Highlights from the Publishers Conclave

We now live in a world where publishers offer creative design and content services to their advertisers, and ad/marketing agencies publish custom magazines. So it makes perfect sense, then, that magazine printers are hosting publisher events. It’s about bringing together their clients in an innovative, networking atmosphere to share ideas and learn from each other.

These changes bring new opportunities for just about everyone.

I recently attended the 2nd annual Lane Press Publishers’ Conclave,  a 2- day gathering of publishers from all over the country. Publishers, editors and creatives from the B2B, B2C, Association and Alumni magazines were all there. The speaker presentations had the room buzzing.

Here are some highlights (and lessons learned):

  • Be provocative. It’s okay to push back! Sometimes staff worries too much about offending some segment of their audience and instead try to be everything to everyone. Keynote Rick Pullen, publisher of Leader’s Edge magazine, kicked off the presentations by challenging publishers to be anything but BORING. (And his magazine is for the commercial insurance industry!) There are so many ways to tell great stories to readers with high quality, innovative content.
  • Print is more powerful than ever, if you know what you’re doing.  Jeff Joseph, publisher of Modern Trader, shared that when he took over the magazine three years ago, he had originally thought about closing down the print product and focusing on digital. He quickly saw the challenges in getting to revenue in digital and that the print side had been neglected. Not any more! Modern Trader now has 50,000+ paid subscribers.
  • You might need digital therapy. Alissa Levin of Point Five talked to the group about how important it is to be mobile-first, not just mobile “friendly”. Readers are now so comfortable in the mobile format that your website can mirror that effortless continuity. Get rid of that clunky across-the-top navigation bar and think mobile drop-down categories for a cleaner look and more room for all those immediately captivating images.
  • Long form can do well digitally. Several speakers talked about how readers are willing to engage in long-form content, especially if your site is mobile-first and your audience is NICHE.
  • Events can be profitable! I can’t tell you how many publishers and editors I heard say they view their event revenue as (hopefully) break-even. Their current event is really only to make readers feel good about their brand. That’s crazy talk! Of course you want your events to expand your brand awareness but there are definitely ways to increase event revenue without comprising quality and value. (Here’s tips from Shane Greer on Niche Events: Transform (or Ditch) the Losers!)
  • Think of your overall content as a fundamental strategy that involves the entire team. Scott Hauser, editor of the Rochester Review rounded-up the presentations with an intriguing look at ways to get to the true heart of story-telling. He really drove home the concept of publishers viewing their content as the over-arching starting point to everything else. Only then can you determine all the different channels to distribute that content to your readers, such as print, digital, social media, videos and more. This fundamentally changes the way the team interacts on a daily basis, right down to the budgets. But in-depth thoughtful story-telling to a growing audience is the result.

Finally, it’s always worth it to get out of the office to learn new revenue ideas and meet new publishing peeps. Check out our own Super Niche event in March 2018! What are you waiting for?!



About this author: Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Niche Media. A former sales director and corporate marketing hack, she has now found nirvana in writing and wrangling quality content. Diana is a food, wine, art and SF Giants enthusiast…who sometimes gets carried away.



Niche Media has the best events, education, and training in media! Our super niched-out events & content give target-audience publishers in the B2C, hobbyist, B2B, city & regional, and association markets the tools they need to build revenue, audience, and more.