Media Transformation is here and these are 6 reasons we’re so excited about it

Media Transformation kicks off Monday in Kansas City and it’s loaded with innovative and exciting programming.

You can follow all of it at #Mediatransformation2018.

It may be hard to pick just six of the things we’re most excited about but here we go:

1. Women in Local Media Summit

The Women in Local Media Summit — sponsored by the Google News Initiative – will be led by Ginger Neal, Senior VP-Advertising, The San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate.com. The inaugural event will tackle diversity and gender issues in an honest, transparent and proactive way.

Some very impressive speakers are taking part in the summit.

• Francesca Donner, Director, Gender Initiative, The New York Times.

 • Abby Reimer, Innovation Manager, McClatchy.

 • Chrissy Towle, Head of News and Local Media, Global Partnerships, Google.

• Brian Baker, Partner, US Digital Workforce Leader, Mercer.

• Catherine Badalamente, Vice President Digital, Graham Media Group.

2. 50 percent of attendees are women

Up from 28 percent last year, an impressive 50 percent of those attending the conference this year are women. It’s a terrific sign of more women taking leadership roles in the industry and interest in the Women in Local Media Summit.

3. How TEGNA is exploding with innovation

Frank Mungeam, Vice President, Digital Audience Engagement at King 5 Seattle will talk about the fascinating work going on at his company. You’ll learn about their very structured approach to innovation and how they are are taking on bold projects and shaking up the way TV stations go to market.

We wrote about TEGNA’s innovative approach recently.

4. Google on digital ads and news

There are two intriguing sessions from Google. One will be conducted by Jerry Miller, Head of Americas Revenue Intelligence, Google on “Shifting Paradigms in Digital Advertising.” Miller will talk about their mission of articulating marketplace data into actionable insights, with a focus on creating value for Google’s partners. Also, David Brooks, Head of News Partnerships, Google, will speak about the Google News Initiative and what it means for the industry. Brooks will provide a comprehensive update on GNI: its mission, focus, and milestones to date and he will share how local media companies can partner for success.

We spoke with David Brooks recently about GNI.

5. How to take advantage of voice

Steve Goldstein, Founder/CEO, Amplifi Media will look at the opportunities and challenges with audio.

There is no doubt that audio is a hot trend as podcasts continue to gain in popularity as do voice assistants. What does this mean for media companies and where should they be investing?

We spoke with Goldstein for a report on the rise of audio and podcasting.

6. Three in-depth workshops

There will be three in-depth workshops on some of the most important pain points in our industry. These workshops will be very interactive and will include a mix of presentations and small group exercises.

Here are the topics:

• Sales: The focus of this workshop is all about transforming sales managers into dynamic market leaders capable of steering modern, fast-growth sales organizations.

• Digital subscriptions: Are they a priority at your company? Our all-star faculty represents the best case studies in North America for both digital subscriptions and membership models.

We recently wrote about the Buffalo News’ technology approach to digital subscriptions. They are one of the presenters in the digital subscriptions track.

• Human capital: We’ll dig into how to attract and retain top digital talent, create a culture of innovation inside of a legacy media company and much more.