At ABM Executive Forum: Deploying data to create live events

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Chicago—As data moves to the core of business marketing, b-to-b media companies have an opportunity to harness their data sets to create new events, said Raymond Bianchi, VP-group show director at Cygnus Business Media. “A lot of media companies, and I've found this throughout my career, the minute you mention 'live event' they run for the door,” said Bianchi, who spoke Tuesday at American Business Media's Executive Forum here. “And the reason is they're magazine people or they're Web people, and they're just not comfortable with live events.” Bianchi added: “If you have data and you have relationships, you can take that data and take those relationships and you can build live events. You can enhance a solution to your customers without disrupting your business in any way.” Bianchi presented a “12-step program” on how business publishers can build live events using data and brand equity. These steps include identifying “your data scope” within the sector covered and, within that sector, determining if there is a community that's not being served by a live event. Another step is to test ideas about live events with potential attendees. “Once the potential event is determined, it is essential to test that need using your data to confirm your assumptions,” Bianchi said. “You need to test your assumptions. You need to create a survey of your key demographics and ask the right questions to determine the need. You need to have conclusions from your data to share with thought leaders, key customers and editorial teams.” As the event starts to coalesce, publishers should vet the concept with a variety of potential sponsors and create a board of advisers to examine the data and confirm the assumptions about the event that is based on the data. “Don't say, "This is going to disrupt my existing business,'” Bianchi said. “Your existing business may not exist someday.”
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