Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Dear Mr., Ms. or Mrs. BEA Exhibitor:  

I want to share one critical fact with you:  BEA attendees want to see and learn about your new titles.  It comes up overwhelmingly in our research time and time again that the primary reason and value that BEA's attendees get out of BEA is seeing new titles and meeting with authors.  BEA performs a Needs Assessment Survey about 10-11 weeks prior to BEA to  insure we are are on the right course for what attendees 'need' from BEA.  As things pop, like: "What current issues/challenges you would like to solve by attending BEA?"    An example is: 31% are looking to BEA for How to use social media to drive more business.  We will know make sure we promote those sessions more heavily and make sure sessions are tracked together so people can have this need fulfilled from BEA.

Back to my original point - which is sometimes is lost for exhibitors, BEA attendees are there to discover new titles, unique titles, titles their customers can't find anywhere else.  One of the great fortunes with BEA is the wonderful and passionate audience that comes with it.  It is extremely rewarding to know how much they love BEA and more importantly how valuable BEA is for them and their businesses.  That is our mission for our exhibitors as we know the cost of exhibiting is always challenge for any trade show.  I hope this helps you plan on how you prepare for BEA and more importantly what you get out of BEA.

Monday, March 21, 2011

TAPping into BEA

People consistently ask me what is new or what is the buzz or theme is for BEA this year?.  I can't give a genuine answer to the latter.  In my mind - the true theme or buzz at BEA lies in the outcome and that only happens after BEA is over.  Buzz is the residue from the titles and authors that rise above the crowd, the program sessions that turn on ideas or connect the dots that create new opportunities or even better, challenge the status quo.   

As to the former - what is new?  I recognized that I have this hesitation in responding to what is new at BEA.  That is because I am trying to quickly distill what is relevant to who I am talking to so they can get the most out out of their BEA experience.  Toward that end, I will look forward to sharing details here on the what is new stuff so people can get fuller detail for what is important to them.  Today - I want to share some details on BEA's TAP initiative.

While the BEA Targeted Attendee Program is not technically new, our approach and execution are very new.  BEA's Targeted Attendee Program is more simply referenced as TAP.  That is where BEA is investing in bringing new or high value buyers to BEA.  This year BEA has an aggressive focus on Special Markets Buyers (specifically Museum Store Buyers), along with Booksellers and key Librarians. This is done to increase exhibitor ROI as we are asking exhibitors who their most critical buyers are and then we are targeting those folks to invite them to BEA as VIPs.  This year we have not only been reaching out to VIPs via email and direct mail, but also we are doing dedicated telemarketing as well as working with associations and exhibitors to invite these attendees.  A big win that has come out of this is the increase in pre-registered Museum Store Buyers this year. We have had our two Top Buyer Champions—Lisa Montanaro and Brien McDonald working with museums to identify what would be meaningful to their store buyers. From phone calls and one on one visits, Lisa and Brien have discovered that BEA is relevant for museum store buyers and so they have built a good network with help of both the Brooklyn Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to spearhead this initiative by creating dedicated events and networking opportunities for these buyers that we will welcome to BEA for years to come. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Transverging disintermediation

The topic 'transverging disintermediation'  popped in my head with all the news last week about Warner Brothers using Facebook to distribute the video for Batman: The Dark Knight.  When I did a search for news on this - it was a global story with it being reported in papers and blogs in France, China, Pakistan, India, etc.....  Almost all the reporting heralded this as the 'thing' as what would kill Netflix.  I thought the most interesting reporting was this contrarian take TechCrunch: Holy Misleading Conclusions, Batman! The Facebook Netflix-Killer That Wasn’t that thought this was just a blip where Warner Brothers simply built an app and besides, who wants to watch a whole movie on their Facebook page.   I had also read  the coverage in the NY Times & clipped this nugget: Like other Hollywood studios, Warner is racing to figure out how to deal with two significant problems: piracy and plummeting DVD sales, both of which are growing worse as broadband access spreads across the globe. The industry’s best hope for a solution is to make more content available for digital purchase on more platforms.

