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Business Events Summit

I spent yesterday at American Business Media’s Events Summit at the Digital Sandbox in New York. The event was completely composed of presentations by event management professionals, and offered good insight on how companies are responding to the current environment. Greg Topalian, SVP, Reed Exhibitions said that VIP programs are critical to their current strategy, and he’s noted that regional events now have an advantage over national events. They’re also emphasizing turnkey programs for exhibitors.

In terms of promotion, Heather Cox, VP, PR, Events and Product Development, FierceMarkets, spoke about integrating content with event promotion on their web sites, and efforts to produce personalized emails. She also emphasized the ongoing importance of split testing their promo, and showed the basic layout for their email promotion, which is the result of much split testing. It’s good to hear that a company is taking split testing seriously in an electronic context. Fiercemarket’s email template would be a good starting point for anyone producing electronic promotion. I see a wide variety of design latitude in event email promotion, which tells me that promotion design is being left to designers: aesthetic in a design sense but clueless in a marketing sense. Fiercemarkets has also experimented with URL’s for events and found that they are most successful with a sub-URL of their media sites. Joy Puzzo, Corporate Audience Development Director, Advanstar spoke about the importance of granular list segmentation, developing a model for successful lists and then modeling those databases externally. She also indicated that list rental agencies are very willing to negotiate these days.

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