Thinking of starting a new event or want to improve revenues on an existing one? Niche publishers are usually so busy organizing, planning and managing their own events (in addition to daily managing their publications) that there isn’t near enough time to check out all the new, improved event models out there.
We asked Sean Guerre, Partner at Stone Fort Group to share some insights on new opportunities for publishers:
New event opportunities
SG: “Most obvious (and easiest) is to ask your current community what is keeping them up at night or what new opportunities they are exploring for growth. Then just build your new event brand in front of those issues. There are so many opportunities here, especially for niche publishers with their finger on the pulse of their target audience. I am constantly amazed how many current media brands fail to see the new event opportunities right in their own current “bidness”! They may even do a special issue of the magazine for a new area of interest or concern, but don’t launch a new event covering it….sheesh!
“Next–get social! If you want to see trends for your communities and those nearby, then start becoming a LinkedIn Groups groupie. You can see how many new groups (2 million total and counting) are forming related to your particular niche, how their profile is growing with new members, and if their discussion section is robust. Even better, you can see what topics are trending and which experts are thought leaders. In essence you are getting a “two-fer” of market research and building topics and speakers for the launch…Sweet!”
New models that blend live and digital channels to effectively serve niche communities
SG: “There are amazing synergies between the live event and digital channels and they can both grow the live event attendance/revenue, and help to keep feeding the community so it is served year-round.
I have two real world examples to offer:
- Content Marketing World. The name alone tells us that Joe Pulizzi and his folks know their stuff when it comes to using content on digital channels (blogs, podcasts, social media). They very successfully use these channels pre-show to drive traffic to the event website, create a buzz and generate amazing growth for their show by blending the digital and content with the live event.
- When it comes to launching an event in combination with digital, one of the best recent examples is John Failla and his Tesoro Events brands. He does research and identifies a niche, then drives content with both new editorial and curation through e-newsletters and social media (primarily LI Groups). As they start to reach critical mass, he launches live events for the communities that he has helped create online. Beautiful Model!!
New event technologies for publishers
SG: “Depending on where you find yourself on the event-tech spectrum these could be everyday for you or all new…
- Social Invites–this is a growing category of ramped-up event tech that allows attendees to use their social media channels to showcase their attendance/participation and can include options to offer discounts to their network to also attend. The lower end of the spectrum is something we see that says “Tell your friends you’re going to Van Halen,” but the higher end offerings now use sophisticated algorithms to determine which of your specific friends/colleagues would likely attend the event based on similar interests. Check out Ingo to see a very cool model for this sector.
- Networking–this is another category of event tech that is rapidly evolving from the original versions to a high-end opportunity to drive more interactions and insure sponsor satisfaction at your event. It can also aid in keeping your community together and connected between events.
- Great blogs to check out to keep up to date on event tech tools and the shiny new things:
Editor’s note: Sean’s enthusiasm is contagious! What’s next on your niched-out event horizon? To learn more about the latest and greatest in events, check out our all new one-day pre-conference workshop, Niche EventFest at Super Niche, March 27-29, 2017.
More about Sean Guerre: Sean is a media entrepreneur and co-founder of Stone Fort Group–a Live Event & Digital Media start-up serving B2B niche communities in a range of markets, including automotive, workforce/hr, oil & gas and facilities management. His claim to fame is serving as a former chairman of SISO, the Society of Independent Show Organizers. He is passionate about launching live events, new digital media brands, startups, running and craft beer.
Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Check out the Niche CEO Summit in Nashville, Nov. 14-15!
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