Friday, June 13, 2014

The newMeetia Blog Hit Parade

Below are our greatest hits.  Your humble blogger is writing now about turning good information into good politics and public policy at - its a natural evolution given the great clients we've served.  If you have any questions or think we might be able to help you achieve your objectives, don't be shy! Call Roger Wilson at (781) 729-8611 or send an email to rwilson (at)  In any case ENJOY!


Media Outlets Embrace Conferences as Profits Rise was a business page story the NYT saw fit to print on Monday between a stories on the pending Twitter IPO and Gawker gossip regarding the sexual preferences of media personalities.
When you see a “GOLD DISCOVERED IN CALIFORNIA!” headline you can be sure somebody somewhere is going to make some money.  But being one of those somebodies doesn't mean just rushing in with a shovel.  Face-to-face will be fundamental forever.  Live events will be hot when our current tablets are dead museum pieces.  However, events are no easier as a business than other communication medium.

David Carr Wonders:
What Are We Thinking?

The New York Times Media Equation columnist David Carr may be stumbling toward your humble blogger’s conclusion of last month that Fear in the Fourth Estate is Good.

Carr reports with wonder, the rancor establishment journalists clearly feel for the likes Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who brokered the publication of Bradley Manning’s purloined information, and Glen Greenwald, the Guardian Columnist who broke Eric Snowden’s NSA revelations.

The Face of Terror;
Terrorists as Cover Boys


Keep Paddling ‘Til You Hit the Beach

‎A state government executive, serving for an effective Governor, once told your humble blogger that the Governor continuously urged his cabinet to “run through the tape” with their initiatives.  Your humble blogger recently summoned his aquatic version of this track aphorism, learned in kayak racing, which applies to event production.

Let's Have Fun:
Businessweek Angle on the Hedge Fund Story

‎When your humble blogger pulled this week’s Bloomberg Businesweek from the courier’s sheath (an unheralded development in print distribution), my first thought was “This is what happens when the boss goes on vacation.”

Why Fear in the Fourth Estate is Good

‎There a was a remarkably feeble defense of freedom of the press in the “Media Equation" column by David Carr, in the New York Times this Independence Day week, juxtaposing journalists, whom Carr defines as people “responsible for following the truth, wherever it may guide them” and activists whom he defines as people dedicated to “winning an argument.”

Content Ain't King...But...

Your humble blogger got hooked by the subject line of a recent email from Target Marketing Magazine: “Why Content Isn't King.”  The linked article was a disappointment but it prompted your humble blogger to examine why I bit on the subject line bait.

Four Types of "Conference Hurt"

Where does it hurt?” your humble blogger asked fellow attendees at the Specialized Information Publishers Association Conference this week in DC.  I was collecting conference pain stories to use in my roundtable on “Conference Pain Relief; Developing or Fixing Business Models.”

As I suspected, the conference pain fell into four categories:

Surfing the Next Wave of Social Media

The tide of social media, which swept in as the recession was hitting, has recently receded a bit.  Some of the mighty waves of expectation and overblown rhetoric have crashed on the rocks of media reality. Here are a few data points among the flotsam and jetsam:

The Simple Science of Business

‎Years ago your humble blogger was intrigued when one individual, a leader in a third-world conflict who espoused and practiced “scientific revolution,” switched sides and changed the course of that war.  Your humble blogger felt compelled to investigate.

The science turned out to be pretty simple, when your humble blogger finally located the writings and reports of this obscure, young, third-world General (no easy task, pre-internet).  The key to winning a war, according to the General, was to know:

Face-to-Face is Fundamental

‎The event slice of the media pie is growing again according to sources recently cited by BtoB and Media Business.  Events have been part of the communications mix since before clay tablets. Now we’re all atwitter about tablet computers and smart phones.  New technologies are absolutely transforming communication.  But events will still be important when we are looking at tablet computers in the museum beside the displays of “micro computers" of the late '70s, fax machines and telegraphs. 

Learning from Your Mistakes - by the Numbers

‎ There are good lessons in mistakes and “natural experiments” in events and across the media business. The lessons pose both emotional and conceptual challenges. That’s why running the numbers right is highly instructive.

Mistakes in the moment in any live media generate tension – you run low on food, cues are missed, wiring is wrong, the award that was supposed to be at the front of the room was left in the back – whatever. Somebody miscalculated, didn’t practice, didn’t plan or didn’t execute the plan.

