Northstar CEO 'Tired of Apologizing' for Print Success
Skodzinski: How is your internal sales structure set up? Do you use one sales team for both print, events and digital products?
Kemp: For our trade shows, we have, for the most part, separate people who are responsible for selling trade show booths. But generally, ... we're organized by brands, and our salespeople are responsible for selling integrated marketing programs to our clients.
But we do have digital product specialists who work with our brand teams and the publishers and salespeople ... who can go out and present specific digital programs, who have a higher degree of familiarity and technology expertise.
So the salespeople, we see as primarily relationship managers and work as strategic partners with our clients, and then we'll have digital product specialists who can come in on specific proposals and can work very closely and directly in a sales capacity ... with our salespeople. So the salespeople are still responsible overall. But we have a lot of salespeople who've been around a long time; they aren't all as familiar with the digital products as we'd like them to be, so we try to supplement them with digital specialists.
Skodzinski: You also publish a daily e-newsletter for the meeting industry, called Meeting News. What has the primary role and benefit of this been?
Kemp: Meeting News has been around as a brand for at least 30 years. When we bought the Nielsen Travel Group last year, it came along with it. But we have Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, and we have three print publications serving the meetings industry. And Meeting News was supposedly a news center, but it was published once a month at best, and we decided that was kind of ridiculous to try to be a news publication on a monthly print basis. So we converted it to a daily, online news and information site, and it comes out as a daily newsletter.