America East 2016: Another year of growth, networking and top-quality programming

by Cara Neil, Communications Director | Apr 21, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 14, 2016) — Nearly 900 registered participants traveled to the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center for the 2016 America East Media Business and Technology Conference last week.

This year’s attendees, vendors and industry partners agreed that the conference offered top-notch sessions and speakers, unparalleled networking opportunities and a sold-out trade show floor with 90+ suppliers offering products and solutions designed to meet the needs and challenges of the news media industry.

PNA Vice President of Association Services Tricia Greyshock said, "We were very pleased with this year’s event and are already working on session and speaker ideas for 2017! There are so many exciting things happening in the industry, and we’ll bring content and programming to America East next year that will benefit large metros, weeklies, online-only publications, and everything in between. We’re also looking into offering more workshops next year, allowing for more deep-dive discussions."

This year's dynamic offerings reflected the exciting changes happening in the news media industry. Over the course of three days, 25 sessions and 50 industry-leading speakers touched on all areas of  news media.

Highlights included:

  • A keynote address by Christian Hendricks, Vice President of Products, Marketing and Innovation at The McClatchy Company, told the story of McClatchy's re-invention and transformation. 
  • The announcement of the 2016 Digital Media Contest winners. View a complete list.
  • “Print Isn’t Dead!” presented by Bill Ostendorf, provided attendees with a 12-step process and tools to revamp and update their newspapers to maintain profitability. Ostendorf emphasized the need for newspapers to create their own ideas and not necessarily follow “what everyone else is doing.”
  • USA Today Network’s Ray Soto and Virtual Xperience’s Stephanie Davis introduced attendees to the idea of using virtual reality (VR) as a storytelling platform. Davis explained how news organizations can use the technology, while Soto provided nitty-gritty details, sharing implementation costs and the process to start creating VR content.

  • The many other sessions from this year’s event covered virtual reality, big data, ad blocking, insert strategies, and dozens of other hot topics facing the industry. Visit the America East website to view presentations and videos.

America East is administered by the PNA and 19 co-sponsoring state press associations and media partners. The annual conference focuses on growing audience and maximizing print and digital revenue. With its convenient location in Hershey, America East is the largest regional conference for the newspaper industry on the East Coast. Mark your calendars for America East 2017: April 10-12 in Hershey, Pa.

About PNA:
The PNA, founded in 1925, is the nonprofit trade association for print and digital media in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Its mission is to advance the business interests of Pennsylvania news media organizations and to promote a free and independent press. It has more than 300 newspaper and media members, including daily, weekly, and college newspapers and online publications.