Content in Context Conference Addresses Evolving Educational Publishing Industry
At the recent Content in Context Conference, held in Washington, D.C. by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP), "transition" was the buzzword being bandied about. With an agenda geared toward helping educate attendees on how best to evolve their print-focused businesses into multimedia, multiplatform content providers, this year's conference had an air of change to it.
Charlene Gaynor, CEO of the AEP, shared her thoughts with Book Business Extra on what she thought were the major takeaways from last week's conference, as well as where she sees the future of educational publishing heading.
Book Business Extra: What were the major themes of this year's conference?
Charlene Gaynor: The subtitle of the Content in Context Conference was "education beyond the book." I think that phrase articulates the overall conference theme very well. AEP is an organization of content experts, so the conference addressed the nitty-gritty of moving from traditional print to multimedia, multiplatform content delivery. Sessions explored the impact of the digital transformation on the classroom, the board room and the global marketplace. Developing content for the interactive whiteboard [a large, interactive display that connects to a computer and a projector, often used in classrooms] and the resulting teacher training needs was a particularly "hot" topic.
Extra: How did this year's conference compare to previous years in terms of attendance?
Gaynor: Registration was slow until the last 30 days, then picked up to an unprecedented pace in the last 72 hours. We ended up with the largest attendance we've ever had—close to 500 overall. Anyone out there who does a conference can tell you that this is a crazy way to run an event.
Extra: What were some highlights of this year's conference in terms of content?
Gaynor: In rebranding the annual AEP Publishing Summit as Content in Context, we took a calculated risk and it paid off. Our goal is to clearly define AEP as the content organization. Going forward, we intend to keep the conference focus on Content in Context and adjust the sessions and speakers to reflect current issues.