UK’s Unique New B2B Media Event will Focus on Performance Growth, Changing Business Models and Multi-Platform Content Delivery

The Information Industry Network  will convene top B2B publishing, information and media industry executives at the Business Media Insights 2014 conference.  Held 22 October at One Wimpole Street in London, the event will feature top executives from Haymarket Business Media, Financial Times, Pearson, Incisive Media, Centaur Media, EMAP and more.

Business Media Insights 2014 will address trends in in boosting sales, gaining customers insights from data, content platforms, social media and marketing as well as how to improve business performance in an era of unprecedented transformation and disruption.

Conference highlights include:

  • Content masterclass presentations from Adrian Barrick, Editorial Director at Haymarket Business Media, and Tom Hall, VP, Strategic Partnerships & Technology Delivery at Pearson;
  • Presentation by Financial Times CTO John O’Donovan, who will discuss the integration of disparate data sources into a consistent content offering;
  • Presentation by Caroline Frost, Global Director of Learning and Development at Informa, who will discuss how getting the right people and developing them will help your business grow; and
  • Informative keynote sessions moderated by Colin Morrison, chairman to a range of media companies in the UK and Australia.  One session will be an interview with Peter Rigby, former CEO of Informa, who oversaw its growth from a company valued at a few million pounds to a business with a market capitalization exceeding £3bn, and will discuss the changing media and information landscape, new content distribution channels, branding and digital development. The other keynote session will be a special panel discussion focusing on the B2B media industry’s most pressing issues.  This keynote discussion will feature:

o   Helmut Graf, Chief Executive Officer, VNR Verlag fur die Deutsche Wirtschaft AG

o   Simon Middelboe, Managing Director, Centaur Media

o   Tim Weller, Founder and Group Chief Executive, Incisive Media

For a complete schedule of events, visit:

WHO:           The Information Industry Network (IIN)
WHAT:         Business Media Insights 2014 #bmi2014conf
WHEN:         Wednesday, 22 October 2014 from 8 a.m. – 19.00 pm
WHERE:       One Wimpole Street, London W1G 0AE

Sponsors and partners of the event include Flume Training, MarkLogic, Adestra, Research Information, InPublishing, What’s New in Publishing, Prism Consult, and Outsell, Inc.

Patrick AngellPatrick Angell is the Executive Director of the Information Industry Network. SIIA’s European division for  publishing, information and media organisations across Europe. The Information Industry Network aims to assist  members understand current issues facing them via conferences, seminars, and online events, we also assist in  helping them share experiences, build business relationships and connect with others across Europe and cross- Atlantic. Follow us on @iin_europe and visit our LinkedIn group

Intellectual Property Roundup

Google Removes News Snippets From German Search Results (Computerworld)
In a move to minimize legal risks, Google has stopped showing news snippets and thumbnails for some well-known German news sites in search results.

Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? (Slate)
Hasbro’s recent crackdown on the dissemination and use of its Scrabble word lists raises an intriguing legal question: Can a list of words be copyrighted?

Warner Bros. Anti-Piracy Methods Revealed in Court Docs (Slash Gear)
Unsealed court documents have revealed how Warner Bros. goes about finding infringing content and issuing takedown notices.

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Superman Heirs’ Copyright Case (Ars Technica)
The Supreme Court declined to hear the petition filed by Superman heirs’ lawyers. That leaves standing a ruling form the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and the heirs won’t be allowed to wrest the copyright away.

Keith Kupferschmid

Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithkup and sign up for the Intellectual Property Roundup weekly newsletter here.

Testing, Renewals, New Revenue, Data. And That’s Just One BIMS Time Slot.

I have a problem to work out for 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11. What breakout session do I attend at the Business Information & Media Summit in Miami Beach? This is a problem that everyone in the industry should have. Here’s why.

