Deadlines near for MPA conference registration and hotel rooms; full day of offerings detailed

The much anticipated Maine Press Association annual conference on Oct. 19 is a month away, but conference registration and the deadline for hotel room reservations is only a week away, Friday, Sept. 27.

Don’t miss out on this year’s conference, which will include a day full of workshops for almost everyone involved in newspaper operations, as well as a keynote talk with former Maine resident and New York Times Assistant Managing Editor Rebecca Corbett, the Hall of Fame induction, the annual auction and the evening dinner and awards ceremony.

Here’s a look at the day’s schedule:

9:30 – 10 a.m.  Annual business meeting

10 – 11:30 a.m.  Concurrent Sessions:
* Unlock the Secrets of Successful Selling
Hear from sales veterans on how to get from no to yes. Review the tried and true strategies and pick up some new tips.
* Newsroom Bootcamp
30-minute mini-sessions on: 1) Dealing with a combative public; 2) Winning the battle over open records; 3) The Training Ground: A look into the world of college newspapers with editors from three Maine college papers

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions:
* Design Workshop
Advice from veteran designers on ways to update the look and features of your print pages and websites.
* Reporter Roundtable
Join a free-flowing conversation with veteran reporters about issues of the day, solutions reporters have created to handle the challenges they face, and the best journalism advice they’ve received.

12:30 – 1:45 p.m. Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon
Join MPA members and guests as we hear from the 2018 Journalist of the Year, J.W. Oliver of The Lincoln County News, and induct the 2019 MPA Hall of Fame nominees: Stephen Fay, who recently retired after 23 years as the managing editor of The Ellsworth American; Marian McCue, former editor of The Forecaster; and the late Chris Cousins, who was a reporter at the Bangor Daily News. (See below for brief bios of this year’s inductees.)

2 – 2:45 p.m. Keynote Conversation
Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Editor Rebecca Corbett, who helps lead the paper’s investigative teams and who started her career at the Morning Sentinel after graduating from Colby College, sits down for a conversation with Sentinel Reporter Amy Calder.

2:45 – 4 p.m.  Driving Audience Engagement and Consumer Revenue
Revenue leaders from Maine newspapers talk about ways to engage readers and boost revenues; and the Portland Press Herald will share findings from its participation with Google in a national six-month “Digital Subscriptions Lab” aimed at improving revenue strategies.

5 – 6:30 p.m.  Scholarship Auction & Reception
Join your MPA comrades and guests at this rousing reception and auction, where you can bid on super items like stays in Maine vacation cottages, whale watch tickets, golf passes, restaurant gift certificates, ski lift tickets, and member swag — all to benefit Maine students pursuing careers in the newspaper industry.

6:30 p.m.  2019 Better Newspaper Contest Awards Dinner & Banquet

Sign up today: The conference will be at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 363 Maine Mall Road, South Portland. We’ve negotiated a super hotel rate ($109) for the nights of Oct. 18-19 for MPA members and guests at the DoubleTree.

To book your room, call the DoubleTree at 1-800-774-1500 and reference Maine Press Association. For online bookings, go to portlandme.DoubleTree.com and use group code MPR (yes, MPR). Hotel reservation deadline is Friday, Sept. 27. The hotel will try but cannot guarantee group rate and room availability beyond this date.

You can find conference registration information and a registration form on the MPA website at www.mainepressassociation.org (look for the 2019 Fall Conference tab on the top left). Conference registration deadline is also Friday, Sept. 27.

OTHER CONFERENCE NEWS:

In Memoriam: A number of people connected to Maine’s newspaper industry have died over the last year. As we’ve done the last couple of years, the MPA will take time during this year’s evening awards ceremony to honor those who have passed. If you would like to make sure someone who passed in the last year is honored, please send a sentence or two about their connection to the industry and a photo, if possible, to ceremony master of ceremonies Greg Rec. He can be reached at grec@pressherald.com.

Bylaw change: MPA board members will vote at the annual business meeting on a bylaw change that will add language addressing termination of membership. The bylaws currently have no such language. While there is no request for termination before the board and the board hopes it does not have to make use of the proposed language, a question arose this past year that led the board to research the issue of removal and develop the amendment based on language from other press organizations. A vote of membership is required for a bylaw change. The meeting will start at 9:30 a.m. at the conference on Oct. 19.

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