Northstar CEO 'Tired of Apologizing' for Print Success
We had one where we worked with the Tourism Board of Ireland, and they got a lot of their members to participate. [We featured] different parts of Ireland, with video and information.
And we're also doing a lot of educational platforms where we're teaching travel agents and travel suppliers about different regions and destinations, so they can be much more up to date when working with their clients.
We have a whole series ... and we have one specifically on Ireland Castles, one on golf, one on discover Northern Ireland, another one on Irish festivals, heritage and culture. So these are all specific events that we have that are live and then archived.
We have events—M&C Interact, for instance, that is an integrated digital [virtual] and hosted buyer face-to-face event. ... So we sell sponsorships to a destination, it could be for Phoenix [Convention and Visitors' Bureau], and sell them both a virtual event booth and as well as hosted-buyers sponsorship (in-person).
Skodzinski: Are most of your webinar/event programs sponsored or also paid for by attendees?
Kemp: They're all sponsored at this point. We've looked at a few media companies who are doing some paid-for webinars, and we've thought about it ... but generally all of our webinars and our online events are sponsored.
Skodzinski: How important have digital components been to your bottom line?
Kemp: It's a very fast-growing, double-digital growth part of our business. and strategically I think it's very important, as well as financially.
And potentially, you don't have some of the built-in costs factors that we do on the print side of our business with printing, paper and postage, but there's still a lot of investment in technology, infrastructure, product development ... and I spend a lot of my time worrying about finding new software developers. Twenty years ago we never worried about that; we looked for guys in the back office who were messing around with our computers. Now they're strategically a very important part of our business.