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Live from New York: events as the new marketing platform

10 May 2010 · by Steve Nilan

Forget tablets. Live is the hot new platform!

Bruce Springsteen in Sweden's Expressen Forget tablets. “Live” is the hot new platform!

The value of live events as a powerful marketing platform was an unexpected theme throughout the INMA World Congress in New York.

We heard success stories from Sweden to India with events ranging from a Bruce Springsteen concert, underground city tours to a major cricket tournament. The big takeaway was that newspaper-driven live events expand brand awareness, deepen reader loyalty and drive new revenue.

I love my new iPad, but it has a ways to go to match those metrics. Here are three "Live from New York" examples:

  • Johan Othelius of Stockholm's Dagens Nyheter kicked off the Live theme on the first day of the World Congress. DN Live is an event marketing platform that stands side-by-side with print and digital. It is also at the heart of a loyalty program that rewards Dagens Nyheter's print subscribers. DN Live has produced wildly popular sports competitions, the largest outdoor concert in 2009 and an underground tour of Stockholm that drew 10,000 people on a dreary day in November! Print subscriptions increased more than 10% and revenues grew by millions since DN went Live.
  • In Mumbai, Gujrati Mid Day created a branded cricket tournament that drew more than 100,000 spectators. It became a newsworthy event with a bottom-line impact. Mid Day enjoyed a bump of 3,500 subscribers and event net profit of US$52,000.
  • Back to Stockholm where Thomas Mattsson of Expressen demonstrated the impact of a Live event with a New Jersey accent. It's great to hear that Swedes can't get enough of Bruce Springsteen, and Expressen gave their audience more of what they wanted. Thomas showed how they “owned” a recent Bruce Springsteen concert with wall-to-wall multimedia news coverage. From live audience blogs and reporter feeds, Expressen even streamed the first four songs of the concert from the official concert footage being shown live. The Boss got top billing in Stockholm, but Expressen found creative ways to share the spotlight.

Event marketing is hardly new. Press conferences, product launches, and promotional stunts are proven ways to grab attention and communicate with a target audience. What is new is the discovery by newspapers that it's smart business to go beyond simply sponsoring to creating and owning community events. Live events build a bigger, more loyal audience and new revenue streams.

As we all experienced at the INMA World Congress, when it comes to Live Events, there are no substitutes. You had to be there.

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