The President's Message: October 2013
Whether you blame it on the Internet, craigslist, a fragmented media market or a variety of other reasons, decreased classified revenue is altering the operations and future of the Community Papers of Florida (CPF) and other free paper associations.

One of the changes the board of directors has approved is moving the annual CPF conference from May to September of 2014. After looking at many possible sites to conduct the conference with lower costs, the month of September proved to be the most cost efficient time to hold a conference in Florida. It also allows for CPF to alleviate scheduling conflicts with the national organization (AFCP), which some of our members also attend.

This will end a tradition that has become famous in the free paper industry, the Kentucky Derby reception. For years members and guests have enjoyed the "Run for the Roses." No one knows when this tradition started but we do know it has taken place for over 25 years. The CPF staff has provided some photo memories of this tradition elsewhere in this newsletter. Such fun!!

One of the key benefits of moving the conference to September is a presentation for board approval that will allow the association to continue paying for the room and all other costs for members who attend the conference. The allocation of rooms will be limited to members who participate in network classified sales. CPF will only pay for 60 rooms. Details for the allocation of rooms will soon be determined and communicated.

There is more good news!! By moving to a fall schedule, we will be joined for the 2014 conference by the Independent Free Papers of America (IFPA) and the Southeastern Advertising Publishers Association (SAPA), making our 2014 conference more dynamic and hopefully, more profitable for our members.

At the recent IFPA / SAPA conference I attended in Washington, the joint conference was announced on the closing day. There was plenty of orange juice and whatever went with it to celebrate the announcement. Reception by both IFPA and SAPA members was overwhelmingly positive! More details to follow.

Sharing the costs of the 2014 conference will allow us to upgrade the training programs and bring in some industry speakers.

The site of the conference will once again be the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, September 18-20. (Save The Date!) The 2013 CPF conference was held at the Caribe and if you attended, I am sure you will agree it was a first class facility.

We still have numerous details to work out for the 2014 conference. A committee consisting of members of each association will have many phone conferences and we will keep you updated on the plans. I am excited about this conference and looking forward to another top session that will provide training, ideas, entertainment and networking with the many free paper industry peers who will join us in Orlando.

Suggestions and ideas for the conference are appreciated. Reach out to Dave or myself.

In October the board of directors will have their annual planning session and board meeting. We will be taking a look at the 2014 budget and what benefits we can continue to provide. We remain committed to supporting the success and growth of our members and to the continuing success of this association.

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