A record 4,000 flock to Miami conference

Dozens of people meet at the CBS booth while attending the career fair held during the NABJ annual conference, August 7, 2019 in Aventura, Florida. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE/NABJ MONITOR

Cierra Ivey
NABJ Monitor

NABJ’s membership flocked to Florida, breaking records at this convention in Miami.

More than 4,000 journalists have registered for the convention, exceeding the record for Atlanta conference attendees in 2005. 

“It shows the level of interest and the value that people are placing on NABJ for training, getting jobs, getting story ideas and getting technical skills,” said Drew Berry, NABJ’s executive director. 

Berry, who released numbers during Tuesday’s NABJ business meeting, said, 3,521 individuals had registered for the conference as of Sunday, but the number has increased since then. By Thursday afternoon, NABJ officials said 4,008 individuals had registered for the convention.

“We’re alive and thriving,” Berry said. “Membership is growing. The attendance is growing. The partners and partner participation is growing.”

Minor computer glitches and a rainy week could have slowed the numbers, but members flocked to the convention to gain mentorship, employment and fellowship.

“This year is 80 percent work, work, work and get connected,” said Re’Chelle Turner. “The other 20 percent is play, because it is Miami.”

Turner, a reporter for KARK-TV in Little Rock, Arkansas, hopes to learn more and move her career forward.

“This year, I came to connect with mentors, connect with people, go to awesome workshops, and also get some feedback on my reel so I can try to move up to the next level,” Turner said. 

The largest conference comes with an issue of people congesting popular areas on the resort such as the on-site restaurant, Starbucks and the bar area. On the first day of the convention, registration hit a glitch. 

The scanning machines broke down, making participants unable to register for the conference or to get their badges. 

“It was an IP address conflict,” said Lawrence Givens, an on-site technician for eShow. “It basically caused static on the lines.”

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