James Latham
"Collaboration - How the Media Responded to Deliver an International Solution"
In the 1980`s, the meeting industry`s media landscape was isolationist, local, and one dimensional. The business events industry was booming as Face to Face became the new black among marketers, and there remained plenty of growth opportunities for the trade media.

Local and national governments within mature and emerging economies realised the tourism and inward investment potential of a vibrant meetings, convention, and incentive travel sector, but the demand for international reach among outbound meetings and business events planners was becoming increasingly apparent. Associations serving the international association sector emerged, international meeting and incentive travel events, such as EIBTM were spawned, and vertical market publications serving the corporate and institutional meetings sectors within their existing territories rapidly expanded the media portfolio on offer. Publishers did very well.

But the crashes of 1999 and 2008 also bridged the internet revolution and many diehard publishers paid a high price on two counts;

First, during the .com boom many rushed into producing expensive .com`s, which went bust just as quickly. Most retreated to the safe haven of their print brands which remained local rather than international.

Second, having either ignored or recently retreated from the digital space, they hadn`t appreciated the speed of the digital revolution in media consumption and found themselves unable to react to the behavioural demand for content online, especially by the internet generation, or Generation Y. Many publishers were, by now, running distressed enterprises without the skills nor the financial resources to gear up to the media transition under way. Worse stil,l their print, labour, and distribution costs were rising whilst the internet was making international reach a very real and cost effective possibility for new entrants free from the milestones of a print distribution business model. In October 2008, public sector budgets went into meltdown and the measurable value of the digital brands was driving revenues out of the print and into the digital space.

James Latham explains how, as a new entrant guided by a seasoned industry publisher, he has formed an international collaboration of publishing partners to create the new industry supersite, International Meetings Review, and how the formation of his own Knights of the Round Table has revolutionised the business interests of his members.

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