Yasmin Namini, president of INMA and senior vice president/chief consumer officer of The New York Times, welcomed delegates to INMA’s 84th World Congress Monday morning by discussing the need for transformation in today’s media industry.

Namini emphasised the importance of networking at conferences such as INMA, considering the major transition the industry is going through: “It’s all about meeting new people, building relationships.”

Namini requested the World Congress guests to take a moment to introduce themselves to those around them, exemplifying the need to develop close connections to benefit the future of media.

For a small group of delegates, the World Congress began last week with a tour of Silicon Valley, further supporting the idea the developing connections is key to the media business.

“We have been fortunate to work with Silicon Valley giants, such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Yahoo,” Namini said. 

Prior to the start of the World Congress, a survey was sent out to media executives, asking what they were looking for at this year’s conference.

“By a significant margin, you said, not surprisingly, future digital growth … is absolutely crucial in the next 12 months,” Namini said.

Data analytics, digital revenue streams, and shifting priorities toward real-time bidding will be discussed at the conference this week to address the needs of future digital growth.

There are challenges to developing the growth of digital growth, however. Quoting Marc Andreessen, digital entrepreneur, Namini said that “more news is being consumed that it’s being produced.”

To supplement the lack of balance between consumption and production, the news industry will increase by 100%, according to Andreessen.

Everyone in this room is part of this year’s “fast track to transformation,” Namini said. The media industry is experiencing exponential growth to adapt to the digital transformation of consumers.

To introduce the next speaker, Juan Señor, moderator for the INMA World Congress and partner with Innovation Media Consulting, referred to the value of holding the 2014 conference in California, a leader in media and technology development.

“You know you’re in California when the concierge of this hotel is wearing Google glasses,” Señor said. “This is California. This is who we are.”