ABM Spring Meeting Addresses Industry’s ‘Transformation’
The attendee list from American Business Media’s (ABM) annual Spring meeting, held last week in Naples, Fla., read like a who’s who of business-to-business media. Virtually all of the major b-to-b players were accounted for and a significant number of private-equity investors and vendors were present as well.
The three-day event set out to address the transformation taking place at nearly all b-to-b media companies throughout the industry these days as executives search for ways to turn new technologies into steady revenue streams. And if there was a common theme to be found at the top of most CEO’s priority lists, it was the call to change mindsets throughout their organizations.
“They need incentive below the line and not just a bonus, and with that a good majority of [salespeople] can adapt to online sales,” said Bob Carrigan, president of IDG Communications, in last Monday’s seminar “Transformation: The C-Suite’s Point of View.”
In the same session, Tad Smith, CEO of Reed Business Information, disclosed that all of his sales reps are “double-commissioned” in an effort to keep them motivated and happy.
Tuesday’s sessions were highlighted by a “CEO Roundtable” comprised of Carr Davis, CEO of Cygnus Business Media, Steve Palm, CEO of NewBay Media LLC, and Robert Merry, president/publisher of Congressional Quarterly Inc. Merry admitted his company will likely need to evolve its business model as the industry continues to undergo rapid change. “We’re doing fine [now], but I’m not sure we’ll grow in the future if we stay in the same silos.”
Getting in touch with your customers is paramount in today’s marketplace, and Davis went so far as to suggest that companies should “listen to what people are saying about them in blogs and wikis and create products that line up with what people need.”