Why Your Audience Wants to Talk About Your Content

You can’t assume your audience wants your information only for themselves.  People seek information to share and trade, primarily in conversation as was discussed at the Inbound Marketing Conference last fall.  This primal hunt is especially vital to event curation.

Content that bears repeating is valuable to people.  Providing “remarkable content” is touted as a way to generate online social media conversation that potentially “goes viral” (dirty secret: it rarely happens without a big boost from mass media).  But if information is your product rather than a means to sell something else, you still should think about what your audience will want to share and trade with others.

Good News from Egypt: “Less than 1,000 People Died”

‎“Eighty-five million people live in Egypt and less than 1,000 people died in this revolution,” said Wael Ghonim, according to Monday’s New York Times. Ghonim, a 31 year old Google executive, is credited with a key role in the on-line social media campaign that helped topple Hosni Mubarak last week.

Gauging the grief of 1000 families as good news is a legitimate political-economic calculation. But it underscores the seriousness of the business Ghonim and his colleagues have undertaken. More broadly the calculation underscores the seriousness of the business of belief which is at the heart of media in all forms.

Gaining Leverage on Life-Time Value

‎You know engagement sells.  That’s why you should take a look at a new analysis of customer engagement.  It is consumer-oriented but your humble blogger found lessons for B-to-B marketers about engagement elements, channels, and measurement in the report.

Buyers aren’t seeking engagement for its own sake.  They are looking to fulfill a need.  But they consistently judge the key elements of engagement across channels according a study offered by Razorfish.  Buyers want to feel valued.  They want efficiency and they want to be able to trust the seller. 

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
at the Inbound Marketing Summit

‎We wanted to share the smartest and the dumbest things we heard at the Inbound Marketing Summit last week – fortunately there was stiff competition for the former. We were one of the sponsors of the event under our newMeetia initiative and we found plenty of value for marketers at the two day event along with a little malarkey and lots of stuff that was just plain fun.

Clearly, online social and content marketing is now main stream. While some speakers valiantly jousted against straw-man “old marketing” enemies the best presentations were about integrating new online marketing with the old, “inbound”(online-inquiry) with “outbound” and online media with offline. And the rants against self-discipline were more than offset by practical advice about how to measure and manage online marketing.

Bigger is Better: Why The Media Loves Facebook Stories

It was another big weekend for Facebook stories.  “The Social Network,” won four awards at Critics' Choice Movie Awards last Friday and four more at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday Night.  The movie, which has grossed over $200 million so far, has, according to the LA Times   “won the majority of critics honors this year, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association., New York Film Critics Circle and National Society of Film Critics.”

Meanwhile, Facebook was given a starring role in the overthrow of Tunisia’s long ruling President, Zine el Abidine Ben.  The LA Times coverage with the head "Tunisia protesters use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to help organize and report" was typical.  

2011: First Impressions

‎The seers poking at the messy entrails of economic data are seeing good signs.  Albeit with varying degrees of trepidation, they are forecasting noticeable recovery.  Based on anecdotal evidence, your humble blogger agrees. 

As some of the “old media” bounces back we’ll be able to more accurately tease out the long-term secular trends, set in motion by new online and mobile media, from the shorter-term economic cycles that the seasoned among us have seen before.  

What it Takes to Make A High-Performance Event Team

‎“You can’t begin early too early and you can’t communicate too much,” admonished a savvy collaborator at a post-event debriefing. Your humble blogger had taken some lumps after running what he’d thought had been a good team effort. But the maxim to became a motto.

Event production is a test of group intelligence. Events of any size take a team to execute. And the effectiveness of the team is not simply a function of the individual intelligence of people on the team.

Zip Ideas:
Three Lessons from the CEO of Zipcar

Scott Griffith, CEO of Zipcar, recently offered key lessons learned in the his seven years in the driver's seat of the company.  Zipcar is trying to “redefine the way people think about transportation.”  Giffith’s "Zip Ideas" could apply to media companies in a time when the way people think about information is rapidly changing.

Navigating through a New Media World

‎“Human API(application programming interface), mobile platforms, new platform entrants, and of course, iPad apps were among future hot topics tagged by speakers at the SIPA UK Online Publishing and Marketing Summit last week.  This year’s event focused heavily on the mechanics of new product launches, marketing automation, and web analytics

Seven Quick Ideas on Event Curation

‎Most people associate “curation” with the art of museum management. Some might mistake it for a method of meat preservation. But curation is now is the term de jour for the process of selecting organizing and presenting content in media and, more broadly, merchandise and even food. Lately it has been used to ennoble the process of making any set of choices that create an experience.

