IRMACON2022 Agenda

IRMACON2022 will be held at the stunning Andaz Hotel…right in the heart downtown Ottawa next to Byward Market. Byward Market, a coveted urban location in the Nation’s Capital, steps away from the historic Parliament Buildings and the National Gallery of Canada, home to Ottawa’s tallest rooftop lounge.

  • Emphasis on member connection (reconnection!) to reengage current and new members, strengthen relationships that we can count on year-round
  • Intensive workshopping and dedicated roundtables in smaller groups around specific, urgent topics brought by our members. Focus on troubleshooting and creating actionable ideas to return home with for every member.
  • More time spent on perennial conference favorites, such as ‘Hits & Misses’

Friday 5/13

Welcome Reception and Dinner

Reconnect with your fellow IRMA Members and Sponsors for the Opening Reception of IRMACon2022. The Publisher of Ottawa Magazine, Duncan Clark, will be joining and sharing a few recommendations on how to enjoy our time in this beautiful city!

Saturday 5/14


General Session: Meet & Greet Activity

A fun, dynamic group session designed to introduce and reconnect members.

General Session: Hits & Misses

A perennial IRMACON favorite! A representative of each member magazine presents specific examples, big or small, on any topic, to show what has gone well in the past year–and what hasn’t. You’ll learn a lot and take away some great ideas. Take good notes and plan to follow-up after the session.


Early Afternoon Concurrent Session: The Craft of Covers

The cover is arguably the trickiest page in the magazine to produce, with several viewpoints all at play. This session will bring together representatives from key pillars of any publishing business: an editor, a designer, and a circulation marketing specialist. What are their perspectives on what makes a great cover? How can the covers we make respond to market trends with newsstands and subscribers? What’s working now, and what should we stop doing when it comes to covers?

Discussion lead by Brian Kevin, Down East, Kathe Lemon, Avenue, Mark Mahorsky, Texas Highways, and Travis Lunau, Cottage Life.

Early Afternoon Concurrent Session: The Craft of Media Kits for publishing salespeople, the media kit is the calling card, often the first point of contact between your brand and the client you are appealing to. It’s an important piece of marketing. So, how do you decide what to include in your media kit, and why? What can you leave out? How do you determine rates for your publication and where is their room for negotiation? Has anyone moved to a ‘total brand’ spend model? Please come to this session with a copy of your media kit and be prepared to compare with other members.

Discussion lead by Kelly Mero, Arizona Highways.

Late Afternoon Concurrent Session: Editorial Packaging Done Right

The best editorial packages expertly organize information and make complex topics accessible, while entertaining and inspiring readers. This session will highlight techniques for successful editorial packaging, from mainbars to sidebars and everything in between. We’ll also workshop a specific story idea, building a stand-out package, page by page.

Discussion lead by Michelle Kelly, Cottage Life.

Late Afternoon Concurrent Session: Audience Development Roundtable

Roundtable discussion of what members are doing to find new audiences and/or nurture current ones. How has the pandemic changed your circulation programs and strategies? Are you using new technologies in direct mail/marketing? What does your customer journey look like?

Discussion lead by Sabrina Ballesteros, Texas Highways.

Focused Happy Hour: Government Magazines Huddle

Publications operating within government entities have their own unique challenges, and this is the place and time to commiserate!

Unplugged Dinners

Get to know the city and continue networking with these member-hosted “Dutch” dinners. Watch for the sign up email and onsite at Registration to snag a spot to join a small group at a recommended eatery.

Sunday 5/15


General Session: Why Metrics Matter: Demystifying Analytics for Engagement and Revenue

Amid a firehose of data, what key performance indicators should a small media organization pay attention to? IRMA welcomes Abby Gingras, Director of Consulting Services at News Revenue Hub, who works with newsrooms to strengthen business models and audience loyalty, explains which social, web, newsletter, and other metrics she asks her organization’s partner publications to focus on — and why.

Lead by Abby Gingras, Director of Consulting Services, News Revenue Hub

Concurrent Session: Story Hour! Ideas that Work in Any Region

Join your creative colleagues to explore story ideas that could work for any regional publication. Come prepared with an article idea for your magazine—or one you’ve seen in another pub—that takes us beyond the “Best Of.”

