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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

(Historic) Electronic Show Dailies 

I took a bit of a (probably deserved) smack down from Folio's Tony Silber on my recent post about electronic show dailies. Check out the comments section, and add your own, if you wish.

But I also heard from my friend and former colleague Dick Koulbanis, who is now editor and publisher of the very successful Congenital Cardiology Today. Dick emailed me some reminiscences of an electronic show daily he produced for Phillips Business Information back in 1993. He's given me permission to reproduce an edited version of his email:

I guess electronic show dailies have come a long way from when I launched a single sponsored version for Avionics magazine at the 1993 Paris Air Show. Small dollars, but pure profit. We had to pull the phone off the wall at the hotel in Paris to get to the wires with alligator clips so we could email it via MCI mail to ReplyNet who then emailed it to 3,000 subscribers who wanted to get "special topic newsletters."

I picked the Paris Air Show to do an electronic show daily because there were so many print products that I figured I could slide in with an electronic one. I decided to do it as a single sponsored piece, because if it was sold, then we would do it; if not we would pass and would lose no money.

The sales pitch was that many people would not be able to attend the Paris Air Show, but had email and would be interested in what was going on in avionics news and products. There were five editions. Each one was written on avionics products at the show. The sponsor got a "text-ad" and was identified as the sponsor. We encouraged subscribers to pass the newsletter along and to put it up on their Intranet sites, which we found many did.

We did a survey at the end to find out how people liked it, if they passed it on, or put it up on their Intranet sites, and so on. We did this to gather demographic data to then sell other such newsletters in the future and to help refine the product. We got about a 25% responses to the survey. What we found out was many major companies put it on their Intranet sites, that they liked it and wanted to see more of them.

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