Plans for 2020 Convention and Trade Show Canceled

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Adding to the growing list of events canceled by the coronavirus pandemic, Missouri Press Association regrets to announce that this year’s Annual Convention and Trade Show will not be held in the traditional sense.

MPA President Trevor Vernon said the decision to cancel the 154th Convention, which was scheduled for late September at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City, was based on the state’s rising number of coronavirus cases and feedback received from members.

“This decision is not one we came to easily, because this event has a significant amount of meaning for so many Missouri Press members,” Vernon said. “As president, I obviously wanted to hold my convention and host as many of my fellow newspaper people as possible, but we also have to consider the health and wellness of people who might attend.”

Earlier this month, Missouri Press staff distributed a survey to members asking for feedback on their plans to attend this year’s Convention. While many respondents indicated they wanted to attend the Convention, as many or more indicated they would not or were undecided about attending.

Several comments left by the survey respondents indicated health concerns for themselves and family members, specifically about being exposed to COVID-19. A few also said that ad revenues being down because or coronavirus pandemic would affect their decision to attend.

The overwhelming majority of respondents said they would like to see some form of online event to replace the Convention.

While no plans have been finalized, members can expect to see announcements about what the new form will be for events and the awards ceremonies as soon as decisions are made.

Keep watching future Missouri Press publications, including the weekly eBulletin, month Bulletin and Missouri Press News, for more information about how events related to the now-canceled Convention will take place.

Contest awards changes

Missouri Press staff is currently working on details for two special awards presentations. While similar to the slideshow normally shown at the Missouri Press Advertising Managers and Executives awards dinner and the Missouri Press Foundation Better Newspaper Contest luncheon, plans for this year include a few additions to further celebrate the hard work of Missouri’s newspapers.

For one of these additions, Missouri Press staff needs help from the newspapers who won awards in this year’s contests. Each newspaper who won awards in either contest is asked to submit a staff photo of the winners in each of the contests. These photos will be included in the awards presentation slideshow.

Staff photos can be submitted via email to Matthew Barba at or Kristie Fortier at If you do not receive a confirmation email from staff, please reach out to either to Barba or Fortier to confirm receipt.

Other details about the plans to recognize this year’s awards winners are still being worked out and will be announced as decisions are finalized.

Finally, because winners will not be able to pick up their awards at Convention, Missouri Press plans to ship them. There will also be an option for newspapers who want to pick up their awards from the MPA office in Columbia, with the cost of the shipping being donated to the Missouri Press Foundation.

You can also choose to forego having first place plaques made and the cost of those plaques will be donated to the Foundation in your newspaper’s name. If you would like to donate the cost of first place plaques, please let Barba or Fortier know as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about this year’s contests or the awards presentations, please contact Barba or Fortier at the email addresses listed above.


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