Tuesday, May 01, 2007

B-to-B Media Being Transformed Into An Event Marketing Biz

B-to-B Media Being Transformed Into An Event Marketing Biz
by Joe Mandese, Tuesday, May 1, 2007 8:00 AM ET

BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS AD PAGES ARE CONTINUING to decline in the U.S. business press, but revenues are rising due to the expansion of new business streams including digital media sales, and so-called "face-to-face" media (ie. events, conferences and trade shows). Ad pages dropped 2.8% in February vs. February 2006, according to estimates released Monday by American Business Media. The decline was driven by sharp drops in ad page demand in the automotive, aviation, business/advertising/marketing, and computer, though restaurants and travel were up sharply for the month., according to the estimates compiled by the Business Information Network.
Interestingly, the surge in ad pages in the travel/business conventions & meetings category (+12.9%) correlates with skyrocketing B-to-B event revenues also being reported by the ABM.

"Business-to-business media is still on an upswing overall due to other performers, particularly face-to-face, growing at 10% to $11.3 billion and exceeding magazine revenues," the trade association said.

ABM President-CEO Gordon Hughes said the data signals an "era of transformation" for the B-to-B media industry, noting that traditional print revenues are "being out-billed by events.

"This again does not mean that print is going away; it just means now more than ever we must look to our entire brandscape and focus on those platforms that are changing the balance in the overall $31 billion pie," he stated.

Joe Mandese is Editor of MediaPost.

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