Thursday is the day!

Missouri Press is abuzz with preparation for MPA’s 151st Annual Convention and Trade show.  From people making donations for the live and silent auctions, to preparing numerous opportunities to recognize Missouri’s newspaper men and women, everyone is in for a treat. There will be an annual board meeting thursday morning because, lets face it, we have to work before we can play.  But as soon as the clock strikes five, loosen your ties, let down your hair, hop on the shuttle and let the fun begin!

Thursday night kicks off the event at Mother’s Brewing Company where registered attendees can enjoy Mother’s Beer and tasty delights from Twisted Mike’s Food truck.  If you’ve never been an MPA Convention before, this is quite the party and definitely the place to be. With live music from local musician, Barak Hill, everyone can get acquainted and enjoy the evening before heading back to University Plaza Hotel.

Friday is packed with an exciting schedule. The Trade Show will start at 8 a.m. while everyone is getting registered.  Be sure to pick up your Trade Show Passport before visiting each booth. After getting a stamp in your passport from each booth, turn it in for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

While the Trade Show is going on, there will be other events to enjoy. Starting at 8:30am, there will be a General Session led by Chris Zarvas.  Chris will touch on how to strategize and hire the best qualified future leaders of the industry. There is a business meeting at 9:45 a.m. and then at 10 our Break Out! sessions will begin.

This year the featured Break Out! sessions are Building Next Generation Loyalty through Sustaining Innovation and 13 “Wow”erful Communication Tips to Springboard your Sales and Leadership. These will be great opportunities to hear about how to keep legacy media relevant and how to build long term relationships, respectively. There will also be other general sessions and a luncheon before moving on to our Hall of Fame events.

After everyone has absorbed as much information as they can from each of our dutiful speakers, we will hold our annual Hall of Fame Reception.  The Reception begins at 6 p.m. followed by the banquet and awards ceremony. We will cap off the evening by opening the Hospitality Suite where all registered members can convene and discuss the new spawning ideas discussed previously during the day.

As the sun rises on our last day of the convention, our final three general sessions will cover the importance of good storytelling in journalism, new practices of drone journalism and how to deal with the changing face of politics.  These will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. and during the meal we will present this year’s Better Newspaper Contest Award winners.

Not enough fun and innovation?  Take your convention registration 30 minutes south to Branson and enjoy free admission to the Titanic Museum and all of its marvels.

This year’s convention is is something you don’t want to miss.  If you haven’t ordered a ticket yet, contact Kristie Williams at kwilliams@socket.net or call the Missouri Press office at 573-449-4167.  We look forward to seeing you there!