INK+BEYOND exhibitors find event invaluable

Between attending sessions at the INK+BEYOND conference, newspaper delegates got the chance to explore the latest products and services from industry representatives at the trade show. The exhibitors found the conference invaluable in terms of connecting with a variety of senior-level newspaper personnel in one event.

Conveniently located in the River Rock Casino Resort’s foyer, about 20 companies showcased the diverse ways in which their companies can help newspapers increase readership and revenue. Canopy, a non-profit organization that works with print businesses to develop and implement policies sustaining forests, said that INK+BEYOND has provided them with more prospects.

“We’re looking to have a larger impact and really amplify the opportunities – to work with more publishing companies, more newspapers and help them build a strong business case for a strong environmental action,” said Marnie Goldenberg, Canopy’s senior advisor and operations director. Her colleague, corporate campaigner Tara Sawatsky agreed, “I think [the conference has] been really positive. We’ve had a lot of interesting conversations and we’re happy to be here.”

Bryan Depew, vice-president of product development at Impact Engine, a technological company specializing in online advertising software, said he’s extremely satisfied with the event. It’s the first time Impact Engine has exhibited at a Newspapers Canada conference.

“The traffic has been all very qualified that’s come by. We’re a U.S.-based company so we have about 1,100 clients currently in the U.S. We’re just now expanding up to Canada, and we’ve got some great leads off the show already.”

Depew’s company provides computer programs for website owners to create their own elaborate media ads, one such as the corner-peel where ads expand from a small part of the website to fill the screen once the cursor is placed over it.

“The problem today is that these kinds of ads take a high-end designer to build – you need a flash designer with lots of skills,” said Depew. “Our system basically takes templates out on all of the hard part of the process and you just go through a step-by-step process where you type in the text, upload your images. You basically output, in a matter of minutes, these high-end formats that typically take two to three weeks to build.”

Ryan Busch, account director at RAM: Research and Analysis of Media, said the conference has been productive for the company: “I like the set-up here – we have a nice location. The reception has been nice with all the delegates and attendees being together. I’d say it’s been successful so far.”

RAM works with panels of readers to measure the effective of a publication’s advertising and content.

“The publishers are able to acquire very useful data with a quick turnaround,” said Busch. “They can then use that information to better their own products or use that for presentation purposes to advertisers and display the value of their publications.”

With such a big congregation of media representatives at the conference, the issue of opportunities in the newspaper industry was bound to be raised.

“I think it’s evident that there are definitely still opportunities for newspaper jobs and the industry here and in Canada,” said Sawatsky. “And I think we’ll be seeing newsprint for a good, strong 10 years at least.”

Goldenberg agreed, “The kind of vibe I’m getting from the conference is that there’s a real acknowledgement that innovation needs to be a part of the newspaper industry. It’s about augmenting printed materials with other sources of news or alternatives to print. So I don’t thi