The Vision Thing - 
It's Not About Selling Content like Hamburgers

"The Dawn of a New Age, Second Encounter” was the promoted theme of the Second Annual Personal Computer Show held in Chicago, around this time, thirty-two years ago. Your humble blogger was reminded of that show as I wrote about the Inbound Marketing Summit recently. The online/smart phone media business keeps reminding me of the PC business in its early days. But I was surprised to find that my memory was WRONG in key respects. And I realized I owed a personal debt.

The Bad and the Ugly at the Inbound Marketing Summit

Last week your humble blogger shared some of the smartest things we heard and some of the fun we enjoyed at the Inbound Marketing Summit which we sponsored under our NewMeetia initiative. But I promised the Bad and the Ugly along with the Good.
The dumbest thing I heard at the conference was “Scale and media buying power are no longer a decisive advantage.” The speaker was David Meerman Scott, Marketing Strategist, Freshspot Marketing, who, to his credit, was also the source of some smart commentary about "Real-Time Marketing" and some good fun, including the donning of a tie-dye t-shirt (under his sport coat) to flog a book he and Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot have put together about “Marketing Lessons of the Grateful Dead.” But the notion that new media negates scale is wishful thinking.

A Winning Formula: Preparation + Technology + Exhibit Floor Time = Sales

Yves Matson, Senior Account Executive at Active Conversion, knew he had a big opportunity earlier this year. The Global Petroleum Show was coming to Calgary where he is based. From his experience as an exhibitor in a previous job, he knew his lead monitoring and demand generation system could serve some of the more than 1000 exhibitors. So how did he capture this opportunity in only nine simple steps?

Why the “Junk Web” is Getting the Action

It’s not the media but human nature that shapes marketing principles. That’s why so much of the current web environment feels like “junk mail,” a medium developed by tracking response.

Urgent! Pass It On: Three Big Secrets About Going Viral

Myths about going viral are part of the regular fare offered by new marketing gurus. “You create great content, and show it to ten friends who show it to ten friends and pretty soon it goes viral and a million people are looking at it.” Too bad the real world doesn’t work this way. So, what are the true secrets?

The Web Ain’t Dead - The Long Tales of Chris Anderson

“Ludicrous” is how a savvy reporter of media trends describes Chris Anderson's latest big idea: “The Web is Dead” advanced recently in Wired.  People like Anderson have made good careers by generating plausible and interesting “big ideas.” But they are not producing reliable knowledge about the world.

Marketing Impressions Still Matter 

The current faith in our new media and new information technology tools seems uncomfortably like the faith in “smart bombs” early in the second Iraq war. The new technologies are formidable to be sure but they hardly “change everything.


New Study: Digital Dazzle Won't Last Without Results...

Virtual media is being quickly adopted by event marketers, a new Center for Exhibition Research (CEIR) study indicates. But the measurement of investment results is lagging in virtual and other types of Digital media the study finds. The findings are based on an online survey, now in its second year, of show producers, corporate marketers and advertisers.

Solution to Media Overload: Make Every Day Independence Day

We hold this truth to be self-evident, that free people must think for themselves.  While I have written about the positive impact of Way Too Much Information (WTMI) others see media overload as a problem.

A Customer is a Terrible Thing to Waste 

The notion of using new media to move prospects into and down the “sales funnel” has been repeated ad nauseam lately (often with the same thin anecdotes as “evidence”). It is refreshing to have the argument turned upside down.

What Publishers Can Learn from the Platypus

Live events are a “huge” part of “content that you can experience," according to Larry Weber, author of Marketing to the Social Web and a new book, Stick & Stones. Real-time, experiential and rich media, he says, are parts of a new “World 2.0” spawned by today’s communications technology.

The Future of F2F: How to “Save” Events

Event spending is under attack. The purveyors of “inbound marketing,” SEO, and various forms of lead-generation and tracking, are advocating reallocating event marketing budgets to fuel online growth. New simulated or “virtual” events offer information seekers and marketers some of the benefits of events at lower cost. 

Non-profit Fund Raising: The Warm Fuzzy Formula

Keep influencers in mind, make the benefits emotionally appealing and be systematic if you want to motivate adults to come out and donate money to your cause. As a board member of a local non-profit, I saw how an event promotion on a tiny budget executed by volunteers could work like a charm.  

Media Strategy: Dot Com Déjà Vu?

