As the year draws to a close, I want to review the steps Inland has taken to better meet the needs of its membership. The list of achievements is a credit to the work of my predecessor Tom Yunt, and your board and committees.
Consider just some of the highlights of 2018:
In February, Inland co-hosted the largest ever Key Executives Mega-Conference. And in June, another innovative conference -- Mission One: Revenue -- sent nearly 100 attendees home from Atlanta with notebooks full of actionable ideas, best practices and strategies.
Inland grew dramatically in 2018, thanks in large part to additions from GateHouse Media and Paxton Media Group. Membership is now at its highest in over a decade.
We also produced a full schedule of thought-provoking webinars during the year. We know from our annual member survey that you value these webinars. They also give us a way to extend our programming to members who could not attend our conferences and events in person. For example, we created a series of well-attended webinars taken from the most popular sessions of our Annual Meeting.
If, like me, you’re elbow-deep in preparing the 2019 budget right now, you know that Decembers are as much for looking forward as back.
And there is plenty to look forward to. The Mega-Conference begins February 25 in Las Vegas at the Paris Las Vegas hotel. And, the Family Owners & Next Generation Leadership Conference begins two days before that.
Next year we’ll also hold our second Joint Annual Meeting with the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association Oct. 6-8. The meeting will be held in Chicago.
Also on our 2019 calendar are two major conferences devoted to audience, marketing and loyalty programs in partnership with 360 Media Alliance. The Audience and Loyalty Mega Summit Central will be held April 26-28 in St. Louis. And an East Coast version is scheduled for the fall of 2019.
Mission One: Revenue will be back to explore more revenue opportunities, as will the Virtual Human Resources Management Conference. This is a super-convenient conference that is the only conference exclusively devoted to the unique issues faced by HR professionals in the newspaper industry.
I’m also pleased that we’ll once again hold our very popular and unique Executive Voices Conference in 2019. This conference employs a seminar format in which newspaper leaders take on key industry challenges and opportunities in freewheeling discussions. The response to this unique meeting has been inspiring.
Inland will continue to be nimble in responding to the ever-changing media environment that we all navigate these days.
Finally, may you all enjoy the holidays that December brings—and prosper from the opportunities of the New Year ahead of us.