Alan Meckler, Indefatigable Entrepreneur, Event Impresario, and Web Shaper
Before there was “The Internet,” there was Alan Meckler, Mecklermedia and Internet World. This trade show and publishing empire enveloped and exploded with the dot-com hysteria that consumed almost everything in the late 90′s. In one of history’s shrewdest examples of “getting out while the getting is good,” $274 million of Penton Media money gave Alan Meckler the fuel he needed to continue playing king-maker to this very day. In the same time period, Penton has gone from new media sweetheart to the Pets.com of print: bankrupt, downsized, merged, and again, and again. I was privileged to see an Internet World P&L in 1999, and the bottom line was staggering. If the dot-com era had lasted 3 more years, the world would be calling Penton CEO Tom Kemp heroically visionary. That’s the breaks. Alan Meckler continues on, as Chairman of the Board and CEO of WebMediaBrands. His twitter feed is symphony of bravado, credit-taking, breathless speculation, and “did he really say that” asides focusing on the highest levels of media. His acquisition of Media Bistro allows him to play the role of real-life media insider. Not to be missed.