Secrets of launching events from media brands

Many media brands have discovered the value of live events to reach new audiences and deepen customer relationships.  At the Specialist Media Show last week, events gurus shared stories of successful event launches and provided tips for specialist media owners.  Here’s my top 5 insights from the presentations by Trevor Foley, Claire Jenkinson, Mark Elliott, Peter Harris and Andrew Mercer:

1. Event organisers must become entertainers

All events – consumer and b2b – need to have outstanding content, provide top-notch networking, and offer entertainment value.  Making an event memorable through inspiring speakers, real-life interaction and a little bit of showbiz will mean it stands out and becomes a must-do.  In spite of the rise of online networking, live experiences still have a special quality.

2. Events reach new audiences

However thorough your database, live events will appeal to new people beyond your current print and online publications.  Marketing Week Live generated 10,000 new names for its database.  The regional Homebuilding shows have driven subscriptions on the magazines dramatically.

3. Databases are key to successful event marketing

Business conferences live or die on the quality of their databases for visitor marketing.  Media Owners have a fabulous advantage with their subscription and registered user databases.  This was the key to the success of Time Out Live.  If you don’t have great databases in the market where you want to launch an event, find a partner or sponsor who does…

4. Great b2b events play on fear and greed

The best business conference propositions are where delegates or visitors have a real hunger for information – maybe their industry is subject to legislative or technological change, or they need to acquire new skills to develop their career.  Sponsorship propositions are strongest where new suppliers have a complex message to convey to a hard-to-reach audience.  The holy grail is to be able to provide a solution to both “fear” and “greed”.

5. Events create enthusiastic advocates

The first year of an event is the hardest, but visitors remember a quality experience and tell their business contacts and friends.  This word of mouth marketing is the key to the explosive growth of successful events like the Gadget Show, Grand Designs and Top Gear Live.

If you have experiences to share on launching events from media brands, then join the Specialist Media Network and swap ideas with 300 other specialist media owners including some of the speakers from this session.

Read other articles on events from Penmaen Media.

Take a look at the 78 insights from the conference programme, and read the comments from visitors and exhibitors at the show.  Or check out the video highlights.

Read other articles based on debates at the Specialist Media Show here:

Secrets of launching events from media brands

Beyond the paid content debate – how to build value from free content

How publishers can make digital media pay

Secrets of successful commercial partnerships in specialist markets

Bright future for specialist media: build audiences, develop many revenue streams

About the author: Carolyn  Morgan runs Penmaen Media, a consultancy advising media owners on how to profit from digital media and marketing. She is also content director for the Specialist Media Show. If you’d like an informal discussion about how you can develop live events from your media brand please contact us for a chat.