It’s been called “two and a half days of magazine media bliss.” The ACT 8 Experience, an event organized annually by the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism, is set for April 17-20 in Oxford. The 2018 theme is Print Proud, Digital Smart.
Dr. Samir Husni, professor, Hederman Lecturer, and director of the Magazine Innovation Center, said the conference is not for the faint-hearted. “We have an interesting lineup of professionals from all over the world,” he said. “If you’re interested in marketing, journalism, magazines, digital, or a combination of all, you need to attend this conference. It will be a wild ride of critiquing the current magazine industry and welcoming my magazine students who plan to change it for the better.”
Husni said the event will be the biggest ACT Experience to date. This year, it will welcome several new faces, including Linda Thomas Brooks, president & CEO of MPA, the Association of Magazine Media, formerly known as the Magazine Publishers Association; and James Hewes, president and CEO of FIPP, formerly the Federation Internationale de la Presse Periodique (International Federation of Periodical Publishers). The United Kingdom-based trade organization works to improve media content and is comprised of 700 enterprises, including nearly 60 national magazine associations.
The ACT 8 Experience will also welcome Erik van Erp, founder and editor of Print Media News in The Netherlands; Bonnie Kintzer, president and CEO – Trusted Media Brands (formerly Reader’s Digest); and Newell Turner, editorial director of the Hearst Design Group.
“You’ll have direct access to more than 10 editors and editorial directors, nine presidents and CEOs, and a slew of marketers, designers and sales consultants,” Husni said. This will include a total of 33 magazine and magazine media makers.
“Consider this a small vacation,” Husni said. “Sit back and listen to prolific speakers tell their stories – their trials and tribulations we all rallied against to become the best writers, designers marketers and business people we could be.”
Those who attend are encouraged to immerse themselves in the foothills of Mississippi by exploring Oxford. Participants will also have the opportunity to stroll the streets in Clarksdale, home of the Delta Blues Museum and actor Morgan Freeman’s famous Ground Zero restaurant.
Husni said he wants them to leave Oxford with a leg up about the industry, a belly full of Mississippi fried catfish, and an ear full of soothing, Delta blues. “It’s a refreshing experience to slow down to the Mississippi pace of life,” he said. “Enjoy a memorable ACT Experience of learning, doing, seeing and living the Mississippi way.”
Husni said his main motivation for bringing these industry professionals to Oxford is for Meek School students. “The only reason I do that is to bring the industry leaders to meet the future industry leaders,” he said. “I tell my students that it’s an opportunity of a lifetime to be sitting in a car with a CEO of a major magazine or media company, you name it. I assign my students to shadow all these speakers, pick them up from the airport, take them to the airport.”
The Silver Em, the University of Mississippi’s highest award in journalism, will also be awarded at 6 p.m. April 18 during the ACT 8 Experience. Newell Turner, a former University of Mississippi magazine student who rose to become the Hearst Design Group editorial director, will be presented the award.
Turner is responsible for the collective editorial direction of ELLE DECOR, House Beautiful, and Veranda magazines. He served for five years as the 22nd editor-in-chief of House Beautiful, and in 2012 under Turner’s leadership, the magazine won its first National Magazine Award for general excellence—the industry’s equivalent of an Oscar—and was a finalist in the category in 2013.
The Silver Em is usually given to a native or resident of Mississippi who has excelled in the field of journalism and media.
The ACT 8 Experience is dedicated to the memory of Jennifer Reeder, vice president of sales at Democrat Printing and Lithography, and a board member of the Magazine Innovation Center.
Industry leaders may attend and be part of the ACT 8 Experience for less than $400. To register, visit: http://maginnovation.org/act/register/. Only 100 attendees are permitted to register, so it’s important to reserve your space now.
Confirmed ACT 8 Experience Speakers (in Alpha Order) as of Feb. 1, 2018
Joseph Ballarini: founder and editor-in-chief – Tail Fly Fishing magazine
Joe Berger: publishers marketing and sales consultant, Joseph Berger Associates
Linda Thomas Brooks: president and CEO – MPA: The Association of
Deborah Corn: principal, chief blogger, and intergalactic ambassador to The Printerverse™ – Print Media Center
Marisa Davis: associate director, product marketing – MNI Targeted Media
Daniel Dejan: North American ETC (Education, Consulting and Training),
print creative manager – Sappi Fine Paper
Jim Elliott: president – The James G. Elliott Company.
Erik van Erp: founder and editor, Print Media News, The Netherlands
John French: co-founder – French LLC
Tony Frost: senior vice president, TVGM LLC, TV Guide
Natashia Gregoire: reputation manager, Editor, Access magazine – Fed Ex
Abdulsalam Haykal: founder and publisher, Harvard Business Review Arabic, United Arab Emirates
James Hewes: president & CEO – FIPP: The Network For Global Media
Mona Hidayet: executive director, clients and products – Advantage CS
Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni: founder and director, Magazine Innovation Center
Joe Hyrkin: CEO – issuu
Todd Krizelman: CEO – MEDIAradar
Bonnie Kintzer: president and CEO – Trusted Media Brands
Jerry Lynch: president – Magazine And Books, Retail Association
Daren Mazzucca: vice president/publisher – Martha Stewart Living
Mark Potts: managing editor – Alta The Journal of Alta California
Sebastian Raatz: publisher/co-founder – Centennial Media
Jen Ripple: founder and editor in chief – DUN magazine
Monique de Ruiter: former editor diversity magazine and VTWonen – The Netherlands
Bo Sacks: president, Precision Media Group
Ray Shaw: executive vice president/managing director – MagNet
Tony Silber: former editor – Folio
Franska Stuy: founder and editor – Franska.NL, The Netherlands
John Thames: founder and publisher – Covey Rise Magazine
Newell Turner: editorial director – Hearst Design Group
Liz Vaccariello: editor in chief, Parents Magazine, and Content Director, Meredith Parents Network
Jeffrey Vitter: chancellor – University of Mississippi
Thomas Whitney: president, Democrat Printing & Lithographing
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