[countdown date=”26 April 2022″]

Conference Schedule

Time April 26
Opening Reception
11AM ET 68th Annual Jesse H. Neal Awards
Celebrate the very best in business media journalism with the 68th annual Jesse H Neal Awards. More than 200 finalists will be paired down to 59 winners, representing the best of the best, including the Grand Neal Award, honoring the most outstanding overall entry.
The Neal Awards will also honor the recipients of four special Leadership Awards, including the prestigious Marianne Dekker Mattera Award for dedicated mentoring, the G.D. Crain Award for distinguished Editorial Career; the Timothy White Award for Exemplary Leadership in the face of challenges and pressures, and the McCallister Editorial Fellowship, given to an editor who will teach journalism at Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism.
03PM ET CEO Council Meeting
04:15PM Opening Keynote
Meet the ‘Bloomberg of Freight’- How FreightWaves Created a One-Two Punch with Marketing Services and Subscription Data
FreightWaves drove triple digit percent growth in the pandemic thanks to a winning combination of marketing services and subscription data businesses (with media often growing even faster than data with similar margins). It’s a strategy that’s taken FreightWaves from small publisher to a market-leading heavyweight in a few short years. CEO Craig Fuller shows how FreightWaves highly successful media and recurring revenue businesses, based on creating a data-smart culture. 
Craig Fuller CEO FreightWaves
05:00PM - 5:30PM Industry Insight: Getting Closer to the Transaction
The B2B information and events industry has been connecting buyers and sellers for decades. The challenge has always been about transforming that “connection” beyond selling content, advertising, booths and sponsorships.
In late 2020, Emerald (EEX), then a predominately tradeshow and media company, bought B2B Ecommerce SaaS company PlumRiver LLC, which streamlines the wholesale buying process for both brands and retail buyers, creating a digital year-round transactional platform for use by Emerald’s customers.
The acquisition accelerated Emerald’s strategy to provide 365-day-per-year engagement for its customer base regardless of location by significantly expanding its digital commerce capabilities and providing its customers with robust transactional functionality.
John McGovern, CEO, Grimes, McGovern & Associates
Brian Field, COO, Emerald X
05:30PM - 07PM Cocktail reception
Time April 27
7AM - 9AM Breakfast
9AM - 9:45AM CEO Power Panel: Rediscovering Our ‘Why’—What Business Are We Really In?
Once upon a time, you could sum up B2B in one simple phrase: connecting buyers and sellers. In the last 20 years, this marketplace has shifted from “B2B publishing” to “business intelligence,” and from “B2B” to new buzz words like “B4B” with print and digital display advertising supplanted by the shift to events, subscriptions, marketing services, data, SaaS, training and more. Ask three different B2B information CEOs what business they’re in and you’re likely to get three different answers.
Three industry leaders who’ve led companies across the evolution of media, events, data and marketing services share their vision for what this industry is becoming including,
  • Whether “connecting buyers and sellers” is still the core of what we do
  • The business models that will redefine this industry for the next 20 years
  • The cultural and operational changes required to survive and thrive
CEO Power Panel Brought to You By

