The Keene Sentinel, one of the organizing partners of Radically Rural, was featured in Editor&Publisher’s 2020 list of “10 News Publishers That Do It Right” by Nu Yang and Evelyn Mateos.
Read the Keene Sentinel’s feature below:
The full article can be found here.
Since 2018, the Keene Sentinel, along with the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, has produced Radically Rural, a two-day summit that features expert speeches, a networking event, local food and beverages, and live music.
The summit takes place in downtown Keene, with the kick-off, keynote and closing speeches at The Colonial Theatre, a historical venue which seats 900. More than 600 people from 26 states attended all parts of Radically Rural in 2019, a significant increase from the first year.
Radically Rural was born out of CONNECT, originally a Hannah Grimes networking event.
“Because (the events) were so well attended, and because there was such a great conversation in and around the subjects, we (started) thinking about doing something that was bigger than that, where we could develop a variety of tracks,” Sentinel president and chief operating officer Terrence Williams told E&P.
According to Williams, all sponsorships, ticket sales and ad revenue are split evenly with Hannah Grimes. In 2019, the Sentinel sold tickets for CONNECT for $49, while the full summit experience was sold for $149. The newspaper also offered discounts for early bird signups and allowed journalism students, and faculty from Franklin Pierce, the University of New Hampshire and Keene State College could attend at no charge.
The summit includes three featured speakers and six program tracks focused on arts and culture, entrepreneurship, journalism, land and community, Main Street, and renewable energy (new to 2019). Each track has three sessions and lasts about two hours. In 2019, the six tracks brought in 52 expert speakers.
The first day includes a keynote speaker and two track sessions. At the end of the first day, attendees gather at CONNECT to mingle. It is also here that the Sentinel will hand out several awards including Entrepreneur of the Year and the winner of the entrepreneurship track’s live pitch event, which awards the winner $10,000 for their business or start-up. The second day of the summit includes the third session of tracks. At the closing speech, attendees meet for a lunch.
With the nearest airport located two hours away, Williams said if people want to attend the summit they have to be committed. However, if the job is done right and the summit provides unique programming and reasonable prices, people will come.
“We can’t be one of those things where we only marginally produce something, it has to be contemporary, it has to be seen as—if not cutting edge—then at least on the leading edge of the issues that are affecting each of the tracks,” he said.
The next Radically Rural will take place September 23 to 24, 2020.—EM