PPM Media Partners with IDC Industry Insights on Executive Gatherings

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Manchester, NH – PPM Media has struck a deal with  the vertical business units of IDC’s Industry Insights, a division of International Data Group, that will result in the launch of as many as 10 executive-level B-to-B events in six industry sectors next year.

The partnership with IDC puts PPM in the position of community builder and host to the types of intimate events in which vendors hold case study presentations and one-on-one meetings in order to gain coveted quality time with high-level decision makers.

The impetus for these executive summits, which will be scattered among four and five-star resorts across the U.S., will be a cadre of associations and analyst groups that will draw attendees who want their own quality time with the experts and with their peers. “The analysts help us create the agendas and are the stars of the events,” said Phil McKay, who launched PPM only a couple of years ago. “They are the people the attendees want to see. But it is not a 100% content-type of event like some conferences. These are truly business-to-business events.”

McKay said a crowd of 400 to 600 executives and vendors were expected at each event with exhibits generally no larger than 10’x10’ and the revenue model geared more toward providing access to buyers rather than the sale of booth space. “It’s geared to how many attendees they will personally talk to one-on-one basis,” he said. “As part of the package, they’ll get a small area to exhibit, mostly 10’x10’s and they’ll bring pop-ups.”

But before the invitations are sent out, PPM will be cultivating a community within the event’s sectors that will have a qualified and receptive attendee pool in their seats and paying attention when the launch of the conference is announced.

The communities will be the basis for between five and 10 new events in 2008 catering to higher-ups on the business side of the healthcare, retail, energy, manufacturing, government, and financial sectors.

The strategy is similar to the one PPM used to launch its successful Blade System Insight events in the specialized “blade” computer technology sector. “There was no community around blades, but now there is,” said McKay, the former group vice president of Gartner Vision Events. McKay also draws from his experience as a former group managing director at Penton Media and  senior vice president of  International Business Development for Key3Media. “There is a strong event and a strong association that is thriving because of this event. That’s what will keep this community together much longer than the two or three days we spend together at an event.”

Enlisting the analysts who will be the drawing card for the executive events also provides the cache for the community building that PPM and IDC’s Industry Insights companies are keen on.   IDC’s expertise should appeal to the potential attendees and build up solid name recognition and reputation even before the event is announced. PPM will handle the organizational chores and make it as simple as possible for the analysts to attend.

“Each of these events will serve incredibly large and diverse industries that are being transformed by technology,” McKay says. “The event becomes a catalyst for bringing together key people across the community, getting them involved and giving them a platform for new ideas and new business.”

Reach Phil McKay at (603) 668-7121 or philip.mckay@ppmmedia.com