Discussion lead by Annie Stoltie, Adirondack Life.

Concurrent Session: Revenue Roundtable

Roundtable discussion of revenue successes and challenges. There are many different ways to bring in revenue for publications, but it’s clear that no single stream is sufficient. The trick is to create a portfolio of complementary streams that, working together, can increase revenue and readership.

  • What is your current portfolio of revenue streams and what’s your balance of print vs. digital revenue?
  • Have you found an audience that is willing to pay for your content digitally? AKA hard, soft, or metered paywalls or other methods?
  • Do you have or are you looking into alternative digital streams – affiliate marketing, ecommerce, membership models?
  • What do your advertisers want, and are you able to deliver?

Discussion lead by Andrea Lin, Texas Highways.



One of the fun aspects of any IRMACON is exploring our destination with your fellow IRM’ites. This year our Sunday Afternoon Excursions do not disappoint! Explore Ottawa’s spectacular Ottawa River views, visit the beautiful Parliament Hill, stroll along the Rideau Canal, partake in the food and fun of Byward Market OR enjoy famous museums, including the National Gallery, the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Ottawa Art Gallery.

Sign up for your excursion here:

If the activity you selected requires tickets please make sure you purchase tickets in advance. The website to purchase tickets for each excursion is included on the link above. Signing up for the activities is simply so that we know who is going where.

No matter what Sunday activity you choose, one thing is promised…you get to spend relaxing afternoon with all of your favorite IRMA’ites!

Special Happy Hour: the Next Decade of IRMA

Want to be more involved in the organization? Have thoughts about the next conference? Let’s gather and discuss what the future of IRMA looks like!

Open Night for Free Time

Get to know more about Ottawa. Grab a friend for dinner. Head out with a group of your IRMA BFF’s! Stay in and rest after the big day in Ottawa. Tonight’s your night to do as you wish after a fun day of learning and excursions!


IRMA Unplugged Dutch Dinners

Member hosted Dutch dinners. Continue networking and get to know the city. Join a small group at a recommended eatery.

Monday 5/16

General Sessions

The Best Advice You’ve Ever Received

A round-robin of insight and motivation. Come prepared to share the one piece of advice that’s made the most impact on your professional life and to say a little about the specific ways you’ve put it into practice. We’ll collect each contribution and share a document of the room’s second-hand wisdom.

Discussion lead by Todd Goodyear, Downhome.

The “New Normal”: Staffing, Workflow, and Best Practices

These are strange days for work culture, especially for creative teams that thrive on collaboration. As much of the world shifts to a hybrid or remote office set-up, publishing companies need to adjust their practices. How can we do that while still maintaining efficient and effective workflows? How do we keep a thriving workplace culture when there is no physical workplace? What tools can help? This session will kick off with a case study from RedPoint Media—which has stuck with a work-from-home model, which has increased employee satisfaction—followed by a roundtable discussion to help you sort out your challenges while offering you concrete tips on how to move forward with certainty in these uncertain times.

Discussion lead by Kathe Lemon, Avenue.


What Freelancers Want: What your Contributors Wish you Knew About Being a Great Partner

What characterizes the best relationships between contributors and the mags that hire them? What communication styles and other practices help freelancers do their best work? This panel discussion is a chance for IRMites to ask three veteran writers candidly about their preferences and pet peeves, what publications can do to keep them loyal, how mags can best recruit new talent, and more.

Discussion lead by Robert Stieve, Arizona Highways.

More Than Just Publishing: How to Pivot Off the Page (and Why You Must!)

Is your publication leaving revenue on the table? An IRMA vet, Kathleen Capetta, currently a Partner at Katahdin Media Management, talks diversified streams: e-commerce, trips, events, custom-publishing, and other reader-revenue channels where she helps a suite of international media companies focus their efforts.

Lead by Kathleen Capetta, Katahdin Media Management


42ND Annual IRMA Awards Dinner and IRMACON2022 Finale!