session with Audience Development and Marketing) who tells us how How customer experience and customer service can shape your brand and loyalty.
  • Non profit-big revenue generators - Learn ways to turn non-profit and charity organizations into profit partners. Panelists share a wealth of practical tips and examples. (Joint session with Marketing)
  • Big $- High Impact Ideas. Belly bands, French gates, Gatefolds, 8 page sections, tip ons, post its...these are just a few of High Impact ideas we can sell to our clients and prospects. A panel of ad directors will be showing their best products and how you can sell similar in your market.
  • Product Perfect - Speaker Peter Svenneby  — Leveraging collaboration between sales and marketing to drive new products. With the landscape of media and publishing changing so rapidly, honing in on the right products and the right messaging is a challenge. Use collaboration between your marketing team and your salespeople to drive innovation!  Salespeople are in touch with the customers and prospects daily – equip them to ASK your market how they see the future, what needs they foresee, and what products they would invest in. This creates better client relationships, more immediate sales and more intelligence about what products to create and how to talk about them. (Joint session with Marketing)

Audience Development

Program Track Chairs: Dylan Whitaker 417 Magazine and Melissa Chowning D Magazine

Audience Development Track sessions in time order. Below are also summaries of the sessions.

  • Conversion Scorecard.Speaker Brian Lewis of Wolf Hound Interactive. You probably invest a lot of time and effort in your outbound marketing efforts, but your job doesn’t end there! Real success is measured by how effective you are at getting visitors to do what you want them to do. Learn how to use the latest in neuromarketing research to bias visitors subconsciously and make it more likely that they will take the desired action on your from your site or marketing effort to become a subscriber, signup, or event attendee.
  • Direct Marketing Strategies. Speaker Andrew Majewski Yes — direct mail still works! Tips on how to better execute. This session discusses the A, B's and C's of effective direct mail campaigns and renewal efforts. How to capitalize and refresh our departments oldest friends.
  • Customer Service the Southwest Way. Speaker Samatha Unell, Social Care Team Leader (Joint session with Advertising and Marketing) who tells us how How customer experience and customer service can shape your brand and loyalty.
  • The Integrated Database. Michael and Joanne discuss new ways to integrate all your customer platforms.
  • 15 Ways to Drive Results with Data. Speakers Amanda Bates and Kyle Fohlin of Epsilon Data - it's all we hear about. Learn about how the strategic application of data can take your marketing efforts to the next level.
  • Contests, Contests, Contests. Speaker Liz Crider, Second Street. It's a group effort; Take those entries from the contests and get them converted to subscribers. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. This session explores how to leverage contests leads into subscribers. (Joint session with Marketing)
  • Social Media 1 — Building brand, trust and value: Speaker Joe Strupp, Director of Social Media at Chipotle (Joint session with Marketing) Learn why social media is so important to a strong brand Chipotle, and the strategies they put in place to build a loyal audience.
  • Social Media 2 — Socially Drive those Conversions! Speaker: Marty Martinez of Social Revolt Marketing. Developing a good social media strategy How to create a social media strategy that drives conversions.

Management

Program Track Chairs: David Lipson, MetroCorp and Randy Thompson, Coastal Virginia Magazine

Management Track sessions in time order. Below are also summaries of the sessions.

  • The Management Cookbook with speaker Bob Cohen of Four Corners Media. This session for managers who are interested in the metrics critical to running an effective publishing business. 
  • Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning? A panel of CRMA executives discuss the future of regional media companies. Moderated by David Lipson
  • Kick it up a Notch - Andy Clurman, President & CEO of Active Interest Media discusses the strategies for overcoming the challenges of growing a media company.
  • The Big Short-Age - with speakers Alan Chaffee CEO and Eric Camm, Esq. of Turning Point Financial — Capital is a problem for publishers large and small. This nuts and bolts session will focus on the role of capital, it’s sources, uses and benchmarks. This is a "must see" session for those CEOs and CFOs who manage their business' most precious asset. A JOINT session with CRMA’s CFO roundtable.
  • The Most Fun You Can Have Editing a Magazine. Speaker: David Granger, former Esquire editor-in-chief — A magazine can do anything, says David Granger. The former editor-in-chief of Esquire, who stepped down in March after 19 years at the pioneering men’s mag, shares his insight on how editors can (and should) do impossible things deliberately to show how important and exciting a magazine can be. (Joint session with Editorial)
  • Us and Them with speaker Peter Svenneby — Using personality assessments to understand and break down the media company silos. Good salespeople are… well… salespeople. Which is to say that they are very different from the editorial staff. And while these natural differences are good,  it can be challenging to foster understanding and collaboration between the different groups in your company. Using a psychometric assessment tool, we will discuss natural strengths, weaknesses and ideas on how to foster understanding and collaboration between your teams for a better company culture, improved hiring success, and less headaches for you, the manager! 
  • Branded Content — It's a Brave New World Out There. Speaker; Melanie Deziel of MDeziel Media, Author of the Overlap League Newsletter and branded content strategist — Every Publisher talks about it: "Native Advertising;"  ASME and CRMA allow it, but how the heck do you do it right? Melanie Deziel helped develop the strategy of The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Time Inc. and others.
  • Creating and Keeping a High Performance Culture - Speaker Don Harkey, People Centric Consulting Group.
    Organizational culture is powerful, but leaders have long thought it to be difficult to steer and manage. It turns out that in order to drive a high performance culture, you don't need to focus on culture, you need to focus on implementing systems that create the culture you want.
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