Show dailies are often a great way to get your brand in front of your industry’s most influential readers and media buyers. But for bone-thin staffs, producing them onsite can challenge their threshold for stress, time and creativity.
Pre-production and judicious outsourcing are starting points. "We do the majority of the editorial two weeks in advance," says Toth, whose 10-title group has been producing show dailies since 2003. For Asset Securitization Report, a weekly financial trade magazine covering the structured finance industry, 24 inner pages of its 32-page daily;produced for Information Management Network’s annual ABS East and West shows;is done prior to the show, 30 percent of which is outsourced (compared to less than 10 percent for the weekly publication).
"It also gives the editorial staff an opportunity to sequester different contributors," says Toth, who sends three editors and a pair of production staffers;about a third of the magazine’s edit staff;to produce the 8 outer pages onsite. The rest are back at the shop in New York producing the weekly. This limits the stress on the rest of staff, since they are working to get ahead on the print product, at least theoretically. "There is a considerable amount of stress on the staff already," says Toth, "just based on being in a hotel and show environment." And there’s usually no additional cost to staggering the print-run. "It allows for a smaller risk factor of things going wrong, especially when you’re getting the daily at 3 or 4 in the morning for a door-drop at the hotel," Toth adds.
Beyond pre-planning, Toth says to look for the built-in content of the event itself;such as cocktail parties and golf outings;to relieve the on-site editorial push. "Outlining the different festivities for the attendees, along with any interesting giveaways in the exhibit hall, can easily fill some space for editors," Toth says. And squeezing quality editorial out of generic conference events is an art that requires partnering with the event’s producers. Says Toth: "It can be as simple as having them provide a welcome letter."