The deadline cometh: Catch the procrastinator's special on LION Summit tickets!

Tuesday night was supposed to be the last chance to sign up for the 2015 LION Summit at regular registration

September 16, 2015 by Dylan Smith


Tuesday night was supposed to be the last chance to sign up for the 2015 LION Summit at regular registration rates.

Wednesday, late registration was scheduled to kick in.

The savvy reporter in you has noticed the use of the past tense.

That's right: because those of us on the LION Board of Directors are journalists just like you, and because we understand that even though reporters are are motivated by deadlines, sometimes they blow right past them, we're extending regular registration rates through the end of the work week.

tl:dr Don't despair: you've got until Friday to save a few bucks

We're on track to have our biggest and best-ever gathering of local indie publishers, and we want as many LIONs as possible to be able to take part. Our attendee list is nearing 80 people, but we still have room for more voices in the conversation next month in downtown Chicago, Oct. 1-3.

The nut graf: We're holding ticket prices at just $110 for Publisher Members and $135 for staffers through Friday night. After that, late registration rates will kick in, and prices will go up $25. You'd be nuts to wait any longer.

Register now, before you get distracted by another great breaking news tip:

Even at the full non-member rate of $265, the 2015 LION Summit is a great deal: a weekend of networking with dozens of indie publishers, informative sessions led by members and industry experts, plenty to eat and drink (we're springing for breakfast and lunch, and hosting receptions Thursday and Friday nights), and the opportunity to share your own hard-won expertise with colleagues who will value it. And LION members get more than half off that rate!

Check the conference schedule to a full list, but here are some highlights of what we've got planned:

* Michele McLellan, the founder of the Block by Block conferences, whose "Michele's List" has been a pioneering inventory of independent local news and who recently authored a major Tow-Knight Center study on best practices in online local advertising sales.

* Jake Batsell, journalism professor at Southern Methodist University and a Knight fellow at the Texas Tribune who recently authored a book about community engagement at news organizations, "Engaged Journalism."

* Sales consultant Eleanor Cippel, of Coats2Coats and formerly a regional VP of advertising for Digital First Media, will run down how to close underwriting deals and get a check in your hand.

* Steve Waldman, lead author of FCC report "The Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape in a Broadband Age," advisor to the FCC and Pew Research Center, founder of LifePosts, (2012) and (1998).

* John Bracken, director of media innovation for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

* Members like Joe Hyde, Kelly Gilfillan, Brian Wheeler, Jay Allred and more will share insights into their operations.

* Jan Schaffer of J-Lab, part of American University's School of Communication, will speak about legal issues facing online news sites.

* Teresa Schmedding, deputy managing editor for operations for the Daily Herald and president of the American Copy Editors Society, will run down tools and techniques for verifying social media posts during breaking news.

* Samantha McCann will detail the ideas behind Solutions Journalism, and Jesse Holcomb of the Pew Research Center will give an overview of the state of local online news.

* Former LION members David Boraks of Davidson News and Mike Fourcher of Center Square Journal will review why they shut down their sites, while Ned Berke of Sheepshead Bites will take a look at a different way to exit the business.

* You. Fulfilling LION's mission of facilitating the exchange of best practices in local online news, many sessions will center on members trading tips and in-depth explanations of what's working (and what's not).

So, beat that deadline: Friday night. And we'll see you in Chicago in just two weeks!

Sign up for the weekly newsletter

Join the LION mailing list to get our weekly roundup of opportunities and resources for news entrepreneurs. View our most recent issues.