A Design Showdown
One niche publisher discovers the power of a breakthrough event.
By Molly Campbell
In the beginning of 2014, I knew I was going to need to get creative. At Design New England (DNE), we had a chain of major transitions, one after another. First came the unexpected departure of my predecessor. Then, I was promoted to publisher. And, The New York Times Company sold The Boston Globe (our parent company, subsequently renamed Boston Globe Media LLC) to John and Linda Henry. In the end, DNE had a solid team in place for the first time in a long time. But — as things like this tend to go — the change brought with it new objectives. In our case, to grow advertising-generated revenue by 10 percent year over year. As publisher, I immediately realized we would need new revenue streams to meet this goal.
Meanwhile, our advertisers had been clamoring for opportunities to network with other trade members and consumers. Many of these businesses depend on this interaction to develop the relationships that lead to future collaboration. Builders, for example, want to maintain strong ties with architects, who have powerful influence over homeowners during a project bidding process. Getting them in the same room was a valuable benefit to all. This got me thinking: What if DNE hosted an event that provided this kind of opportunity? And, in a fresh new way — elevated from the panel-oriented speaking events we had hosted in the past. If we could create an event that provided undeniable value to our partners, it would open up a completely new revenue channel outside of our core product, the magazine.