El Paso High School’s Spur editorial staff attended the national JEA and NSPA fall national convention in Dallas, Texas looking for ways to improve the quality of the yearbook.
The convention took place at the Hyatt Regency from Nov. 16-19 and hosted many sessions useful to the staff such as marketing, photography, caption writing and a one-on-one design critique with Walsworth’s national account manager and journalism specialist, Mike Taylor.
During the critique conference the staff had with Taylor, he gave the staff useful feedback about how messy senior quotes can be and the design of the yearbook should be cohesive and flow throughout the entire book.
“Mike told us not to use senior quotes,” marketing manager, Luisa Gabaldon said. ” To make sure we have a singular design concept and I think we’ll just going to go from there.”
One of the most important parts of having a yearbook is being able to sell the yearbook. There were many sessions involving marketing. Gabaldon attended many of these and said she has many plans for what is to come on the marketing aspect of the yearbook.
“I took a lot of information from those sessions about how to boost our sales,” Gabaldon said. “How to create not only a marketable environment the yearbook classroom but also in the school.”
During the design sessions they gave pointers on how everything in a yearbook needs to be strategic and have a purpose. When designing a spread, the staff needs to make sure everything flows in the correct manner.
Every year students need to be able to tell the difference between yearbooks. The consumer should always receive a different product every year.
“I though the most important thing that I took away from the conference was how to make look more put together and cohesive throughout the book,” senior editor, Katherine Kocian said.
Copy editors, Abigail Benevides and Anneliese Huenneke attended a session at the workshop ‘all about making captions.’ Captions are considered the most read content of any yearbook, by making the captions more captivating this will ensure a better book.
“One of the sessions I went to was about making captions.” Huenneke said. “I thought it was very interesting, useful and beneficial for the yearbook overall.”
The yearbook staff was given an opportunity to talk to colleges about journalism and observe what yearbooks look like at the college levels. The staff was able to see what award-winning yearbooks looked like and receive ideas on how to produce a great yearbook.
The most important thing they got out of this trip was being able to get closer as a group of editors and create a lasting friendship which in turn will create a better yearbook. The staff considered this trip to be very beneficial not only in terms of how many sessions they attended, but the staff created a bond that they might not have happened otherwise.
“My whole rooming situation was super fun. I love my roomies and hope to do this again soon,” Huenneke said.