Choice 1: After speaking by phone with new SIPA Board member Benny DiCecca yesterday—he’s the CEO of Wellesley Information Systems (WIS)—I’m ready to follow him anywhere. He’s a panelist on the session New Products. New Partners. New Revenue? Developing Future Revenue-Drivers for Your Business. In 15 years, DiCecca has built WIS into a 130-plus employee company that started with conferences but has expanded into roadshows, webcasts, global events and large-scale partnering.

“It’s a matter of looking at your existing products—publications, webinars, live shows, educational events—and seeing what people are willing to pay for,” DiCecca said. “And then testing that line of thinking. Are you best with an app, mobile, print, no print. Talk to people, see the money…Millennials now pose entirely new challenges, so we’re trying to figure that out—what mobile devices mean for us. Do we build quick informational apps, native apps? Focus groups are also incredibly important, as are predictive analytics that will help shape your new products.”

Joining DiCecca will be Robert Dippell of Praetorian Digital, Ed Gillette of Scranton Gillette/SGC Horizon, and Andy Weber, CEO of Farm Journal Media. “Truly multimedia solutions [are] driven where multimedia platforms are [responding] to customers’ needs, not just bundling for cheaper prices…” Weber has said. “So, the focus is helping customers achieve their objectives.”

Choice 2: Online Testing Techniques with Matt Bailey, author of the new book, Wired to Be Wowed: Great Marketing Isn’t an Accident. This should be a very actionable session. “People with testing experience get great results and can point to why,” Bailey told me last month. “They make time. It comes down to ultimately creating a culture of testing. You can start small, so people can see the results [and why you are] trying to produce a data-centric culture. Before we can get anything, what does the data say?…What is a good third-party way to look at my data, to test in a low-impact, high yield way?”

The point of airing my mid-morning-to-be crisis is not sympathy. After all, this is Miami Beach. It’s that as I look at every time period of the three-day information- and solution-athon, great sessions stand out. You can fly in Monday morning and leave Wednesday afternoon pocketing success stories and marketing/lead gen tips just shouting to be implemented at home.

Choice 3Randy Greenberg, COO of Greene/QCSS, and David DePaolo, president of WorkCompCentral, present Keep Renewal Revenue Flowing. I’ve known Randy a while and treasure the information he and QCSS bring. And renewals are our lifeblood. On their excellent blog, I especially like the post, “7 Ways to Build an Emotional Connection With Callers.” (Number 4 – “Smile as you speak.”)

Choice 4: Surely, that’s enough for one 55-minute spot. But there’s more. My excellent colleague here at SIIA Matt Kinsman moderates a panel session titled: Getting the Tech (Digital) and Business Sides to Work Together. On his all-star panel are James Capo of Access Intelligence, Joel Hughes of Scranton Gillette, David Klein, Sr. from Crain Communications Inc., and Roberta Muller from Northstar Travel Media. What can be more important than getting those two areas to cooperate?

Choice 5: Chris Taggart, the founder of Open Corporates, will deliver Is the Future of Data Open?—a valuable session for everyone in the industry.

Can you say “cloning”? In reality, I will probably be assigned to monitor one of the main session rooms and then cover those before me. That’s okay—saves me from telling Randy or Matt or Benny that I chose someone else. But I hope you and your colleagues take a good look at the BIMS schedule and who’s attending to see the value. And then come face the 10:30 “crisis” with me.

Ronn LevineRonn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering diversity, Newspaper in Education, marketing and leadership before joining SIPA in 2009 , and then SIIA in 2013.

Usage Data Leads Two Companies Down Profitable Path

Have you looked at your analytics and data today?

I just read about Airbnb’s turning point in an article on the site First Round Review—and it reminded me of something from Molly Lindblom’s and David Foster’s recent session at SIPA 2014: New Rules for Product Development and Time to Market. Both “case studies” began by looking at usage data.

