It’s official. The National Federation of Press Women’s 2017 Communications Conference will be held in Birmingham, Alabama!
“You and your team put a great package together, and the NFPW officers have unanimously voted to hold the 2017 NFPW conference in Alabama,” NFPW president Teri Ehresman wrote in a June 23 email to conference co-director Elaine Miller.
“Congrats to all!!!”
Elaine and co-director Jane Henry will present the dates, venue and theme at the national business meeting during the September conference in Anchorage, Alaska. As is customary, they and possibly other conference committee members will issue an official invitation to all NFPW members at the 2016 conference in Pennsylvania.
The date for the 2017 conference hasn’t been nailed down, but will be either Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9 or Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 14-16. In addition, several day and half-day tours are being planned for the three or four days prior to either weekend, and a post-tour is in the works for the four days immediately following the conference. The national office is working with a firm that negotiates hotel rates based on a list of local hotels we included in our bid package.
NFPW will celebrate its 80th anniversary the Friday night of the conference, probably just prior to the Communicator of Achievement Banquet. Elaine and Jane will be working closely with the national board to plan this celebration.
While conferences normally run three separate tracks with three one-hour sessions each morning and three more each afternoon on Friday and Saturday, the AMP committee proposed lengthening the sessions to one and a half hours and to hold only four per day instead of six.
“Everyone liked your plan to lengthen the sessions because an hour usually is just not long enough,” Ehresman said in her email. “The attention at this early stage to identifying ‘real’ sponsors is also a nice start because two years out gives prospective sponsors two budget years to work with.”
The AMP conference committee hasn’t come up with the exact wording of a theme, but we’re planning to build it around the word “Magic” because of Birmingham’s nickname of "The Magic City." Some ideas tossed around include “Making Magic at 80,” which incorporates the NFPW’s 80th anniversary and “Making Media Magic.” The committee, which includes Ann Halpern, Tina Tidmore, Verna Gates, Meredith Cummings, Mary Wimberley, Carolyn Stern, Carolanne Roberts and Rick Watson, welcomes all input regarding this idea.