SIPA Annual Speakers Set Their Sights on Revenue

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It's amazing that by just spending time at SIPA Annual 2019: Make More Money, June 3-5 in Washington D.C., you can hear how to lift event attendance by 50%, increase webinar dollars, launch new products, start a high-end membership model, sell corporate licenses, use data to drive growth, and get an update on every legal issue facing you.

And then it will be time for lunch.

"We have a couple new tracks this year," Adam Goldstein, publisher of Business Management Daily and chair of this year's conference, told me last month. "One is Events: Webinars and Conferences. It's the number one growth area for many publishers now. So we are responding to that. The other is The Customer: Sales, Retention and Experience. A lot of what we do can sound good and even be fun, but if it's not helping people succeed, then what good is it? This will be about engagement and enhancing the customer experience. I remember a quote someone told me years ago: 'Don't tell me about your grass seed. Tell me about my lawn.'"

Here's some of what you can expect from this year's speakers, and all can lead to more revenue:

Invest big in customer intimacy. "It's not enough to simply build an app or post on social media; creating a genuine, deep community that offers [customers] relevant services and content must be the goal." Stephanie Eidelman, CEO of insideARM, has said. She will be presenting the session, High-End Premium Membership Models That Solidify Loyalty and Thought Leadership Positioning. insideARM's iA Institute pinpointed an unfulfilled need in their niche market and launched an offering customers couldn't refuse.

Memberships can work for you. "We did extensive research and found that the most important thing publishers can do to grow their digital revenues is to have a robust digital membership program," Rob Ristagno, CEO of The Sterling Woods Group, has said. "Other digital products, like eLearning and eCommerce, are great add-ons that everyone should offer, but they don't have the potential to scale like a membership program. Ristagno will present So Many Ideas, So Little Time: How Smart Executives Use Data to Prioritize Growth Efforts. (Chemical Watch recently switched from a subscription to a membership model, and Richard Butterworth, sales & marketing director, and Julian Rose, director and co-founder, will travel across the pond to talk about it.)

Use personas to increase attendance. Speaking about her work for a magazine called NOCO Style, Charity Huff, CEO of January Spring, said: "The team built three detailed reader personas that describe who reads NOCO Style. The personas defined why readers like the magazine and what other media and content they are reading. To help round out the reader personas, January Spring researched social networks and groups that attracted these types of readers, the keywords used to attract them, and the hashtags those readers use to find content and other like-minded people." Huff will co-present Lift Your Event Attendance By 50% Using Multi-Media Marketing Tactics.

Your webinar should be just the beginning. "When a sponsor does a webinar, we'll repurpose that information in multiple ways," said Clive Riddle, president of MCOL. "There's live, then we'll post the video, then take out excerpts, breaking it down into 7-minute chunks. We can do repurposing in multiple platforms. There are also nice tools out now to get a transcript off voice recognition." Appropriately, Riddle will present Deploying Webinar Attendee Analytics to Drive Marketing and Strategic Decision Making.

Learn all the legal ins and outs you need to know. While publishers are still learning the intricacies of GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act looms in 2020. Chris Mohr, SIIA's general counsel and VP for intellectual property, said that the current statute, as written, is grammatically inconsistent and difficult to understand. "[But] it's important to understand that the definition of personal information here is broader than the definition of personal information in GDPR. In addition, while similar, the compliance obligations are potentially more extensive. So... there's going to be more work to do." Mohr will co-present one of the most popular SIPA Annual features, the Legal Eagle Networking Breakfast, and be available to answer questions.

"We're also adding a Wednesday afternoon Marketing Masters session to make it a more robust and fuller conference," Goldstein said. "For our European members, it will give them more reason to come across the pond. And if people on this side can stay longer, we think this robust, interactive session will make it worth their while."

Goldstein also promises "a few surprises"—but says you'll have to come to Washington June 3-5 to find out what they are.

"I have never been to a bad SIPA conference," Goldstein concluded. "This year I'm planning to go to the best one."

Ronn Are you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…