2017 Boston Innovation Mission

Can’t attend the full IM? We’ve created smaller, regional Innovation Missions and up next is Boston! This features a heavy emphasis on digital agencies. We’ll spend a ½ day at Propel Marketing/GateHouse and some serious time with the digital agency team from Entercom Communications. These are two industry leaders in this space. We’ll also have a private meeting with Boston Globe CEO Doug Franklin (they have more digital subscribers than any other media company in North America). Other visits include Hubspot, WBGH, Brightcove and the Nieman Lab at Harvard.

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The 2017 Boston tour takes place June 26 through June 28, the cost is $2,595.* The IM is limited to only 15 participants and will sell out quickly. Special Bonus! Be one of the first 12 to register and receive tickets to a Red Sox game, plus a private tour of Fenway Park!

“The regional Innovation Mission was well worth the investment. What an incredible experience. There were lessons to be learned at every stop along the way, as well as from the other participants. The list of takeaways could be a mile long!” – Meg Boyer, Publisher, Summit Daily News


Monday, June 26

3:00: Welcome & introductions (location TBD)

4:00: Brightcove

Video is a critical area of investment and growth for local media, with digital video advertising expected to reach $13 billion in the U.S. next year. Brightcove partners with ESPN, Gannett, Tribune, Vox, and more, to power key elements of their video platforms, from live streaming to ad insertion to OTT and “video everywhere.” We’ll meet with key leadership to hear about “what’s now” and “what’s next” in video…and how local media can capitalize on this massive opportunity.

6:00: Drinks & dinner with special guest: Doug Franklin, CEO of The Boston Globe (location TBD)

In this private dinner, attendees will learn about how The Boston Globe is transforming its business from the man charged with leading the change: CEO Doug Franklin. VP Consumer Sales and Marketing Pete Doucet will also present on The Globe’s industry-leading digital subscription model, and the company’s plans to dramatically grow this.

Tuesday, June 27

7:30: Breakfast

8:30: HubSpot 

HubSpot is one of Boston’s biggest technology success stories! The company raised more than $100 million in venture capital funding before filing for an IPO in 2014. Its best-in-class inbound marketing platform enables agencies to generate leads efficiently, and at scale, and its sales tools automate prospecting and contact management. HubSpot is also renowned for its dynamic culture and unique brand. IM attendees will meet with senior leadership, including the VP of Content, to learn how HubSpot has built its brand, and how it empowers its customers to utilize content to drive more leads.

10:30: Harvard Nieman Lab (invited)

12:30-4:30: GateHouse Media / Propel Marketing (working lunch provided)

In this signature visit, attendees will meet with executive leadership across GateHouse and Propel to discuss the company’s ongoing transformation and key business initiatives. This half-day strategy workshop includes:

Executive Strategy Session: GateHouse Media Ventures CEO Peter Newton will detail the company’s framework for growth through a combination of building, acquiring and partnerships.

Propel Marketing: Hear from the leadership team how Propel is building differentiated digital-agency growth in areas such as Facebook ads ($7M in new revenue in 2016) and merchant services. In addition, Propel will update us on a new telesales center that they opened last year. — Propel Innovation Center: Attendees will get a tour of this brand new downtown innovation-hub, and learn how the company is using it to leverage the booming Boston tech ecosystem.

ThriveHive: GateHouse/Propel acquired this automated marketing startup to sell more effectively to SMBs. We’ll hear from the ThriveHive founding team to understand how Propel is integrating the platform.

5:00-10:00: Boston Red Sox Game & Fenway Park Private Tour!

GateHouse Media and Entercom Communications are partnering to give attendees the consummate Boston experience! It starts with a private tour of Fenway Park, followed by the Red Sox/Twins game that night. Plus, a special dinner feast at the ballpark (details coming soon).

Wednesday, June 28

9:00-11:30: Entercom Communications

We will spend the morning with Entercom Communications, the progressive broadcaster that recently merged with CBS Radio to form a preeminent radio platform across 244 stations.

VP Digital Strategy Tim Murphy will provide the overarching strategy for how Entercom is pursuing new media businesses.

VP Digital Audience Engagement Kim Reis will discuss how the company deepens radio audience-loyalty and develops new audiences on platforms such as digital audio and podcasting. She will also share Entercom’s successes and learnings in email marketing and live events.

Jeff Miller, VP/GM of Entercom’s branded digital agency Smart Reach Digital, will share the game-plan for building sustainable digital agency growth and profitability, including leveraging its radio core.

11:45: WGBH Public Radio & TV

WGBH is the largest producer of PBS content across TV, Web and mobile (including shows such as Antiques Roadshow, Frontline and Curious George). It also serves all of southern New England. Longtime local-media leader Bob Kempf, WGBH’s VP of Digital Services, will present on the public broadcaster’s unique membership model, success with live events and experiments with new platforms such as podcasting.

1:30: Wrap-Up & Sharing of Key Takeaways 

Always a highlight of the Innovation Mission, attendees will share “a-ha’s” and key takeaways with each other, and the big ideas that they plan to take back to their companies.

3:00: Innovation Mission Adjourns; Attendee Cabs to Airport

The cost of the Boston IM includes hotel rooms, all meals, ground transportation in between visits, staff costs to attend/manage the trip, meeting room rentals, AV costs and supplies. Attendees are responsible for their own airfare to and from Boston and transportation to and from the airport. Registrations are taken on a first come, first served basis.

*Refunds not available after May 19, 2017.

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