9 Tips for Extending Your Print Brand With Events
For many magazine publishers, it is tempting to dive right in to the event business as a natural extension of your company’s print brand. However, it is important to plan this area of your business as carefully as your ventures in print, says Donna Sanford, group publisher of Expo magazine, an Ascend Media LLC publication in Overland Park, Kan. The 18-year-old magazine has a circulation of 7,500, is published 10 times per year and is read by association planners, for-profit producers and corporate planners. Expo offers its readers strategies and solutions for trade show, convention and corporate event management.
Sanford spoke with Publishing Executive Inbox and offered the following nine tips for executives looking to expand their brand to the trade show, expo and convention arena.
1) Find the need.
Is there a need for the event? It’s no different than launching a new publication. There has to be an unfulfilled need in the industry—some niche that’s not being served (or not being served well) by other events. Do your research, and match potential attendees to potential exhibitors or sponsors. Do these two groups already meet at a conference or trade show? If so, what makes you think they need to meet again at your event? If not, why not? What makes you think they need to meet—and how will you convince them of that need? Publishers need to remember that launching a conference or trade show isn’t about their need for an expanded portfolio. It’s about the need of their audience for face-to-face [F2F] time.
2) Defining your audience and their location.
You need to be able to precisely define who you’re trying to attract and what, in fact, attracts them. Is it price—meaning a second-tier city? Is it easy access—meaning an airport location? Or do they want the spa treatment—meaning a resort destination? You also need to know where the majority of your attendees live. If everyone’s in California, don’t book a Florida meeting. Again, do your research.