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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > The Winning Hand: The convention of the year draws near

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SPJ Leads | 8/25/2010
The Winning Hand: The convention of the year draws near

By Andrew M. Scott
SPJ Communications Department

MEET THIS DEADLINE. The 2010 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference is just over a month away! Save $50 by registering by Sept. 8. Don't miss the three days of top-notch educational programs, the excitement of Las Vegas and the networking opportunities the Convention offers. At what promises to be the journalism-industry event of the year, the professional development skills you learn in Vegas WON'T stay in Vegas!

The Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino is the official Convention hotel. Stay there to be close to all the excitement. Make your hotel reservations through SPJ so you will know the guests next door. Click HERE to reserve now!

We also want to say thank you to all of the sponsors for their support of this year's Convention. The 2010 sponsors include: Google, Demand Studios, Geico, Eli Lilly, The Las Vegas Review-Journal, Scripps Howard Foundation, Gannett Foundation, Broadcast Education Association, McCormick Tribune Foundation, National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

IT'S ALL ON TWITTER. Discuss the Convention ahead of time. Find out who's coming to Las Vegas. Search for a roommate. Get ready for the big Convention tweetup.

Do it all by keeping up on Twitter using the #SPJ10 hashtag.

EXPERIENCE JOURNALISM EXPO. At the SPJ Convention, visit face-to-face with recruiters and exhibitors from AOL's, Gannett, Geico and more at the Journalism Expo. The Expo will be open for all Convention attendees.

Designed to provide you with resources, ideas and information for your career, the Journalism Expo is your one-stop shop for personal and professional development.

— Visit CQ Press and learn more about the growing list of titles and online modules geared to training today's journalists for tomorrow's world. Authors and partners include: The New York Times, the Poynter Institute, Mark Briggs, Ryan Thornburg, David Cuillier, Charles Davis, Merv Block, Al Tompkins and more.

— gives freelancers the tools and information they need to build profitable small businesses. Stop by the booth for a mini-coaching session on marketing yourself like a pro, negotiating better pay, and building strong relationships with clients so that you attract (instead of chase) assignments.

— The BookMart offers the opportunity to pre-order your copy of the SPJ's 4th edition ethics book. Several speakers will hold book signings.

LET THE BIDDING BEGIN. Items from across the country are rolling in for the Legal Defense Fund Auction. The live and silent auction will be held during the Opening Night Reception on Sunday.

Here is a sneak peek at some of the incredible items that have already arrived at SPJ Headquarters.

— Kentucky Bourbon Basket
The basket includes three bottles of premium Kentucky straight bourbon as well as Kentucky-made sauces and snack items.

— "Outrage Passion & Uncommon Sense"
A signed copy of Michael Gartner and the Newseum's "Outrage Passion & Uncommon Sense." Published by the National Geographic Society, this chronicles how editorial writers have taken on the great American issues of the past 150 years.

— Watergate Signed Director's Chair
Signed at the 2007 SPJ Convention, this director's chair back is signed by the late Dan Schorr, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Ben Bradlee and the other three journalists who exposed the Watergate scandal.

STILL TIME TO DONATE. With only one week left until the donation deadline, we hope you will consider making a contribution to the Legal Defense Fund Auction. As a legal and mental support system for journalists who find themselves in trouble while defending press freedoms, we want to keep you covered!

No donation is too large or too small. We ask that you send your items in by Sept. 1 to SPJ Headquarters. Donations should be mailed to:

SPJ Legal Defense Fund Auction
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208

Please contact Awards Coordinator Lauren Rochester with any questions at 317-927-8000 ext. 210. Your individual contribution to the Legal Defense Fund will make a huge difference in the lives of journalists across the nation.

TRAINING DAY. Start Monday morning, Oct. 4, with a Half-Day Training Workshop. Space is limited, so be sure to pre-register for these great opportunities! Here is a sampling:

— Show Me the Money: How to Get More Lucrative Freelance Assignments: Despite the industry trends and global recession, some independent journalists are having their best years ever. How do they do it? Trainer: Maya Payne Smart,

— The Entire Conversation: Using Social Media Tools to Reach Content-hungry Audiences: Connect better with your audience and ensure that your work reaches more people than ever before. Trainer: Jeff Cutler, trainer, SPJ Newsroom Training Program

— Basic Web Video: Get the leading edge with hands-on opportunities to learn the basics of video storytelling and how to shoot a solid video story to post on your Web site. Trainer: Deb Wenger, trainer, SPJ Newsroom Training Program

YOUR OWN PRO SHOP. Choose from over 40 professional development programs. There's something for everyone, whether you love to tweet and want to stay up with new media, want to learn how to make sense of all the new Census data or if you need to revitalize your writing, you will find it all in these programs.

EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY. At Convention, meals and receptions are not only times to enjoy good food and company, they are also opportunities to applaud fellow journalists. Consider purchasing tickets to the following:

Before the Convention even begins, join us Saturday, Oct 2 for the Sigma Delta Chi Awards Banquet, where we'll recognize the best in journalism from 2009.

On Sunday, join hundreds of journalists for drinks, cuisine and conversation at the London Club at Planet Hollywood for the Opening Night Reception.

Award-winning students will be honored Monday at the Mark of Excellence Awards Luncheon for their outstanding dedication and contributions to journalism.