Lindblom’s case study came from her days working at LexisNexis CourtLink. (She now has her own company called Business Transformations.) In that study, she said the first thing they did was to “took a look at the usage data.” They were trying to help attorneys and librarians track existing cases and find new ones through aggregate court dockets.

Lindblom noticed that the usage history had spiked at certain points, and that new job titles were showing interest in the product—marketing and business development names.

“I talked to our VP of business development to try to figure out what was going on. So we each called 7 or 8 of these people, and we learned a consistent story. People said, ‘I’m prepping for a client meeting and I want to know what other law firms are servicing my clients. I also want to know what my client’s litigation trends are…Because at the end of the day for me to earn more business from this client, I have to be smarter than any other attorney that walks in the door and talks to them, and I just recently figured out I can do this with your dockets.’

“And the marketers said, ‘We’re helping the attorneys get smarter when they go into these client development meetings.’ So I went back to the product development manager, we looked at each other, and I said, “This is really cool. This can make court dockets sexy in a way they weren’t sexy up to this point!”

(You should check out her whole case study for that session on the SIPA 2014, members-only archives page.)

Similarly, Airbnb, while trying to fix their new product—they were in the process of failing forward as Lindblom and Foster recommended—pored over their “search results for New York City listings, trying to figure out what wasn’t working, why they weren’t growing. [They] noticed a pattern. There’s some similarity between all these 40 listings. The similarity is that the photos [were bad]…People were using their camera phones or using their images from classified sites. It actually wasn’t a surprise that people weren’t booking rooms because you couldn’t even really see what it is that you were paying for.”

So a three-person team flew to New York, rented a camera, and spent time with the customers listing properties and posting wonderful, high-resolution pictures. A week later, the results showed that “improving the pictures doubled the weekly revenue to $400 per week. This was the first financial improvement that the company had seen in over eight months. They knew they were onto something.” The Airbnb solution was fueled in a similar, get-to-know-your-customers way as Lindblom’s.

Foster, president of BVR in Portland, Ore., spoke about the importance of growth, and how delays in product launches can hurt your bottom line. “Information companies that grew 25% got 5X revenues when they sold,” he said. “Growth is the greatest enhancement of business value.” He added, “You’re not investing in technology to create something. You’re investing in technology to create the ability to rapidly create lots of stuff.”

One other similarity in these two examples is to test early. While saying that they don’t let data push them around and don’t develop “reactively” to metrics, Airbnb does want ideas—on your first day of work no less! (They changed stars to hearts through this method.)

“Focus on failure,” Lindblom said. “Test assumptions to find out where you fail. Fail cheap, fail quickly, learn something and know where to go from here.”

To subscribe to the SIPAlert Daily, go to the SIIA website.

Ronn LevineRonn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering diversity, Newspaper in Education, marketing and leadership before joining SIPA in 2009 , and then SIIA in 2013.

8 Reasons Why Spidell Publishing Profits From In-Person Seminars

Two years ago I profiled Lynn Freer, president of Spidell Publishing, a successful California tax information publisher and SIPA member. At the time, she spoke about their conversion to electronic and that she could “eventually see going more from live seminars to electronic seminars and podcasts. There are advantages for people in not driving and not having to be there in person.” (Freer also told me she was a French literature major.)

Yet, as I look at their website today, there are 47 in-person Federal and California Tax Update Seminars scheduled throughout the state between Nov. 17 and Jan. 26, 2015—keeping Freer and staff quite busy. Seems like Californians—at least the tax professionals—don’t mind driving after all. But she was right about the webinars—those are increasing in attendance every year and now can attract 300-400 people.

I caught up with Freer (pictured here) last week and determined 8 reasons why the in-person seminars remain so successful.

1. The subject. Apparently, California tax laws change a good amount every year, so their Update Seminar “is an update [tax professionals] need and want before tax season,” Freer said.

2. The benefits of in person. “Our attendees enjoy the camaraderie [of the Update Seminar]; they get to see all their friends they haven’t seen in a long time,” Freer said. “They take advantage of the day, have lunch with us and get to ask their questions in person.”

