2018 IRMA DENVER Conference Schedule

Friday 9/21

6:00 p.m. Welcome Reception and Dinner

Reconnect with your fellow IRMA Members and Sponsors for the Opening Reception of IRMACon2018. Errol Laborde kicks off the evening with the President’s welcome.   

Saturday 9/22

9:00 – 10:45 a.m.   |  GENERAL SESSION

Hits & Misses

A perennial favorite! IRMA members share their success – and horror – stories from the past year. NOTE: You must have submitted your Hit and Miss prior to the deadline to share your slides – but even if you missed the deadline, you can watch, learn and even heckle if you wish! Hosted by Matt Holliday, Pennsylvania Magazine

10:45 – 12 noon

Digital:  Quick Wins Within the Digital Space

Looking for ways to stretch your digital dollars further? Join Denver-based advertising executive Adam Vest as he presents quick wins within the digital space. Discover the advantages and disadvantages of online marketing and gain insight into some of the most important and basic aspects of SEO. This session will not only explore ways to get the best ROI for your digital spending, but also suggest ways to increase consumer engagement online.

Adam Vest is the president of My Denver Digital, a boutique advertising agency specializing in search engine optimization and content marketing. Vest graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with degrees in business and telecommunications. In 2010, he became one of Verizon Wireless’ youngest franchisees. A leader in the online advertising industry, Vest recently launched the Colorado events and lifestyle website www.denverdigital.com.


Noon – 1:00 p.m. |  LUNCH

Enjoy a delicious lunch and discussions with your peers at tables dedicated to Editorial/Design, Circulation, Business/Sales, and Free Association.


1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Changing the Discussion About the Future of Journalism

Experts discuss industry trends and how to combat people who insist print is dying. Moderating by Errol Laborde, Editor-in-Chief, Louisiana Life Magazine and IRMA President.


Fred Brown retired from The Denver Post in 2002 after having spent most of his career covering government and politics. He currently teaches communication ethics at the University of Denver and is active in the Society of Professional Journalists. He was SPJ national president (1997-98), chairman and current vice chairman of its ethics committee (1995-present), one of the authors of SPJ’s widely used code of ethics (1996 and 2014 versions), and editor of the fourth edition of the Society’s ethics handbook/textbook, published in March 2011. He serves or has served on several local and national boards of directors, including those for the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, Colorado Public Radio and its Community Advisory Board, and the Colorado Freedom of Information Council. He is a graduate of Colorado State University (B.A. 1961) and has a master’s degree (1963) from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Colorado State named him to its inaugural Journalism Hall of Fame in 2011. He also is an honor alumnus of CSU (1992), a Colorado Press Association Newspaperperson of the Year (2001), and a recipient of SPJ’s Wells Key in 2006.

Kip Wotkyns is a Professor of Journalism at MSU Denver. On May 4, 2018, he was promoted to the rank of full Professor, the highest academic level attainable in the profession. Prior to his encore career, he was a working journalist for 24 years. Previously, he worked for Time Inc. for 14 years. He was a reporter for FORTUNE magazine and a copy editor for TIME magazine. He was also the President of Leman Publications Inc., a magazine publishing company formerly owned by Rodale Press Inc. His undergraduate degree is from Stanford University, and his graduate degrees are from Columbia University.

3:00 – 5:00 p.m.  |  BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Fulfillment and Circulation:

Join the conversation about common problems, uncommon or common solutions, in-house versus outsourcing, recent results, and more!

Why Photography Matters to Your Magazine:  

Learn more about creative visual storytelling and how to improve the photography in your magazine.


From trade shows to cruises to cocktail parties: All things events and how you can make them better!


EVENING: IRMA Unplugged Dutch Dinners

Sunday 9/23

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.  |  GENERAL SESSION

Design in a Regional

Keynote: How to look at your magazine to make it more attractive, accessible and fun.
Dave McKenna has been the art director of 5280, Denver’s city magazine, since 2010. Before making the leap to the Mile High city, McKenna was the art director of National Geographic Adventure in NYC and part of the team that garnered a National Magazine Award nomination for General Excellence. McKenna’s work has also been recognized by the Society of Publication Designers (SPD), American Photo, American Illustration, the City & Regional Magazine Association (CRMA) and was a Folio 100 honoree in 2016. He lives in Denver with his wife and young son.


10:45 – Noon  |  BREAKOUT SESSIONS


Fun stories from the trenches and what they can teach us. Each person brings a story of making a surprising sale, why it worked, and what happened.

Editors: Writing, how it can bring us more readers by doing it right

Who’s doing long-form and how is it working? Or not working? What makes a “good magazine story” that readers will actually read and cause them to renew.

Open Space

Open Space Technology, also known as the “Un-meeting,” is a collective exercise used to tap into leadership and creativity. Open Space in this case is a way to convene IRMA members in a refreshing new way. It enables groups of any size to address the complex, important issues that drive our business today and achieve meaningful results quickly. Led by Dianne Davis of Tulnet.




Time on your own in Denver

Please refer to our Things to Do in Denver page. Staff will be onsite to help organize group outings.


IRMA Unplugged Dutch Dinners

Check out our sign up sheets for group dinners out on the town.

Monday 9/24

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.  |  GENERAL SESSION

TED Talks, IRMA-Style!

Four members will share enlightening and helpful TED-style talks followed by a Q&A each. Bring your ideas to the open mic time!


10:45 – Noon  |  GENERAL SESSION

Video Rocks! 

Join Benjamin Jones of Image Brew to learn how to make video a part of your successful world! It’s easier and more affordable than you think.

Benjamin Jones began his career in production while working for Straight Up Films, a film production, development, and finance company located in New York City. Ben fell in love with the magic of cinema while working on the sets of independent films alongside actors such as Alec Baldwin, Robin Williams, Toni Collette, and Jason Ritter.

Armed with an education in interactive art and design, Ben founded Image Brew in 2006 after sensing the future growth of online video. Inspired by the highest level of production he witnessed in New York, Ben was driven to offer a cinematic level of production to organizations around the globe.

His goal was to create a collaborative shop with like-minded individuals who wanted the same thing: a production environment that fosters creative freedom and risk-taking. This has become Image Brew’s founding roots.


Noon – 1:00 p.m.  |  GENERAL SESSION

Lunch and IRMA Business Meeting


1:00 – 2:15 p.m. |  BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Editors: Beyond the Page

How to engage your readers with contests, social media and events.

Publishers: Custom Publishing, Best Practices

Member-led discussion about best practices for custom publishing, working with clients and more.

Open Space

This session is for everyone at your magazine. Bring your issues to the group and learn how to solve them!

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.  |  BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Ancillary Products:

“Beyond T-shirts” selection, pricing, catalog, warehousing, fulfillment, and more!

Cover Designs That Work!

Learn how to improve your covers.

Reason to Buy the Magazine

This session is being developed. More to come soon!


3:30 to 5.45 p.m.  |  BREAK

Free Time


6:15 p.m.  |  GENERAL SESSION

Farewell Reception and Awards Dinner