Archive for the ‘Integration’ Category

More Recession-Resistant B2B Opps: Appointment Events

April 29th, 2009 No comments

A discussion about new models for B2B event would be incomplete without a look at appointment events. I’ve seen an up-trending in two appointment formats: 1. The pure play appointment event. At these events, sponsors pay for, and are guaranteed a certain number of one-on-one meetings with potential clients. 2. The speed-networking approach, where an attendee and sponsor are brought together at a pre-existing event by the organizers.
1. The pure play appointment event: Min’s B2B recently ran an interesting article on appointment events, featuring Questex’s Mclean Events. As with the executive roundtables, this format is well-suited for tough Read more…

Second Life Necessary Stopover for B2B Event Managers

April 7th, 2009 1 comment

I’m ready to state, without reservation, that Second Life has become a “must know” platform for business event managers. A simple description for neophytes: In Second Life you move a character around a three dimensional environment. The character represents you. You can speak to and interact with other people, who are represented by their characters. It feels like a video game. It’s free to try, but you have to download it and install it on your computer.

Second Life first caught my attention when Visa committed to a sponsorship of over $75,000 to create their own environment and event on Second Life. This was at a time when I was trying to get Visa to take out a minimal sponsorship on a live event where we had a proven audience. I was surprised that they were willing to spend so much on an Read more…

ZDE Marries Virtual to Live

March 26th, 2009 4 comments

At B2B Presence we pontificate in a self-serving way on the benefits of face-to-face media, and take pains to point out the shortcomings of webcasting and other “virtual” events (would you be happy with a “virtual” vacation?). However, we’re not blind to the glorious digital sunrise and we’re frequently scanning the horizon for signs of the inevitable convergence of live and virtual media.

Now comes Ziff Davis Enterprise, a company that frequently “gets it” before many others. This recent press release on their new tool to bridge virtual and live events is extremely promising. They appear to be leveraging this in their custom event business, so I would expect this to start small. The proof will be in streaming—we’ll keep an eye on this.

The rise and fall of ZDE’s custom events business is a story that deserves its own mini-series. This group, under Martha Schwartz and then Kirk Laughlin grew to mammoth Read more…

Business Event Media is Social Media

March 13th, 2009 1 comment

In spite of the efforts of many conference and trade show organizers, conferences and trade shows are the primary form of social media in B2B. We event organizers can proudly say that our products were the original expression of the imperative need for social media in the business marketing mix. Unfortunately, our experience traps us in a box. We have focused a lifetime of effort on space sales, sponsorship schemes, and attendance brochures. The Zen approach would be to start from zero—obliterate the memory of past projects and say, “I have the Internet and these tools, I need to bring these people together–where shall I begin?”

With a Zen-like detachment from B2B markets (because the focus is B2C), this report from Aberdeen Group on The ROI on Social Media Marketing will be of benefit to event producers. There are several essential points made here that merit strong consideration Read more…

Unassuming Unconferences

March 9th, 2009 1 comment

Here’s a great example of user-driven content coming from inside the dynamic world of business media: Zucchini Dinners provides an intimate setting for media executives to sit directly with 10 key executives. They create their own content, and drive their own discussions. This is an invitation-only event–I just stumbled on this site, so I don’t think you’re even supposed to know about this.

Another great concept is Lunch 2.0 which started in Silicon Valley and has recently come to New York. Nerds gather for lunch, and nerd-seeking organizations play host–what could be more perfect?

What do these events have in common? Purposely weak central-organizing structure (disintermediation) and food (integration). Why does food count as integration? Because you have to eat, and these events leverage that unavoidable fact.

Integration with Legs

February 18th, 2009 No comments

Business media works best when it integrates itself into the client’s supply chain. Media companies tend to go to extremes in their approach to integration, either recycling tired “in-the-box” approaches, or latching on to the latest Internet meme. I’ve seen some examples of media integration that would get a big yawn at a strategy meeting, but have shown fantastic results.

Long ago (in the 90’s) Pulp & Paper magazine under the direction of John Pearson, developed a large business around pricing reports. They found that pretty much any information about industry pricing was like candy to their subscribers. From this base, the developed a successful executive conference portfolio. Ironically, at their conferences, they would have to have lawyers present to make sure that no pricing info was included in conference presentations, in order to satisfy anti-trust regulations.

More recently, I’ve spoken to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, who have built a strong portfolio off of what was initially an effort to develop standards for Read more…

Social Network/Mobile Convergence

February 13th, 2009 No comments

I use LinkedIn and Facebook a lot, and frequently find myself thinking “this is almost useful.” The main problem I have with the networking sites in the signal-to-noise ratio, especially on Facebook, where a long-forgotten high school friend can “send you a teddy bear” in an effort to reach out of the distant past and waste your time. I establish LinkedIn groups for every event that I market, like this group on for the Smart Cards in Government conference. This group is still far from a self-sustaining density (which I estimate to be 2000-3000 names) so in the meantime, I try to goose interest by posting news items and discussion topics. This article on some undefined deal between Nokia and Facebook reminds me that the utility of social networks and wireless devices are destined to merge and catalyze in a way that could be game-changer for event producers. Event producers should think about this in terms of integration: How can you facilitate a network function that is integral to the supply chain? This is something that’s worth thinking about in the shower.

300 Register, 300 Show Up

November 15th, 2008 No comments

It’s always nice to hear about event media that works. My wife does marketing for PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Like most major accounting firms they have an extremely tight relationship with their clients. When there are major issues of concern for their clients, they organize and execute informational webcasts. My wife recently managed a webcast on some esoteric issue in international tax law. She told me that they had over 300 registrants. I asked her what the attrition was. She asked me what I meant. “How many people actually logged in?” “300,” she said. They have 0% attrition.

I’ve done webcast events for B2B media companies where attrition was as high as 80%. PWC has 0% attrition because they’re so closely integrated with their clients. If you’re producing webcasts, it’s worth asking how you can achieve a similar level of integration with your target audience.

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