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Key Takeaways from the National Magazine Awards: 2023

Sparx recently attended the NMA:B2B Awards Luncheon, an event in Toronto to celebrate the best of the best of the best in Canadian B2B magazine publishing. Read on to learn more about the event, what we got out of it, and our key takeaways.

/ 2 mins / SparxTeam

At Sparx, we pride ourselves on being masters of our craft. That’s why in 2021, we launched our own purpose-driven magazine, Make The World Better Magazine, a publication that shares incredible stories of individuals and organizations who are driving positive impact.

Of course, part of mastering a craft is looking for inspiration and learning ways to make your work even better.

In June 2023, we had the pleasure of attending the 5th annual National Magazine Awards: B2B Luncheon, hosted by the National Media Awards Foundation (NMAF), a charity dedicated to promoting excellence in journalism and visual creation in Canada. 

Connecting With Canada’s Premier B2B Magazine Publishers

Sparx was thrilled to be one of roughly 100 attendees, all of whom directly work in the magazine/publishing industry, to celebrate the best of the best in Canadian B2B magazine publishing and mingle with nominated writers, editors, and contributors. 

In a beautiful room overlooking Toronto’s vibrant downtown district, including Toronto City Hall and the Eaton Centre, the event ran seamlessly with winner announcements and breaks for food, including a delicious multi-course lunch, and plenty of time for networking. 

Learning and Sharing Our Purpose-Driven Vision 

While this event was awards-based, that didn’t stop us from absorbing as much as we could from our various conversations with professionals in the space. 

We learned more about the current state of the Canadian B2B magazine industry, various distribution channels for magazines, target audiences of different B2B magazines, and monetization paths — all useful information to apply to our Make The World Better Magazine as well as the other magazines that we publish on behalf of our clients. 

We were thrilled to spread awareness about our magazine portfolio and share copies with interested individuals. As representatives of the only purpose-driven magazine at the event, Make The World Better Magazine stood out from the crowd of publications for lawyers, university alumni, and other B2B-focused groups.

Even though we weren’t nominated (yet!), we found the value in seeing the best practices and celebrating outstanding publications.

Inspiring Quality Storytelling 

The room was filled with vibrant discussions, but there’s no doubt that the rise of artificial intelligence and competition for attention were topical. Among the concerns: publishers run the risk of producing hastily-made, filler content that doesn’t inspire, represent, or engage readers. 

What the NMA:B2B Awards Luncheon does well is encourage the difficult but important journey of quality storytelling by empowering writers, editors, designers, and content creators to continue to focus on producing quality content and communicating the value of it. 

Overall, we hope to attend this event again and applaud their sensitivity to sustainable event programming, like avoiding disposable cutlery and plates and being mindful of their paper footprint. 

It was a valuable experience for us to learn about and celebrate B2B magazine publishing and see a clearer path forward for our own magazine initiatives. 

Let Sparx Help You Produce Impactful Content 

Want to bring your content ideas from the notepad to the page? The experts at Sparx can help bring your story to life. Contact us for a free marketing consultation.

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