Are you feeling Dot Com déjà vu? You are not alone among media and marketing people if the current wave of Next Big Things is making you queasy.

A little skepticism is in order. Nobody really knows how all this Great Stuff will work or what will survive. This early in the economic cycle we have room to maneuver and try new things, but most of us still have a business to run and bills to pay. Five quick thoughts: 

Got Content? Seven Ideas for Monetizing with Events

The current lingo for pounding coin out of content is monetizing. The old term was making money. However you phrase it, new events are a key opportunity for old and new media alike as the economy begins to turn.  Monetizing sounds sanitized but making good content profitable is usually a messy muddle. Events could be your best way to package your content for a price. Here are seven quick thoughts to help you succeed: 

Attn: Media Entrepreneurs, Don’t Take Risks!

The best media entrepreneurs don’t take risks. They take what other people think are risks. Bernie Goldhirsh, the founder of Inc. Magazine and a quintessential entrepreneur, was one of the most risk-adverse people I’ve ever had the privilege of working for.

Better, Faster and Cheaper Events

I met the CEO of Kaon Interactive, Gavin Finn, the other day at Mass Innovation Nights (a great local event) and immediately found yet another reason to get excited about the future of face-to-face events.

Are You Hungry for a Sale?

Some people think “selling” is a dirty word. That’s why a phrase caught my eye as I scanned the posts of an online discussion group: “People are hungry to be SOLD,” asserted Dwight Ingram, an experienced direct-marketing pro.
Business starts with a sale.” was my motto in the early days of my event business. A savvy event guy told me I had it wrong. “Business starts with value,” he piously insisted. But I’ll stick to my guns. Until you get someone to buy, creating value is a hobby.

Events for Love and Money, Book Review

For IT consultant and computer science professor Adrian Segar, the journey started with a bad conference experience. Determined to do better, he set out to create an event that would truly serve him and his peers. Now, seasoned by years of experience and research, he has written a book: Conferences that Work, Creating Events that People LOVE. It’s a good practical guide for running participant-directed conferences.  

If You’re Spinning Out, “Gas It!”

“Gas it! Gas it! Gas it!” radioed a spotter to the lead driver as the car went into a sudden spin coming off a corner. It was the final lap. Under full power, the open-wheel, rear-engine race car did a full 360 but somehow emerged from a huge cloud of tire smoke headed in the right direction. The driver held on to win the race. After I happened to see this spectacular save on TV, I posted a little card in my office as a reminder of the vivid lesson it imparted: If you’re spinning out, “Gas it! Gas it! Gas it!” 

In 2010, Think About the Political Economics of Information

You might say it started with event-magic in 2004, the year Facebook was founded. On a cool, damp July night in Boston, a tall, handsome, (secretly) cigarette-puffing University of Chicago professor-turned-politician, skilled in the ancient art of oratory, delivered his first nationally covered speech.

Sez Who? Will WTMI Cure Gullibility? 

Being bombarded with way too much information (WTMI) may help us learn to be more skeptical and ask more frequently, “Sez who?” The constant barrage of WTMI could push business and consumer information users to rely more on personal connections, develop critical judgment of sources of information, and revive relationships with trusted brands. 

Sorry but in Media, Size Does Matter

Some mavens of new media see a nirvana of social networks and small media entrepreneurs replacing big bad old media. The visions get romantic, with the media equivalent of microbrewers toppling the giants.
In reality, we could soon see massive consolidation of new media into new giants. It’s impossible to predict the timing of such a consolidation, but the implications for B2B are huge. 

Success with Your Business Model - It’s Not Just About Money

Our advice is the same across platforms: if you are trying to build, rebuild or tune your business model for an event or any other media product, first figure out what you want to say, and then figure out how to make it pay. Use this approach and your satisfaction is guaranteed. 

What We Can Learn from Loyal Attendees

“I don’t take notes at a conference, I write a to-do list,” a company president and regular conference attendee told me. “I get started on execution while I’m still at the event,” he explained. You can improve your retention rate by learning not simply why your loyal attendees return but also how they achieve the benefits that draw them back. 

There Will Always be a Place for Face2Face

The panic in traditional media today is painfully evident. The watchword of the day is “digital.” Old marketing and media assumptions are being tossed out. It’s not just a cyclical situation. It’s a secular change in the sense of a long-term, large scale phenomenon as big as the advent of radio or TV or even movable type. So why am I sure that events aren’t going the way of print media?

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