The Newspaper Association of America’s (NAA) NEXPO/Capital Conference — held in conjunction with the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) and the Associated Press (AP) on 12-16 April 2008 at the Washington Conference Center in Washington, D.C., USA — had an estimated 3,300 attendees, 550 of whom were editors and publishers. The programme featured a five-day agenda of approximately 100 speakers presenting educational and general sessions dealing broadly with the subject of innovation and transformation.
The seats were filled at three sessions of the joint meeting of the NAA, ASNE, and AP when attendees heard from U.S. senators John McCain, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. Monday’s Associated Press luncheon, where Obama spoke, was sold out for the first time in its 162-year history, with more than 1,200 attendees. The same ballroom, where Clinton addressed the ASNE, was also packed, with roughly 1,000 in attendance.
This was the first combined conference of the three groups. As has become a new tradition, the NEXPO portion of the event was divided into time on the tradeshow floor, educational theatre presentations, and information sessions on activities of the NAA and highlights on best practices at newspapers.
The educational sessions at the conference covered ongoing concerns about AdsML, outsourcing and consolidation, backpack journalism, innovation, how to manage print and Web editions, and how to find or create the content management technology that will accommodate changing demands — such as the publication of user-generated content — on the industry. The sessions also recognised growing concerns; offering advice, for example, on how to extend the life of equipment and how to assess the role of social networking in a newspaper environment.