2018 convention graphic with sponsor

Registration opens for CPA Convention

A new location in a new city is one of several innovations at this year’s Colorado Press Convention, to be held April 12-14 at the Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs.

It marks the first time early-bird registration is available for those who register by March 5, and early-bird pricing makes the convention less expensive for members than last year. Click here to register online now.

Along with the convention being outside of Denver for the first time in the Association’s 140-year history, attendees can expect a different type of training experience.

“We are focused on creating a learning environment of ‘circles, not rows’ to encourage a celebrative learning environment in which attendees will hopefully learn from speakers but also from each other,” said CPA CEO Jerry Raehal. “The flash sessions we’re doing this year are designed for small-group interaction, but we’re also talking with the speakers to focus on collaborative environments.”

Speakers have been asked to create sessions based on a collaboration format from start to finish or to finish up with time left, allowing for those in attendance to circle up, discuss what they learned and how they can apply it to their publications. For the flash sessions (think speed dating), convention attendees will participate in quick, topical learning conversations facilitated by a knowledgeable moderator.

The speaker line-up, which Raehal said is “comparable to any of the best speaker line-ups in the country,” features both nationally-acclaimed speakers and local talent. There are so many great speakers, Raehal said, that Friday sessions are to start early to fit them all in.

Gov. John Hickenlooper is the Friday noon keynote speaker, providing a state of the state address, as well as making a proclamation advocating on behalf of newspapers. More details to come.

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2017 Convention Gov. Hickenlooper

Gov. John Hickenlooper takes a photo with 2017 convention-goers including Eric Monson, editor of The Trinidad Chronicle News, and Lori Borgen, dean of CU-Boulder's College of Media, Communication and Information, which is sponsoring the Governor's Lunch again this year. The Governor will make a special proclamation at the convention on April 13.

Other keynote speakers include Gordon Borrell of Borell Associates, Jeremy Gilbert of the Washington Post, and Jim Brady of Spirted Media.

Revenue speakers include Lee Smith of Sales Fuel, Aaron Kotarek of Oahu Publications, Brady, Borrell, and Sara Lennon and Erin Moeller of Vladimir Jones.

Editorial speakers include Tom Hallman Jr. and Therese Bottomly of The Oregonian, Jordan Wirfs-Brook of Google News Lab, and Frank Sesno of George Washington University. For designers, Tim Harrower, author of the “Newspaper Designer’s Handbook,” will be on hand.

State talent includes Amy Sweet and Bryan Grossman of the Colorado Springs Business Journal, Joey Bunch of Colorado Politics, and Amy Maestas of The Durango Herald. To see the full speaker lineup, click here.

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Sam Adams 2

Sam Adams

Also new this year is comedian Sam Adams, who is providing live entertainment for the Friday night social, as well as emceeing Saturday evening’s awards ceremony. Adams is a familiar name in Colorado journalism, having been a sports reporter and columnist at The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News, but has since moved on to become a nationally-recognized comedian.

Back by popular demand, the Lip Sync and Trivia Battle is slated for Friday evening after Adams’ comedy. There is no Friday night dinner, with the idea that attendees use that time for small-team building among coworkers or other attendees, and then meet back up for comedy and fun later that evening. The Antlers is located in downtown Colorado Springs, and there are a variety of restaurants people can easily access.

“When I started in 2014, I noted that great conventions had three aspects: education, social and networking,” Raehal said. “We have a great speaker line-up and between the ‘circles, not rows’ concept and the social events, we hope to foster the social and networking concepts.”

Also enhancing the educational aspect are a well-rounded slate of sponsors. To see this year’s sponsors, click here. If you’re interested in sponsoring, click here.

“Our sponsors do a great job of being innovative in the field to help our members,” Raehal said. “In addition to that, our sponsors make the convention possible. The CPA makes or loses money off convention registration on food alone. Without our sponsors, the convention would not exist.”

Also back this year is the Job Fair, sponsored by the Colorado State University Department of Journalism and Communications. If your publication would like to participate in the Job Fair, please contact Russ at rbassett@colopress.net or 720-274-7173.

CPA’s special room rate with the scenic and historic Antlers Hotel is $119 a night and includes parking and WiFi. To book your room, click here.

This year’s theme is “Transformation and Community,” and the unique hashtag is #CPATransform. 

“There is a lot of talk about how newspaper media needs to transform,” Raehal said. “And that is true, but at the heart of any transformation we need to consider our community because that is what makes newspapers so valuable.”