Westchester Wrap-up: Spring 2020

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by Nicole Tomassi, Marketing & Conference Manager

The staff at Westchester’s locations around the world are continuing to work remotely for their health and safety as well as that of their families. During this time, they have also been providing additional guidance for our customers as phases at other points in the publication project lifecycle are being impacted as a result of world events.

Regardless of whether we complete our work in an office or our homes, what remains consistent is our unwavering commitment to provide our clients with excellent service on every project they send to us. Read on to learn how each of our business units worked in various ways to support the evolving needs of our clients and industry colleagues during Spring 2020:

English language learning webinar

As students around the world shifted to a home-based learning environment practically overnight, one group requiring extra support were English language learners. Students learning an additional language benefit from in-person instruction that helps them obtain important communication concepts. Westchester Education Services’ Walter Henderson, Jr., moderated a webinar with language teaching experts in April that focused on how to support the needs of these students, and shared quality online language-learning resources that students could use while continuing their studies remotely.

Conferences Transform into Virtual Events

Event organizers who had in-person conferences planned for the spring had to make quick decisions, shifting from physical meeting spaces for delivering keynotes and conference content to platforms like Zoom and Skype. Chief Revenue Officer, Tyler M. Carey, wrote a blog post detailing how conferences serving the academic and university press sectors, including ALPSP UP Redux and AUP adjusted their content and delivery methods to keep their members informed.

How Westchester Supports Publishers

Over the last four months, you’ve likely had to adapt some of your publication processes as a result of your staff working from home. Westchester has experience with creating workflows for our clients based on their project requirements, and we’ve received many inquiries about handling tasks that are further upstream or downstream in the editorial and production process. Read this case study about how we designed a custom workflow for West Margin Press, and review our services checklist to see all the ways that Westchester can help you.


Westchester Education Services participate in two SIIA panels

The Software and Industry Information Association (SIIA) Education Technology Conference originally scheduled for two days in June, was another conference that revised its format to virtual sessions, which took place over the course of three weeks in May and early June. Westchester Education Services President and Chief Content Officer, Kevin J. Gray, was the moderator for the session, “Haven’t We Seen This Before? Lessons Learned”. The knowledgeable panel of education industry experts provided guidance to the audience about what is working with remote learning and where improvements are needed to support students and their families. Kevin was also a panelist for the session “Product Paths to Support Learning”, that explored how educational publishers and ed-tech providers are adjusting their products and services to meet learners where they are in remote learning environments. (SIIA login may be required to view sessions)

Use the Client Portal to streamline project management

Having an easy to use, secure project management platform that helps you see the status of every project and each asset associated with it can save you from the hassle of lots of emails, and phone calls to track important information down while you and your staff are working remotely. This video overview of the key features of our award-winning Client Portal shows how efficient project management can be. After you watch it, get in touch with us to learn how it can be customized to your requirements.

IPG Virtual Spring Conference

Like the US, the UK conference calendar was upended, most notably with the London Book Fair completely scrapped for 2020. The Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) Conference originally planned as a one day event at the beginning of May transitioned to a 2 day virtual conference hall at the beginning of June. Westchester Publishing Services UK was an exhibitor at this first of its kind event for the IPG. Prior to the conference, UK Managing Director, Tim Davies, shared a video to IPG members about how Westchester supports independent publishers in challenging times and potential longer-term impacts for the industry.

Westchester Education Services forms DEI Committee

The need for increased representation in the publishing industry is very topical due to current events, and something that Westchester has been incorporating into our recruitment efforts for staff and freelance resources for a longer time. In March, the Education Services team unveiled a DEI Mission Statement that includes action items for creating and nurturing a diverse talent base. In June, we announced the formation and membership of a DEI Committee, who are responsible for developing goals and guiding the strategies to ensure an inclusive and equitable working environment for everyone. Later this summer, we will be hosting a webinar about measurable steps that publishers and ed-tech providers can implement within their business. While we still have more ground to cover in our own organization to achieve full equity, we believe it is important to work together with our industry partners so we can all develop best practices that help everyone attain this goal.

An out of this world Nibbies

The British Book Awards, known by their nickname the Nibbies usually holds a formal gala event to recognize publishers and authors that have had a significant impact on the British publishing industry during the previous year. Westchester Education Services sponsored the Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year category which was awarded in late June, While we couldn’t be there in person to congratulate the winner, having an astronaut make the announcement is a pretty cosmic way to share the news. Watch the publisher shortlist and winner announcement in this video, courtesy of The Bookseller.

Stay connected with Westchester

Stay in the know about the different products and services Westchester offers, including topical webinars by following our LinkedIn pages for Westchester Publishing Services and Westchester Education Services. To make sure we’re delivering content that’s relevant, take this one-minute survey to let us know what topics you would like Westchester to provide presentations about.

Everyone at Westchester hopes that you, your family and your colleagues will continue to stay safe and in good health. Our entire team stands ready to help our customers, our partners and others within the industry with editorial, production, and project management tasks related to your publishing program. We invite you to give us a call, send an email, or visit our website to learn more.

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