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MagHub Conference Recap: AAN 2018

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Written by Nick Pataro

Published: 08/22/2018

The MagHub team has returned from sunny San Diego, from their sponsorship at this year’s Association of Alternative Newsmedia Annual Conference; organized by MagHub client, Nashville Scene. Needless to say, it was hard to leave the beautiful ocean views, and terrific conference discussions. This year’s topics ranged from the rising awareness of the marijuana industry, to increasing traffic to your digital presence. Nick and Zach were able to share their experiences below in MagHub Conference Recap: AAN 2018.

Nick Pataro

Nick Pataro, MagHub Director of Sales Recap

With so many great speakers and topics at the AAN Conference in San Diego, it’s hard to choose a single favorite. With the audiences of many papers being open to the concept of medical or recreational use Marijuana, there were more than a handful of sessions dedicated to how an alt weekly can cover the topic tactfully, relevantly, and most important, legally. These speakers and panels were incredible, but one session stood out among the rest and it wasn’t related to the green stuff.

Matthew Brown, http://2018.aan.org/speakers/matthew-brown-2/, gave a talk on The State of SEO that provided both tangible action items and high-level strategic ways to publish effectively in 2018. Covering everything from how to structure an article for Google AMP, to using search engine suggestions to build meta tags; Matthew’s easy to approach demeanor encouraged excellent audience participation. An expert in his field, Matthew worked for the NY Times until 2010 when he launched his own consulting company entirely focused on launching SEO campaigns for media and technology companies.

Zach GilbertZach Gilbert, MagHub Director of Marketing Recap

Mirroring Nick’s sentiment of AAN’s 2018 conference, I’d have to agree that there was an abundance of topics being discussed at this year’s conference. The one that truly stuck out to me was “Covering Cannabis”, a panel consisting of Nicole Vulcan, Jacob Fries, Madison Margolin, Mary Carreon, and Michele Stueven. Each panelist provided articles, stories, and experiences they have come across while reporting on the marijuana / cannabis industry. From upscale restaurants using CBD as an ingredient, to the laws/regulations that are changing all around us; each and every topic was discussed in length. Listening to the stories of the writers was truly a remarkable experience, and being able to hear it first hand was icing on the cake.

It’s interesting to see how fast the marijuana and cannabis industry is evolving, as more and more individuals/entities are becoming involved. Nick and I have had an increased awareness of this industry as one of our newest clients, DOPE Magazine has been involved in the industry since 2011, starting as a handout at HEMPFEST in Seattle, WA. It’s an exciting time to be following the industry, and the changes it’s making across the country.

If you’re interested in learning more about the various topics discussed at AAN, you can view the presentations here. If we weren’t able to catch you at AAN this year, we’d love to connect, click here to request more information. The last highlight Nick and I can both agree on is the San Diego Zoo was amazing! Being able to take the tour bus around the entire perimeter definitely allowed for Nick and I to experience a large portion of the attractions in a shorter period of time. Plus, seeing a real-life Juggsy didn’t hurt either! The next MagHub event will be the MagHub Fall Forum, hosted in Ann Arbor, Michigan for current MagHub clients!

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