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2017 crma annual conference

2017 CRMA Annual Conference Highlights & Photos

On Monday, May 22nd, while everyone else was working from their respective office desks, I was introducing the Digital Track at the 2017 CRMA Annual Conference in Houston, Texas. I had a great time connecting with a number of local and regional publishers at the conference, and learning about what drives their business forward.

We were enjoying our coffees, while Mike Martinelli, Group Digital Publisher of Today Media, came into the room with a gong in his hand. Yes, you read that right – a gong. He sat it on the table, and after I introduced him and the rest of the panel, he told everyone to strap in and get ready. The title of this breakout session was “Digital Sales 101”, however, Mike and his crew called it “60 Sales Ideas in 60 minutes.” Each of the panelists had prepared a number of slides with quick and easy digital sales ideas that we could go home with and put into action. Each one had 2 ideas every 2 minutes, and Mike rang the gong to make sure no one went over the time limit. It was fast, fun, and informative.

Irene Peterson of Mpls. St. Paul Magazine, Frank Tarascio of Westchester Magazine, and Susan Farkas of Washingtonian were among the Sales Ideas crew. They took simple ideas and made them BIG, like using your small audience to your advantage, how being a regional publication can be advantageous to your business, and how having a niche audience allows you to charge more for prime reader engagement.

The audience at the Digital Track was furiously jotting down notes. I myself couldn’t take enough notes, as the panel kept zipping through ideas and even stopped a few times to ask questions. The gong was ringing every minute, and I kept thinking of great ideas to bring to my regional clients. The icing on the cake – the slides are all available online! Check out the slides here.

The conference also included some exceptional keynote speakers, including Larry Burstein, former Publisher at New York Media. He spoke about New York Magazine’s strategic shift to digital—which now makes up 60% of New York Media’s total ad revenue—and advertisers’ willingness to experiment with native advertising, despite its time-consuming nature. “The internet is a different way to tell a story.”                                                               

MediaRadar would also like to congratulate all of the 2017 CRMA Award winners and recipients. See the complete list of CRMA winners here.

I could go on forever about more of my favorite takeaways from the rest of the conference sessions, but for now, I’ll leave you with some fun photos using MediaRadar’s custom Snapchat event filter.

Go forth and make those digital ideas grow! Until next year!


-Howard Schecter, Director of Sales



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