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. 

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