FOLIO and EXPO Magazines Launch New Event Focused on Innovation & Technology in Media and Events

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ConnexLive09 will bring senior management and top vendors together for leading edge content and scheduled demonstrations

Red 7 Media, the world's largest producer of content and community for the event and magazine industries, has announced the launch of a Hosted Buyer Program that will serve as a business platform for buyers of event and media technology and services.

ConnexLive09 (http://www.connexevent.com) will be held October 19-21, 2009 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown and will be hosted by FOLIO and EXPO Magazines, both Red 7 Media properties. This new event will bring senior executives from magazine publishing companies and conference and trade show organizers together to review and test drive innovative technologies and services that they can use to create revenue, reduce costs, and bring efficiencies to their businesses. A key benefit of the hosted-buyer format is scheduled appointments with pre-matched sponsors who provide products and/or services of interest to attendees.

ConnexLive09 will consist of face-to-face planning sessions scheduled between solution providers (Hosts) and solution seekers (Guests) to review new products and services, specific initiatives and business strategies. By participating in ConnexLive09, hosts and guests bring new efficiency to sourcing and business processes, and save valuable time and money.

"Every magazine and event company in today's challenging environment needs to be thinking about how to innovate and streamline their operations in order to prepare for the turnaround," noted Red 7 Media president and CEO Kerry Smith. "Innovation is the key to survival right now, and there are numerous solutions out there, but it's difficult with the crush of day-to-day demands on senior management's time to be able to adequately identify, differentiate, and understand the benefits of various technologies and other business solutions. These sessions are designed to save time by identifying revenue and productivity opportunities. And for vendors, the amount of time required to get to the decision makers and close a complex sale can be excruciatingly long. Our goal is to close that gap with a focused event that puts all the right people in one place with the goal of making productive business connections based on common needs."

To qualify for the ConnexLive09 Hosted Buyer Program, attending companies need to meet strict qualifying criteria including those who are evaluating purchases in specific categories. ConnexLive09 Hosted Buyers will enjoy a comprehensive range of benefits including complimentary flights to and from Chicago with accommodations (including two night's hotel and all conference meals and receptions), a facility for scheduled appointments with pre-matched exhibitors, and other attendant benefits.

ConnexLive09 will extend over two days and will provide an opportunity for senior executives in events and media to evaluate the latest products, technologies and trends that will drive productivity and profits, and network with their top-management peers. ConnexLive09 will feature a comprehensive range of companies in targeted segments, including: Audience Engagement & Marketing, including Marketing Solutions, Lead Capture & Management, Measurement Services, and Registration & Housing Solutions; Content & Media, including Content Management Systems, Web & Ad Services, and Digital Editions; Event & Sales Management, including Virtual Event Technologies, Event & Exhibit Hall Management Systems, A/V & Onsite Solutions; and Enterprise & Sales Management Solutions, including Production Portal Systems, Printing & Fulfillment Solutions, CRM Solutions, and Business & Workflow Management Systems.

ConnexLive09 has already received an enthusiastic response from the buy-side of the publishing and event industries, with more than three-dozen C-level executives representing a diverse range of media companies and conferences/tradeshows already committing to attend with members of their senior teams. Executives are responding to the efficiency of being able to learn about new products and services, discuss their application to their own businesses, network with their peers and discuss best-practices, and reduce the amount of time required to evaluate solutions options.

The idea for ConnexLive09 was borne out of Red 7 Media's own frustration in evaluating vendors across a range of categories. "So far this year, we have invested in a new email marketing system, an association management platform, a web content management system, a virtual event platform, and we are in the middle of evaluating a sales CRM system to replace the one we've been using for three years," noted Red 7's Smith. Each of these investments followed months of meetings, demos, and endless conference calls that dragged the process on for months. It was frustrating and time consuming exercise, and it was virtually impossible to get all the right people in the room at the same time. We knew we were not alone, and when I asked our CFO if we could turn back the clock and she could attend an event like ConnexLive09 to meet with all the firms she's met with over the past year, in just two days of solutions-focused meetings and demos, would she do it? The answer was a resounding 'yes'."

Other senior executives agree. "It's a smart idea," said a Penton Media executive VP. "We all spend so much of our lives inefficiently meeting vendors. You're on to something! All these digital and audience development and lead-gen vendors all sound alike. You can count us in."

Media and Event Executives Voice their Support:
-"Really, really, really good idea," said the COO of Chapel Hill Magazine. "We're not in a major metro city so vendors rarely call on me. And most of the time they just push stuff to my email. Whereas if they were sitting in front of me and could do a demo - that would get my attention. Plus, I'm assuming at an event like this, I would be meeting with the vendor's top people, which I like, since sometimes the sales people I deal with don't always do such a great job explaining new technologies. We'll be there."

-"Right now we're committing a few hundred thousand dollars into the digital area. And, come to think of it, we're looking for a financial management system," said the CEO of Northstar Travel Media. "We're familiar with some of the vendors in these areas, but not all of them. So, if there are other options, that would be of interest to us. Definitely my head of Emedia, and probably my CFO would attend, and me, too."

-"I think it's much needed in the marketplace and kudos to you guys for doing it," said the CEO of Questex Media.

-And from the senior VP of Hall Erickson, a major tradeshow management company: "We get calls from vendors that want to come in and show us their stuff, and we're looking at two hours out of our day. Getting to see a bunch at once would be better."

Industry's Top Vendors to Participate:
Leading vendors are also enthusiastic about ConnexLive09, with the following companies already signed up as sponsors: BD Metrics, which provides interactive event-planning and promotional tools; Imirus, which offers a comprehensive digital publishing platform; InXpo, which provides webcasting and virtual events; ON24, which offers a webinar and virtual events platform; Think Subscriptions, which provides subscription management software; and many others pending.

At ConnexLive09, hosts will have anywhere from 10 to 12 half-hour, face-to-face planning sessions with guests. Each host company is provided a demo area where they can have sales literature, visual aids and internet. At regular intervals, guests are escorted by Red 7 Media staff from area to area to meet with appointed hosts.

To ensure a high level of satisfaction to all participants, ConnexLive host companies may send up to 3 senior level management executives to participate in the event. Similarly, each guest company may send up to 3 attendees, all of whom meet Red 7 Media standards relating to their decision-making authority. Red 7 Media carefully qualifies and pre-screens all participating hosts and guests as part of its business matchmaking process.

For more information on attending ConnexLive09 as a guest, visit http://www.connexlive09.com or call
Emily Sciascia at (203) 899-8436; for host/sponsors inquiries call Kelly Koenig at (203) 262-6471 kkoenig(at)red7media; or Anna Lawler at (203) 852-5681.

About Red 7 Media
Red 7 Media (http://www.red7media.com) publishes business magazines and produces executive conferences and trade shows in the event and media industries. Among the company's market-leading brands are (in the event industry) Event Marketer, Event Design, Best Events, and EXPO magazines, as well as the Event Marketing Summit, Best Event Expos and Event Design Summit conferences. In addition, the company runs the Event Marketing Institute and the Exhibit Designers & Producers Association. In the media industry, the company's leading brands are FOLIO Magazine and Audience Development, as well as the FOLIO Show, Folio Growth Summit, and the Audience Development Show. The company has also launched the FOLIO Media Management Institute, a membership-based resource for business intelligence for media executives.

The privately-held company, founded in 2002, is headquartered in Norwalk, CT, and was named by INC Magazine as the fastest-growing periodicals company in the U.S. in 2007 and 2008.

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