That made me connect this story to publishing.  Is this not the exact issue that publishers are facing?  The terms transvergence and disintermediation are tossed around like confetti on New Year's Eve in explaining the issues confronting maturing media platforms that are facing radical technological changes like publishing.  Then again - isn't every media platform that is not on-line mature?  It is worth noting the definitions of "transvergence" and "disintermediation".   I fished around on-line and cobbled together from several sources the following:   The term "transvergence" is an invitation to take an opportunity to rethink art history, science, and the inevitably permeable lines that arbitrarily divide these disciplines.  In economics, "disintermediation" is the removal of intermediaries in a supply chain: "cutting out the middleman". 

While the tipping point has probably, maybe even quietly already passed as far as publishing changing - the future remains undefined.   The best hope for a bright and robust publishing future is to focus on new and new possibilities and not being tethered to old models.  A most appropriate quote came from the CBS Sunday Morning interviewed with the Editor & Chief of Rupert Murdoch's recently launched Daily (the news app for lack of a better description) - Jesse Angelo.  CBS Sunday Morning - The Next Generation of Apps  It was in an interesting piece on how dynamic that apps have become in everything. Mr. Angelo was saying media companies have spend their resources trying to protect their old brands instead of trying to see what is possible for the future through new technology.  I paraphrased a bit - but the question is are people holding on too tight to what is going to be irrelevant?  

There is not much here in terms of answers, but hopefully I have added some good questions.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What's next - Tumblr???

At the recent BEA Conference Advisory Board meeting - there was a lot of conversation on doing programming for various social media tools.  I look forward to BEA delivering some great programs for both new initiates as well as seasoned users that will impact the way you do business.  BEA will be also hosting a webinar on how to use Twitter on March 9th. Link for BEA Twitter Webinar 

I digress as usual - my point is a new medium came up a number of times that was being touted as the next BIG thing.   I had never heard of Tumblr (not sure if that indicts me or speaks to the myriad new technology) .  I left under the advice of Mark Twain (it is better to keep you mouth closed and let people think you are dumb instead of opening your mouth and confirming it) but reseached it as quickly as I could.  I have not done anything with Tumblr yet outside of opening an account.  I had someone from the BEA Marketing Team pull together some info and wanted to share it.  I have no opinion here and will spend time in the coming months to see if this is the next big thing or just the next thing in a long line of many.  So for your personal edification (please send comments if you use Tumblr and post why you like or hate it):

Tumblr, founded in 2007, is a microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their tumblelog, a short-form blog. Users can follow other users, or choose to make their tumblelog private. The service emphasizes ease of use.

How It Works

The site functions as a mesh of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and traditional blogging. Users can post any content but usually keep it short –hence the phrase microblogging. Typically dynamic content works the best as it is more engaging.

There are many forms of content that can be added to the user's own tumblelog; the seven general categories for posts include: Text, Photo, Quote, Link, Chat, Audio and Video. Users "follow" other tumblelogs, much like on Twitter, and their updates appear in one stream on the Dashboard. This is the interface from which users can like and reblog posts, as well as add content to their own tumblelog. The "like" button lets one user tell another that they like his or her content, and the "reblog" button easily reposts content from one tumblelog onto another, providing positive feedback. Check it out at www.tumblr.com.

Who’s Using It

Relative to the overall population of internet users, Tumblr.com's audience tends to be Caucasian; they are also disproportionately childless college graduates and women under the age of 35 who browse from school and work. The time spent in a typical visit to the site is roughly seven minutes, with 41 seconds spent on each pageview. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/tumblr.com

Very few users are company accounts, however, those that do exist tend to specialize in media.

Projected Growth

In the past three months the number of unique visitors has risen 33.9%, page views have gone up 44.52%, time on the site has increased 10% and the percentage of traffic from search engines is up 8%.

Recommendation for BEA

BEA currently accomplishes everything Tumblr offers using its various well established social media sites. While it is not a necessary addition the site is continuing to grow and may shortly be a community worth engaging. The major benefit of Tumblr is its aesthetic. It is easy to feature pictures and videos and convey short messages. Below are examples of three typical page layouts.