About a year and a half ago, I conducted an email interview with George Yedinak, co-founder and EVP of Aging Media Network. “The Future Leaders program has provided us a way to connect with the next generation of leaders in the industry we cover,” he wrote. “It provides brand awareness across our publications and also provides our editorial team with new contacts that they can work with in the years to come.
“Awards marketing takes up significantly more time,” he warned, “especially in the first few years to build that awards brand. Just because you build a program, you still have to do a lot of explaining and positioning when it comes to the program for all involved.”
Four years in, I see on their website that it’s going stronger than ever. In fact 2023 nominations are due this Wednesday for Future Leaders in five of their industry segments. At BIMS, Yedinak will appear on a panel for a session titled An Essential Conversation About the Future of Events. “We are just starting to integrate the awards programs into our in-person and virtual events where possible,” he said in that Q&A. It will be interesting to get an update.
Here are five other pieces of advice from BIMS 2023 speakers:
Ask and you shall receive. “We created Industry Dive’s culture of teamwork and collaboration when it was just one location,” Terri Travis, their VP of human resources, said. “In the past two years, we have evolved to a remote workforce of more than 400 people spread across the country, and now internationally. We routinely ask our team what’s important to them to get a sense of where things stand. We ask how do we meet them where they want to be. Are there specific times, events, trainings and other things that would maintain the level of culture and cohesiveness they’re looking for? Moving forward, I also anticipate an increased focus—and resource allocation—on mental health and wellness.”
Travis will speak on a panel for the Closing Keynote: The Future of Work in B2B Media
Form a technology plan. “The strategy needs to be driven from the top so that there is one ultimate path that the entire company aligns to,” said Rhonda Wunderlin, SVP, performance marketing, Questex. “Once the vision is set, the biggest challenge companies face is the ability to bridge the gap between the vision and the day-to-day implementation. Ensuring there is a strong project manager, a detailed project plan (that is appropriately resourced) and realistic timelines is important. That said, transparency and consistent communication of milestones are also critical. By keeping key stakeholders well-informed of the progress and ensuring milestones are communicated out to the company, you can achieve buy-in at all levels.”
Wunderlin will present a session titled: Enterprise Tech Spending Starts With a Coherent Business Strategy. Are You Focused Enough?
Plan some “boutique” events. “We feel that events have really segmented into two categories: trade shows and niche boutique events,” John Lerner, CEO of Breaking Media, told us. “Each market will support 1-2 large trade shows, but I have heard many marketers are still evaluating ROI beyond the #1 show in their market. The highly focused boutique events offer an opportunity for more networking, and we feel these fit well with highly targeted digital media.”
Lerner will speak on The B2B Digital Advertising Surge – Will it Continue?
Reinvent this wheel. “There are huge benefits for publishers in diversifying revenue streams and exploring alternative avenues,” Elizabeth Deeming, SVP, B2B division, Future, told FIPP earlier this year. “At Future, we created a Future Wheel; the wheel is made up of our different monetization streams—from print, advertising, video production, to e-commerce. The wheel illustrates Future’s holistic approach to diversification. It also ensures that no one monetization model is dominant and has led to a stronger business model as market changes in one area will have less of an impact as we have other monetization streams to rely upon.”
Deeming will speak with Lerner on The B2B Digital Advertising Surge – Will it Continue?
Look to marketing solutions. “We have been able to continue our acquisition strategy of acquiring smaller B2B media companies in an environment where there is little competition for them,” said Chris Ferrell, CEO of Endeavor Business Media. “At the same time, we have assembled a very experienced team and have the resources to invest in the innovative ideas they come up with for organic growth. As a result, we are launching new events and new products on a regular basis. In terms of organic growth, our suite of marketing solutions products is where we are seeing the largest revenue growth.”
At BIMS, Ferrell will appear on a CEO panel to look at 2023.