3. Trust. Spidell makes minor changes to the seminar format each year, but Freer said it’s “pretty much the same. We’re the leader in the update market; they trust us. We also give them more than what they expect or ask for—just like we all did in the old newsletter days.”

4. Takeaways. It’s not just a one-day experience, Freer said. They give attendees a 500-page manual to take home and always refer to.

5. Affordable pricing. Most of the seminars are priced at $229, with $10 Early Bird discounts if you register by Nov. 1. Interestingly, they charge $50 more at the door to capitalize on today’s growing non-committal stature. “People don’t want to commit in advance anymore,” Freer said “I’m like that. So we may be down in numbers until like a week before.” Spidell does not do much bundling—only with, say, two newsletters and a reference book.

6. Top speakers. “Our biggest challenge is getting good speakers,” Freer said. “Ideally, they can write [for us] as well. We treat them really well [but our best ones] are getting older—two are 70 and the other 65. We have a high standard.” Each seminar takes 4 speakers, at 2 hours each. Breaks are needed so people aren’t sitting for too long. Freer will look for someone with potential and actually get him or her training—but not with speaking coaches. “They teach you marketing presentations. We go to an acting coach or a voice coach. Patricia Fripp is amazing.” She recalls one speaker who had a strange inflection, stressing the wrong parts of words.

7. Social media. Spidell has an active Facebook page with 477 likes and valuable posts. On Sept. 26, they posted this free trial: “Solve these problems and more with FREE access to our tax research database through Tuesday 9/30!” There was also a 50% off deal for an on-demand webinar, a speaker catching a big fish—“Steve Honeyman is almost as good at fishing as he is at teaching tax law!”—and a picture of Freer when she went to work for Bob Spidell in 1995.

8. Lead generation. Besides Facebook, their newsletters—they still even do some print—webinars and word of mouth feed people into seminar attendance. They usually have at least two speakers for webinars so one can answer offline questions while the other continues to present. There’s no question too embarrassing to ask if it’s anonymous, Freer said.

To subscribe to the SIPAlert Daily, go to the SIIA website.

Ronn LevineRonn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering diversity, Newspaper in Education, marketing and leadership before joining SIPA in 2009 , and then SIIA in 2013.

CODiE Awards Judge Webinar: How to Judge a CODiE Award

On October 6, 2014 we hosted a CODiE Awards webinar specifically for the Content, Education, and Software judges. The primary purpose of the webinar was to provide important information about the judging process, including responsibilities for all categories.

During the webinar we covered:

  • How to nominate
  • A review of the new categories
  • What happens during the first-round judging process
  • The complete CODiE Awards timeline
  • Tips and Tricks

Financial Information Industry Leaders to Convene at World Financial Information Conference

FISD, the global neutral forum for the financial information industry, today announced registration rates  for the12th biennial World Financial Information Conference (WFIC). WFIC will be held October 4-7, 2015 in New Orleans at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

The World Financial Information Conference is the only global event that focuses exclusively on issues associated with dissemination, management and use of financial information. The conference will bring together more than 400 financial information industry leaders from over 35 countries for three and a half days of dialogue and debate about the most important issues and trends in the rapidly evolving financial information industry.

“WFIC provides a unique opportunity for financial institutions to interact, debate and join together to shape the development of the financial industry,” said Sallianne Taylor, Global Manager of Exchange Business at Bloomberg. “Competitors across our industry can gather in a neutral environment and forgo their differences to achieve a common goal.”

FISD is very pleased to announce that member registration costs for FISD member firms will remain at 2013 levels. To view registration rates, visit

WHAT: World Financial Information Conference #WFIC2015
WHEN: October 4-7, 2015
WHERE: Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA

For more information on the program and sponsorship opportunities, contact Tracey Shumpert at tshumpert@siia.netor 212.784.6352.

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