INMA World Congress starts this week, focuses on media’s growth path

By Dawn McMullan


Dallas, Texas, USA


INMA’s biggest and most influential conference of the year will tackle the core drivers of the news media industry — data, product, digital subscriptions, advertising, and newsrooms — in 20+ hours during seven modules this month, shining a light on the industrys brightest stars and best practices while illustrating a growth path forward. 

The 92nd-Annual World Congress of News Media starts Thursday, May 5, and continues Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout May. 

“We have brought together an extraordinary agenda for INMA members for what I hope is the final time virtually, INMA CEO/Executive Director Earl J. Wilkinson said.

Registration is still open for World Congress, which starts on Thursday and continues in virtual sessions throughout May.
Registration is still open for World Congress, which starts on Thursday and continues in virtual sessions throughout May.

The agenda

The agenda’s core construction is around INMA’s five community-based initiatives focused on data, subscriptions, advertising, product, and newsrooms: 

  • Modules 2-6 will provide an executive-level briefing from INMA’s five initiative leads as to what the c-suite at media companies needs to know today about these vital subjects, each punctuated with four case studies to inspire.
  • Modules 1 and 7 (the first and last) straddle all INMA’s initiatives. “These intersections around leadership, disruption, people/talent, personalisation, and some big bets outside media’s core are the magic of INMA’s initiatives. Sometimes we will provoke … sometimes we aim to shrink subjects to digestibility, Wilkinson said. “Hopefully, these are thoughtful ways to tell vital yet difficult stories.

This year's World Congress will focus on the current core building blocks of the news media industry.
This year's World Congress will focus on the current core building blocks of the news media industry.

“I’m excited to have industry leaders look at some of the key issues and how they are tackling them: from profitable products to changing consumer patterns and how we work with colleagues to maximise consumer experience, said INMA Product Initiative Lead Jodie Hopperton.

The competition in media subscriptions has increased as consumers across the world have been facing rising costs of living and spending less time with media, said INMA Researcher-in-Residence, who leads the Readers First Initiative. Reports from Netflix, Spotify, Meta about this slowdown worried investors and pushed the media shares down. 

Many news publishers see the need to beef up their value propositions to retain subscribers gained during the pandemic and to expand into new markets. At this Congress, we will hear from brands — Germenys Bild, Argentinas La Nacion, and Canadas Toronto Star — how to boost and nurture value of news subscriptions and how to build slowdown-proof subscription engines.

INMA Smart Data Initiative Lead Ariane Bernard understands data is a lot to wrap one’s mind around. She hopes her sessions at World Congress will help: “The sphere of data is pulled in many different directions — as a tool for our commercial success, for the development of our products, as a place of knowledge of our users with all the regulatory sensibility that it comes with nowadays. It’s hard to take all of this in. The programme we have lined up is a broad overview of how organisations at the top of their game are taking on many of these complicated, dynamic dimensions.

“I love that INMA has launched into the journalism side of publishing, really trying to tackle the essence of what drives the business: addressing a new audience of journalists and newsroom leaders, and giving them a platform, Peter Bale, INMA’s Newsroom Initiative lead said. “We’ll be hearing from some great news practitioners about newsroom innovation, brand growth, and aligning goals across businesses.”

World Congress attendees will have many stories to share with their colleagues at the office, said INMA Advertising Initiative Lead Mark Challinor: Youll get THE most amazing takeaways to take back and use in your media company immediately.

“Throughout the World Congress, we will draw in smart people to map out what’s about to happen next, Wilkinson said. “We want to empower INMA members with insights and forecasts from which they can plot your course in the next six-12 months — revenue, messaging, and what macro-economic issues (namely, inflation and supply chains) mean for you.”

Still time to register

INMA members can purchase individual modules and the entire World Congress package, open to members and non-members, is detailed hereYou can view the list of World Congress attendees here, which will continue to be updated as last-minute registrations come in.

The 2.5-hour sessions, Tuesdays and Thursdays starting May 5, will be held live from 10:00 am to 12:30 p.m. New York time, with recordings available. 

“INMA is always about best practices in a pragmatic, actionable way, Bale said. At the Congress, you get to hear directly from those tackling the same problems you face and hear the best ideas.

Follow coverage of the World Congress here and via #INMA2022.

About Dawn McMullan

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