Publishing Around “The Big Event”
Five strategies that will help you enhance your revenue at your Big Event and broaden the horizon for other creative event concepts.
Conferences, trade shows and even seminars represent big revenue for association media. Chances are you have a “signature event” that represents your biggest annual revenue stream, and have surrounded that key event with strong media products. So how do you make it even better? Try these strategies.
Think bigger. And wider. Look at big events as big event months. Consider adding a premium on all your media in the month when your big event happens. If you have magazines, newsletters, or videos that are not specifically tied to the event, these media streams are still “funneling” attention to the event. Even a 5 percent “event premium” on all your media during that month could have a powerful impact on your sales — without a lot of extra effort or outbound calls from your rep teams. Keeping the increase less than double digits is a good strategy.
Develop a “show video” strategy. Almost all event media streams can be moved to video — pre-show products, post-show wrap ups, event news, show dailies. Video has many advantages over other media — it’s more sensorially engaging, less expensive to produce, and can be re-purposed and even re-sold or sold post-show. And at your event? Capture as much footage as possible — and develop a post-show video plan. A good example is a booth interview. If you get a good interview with a customer at their booth, sell it to them to post on their site — or drop it into a template and email it to your audience. There are literally dozens of ways to monetize event video.
Ask yourself … do you have to do an every-day print show daily? It may be a more solid strategy to only do a “two-out-of-three” show-daily style publication and do the “Day Three” as a digtial wrap-up. Packaged together as a two-day print and one-day digital product, this would secure about the same revenue and drive a 33 percent decrease in print cost — even more if you save a full day of room distribution costs, which at major conventions can amount to a small fortune.
Free your ad sales reps up before your big event, so they can be booked solid at the event. In the “gig economy” you can find a a skilled temporary employee for any task at the right price point. Imagine your productivity increase if you hired a pre-show “scheduler” for your ad sales team who, for the month before the event, lined up your reps’ meeting schedules at the event. So all the way up to the show the reps are selling your event media, not scheduling. The reps arrive at your event where their biggest selling opportunity for the year is— fish in a barrel, right? — and will have had to time to prep, research, prepare proposals, and prospect.
Note: using a “professional scheduler” can also be a revenue builder, long-term, as your team may be able to reach prospects they may have never had the time to get to before. Run this by your reps and see the gleam in their eyes. You can find a professional scheduler quickly on sites like Indeed.com or TaskRabbit.
Keep the reps on site. As a former media sales rep, manager, publisher, and group publisher, I’ve seen reps leave early on the last day of the show — when most of the prospective clients and booth teams are still at the event and the show traffic is slow. These are perfect times for meetings and prospecting. A gently worded email to the team well in advance of booking travel will result in higher post-show sales. Yes, it’s a pain to leave a busy trade-show city at 7:00 PM instead of 11:00 AM, but the commission they earn from the extra sales time will help them get over it. Everyone loves to talk to sales reps on the last day of an event. Well, most people.
I hope these five strategies will help you enhance your revenue at your Big Event and broaden the horizon for other creative event concepts. The media industry is constantly changing, and we’re in a business that has the ability to respond quickly. Take a look at some things you’ve done — or still do — that have been successful, then ask yourself if they can be “successful-er.” Yes, that’s a word. Or, it should be.