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How Events Are Finding New Revenue (and Securing Budgets for Rescheduled Shows at the Same Time)

As events originally scheduled for the first and second quarters of 2020 migrate to a fall season already packed with existing conferences and trade shows, preserving original budgets is no sure thing.

Two clients of M&A advisory firm Grimes, McGovern & Associates are creatively leveraging new webinar strategies and membership programs to not only drive new revenue and secure sponsors and attendees for their rescheduled live events, but keep their valuations intact as they explore sales to new owners.

“At first it was the March events but within a week it became apparent that April and May were in jeopardy too,” says Marlon Wurmitzer, Senior Associate at Grimes, McGovern & Associates. “The sole owner of the business, who also runs the conferences, had to act quickly because we are in the middle of trying to secure the sale of his company. Because of his ability to scramble quickly, he has created a revenue stream that will increase the value of the organization.”

That company produces more than 20 events with 300 to 600 attendees and revenue of $50,000 to $200,000 each across the emerging technology, digital infrastructure and commercial real estate markets.

To produce revenue now, as well as preserve sponsors and attendees for events shifting to the fall, the company created an hour-long “Daily Webinar” featuring one or two sponsors paying between $1,500 to $3,000 each. The webinars feature thought leaders from both sponsors and end-user organizations and are free to attendees—provided you are a ticket holder to a future live event.

Another Grimes, McGovern client is hosting weekly webinars that are sponsor-curated, with free access for all current subscribers. Sponsors pay between $7,500 and $15,000 for each webinar and the company is planning to transition subscribers to an annual membership program to receive exclusive access for this type of content at a later date.

“Sponsors have been receptive as long as the pitch takes into account the grave situation that we are all going through at this time,” says Wurmitzer. “Value needs to be demonstrated. In terms of attendees, this has shown us that there is an absolute need for value and insight during this time of crisis.”

The two event companies are generating between 200 and 400 attendees per webinar and projecting $20,000 to $50,000 per month in new revenue over the course of the next three months.

An Opportunity for Smaller Events?

Wurmitzer says the future is extremely bright for smaller event organizations, more so than larger ones. “If a company has had to cancel a sponsorship to, say, one of the bigger Data Center Conferences companies like Gartner, DCD, Microsoft or AWS, they may find themselves with extra sponsor money available in 2020 on a ‘use it’ or ‘lose it’ basis. Smaller event companies are poised to benefit and they are beginning to hear from potential sponsor that they never secured before, for their fall events.”

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LabX Media Group Acquires Drug Discovery News

LabX Media Group has acquired Drug Discovery News (DDNews), a highly respected media organization dedicated to the news of technology and business in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Old River Publications/DDN News was represented by Connectiv member Grimes, McGovern & Associates in this transaction.

This marks a significant acquisition for LabX Media Group, which has considerably strengthened its leadership position in the scientific community by investing in strategic acquisitions while enjoying rapid growth with its existing brands. The acquisition of DDNews fits within LabX Media Group’s strategic business plan set in 2015 of organic and acquisition growth to becoming the leading media organization serving the science marketplace with high quality timely and trusted editorial content.

Since its launch in 2004 as a news magazine, the founders of DDNews – Bruce Poorman and Larry Doyle – have evolved the brand into a multi-platform media organization dedicated to covering the news in discovery, development, diagnostics, clinical trials, cancer research and much more.

“We’re excited to match up DDNews and its breadth of content, marketing and sales solutions with LabX Media Group’s leading brands to create best-of-class products and services that build high value for scientist and laboratory professionals and their partners,” said Bob Kafato, President of LabX Media Group.

“I am particularly pleased to be working with the extremely talented team of DDNews, who under the leadership of Mario Di Ubaldi, will lead our efforts in serving the pharma and biotechnology community. The acquisition marks LabX Media Group’s continued investment in high-performing and premier properties with engaged audiences and best-in-class products and services. The DDNews portfolio of products adds to LabX Media Group’s product portfolio, adding a robust emedia component to its fold, and expands our reach on a global basis.”

The acquisition of DDNews enables LabX Media Group to service the various science communities with our highly engaged brands and creates an exciting opportunity for our employees and customers.