BREAKING NEWS & VIEWS
Smart Meetings Convenes 25% Growth
Monday, January 12, 2009
Smart Meetings magazine showing ad pages up 21.86% in the January-October period and October 2008 up 28.15% over the same month last year. For 2008, “we are forecasting to grow 25%, which is remarkable in this market,” says founder and editorial director Marin Bright. “We are doing the opposite of what most publishing companies are doing,” she says. “We are launching four new products and adding two more salespeople.”
The meetings professionals category Bright serves generally is doing better than many, in part because of the tough times its travel and lodging advertisers are suffering elsewhere in their business. Nielsen’s Meeting News also enjoyed a YTD ad page bump 26.75% and an October 2008 hike of 7.04%. Corporations continue to have meetings, and recent numbers show attendance holding for many conferences and conventions, Bright says. As the vacation market craters for hotels and vendors, these industries start relying on b2b and push more of their budgets into events books like Smart Meetings, which focuses on the West Coast space. In tough times, many of the C-level executives who read the magazine also tie their own vacations to these events. Bright believes this is one time when a regional focus really helps because the western businesses are not being hit quite as hard as the mid-west auto and eastern financial segments.
Bright believes that ultimately her success with advertisers and readers comes down to editorial and design quality. “The quality of our magazine is so much higher than standard trades. We have higher paper stock. We don’t scrimp on anything. We have invested in some really serious travel writers and experts in our field. It does set up apart. I have never been so inundated by people saying they love our magazine.”
Bright sees a number of other publishers chasing the money and trying to enter into her market. Nielsen’s Successful Meetings and Northern Travel Media’s M&C are chief competitors in the space. She feels secure that her small company’s laser focus and domain expertise on its home regional market will a single regional property. “The small little entrepreneur is showing these bigger corporations where the money is.”
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