The President's Installation Banquet on Tuesday closes the Convention with a dinner that bids farewell to one SPJ president as a new president begins. The most prestigious honors bestowed by the Society will also be presented to journalists and chapters for journalistic and SPJ-specific excellence.

MORE FUN AND GAMES. Even though there will be countless events happening in Las Vegas, there are several other great activities journalists can do when they are out and about:

The Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Las Vegas Sun have both graciously offered to open their doors to SPJ Convention-goers for a tour of their facilities. The Review-Journal's tour takes place Monday morning, and the trip to the Sun will be Tuesday.

Planners are still working to line up a tour of one or more Vegas TV stations. If anyone has connections in this area, please e-mail Associate Executive Director Chris Vachon.

FEARLESS LEADERS. The strength of SPJ comes from the men and women who volunteer their time as leaders and who support and educate our members. Business meetings, committee meetings and a session for chapter leaders will take place.

On Sunday, the Opening Business Session begins at 3:15 p.m. and Regional Meetings will take place from 4:30-5:15 p.m. The Closing Business Session is Tuesday at 4:45 p.m. To see the list of Committee Meetings, click here.

A program specifically for all chapter leaders will be Sunday, 1-3 p.m.

10 THINGS TO DO IN VEGAS. As the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas has enough excitement to keep you going day after day. Here are some of our best picks of what all there is to see in Vegas. And most of them are FREE!

— Bellagio Fountains Water Show
Experience the most ambitious, commanding water feature ever conceived! Bellagio's world-famous fountains will speak to your heart with opera, classical and whimsical music while flirting with your playful nature through their carefully choreographed movements.

— Bellagio Botanical Gardens
Just beyond Bellagio's gracious lobby is the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, a kaleidoscope for your senses. You'll want to take a moment to appreciate the intricate detail blooming before your very eyes. Lobby open 24 hours.

— Fremont Street Experience Light Show
The Fremont Street Experience is an exciting pedestrian promenade located in the neon center of downtown Las Vegas. This beautifully landscaped area features a misting system, retail carts, free mall entertainment, and one-of-a-kind light and sound shows. Five city blocks are covered with a canopy of over 2 million lights enhanced by 550,000 watts of sound and special effects.

— The Sirens Of TI
The Sirens of TI begins with a 17th century clash between a group of beautiful, tempting sirens and a band of renegade pirates. With their mesmerizing and powerful song the Sirens lure the pirates to their cove, stir up a tempest strong enough to sink a ship, and transform Sirens' Cove into a 21st century party. Experience music, dance, excitement and seduction with free nightly performances.

— Mirage Volcano Eruption
Every fifteen minutes from 7 p.m. to midnight, the earth shakes and flames shoot into the night sky spewing smoke and fire 100 feet above the waters below, transforming a tranquil waterfall into spectacular streams of molten lava.

— Don Pablo Cigar Factory Tour
Watch as expert Cuban cigar makers craft fine Don Pablo cigars at the Don Pablo Cigar Factory. Free factory tours are offered from 9 a.m. — 8 p.m. Mondays — Saturdays, and 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. Sundays.

— M & M's World Las Vegas
The four-story M & M's World attraction, located in Showcase Mall on Las Vegas Boulevard next to the MGM Grand, is open for tasty tours seven days a week. Learn everything you could possibly ever want to know about this candy classic at the M & M's academy, watch a 3-D movie starring M & M's and shop in their gift shop where everything you could ever want an M & M's logo on is for sale, including a mix & match station where you can serve yourself up a bagful of M & M's in every color under the sun.

— Hard Rock Cafe Rock Memorabilia
The Hard Rock Cafe, which opened in 1990, features a 45-foot neon Gibson Les Paul guitar at the entrance. Inside you'll find vintage memorabilia including an entire Elvis wall, Madonna's jacket, a feathered Elton John outfit and Marilyn Manson's guitar.

— Mystere at Treasure Island
Experience the unknown and excitement of Cirque Du Soleil's "Mystere" as it impresses, fascinates and intrigues the mind.

COMING SOON. We're going mobile with the SPJ Convention App for the smart phone. The app will help you know who is speaking where and when while you're on the go. Look to future Leads for the official release.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. In 1808, the first Spanish-language paper was published in New Orleans. The publication opposed Napoleon's conquest of Spain, was just four pages long and reported on news from the homeland. Printed in English and Spanish, it lasted two years. What was the name of the publication?

A. The name of the Publication was El Misisipν

And the winner is...

Clare Haefner, of the Killeen Daily Herald. She even knew that the publication was a semiweekly. Congrats, Clare! We're sure you've won something spiffy.

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. This SPJ Leads shows that you can't afford to miss this year's convention in Las Vegas. And Vegas is a "hot" spot for many of Hollywood's favorite movies; "National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation," "What Happens in Vegas," "The Hangover," and the "Ocean's" movie franchise. But here's a questions for you: In "Viva Las Vegas" starring Elvis Presley, what was the King of Rock and Roll's occupation?

Submit answers to Andrew M. Scott

SPJ Leads
– You want more journalism news? Here. Here’s your news.
– From resignations to job openings – read all about it
– Early bird gets the free press

Press Notes
– Breast Cancer Awareness: Learning From Jackie Collins' Death
– Blog: CPJ joins call to oppose draft surveillance law in France
– Baboon raid temporarily forced Zimbabwe radio station off air

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The EIJ News
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