James Hewes, President and CEO FIPP
Dan McCarthy, CEO, Dodge Construction Network
Peter Goldstone, Chairman of the Board, GovExec
Michael Cotoia, CEO, TechTarget
9:45AM - 10:15AM How a 100-Year-old-B2B Giant Looks to the Future
As the third generation of leadership at 106-year-old, family-owned Crain Communications, KC Crain is leading a new vision for the company, including prioritizing subscriptions (which surpassed print advertising for the first time last year) and a desire to expand into new markets through acquisition.
Crain also hired its first ever global CMO in Veebha Mehta, who previously ran audience and marketing strategy at Financial Times, Pearson and Cengage. Here, Crain and Mehta show how Crain is remaking a 100-year-old publishing tradition, including,
  • How Crain is looking beyond its traditional verticals for growth
  • How its changed culture, infrastructure and strategy to aggressive development of recurring revenue streams
  • How key hires can be the catalyst for new growth
10:15AM - 10:45AM Networking Break
10:45AM - 11:15AM The Return of the Deal: Buyers Share What They Want in 2022
M&A is back. The start of 2022 has seen a surge of deals including Informa selling its pharma analytics business for $2.3 billion; MJBiz selling to Emerald for $120 million; Aderant buying American LegalNet; Endeavor Business Media, the industry’s most aggressive strategic buyer prior to the pandemic, back on the hunt; Crain Communications snapping up The Journal of Precision Medicine and its Precision Medicine Leaders Summit (and don’t forget Thomas capping off 2021 with its whopping $300 million sale to Xometry).
Join us as a panel of leading industry investors (and current owners) share their plans for 2022 including,
  • What types of assets are most desirable
  • What they’re looking for in potential acquisitions
  • How the pandemic has changed deal making for good
Michael McLaren, CEO, Merkle B2B
Gil Ozir, Managing Partner, Beringer Capital
Aron Grossman, Managing Director, Gemspring Capital
Wilma Jordan, Founder and CEO, North America, JEGI Clarity
11:20AM - 12:00PM A Winning Formula: How MJBiz Sold its Media and Events Business for $120M In Six Months
You’ve heard from the buyers, now hear from the sellers. In January, MJBiz, a 10-year-old media and events company serving the cannabis industry, sold to events giant Emerald Expositions [NYSE: EEX] for $120 million in cash plus an earnout based on future performance. For MJBiz co-founders Anne Holland and Cassandra Farrington, the deal marks the fifth time they’ve successfully launched and sold a media business (and a new personal record for price tag and turnaround time--the entire sales process took just six months). Here, Holland and Farrington share the formula they’ve developed for taking an information company from launch to exit, including:
  • Positioning a company for sale
  • Preparing an effective Confidential Memorandum (CIM)
  • How to build trust with potential buyers
  • How hustle through due diligence in less than 60 days to meet closing deadlines
Anne Holland, VP AHV Inc., Acting COO MJ Biz
Cassandra Farrington, President, Anne Holland Ventures Inc.
12:00PM - 12:30PM Leadership Roundtables
Join your peers in a series of moderated discussions, including
  • How To Make Your Company Data-Smart
  • Quick Value-Three Easy Steps to Understanding What Your Company is Worth
  • Why Your Company Needs an ESG Policy
  • Streaming Video Strategies
12:30PM - 01:45PM Networking Lunch
1:00PM - 01:30PM Keynote: How Technology is Transforming What It Means to Be a Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
As a technology optimist, Bonnie Hyun has dedicated her career to advising next generation companies through their various stages of growth. As Head of Tech Capital Markets for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Bonnie is responsible for advising private technology companies on their IPO listing. Here she shares her insights on how she has seen technology take small and medium sized businesses to the next level and how the CEO-suite can develop their strategic thinking about the role of technology.
Bonnie Hyun, Head of Technology Capital Markets NYSE
01:45PM - 02:15PM Events Are Back but Have We Learned Our Lesson?
We’re now into our third year of event-industry disruption. 2021 was an improvement for the events business, as face-to-face commerce rebounded and virtual platforms improved. So what will this year—and beyond—look like? Big tradeshows will come back unfettered. The virtual format is a permanent new fixture. Or perhaps not. Join us for a conversation with four event executives on where we’re at and what’s coming next. You’ll learn:
  • Whether virtual events represent an inflection—a permanent disruption.
  • Why the live-event format, especially for large shows, is roaring back.
  • The ways event producers have created environments that are better protected, more controlled, and safe from COVID.
  • How companies are closing the loop between media, events and audience data to create a year-round solution of engagement.
  • And more
Rafat Ali, Founder and CEO, Skift
Melissa K. Montes, publisher and Portfolio Director, Clarion Events
Elliott Ferguson, CEO, Destination DC
George Jackson , Director of events at GovExec
2:20PM - 02:50PM Meet the New Guard-How a Digital Native Wants to Remake B2B
Last fall, Becca Sherman and Adam Ryan, former senior members of The Hustle, launched Workweek, a new type of company designed to give creators of B2B content full-time support to work independently, serving niches ranging from cannabis to fintech to healthcare and media. While there have been multiple attempts to harness the “creator economy” (most of which have fizzled), Workweek is claiming have created a new operating model that finally solves the equation. Hear Sherman outline the Workweek vision, including
  • How to identify or enhance a data-oriented revenue opportunity.
  • The new ways digital advertising can reach targeted audiences and produce new audience insights
  • New approaches to an old standby—newsletters.
  • And more.
Becca Sherman, COO and Co-founder, The Hustle
02:50PM - 03:20PM Networking Break
03:25PM - 03:55PM Talent, Culture and Leadership: Operating in a Post-Covid World
We are very excited to welcome Nick Schacht, chief global development officer at SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), as the guest for our next CEO Council meeting, to discuss the Future of Work. Nick will be covering topics such as:
  • What you as a CEO need to know about how remote workforce and other new workplace arrangements will affect your tax, benefit, hiring, promotion structures.
  • What the Mass Resignation means for the industry and how you can position your company to capitalize.
  • Remaking your leadership chain—how to empower your executive team to drive your business forward within this transformation.
Nick Schacht, Chief Global Development Officer, SHRM
Moderator: Jim Elliott, Founder, James G. Elliott
03:55PM - 04:25PM The Digital Rebound—Can It Survive the Recovery?
2021 was a record year for digital advertising. Technological advances in ad ops were to this new vitality, along with expanding opportunities in video, audio and commerce. Cancellations of events played a role, too. But smarter targeting, rich visuals and enhanced measurement have B2B digital ads delivering higher engagement and stronger results.
Multiple companies saw double digit growth in digital media after years of flat performance. As the world slowly returns to normal, will digital media continue to perform? Two companies that saw 40 percent and 50 growth in digital media during the pandemic share,
  • Where growth came from and specific packages that succeeded
  • Where they invested and the new hires that made the surge a reality (hint: it wasn’t salespeople)
  • How they plan to keep the growth going as events return to the spotlight
John Lerner, CEO, Breaking Media
Rick Stamberger, SVP, B2B at Future
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