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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Events No Easy Money

Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland
 just with the idea of making money. 

— Walt Disney

Publishers find events alluring.

According to Hubspot, 26% of B2C publishers and 42% of B2B publishers say they're today's fast-growth revenue stream.

And why not? The publishing business model and the events business model seem quite similar on the surface.

But any resemblance is deceiving.

Events are not the golden goose publishers think they are,” one publisher recently told Lucinda Southern, reporter for Digiday"Events work when it fits into the publisher’s key interest areas, passion points and depth of knowledge.”

"Publishers are not just competing with other events companies, but any content provider or brand that claims to have a route to consumers," Southern writes. "Making money from events often requires a dedicated team and a different set of skills when selling event sponsorship packages."

Among the pitfalls:
  • Events have sizable sunk costs (venue rental, speaker fees, marketing expenditures, etc.) absent in publishing.
  • Sponsorship sales are tougher than ad sales. Salespeople need to understand event operations and must close sponsorship sales faster, often with non-advertisers. There's also more difficulty proving prospects' ROI.
  • Events aren't a "bright and shiny" channel. They look old-school next to the latest digital "solution."
“They say events are like a sausage, wonderful to eat, but you don’t want to get involved in what goes into them,” another publisher told Southern. 

“You have to love the complexities, the highs and lows, embrace that passion. Publishing companies that dabble will not succeed.”

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