13th INMA South Asia Media Festival in Delhi

Study tour, seminars and conference

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The 13th annual International News Media Association’s (INMA) South Asia Media Festival will be held from 18 to 22 November 2019 in New Delhi. The theme for this year is `What matters most now – How to win in a world of unprecedented competition and disruptive changes.’ At the festival, delegates will gain insights and a forward-looking perspective into the unique strategies and best practices of the South Asian news media industry, initially over two days of a study tour on 18 and 19 November, seminars on 20 November and concluding with two days of the conference on 21 and 22 November.

The festival will begin with a study tour, entailing a diverse two-day exploration of the Delhi/NCR media market. The study tour visits to offices of The Indian Express, Facebook, Hindustan Times Media, Times Internet, Google, and StoryXpress will help provide expert industry perspectives on brand explorations, news media organizations and digital start-ups with an eye for disruption, innovation and growth opportunities.

Participants will learn how news media players have grown sustainable digital businesses without any capital burn. They will further understand the experiences of the digital transformation story in a legacy print media company. They will view the unlocking of the next layer of growth with subscription businesses. They will also have an opportunity to examine how to build content experiences for digital Indians. And, they will be exposed to the latest tools for the newsroom while gaining industry insights into content automation for new-age digital consumers with the role artificial intelligence plays for the digital age.

For practitioners seeking perspectives into consumers and advertiser subject matters, INMA is offering two half-day seminars the day after the study tours conclude. On 20 November, the morning seminar will focus on understanding the consumer ecosystem with two distinct sessions focusing on understanding the impact of socio-cultural patterns on news content consumption and mobile and video journalism driving a culture change. Presentations will be made by Twitter, Facebook, MullenLowe Lintas Group, NDTV 24×7, ABP, and HT Media.

The afternoon seminar will assess the evolving story for news media advertising and harnessing technology to its potential with discussions on native advertising and spearheading change via technology. Presentations will be made by Comscore, Quintype technologies, Adobe, Times of India, and Jagran Prakashan.

The two-day conference begins on the morning of 21 November and concludes on 22 November. Here, attendees will dive deep into the issues faced by the news media industry and hear about the innovative and tangible remedies put forward by industry influencers. They will witness the unraveling of prospective models that are increasing the effectiveness of the print industry. They will understand with clarity the path to digital content monetization and digital subscriptions. They will have the opportunity to explore closely newsroom transformation and integration and how best to harness technology and training and what is next.

Shailesh Prakash, chief information officer and vice president of Digital Product Development of the Washington Post, will address the audience on ‘News Media Today – The perfect storm or the perfect opportunity’. Andy Brown, chief executive officer and chairman, Kantar Media will talk about `What do brands want now’ and Earl J Wilkinson, executive director and chief executive officer, INMA will present `News Media Outlook 2019 – What’s over the horizon for publishers in South Asia.’

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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