2021 IRMA Virtual Conference Schedule (all times listed are Eastern Standard Time)

Wednesday 10/6 (all times listed are EST)

Welcome Reception 11 am

Reconnect with your fellow IRMA Members and Sponsors for the Opening Reception of IRMACon2021. Mark Mahorsky, Creative Director, Texas Highways kicks off the day with the President’s welcome. Andrea Lin, Publisher, Texas Highways, and  your conference planning Chair, will let us know what to expect for the day.

Speed Networking 11.15-12.00

This fast-paced session is designed to acquaint (and reacquaint) attendees. See who’s here, who’s new, and who to connect with after the conference.

Open Space General Session 12.00-12.45

Join in on the fun in this Freestyle General Session – polls, polls, polls – what’s on your mind?

Lunch Break 12.45-2.00

Concurrent Roundtables 2.00-3.00 (All Roundtables will be recorded for IRMATube)

Roundtable #1: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Back by popular demand, we’ll discuss each other’s efforts to diversify freelance talent pools, how readers are responding to evolving content, updated internal policies and procedures, etc. Hosted by Lois Rodriguez of Texas Highways.

Lois Rodriguez is Texas Highways magazine’s Strategic Partnership Manager, serving as a liaison between Texas’ tourism industry and the Division’s programs, which includes the Texas Travel Information Centers. She also serves as a diversity, equity and inclusion lead working to ensure the publications and division better serves and more accurately reflect the makeup of readers.

Rodriguez previously served as Web Editor and Social Media Manager for Texas Highways, as well as editor of assorted division publications such as Texas State Travel Guide. Before TxDOT, Rodriguez had an extensive career in Houston area newspapers and city-based online entertainment guides for Microsoft and Citysearch.

Additionally, Rodriguez is a Commissioner for the City of Austin’s Tourism Commission, helps communities improve their tourism economy as part of the Office of the Governor’s Tourism Assessment Team, and is an award-winning baker who has been guest chef at the Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest for the past 12 years.


Roundtable #2: Editorial General Discussion: Let’s discuss our current efforts, successes, and frustrations with managing content, producing content across platforms, and other top-of-mind issues.

Roundtable #3: Ad Sales: Selling advertising has not been ‘business as usual’ in publishing. What tactics or packages have been the most successful over the past year?

Break 3.00-3.15

Concurrent Roundtables 3.15-4.00

Roundtable #1: Publishing Hot Topics: Paper shortages, supply chain issues, remote working – let’s talk about how external factors are impacting our operations.

Roundtable #2: Balancing Reader Wants vs. Authentic Coverage: Many publications feel they must do a better job of covering hard truths, from racism to climate change. Sometimes we hear from readers about not wanting pieces on these topics — they might say they’d prefer pretty pictures and tips on where to hike, but how can we continue to authentically cover our region without talking about some of these ‘hard truths’?

Roundtable #3: Audience Development/ Circulation General Discussion: What’s working (or not) for your publication to increase print subscribers, web users, etc.?

41st Annual Awards Presentation 4.00-5.30

Your Executive Director Tara Flint presents the 2021 IRMA Award Winners!

Virtual Happy Hour 5.30-7.00

We hope to see you May 13 -17 at IRMACon2022 in Ottawa, Canada!