What’s on Their Minds? BIMS Attendees Share Priorities and Goals for the Event

This article was written by Tony Silber

The top minds in B2B media—and many from the enthusiast B2C side as well—are here in New Orleans beginning this morning and continuing through tomorrow afternoon for the annual BIMS conference.

These are busy executives running large organizations, small companies, and entrepreneurial startups. They’re pulled in a lot of directions at once. For them to commit two days to a conference is a big deal, and they expect that time to be well spent.

So we thought we’d ask a diverse group of attendees and sponsors what they expect to hear and learn at BIMS over the next two days. Here’s what we heard.

John Temple, CEO, Guideposts
I’m excited to hear more about how other companies are experimenting with generative AI models in an ethical way. As the leader of a B2C organization, I’m also interested in gaining a greater insight into B2B media and the lessons learned that could be applicable to our space.

Kate Spellman, Chief Marketing Officer, Questex
Each year, I enjoy attending BIMS to connect in person with my B2B, information-services industry colleagues. The conference program is always on the mark with knowledge and insights, new and emerging trends/technologies, as well as best practices. I look forward to leaving with ideas that I can share with the entire Questex team that we can put into action with our audience. With the entire industry in one place at the same time, it’s a terrific opportunity to gain new learnings, stay up to date and network.

Bill Carter, CEO, ALM
I hope to learn from my peers their approaches to a cookie-less future, their experimentations and implementations of AI, and their outlook on the 2024 economy.

Heather Holst-Knudsen, CEO, H2K Labs
I am keen to explore how B2B media and information firms are approaching AI in terms of approach, impact on internal and external processes, structure, and skills and how they view the financial opportunity. Equally important is understanding whether businesses grasp that AI is only viable with high-quality, unified data across the organization. The updated formula: GIGOBAI – Garbage In, Garbage Out, Bad AI.

In terms of news, I expect reinvigorated M&A. With that said, I think the hard discussion of valuation will need to be had. The go-go, pre-COVID days for businesses relying predominantly on advertising and basic demand gen may be over.

Matthijs Braakman, CEO, SmartWork Media
I attend BIMS to compare SmartWork Media’s progress against the broader B2B media industry. The conference offers a valuable network of colleagues and insightful programs that share knowledge and best practices. BIMS provides a unique opportunity to connect with other B2B media executives in a non-competitive environment.

[In terms of news,] two key topics dominate our industry. The first is the impact of AI tools, which both drive operational efficiencies and pose threats to our IP. The second topic is the evolution of CDP technologies and their role in extracting value from our audience data.

Jason Young, CEO, Northstar Travel Group
Connecting with industry colleagues to get perspectives on macro and micro trends and sentiment in market. Hearing about tangible, practical ideas/applications that our business should consider.

Don Pazour, Executive Chairman, Access Intelligence
The biggest takeaway I’m seeking is how people are defining, positioning, and delivering on intent-based marketing solutions. AI fits into this, CDP size and structure as well. How are we evolving to provide audience-driven solutions to our advertisers based on knowledge and engagement of just what that audience comprises? For those companies that have paid registration, understanding how they view their CDPs both as a registration source as well as a driver of advertising.

Also, on the M&A side, I’m sure we’ll hear that there are black books out there and discussions going on about several platforms that are past due for their PE owners. I’m not sure that the elements are there, though, to make any significant deal happen—unless you’re Informa.

Dan McCarthy, CEO, Dodge Construction Data
I’m particularly interested in AI use cases and approaches for rapid deployment.

Todd Latham, President, Actual Media
[For takeaways, I’d like to see] specific strategies (and tactics) that leading U.S. B2B publishers are using for revenue diversity and monetization, tech stack and M&A. [In terms of news,] probably an announcement or two of a merger/acquisition among attendees and perhaps a few suppliers to our industry launching new products or services!

Jeff Litvak, CEO, Golden Peak Media
Understanding how peers are performing, in areas of success as well as challenges, is helpful for developing and managing our strategy. And listening to case studies and gleaning insights that can help me to run our company better is an area of focus. I’m also interested to hear about practical applications of AI—that can be done without huge investments. Finally, of course, just catching up with friends and making new ones is going to be fantastic.

Hal Cohen, CEO, BridgeTower Media
I hope to network with peers and get a sense of their 2024 outlook, and I hope to walk away with one or two new ideas to generate incremental revenue.

Mark Holdreith, Co-Founder, Partner, Media Advisory Partners
I come to network, connect with old friends and make new contacts. I share and provide value where I can. I’m anxious to hear how people are addressing and using AI and 1P data.

Andy Clurman, CEO, Active Interest Media
I’m looking to reconnect with some old friends and make some new ones. In terms of news at the event, I’ll be looking for sideline deal-making.

Nikki Smith, Chief Operations Officer, BNP Media
I am interested to learn how other media companies are using data and technology to continue to advance their business in new ways.

Jim Spanfeller, CEO, G/O Media
I’m guessing that we will sort of learn—no one is completely transparent—how people are really doing. That the first half of this year is spotty. There’s some good, but at the same time, some still up in the air. I think the general consensus will be that by the second half of the year the world will start looking a lot better. The economy should look more stable (we hope!), and hopefully global unrest will have died down a bit.





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