Speakers will talk shop at ad conference

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The upcoming Advertising Conference will offer results-based training for ad managers, sales reps and graphic designers.

The event Sept. 30 will feature speakers, panel discussions and idea-sharing sessions at the Student Center at Ball State University in Muncie.

The event, sponsored by INAEA, HSPA Foundation and Trace Communication, includes breakfast, lunch, an evening reception and awards gala.

Advertising Tailgate and Awards Gala

When: Sept. 30. Sessions for managers start at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Ses­sions for sales reps and designers begin at 10 a.m.

Where: Student Center, Ball State University, Muncie

Registration deadlines: Sept. 2 for early-bird rate. Sept. 23 for regular rate.

Registration: Fax the form your newspaper received, or click here to print a paper form or sign up online.

Information: sgoldsby@hspa.com, (317) 803-4772 or www.hspafoundation.org

Advertising departments can register by faxing the forms that were mailed to each newspaper or registering online by clicking here. Register at a reduced rate through Sept. 2. Regular registration ends Sept. 23. Payment may follow later for both due dates.

This year’s speakers will offer ideas for crafting revenue-boosting, eye-catching ads, said Karen T. Braeckel, HSPA Foundation director.

Bob McInnis, president of McInnis and Associ­ates of Greenport, N.Y., will address advertising managers and sales reps during a session he calls “Driving Serious Local Ad Revenue in a Reces­sion.”

Donna Gray, president and creative director of Indianapolis-based Match­book Creative adver­­tising agency and an assistant professor of advertising in Ball State’s Department of Journalism, will present a concurrent session for graphic designers on “How to Make an Ad in 30 Minutes and Other Helpful Design Hints.”

Both speakers will focus on producing head-turning advertising.

McInnis said he will offer creative ways to combat clients’ misperceptions about newspaper advertising and get decision-makers to in­­crease their print media buys.

“The Holy Grail for advertising sales is proving up front that they’re going to get a response,” he said.

Clients often think advertising is a big risk so they limit themselves to small, infrequent ads, McInnis said.

His methods will offer ways to prove to prospective advertisers that they’re going to get a response worth their money, he said.

“HSPA conference attendees will leave with a much easier approach to eliminating the most difficult sales objections, including ‘newspapers don’t work,’ ‘it’s a recession and I have no money’ and ‘you’re too expensive,’” he said.

Gray will give graphic designers a customized presentation based on a survey HSPA Foundation will send to registrants to determine their training needs and wants.

She said her session will likely include plenty of dialogue and Q&A.

“I want to engage the audience and want to deliver content that’s helpful for them,” she said.

Gray said she enjoys working with clients on strategy and branding and can offer creative ideas on a variety of platforms for newspapers.

Her professional background includes 10 years as creative director and vice president of Gumas Advertising in San Francisco. There she worked with companies that had creative marketing projects in the works, including Mattel, Leap Frog and the San Francisco Giants.

Now her work is headed in new direction, including working with Nascar and the U.S. Army to create campaigns to reach multi-cultural audiences, she said.

A relaxed atmosphere accompanies this year’s conference to go along with the event’s tailgating theme. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite player’s jersey and other team garb all day during the event, dubbed the Advertising Tailgate this year.

A new conference schedule was designed with attendees in mind, Braeckel said.

All of the details about the conference as well as downloadable registration forms are available at www.hspafoundation.org/events.

The day begins at 8 a.m. for ad directors who choose to attend the managers’ morning idea-sharing breakfast. A facilitator will lead the group’s talk about successes, concerns, solutions or problems, and lots of coffee will be on hand. (Sorry, no adult beverages just yet.)

The two training tracks featuring McInnis and Gray begin at 10 a.m.

A lunch session beginning at noon includes a panel discussion by five Indiana newspaper publishers. They’ll give their two cents on today’s newspaper advertising.

The executives from large-chain dailies to a small independently owned paper include:

• Henry Bird, senior vice president of the Capital Division of Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.

• Bill Masterson Jr., who became publisher of The Times Media Co., a division of Lee Enterprises, in 2006 and was named group publisher for Lee in July.

• Jack Pate, president and publisher of the Evansville Courier & Press.

• Sarah O. Wilson, owner and publisher of The Rochester Sentinel.

• Chuck Wells, group publisher for Home News Enterprises products The Republic (Columbus), Daily Journal (Franklin), Brown County Democrat (Nashville), North and South magazines (suburban Indianapolis) and Screaming Eagle Media.

The afternoon idea-sharing round-table with moderator Dave Hedge, advertising director at the Evansville Courier & Press, comes after lunch.

This session is always among the most popular at the ad conference, said Laurie Ragle, INAEA president and vice president of advertising for Hoosier Times Inc.

“This year we have really upped the ante and are giving away a 16GB iPad to one lucky winner with the best idea,” she said. “Come prepared to share and take away ideas – and maybe you will be the one to take away the iPad!”

The winner can show off the prize at a reception starting at 4 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres will be served, and adult and other beverages will be available. Attendees also can vote for the People’s Choice Award.

The 62nd annual awards gala follows at 4:30 p.m., and the bar will remain open.

“We hope this year’s conference format appeals to more people’s schedules,” Braeckel said. “Our trainers and sessions also offer a productive way to socialize with friends in the newspaper advertising industry.”