Many years back, I attended a NEXPO show in Las Vegas. I wandered down a pathway behind one of the displays and instead of meeting up with excited vendors clamoring for my business like carnies trying to sell me three more darts to win the big prize, I came face-to-face with a little gray and white pigeon calmly having breakfast. Apparently the big show provided enough floor food to entertain a stray bird, but not enough excitement and benefits to bring in the horde of attendees I was accustomed to at earlier gatherings. Conferences seemed to be losing their luster and the expense for many smaller properties didn't seem to justify the cost like it used to.
I'd been to several shows before and picked up quite a few wonderful new ideas. I knew attendance on the production side had dropped off over the years and as a result, vendors had also questioned their participation due to the expense associated and poor return on their investment. I was a bit concerned that this could be the end of another era of networking for production individuals to exchange ideas and further develop expertise in our wonderful industry.
To my delight, not only does it appear the void has been filled, but it appears that ING (International Newspaper Group) has stepped up to provide production/operations executives with new and innovative ways to learn about our industry and take that experience back home to benefit their own operations.
In a press release from ING, Mark Hall, Postmedia Network regional director and incoming ING vice president said, "We are proud to introduce our 2019 ING directors to the industry, all of whom will be recognized by the newspaper industry as energetic, knowledgeable professionals driven for success."
Introducing the quality of talent that ING brings to our industry can alone be well worth the cost of admission to their upcoming event: the ING Leadership Networking Summit set for Oct. 4-5 in Chicago at the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront.
In full disclosure, while some of this article was compiled using information provided by ING through their website, personal contact and promotional information, the core is based primarily on my personal viewpoint of the ING organization and the services it provides to our industry. Sincere thanks goes to Brian Blair of Strategic Marketing Communications and adjunct communications advisor to ING for providing answers to many of my questions regarding the conference.
So, what can Chicago offer in October besides perhaps some nasty cold and windy weather? The answer is one of the most informational and exciting programs we've seen in awhile.
Referring back to the cost of admission, I posed the question to an ING representative. Although there is absolutely no arguing the benefits of their summit, many small and midsize newspaper publishers have dramatically cut their travel budgets. Profits simply are not what they used to be and many smaller properties, operating on a shoestring budget may not see the value or ROI in the...