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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Reinhardt

Register now for annual conference; early-bird discount in effect

Gateway to Success logo with rendering of st louis arch and skyline and June 20-22 dares

Many of us are intrigued by red-carpet walks at events like this month’s 96th Academy Awards. That moment in the spotlight and recognition for work well done are high points in many creatives’ lives.

As judges review our creative entries for the annual National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) communications contest, Missouri Professional Communicators (MPC), organizers of the annual NFPW conference in St. Louis “Gateway to Success,” are planning award ceremonies and other stimulating programs for our members.

The conference will begin with a welcome reception at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild on June 20. Enjoy heavy appetizers featuring some of St. Louis's iconic foods. Sample Missouri wines courtesy of sponsor Missouri Wine and Grape Board. St. Louis is a noted beer town, and sponsor Urban Chestnut brewery will bring a selection of special brews to enjoy. It will be a festive way to kick off the conference.

On June 21, keynote speakers Dr. Jody Sowell, president and CEO of the Missouri Historical Society, and Lynne M. Jackson, president and founder of the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation will discuss “history in the headlines.”

Other workshops at the conference, which will be at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac hotel, include:

  • Effective Storytelling through Photography, Chris Blackstone

  • Launching a Freelance Communications Business, Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

  • Getting the Most from Social Media, Adair Wilson Heitman 

  • The Vital Importance of Media Literacy, Jessica Z. Brown-Billhymer

  • Surviving nonprofit PR professionally and personally, Anne Shaw Heinrich

Panel topics will include trends in journalism, niche journalism, book publishing, and Artificial Intelligence: Partner or Pestilence? The President’s Roundtable discussion on June 22 will focus on community newspapers: successes and challenges.

Don’t forget about author’s alley; the silent auction; and pre- and post-conference tours of St. Louis, St. Charles, and Missouri’s wine country.

The June 18 tour will focus on St. Louis history and include stops at the Gateway Arch; the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum; Lafayette Square for lunch at SqWires Restaurant & Market; and a docent-led tour of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, which boasts a renowned collection of mosaic art.

On June 19, the city's cultural attractions are showcased with stops at the Saint Louis Zoo; the History Missouri History Museum, where we will see the new exhibit about the 1904 World's Fair; and the Missouri Botanical Garden. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in Forest Park provided by the Boathouse cafe.

The post-conference tour, June 23, heads to St. Charles, Missouri's first capital. We will visit the historic first capitol on Main Street, tour the Lewis and Clark Boathouse Museum, and have lunch at the Bike Stop Cafe on the scenic Katy Trail. Then it's off to Missouri Wine Country and a stop at Mount Pleasant Winery for a tour and wine tasting.

Register before May 20 to receive $100 off the conference fee. Visit the website for details. For those visiting outside St. Louis, the Frontenac Hilton has given NFPW an attractive rate of $145 per night. Make your reservations now. Enjoy more of what St. Louis offers by registering for pre- and post-conference tours. We’ll be visiting some of the city’s best attractions, and lunch is included in each tour. More information is on the website.  

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