Events are hotter than ever, with publishers jumping on the bandwagon for this “easy” revenue channel. But this is not the field of dreams! You can’t just create an event and hope everyone shows up. There’s an art to finding the opportunities within your niche to create events that cement your brand as a leader in its space.
We interviewed upcoming Niche CEO Summit featured speaker Jennifer Schwartz. As Senior Vice President & Group Publisher at Access Intelligence, she knows what it takes to launch successful live events, fine-tune them, and how to capitalize on opportunities of niching-within-a-niche events.
How do you ensure you’re engaging your audience with new events or updates to existing events?
We do this by engaging all of our audiences at different levels. Most of our live events have advisory boards who include end users as well as vendors. Those boards not only help us set the content direction for the events, but they give participants a sense of pride and ownership that they helped to create the event. When you are on the ground level of creating an event, you are more likely to dedicate the time to make sure it can be successful.
For webinars, we often rely on our editorial team to let us know about major disruptors happening in the marketplace. Sometimes it is a new regulation or compliance issue and sometimes it’s a government action, such as dropping funding for a project. Those are all great ways to keep your audience informed and engaged about what it means for them.
Finally, we utilize web analytics and surveys to determine which topics are resonating with our audience, i.e. most read articles, most commented on stories, etc. Those are also good indicators for an event’s future launch.
So there are great opportunities when niching within a niche. But how do you ensure revenue increases? Are there limits to the “niching your niche” strategy? Can you subdivide your revenues too far and undercut your own programs?
When we are determining the potential viability of a niche-within-a-niche live event, the main questions to answer are:
- Is there an unmet need for this information in the marketplace currently?
- Is there sustainability in the chosen topic past a year or two?
The worst thing to do is launch a conference that doesn’t hold water for the future. It takes the same amount of time and energy to launch an event that lasts one year vs. multiple years. So we aim to leave the time-sensitive topics for webinars and launch live events that are on the upswing in their growth potential.
What are the best ways to work with advertisers to launch new events or enhance existing events?
The best way to do this is to include them on the front end. Before we even move forward with a business plan, we engage our current clients to determine if the topic is something they would be willing to support. Once we determine that there is an unmet need in the marketplace that our sponsors will support, we move to the next stage of planning.
Editor’s note: Jennifer will be speaking to niche publishing CEOs about “If You Build It, They Better Come…Event Revenue Success Strategies!” at the Niche CEO Summit, June 21-22 in Washington D.C.
More about Jennifer: As Senior Vice President at Access Intelligence (AI), Jennifer is responsible for the overall operating management and strategic business development for AI’s Aerospace, Energy & Engineering and Healthcare media groups. Leading market brands under her umbrella include: Exchange Monitor Forums & Publications, The LDC Forums, The OR Manager Business Management Conference, The Global Connected Aircraft Summit, Defense Daily, POWER, Chemical Engineering, Avionics, Rotor & Wing, and Via Satellite.
Niche Media has the best events, education, and training in media! Our super niched-out events & content give target-audience publishers in the B2C, hobbyist, B2B, city & regional, and association markets the tools they need to build revenue, audience, and more.