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Mid-Winter Conference 2016
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The annual Mid-Winter Conference returns to Jackson’s Hilton Hotel on County Line Road Jan. 28-30, 2016.

The event will include the annual Celebrity Roast to benefit the MPA Education Foundation, the Better Newspaper Contest Advertising Division Awards Luncheon and a new Wine Pull Reception and Fundraiser.


Keynote presenter for the conference is noted sales and training consultant Mike Blinder of The Blinder Group, a leading speaker on marrying print and digital sales efforts. Blinder’s company trains advertising managers & sales people how to adapt to the ever-changing media landscape.

He will present two programs, a general session on “Stop Overthinking… Just Sell the Audience!” and an afternoon breakout on  “Being Your Best on Every Sales Call.”


The Wine Pull is a special event that is new to the Mid-Winter agenda and will take place during the Friday evening member reception. Special “numbered corks” will be sold that correspond with bottles of wine that are contributed by members and sponsors. This fun and unique event will benefit the MPA Foundation.

The honoree for the annual Celebrity Roast will be Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.). A resident of Pearl, Harper is serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives after being first elected to Congress in November of 2008.

The conference will culminate Saturday, Jan. 30, with the presentation of the 2015 Better Newspaper Contest Advertising Division Awards.

Early bird registration is $215 per member and is available through Jan. 8, 2016.
Regular registration is $225 per member and is available through Jan. 22, 2016.

After Jan. 22, attendees must register on-site and pay an additional $15 late fee.


» Click here for online registration.

» Click here to download a registration form to return by mail, fax or email.

» Click here to see a list of registered attendees as of Jan. 13



A limited number of registration expense grants are available from the MPA Education Foundation on a first-come, first-served basis. Please, only one application per newspaper. Click here for details and an application.

Join us at the Jackson Hilton at the conference group rate of $99 nightly. The MPA room block is now full. Contact Monica Gilmer if you still need a reservation. To make reservations at the regular rate, click here. Or call the hotel at 1-888-263-0524.



Thursday, January 28

11 am – MPA-MPS Board of Directors Meeting. Jacksonian Board Room
3 pm – MPA Education Foundation Board of Directors Meeting. Jacksonian Board Room

4 pm – MCFOI Board Meeting
6 pm – MPA Legislative Reception. Diplomat

7 pm – MPA Education Foundation Celebrity Roast of Congressman Gregg Harper. Grand Ballroom


Friday, January 29

8 am – Registration desk opens. Continental breakfast available.

            Past President's Breakfast. Crowne Room

9:30 am – Opening Remarks & Welcome. Diplomat

Remarks by MPA President Joel McNeece, publisher of The Calhoun County Journal.

9:45 – GENERAL SESSION – "Stop Overthinking! Just Sell the Audience." Presented by Mike Blinder. Diplomat

10:45 – Coffee Break. Regency Hall

11 am – GENERAL SESSION continues. Diplomat

Noon – Luncheon. Invited speaker: Gov. Phil Bryant. Penthouse.


» "Being Your Best on Every Sales Call." Presented by Mike Blinder. Amphitheater I

» "Newspapering in the Cloud." Presented by C Spire. Amphitheater II

» "What's New in Photoshop." Presented by Lisa Griffin. Crowne

2:45 – Coffee & Cookie Break

3:15 – ROUND TABLES with Refreshments. Diplomat

           Multiple topics in 15-minute sessions with beer, pretzels and great conversation.

» Technology – Moderated by Lisa Griffin, Boone Newspapers
» Niche Products – Moderated by Dr. Samir Husni, Magazine Innovation Center, University of Mississippi
» Rate Cards & Rate Integrity – Moderated by Pat Brown, The Magee Courier
» Multimedia – Moderated by Paul Keane, The Wayne County News
» MPS Networks – Moderated by Sue Hicks, Mississippi Press Services

4:30 – Free Time

6 pm – Wine Pull Reception & Entertainment. Penthouse

            Foundation fundraiser event with heavy hors d'oeuvres and Mississippi products exhibits

9 pm – Hospitality suite. Port Gibson


Saturday, January 30

8 am – Registration desk opens

8:30 – Silver Dollar Breakfast Idea Exchange. Salon A

Bring your best revenue and cost-saving ideas. Drawing for cash prizes for participants.


» "Newspaper Technology Tips." Presented by Lisa Griffin. Crowne

» "How to do Print in the Digital Age" Presented by Mr. Magazine Dr. Samir Husni. Diplomat II

» Government Affairs Committee. Diplomat I

11:30 – Break. Regency Hall

Noon – Better Newspaper Contest Awards Luncheon. Salon A

2 pm – Conference adjourns

2 pm – Emmerich Group Publishers Meeting. Diplomat I

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