Slimp to headline 2020 KPA convention

Posted January 15, 2020

Kevin Slimp, nationally known newspaper consultant and industry champion, will headline the 2020 Kansas Press Association annual convention scheduled for March 19 and 20 at the Meridian Center in Newton.

Slimp, who has presented numerous times at past KPA conventions and advertising conferences, will discuss what’s working and what’s not at the nation’s newspapers and how Kansas newspaper staffs can use digital offerings to supplement print revenue.

Click here to register and see the schedule.

This year’s KPA convention marks a dramatic change from those in past years. Because of feedback from members, the training sessions and the former Friday night banquet will now be separate events.

“We asked our members after the convention in 2019 what changes they would like to see made to our programming schedule. The majority of respondents indicated that time away from the newspaper was their number one concern when deciding to attend an out of town event. Respondents also indicated that they would like the President’s Banquet to be a separate event as well as the KPA Day at the Legislature.

“To be clear, we are not eliminating any programming. We are simply separating events in order to keep the required time away for our members to a minimum. And after the ice disaster of 2019, members also asked that we move convention to March. We wholeheartedly agreed.”

The Newton event will concentrate more on training and informational sessions.

The traditional Friday night president’s banquet has been rebranded as the President’s Gala and will become a separate, stand-alone event on June 19 at the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka.

At that event, the major citations such as Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame inductions and the Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor Award, the Murdock Award, the Boyd Community Service Award and the Gaston Outstanding Mentor Award will be presented.

The Newton convention will kick off with a golf scramble during the day on March 19 for those who want to arrive early.


Thursday, March 19

The convention will kick off with a four-person golf scramble during the day on Thursday at Newton’s famous Sand Creek Station, a public course that has won national awards for excellence. If you play golf, you won’t want to miss this opportunity.

At 6 p.m., KPA and Newton Now are hosting an event called “The Future of Journalism in Kansas: Why You Should Care,” where the community will be invited to participate. A panel of journalists will discuss their thoughts on where our industry is headed and why survival of journalism i in the best interests of our communities.

That will be followed at 7:30 p.m. by “Cold Brews and Hot Topics,” a member networking event. Bring your tough questions to this event.


Friday, March 20

The day’s events will kick off at 8 a.m. with the association’s annual meeting and a presentation on eNotice, a new initiative to modernize the logistics of how we handle and print our public notices.

At 8:45 a.m., we’ll host a panel from the Kansas Farm Bureau discussing what is happening in farming and ranching in the state and what we can expect in 2020.

At 10 a.m., Slimp will have the first of two consecutive one-hour sessions on what’s working and what’s not at newspapers. He’ll follow that with a session on what he has learned through research and while presenting at other press association conventions about the state of newspapers in the U.S.

At noon, we’ll gather for lunch, followed by the Awards of Excellence presentation for our annual news and advertising contests.

Breakout sessions will begin at 1:30 p.m. Attendees will have an opportunity to choose from a variety of sessions, including:

• Community journalism training session 1, with Doug Anstaett, KPA consultant and lobbyist.

• Rebranding your newspaper business, with Jeff Cott, publisher of the Derby Informer.

• Using Digital to Supplement Print Revenue, with Kevin Slimp.

At 2:30, the breakout sessions will include:

• Community journalism training, session 2, with Doug Anstaett.

• Ask the KPA’s Legal Hotline Attorney, with Max Kautsch.

• Best Management Practices, with Ken Knepper, bank executive and former publisher of the Newton Kansan.

The final event of the day will be roundtable discussions on topics that are of interest to you and an update on the current session of the Kansas Legislature.