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The autumn 2009 GM will take place in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, at the heart of Europe.

The programme for this conference has been specially adapted to pack even more than usual into the three days that classified media professionals set aside twice a year to exchange ideas and network with their peers.

Following Wednesday’s Welcome Reception and Dinner (with a unique networking twist), Thursday will open with a Keynote Address, plenary sessions on online business models and monetizing search, and wrapping up with a full afternoon of the dedicated face-to-face benchmarking session of “Sharing Best Practice” split into business leaders and sales professionals. An evening group “Feast” offering the best of Hungarian culture and cuisine will provide plenty of networking opportunities for all.

Friday will kick-off with a debate on the critical ongoing strategic choices that face online classified business owners when acquiring and developing properties, followed by a panel of publishers discussing online services for “dealers” i.e. businesses offering multiple items, and then the hot topic of the moment, how you can leverage social media to better market and monetize your sites. The round-table workshops will be on SEO, video and online sales, led by expert facilitators, providing plenty of scope for idea exchange.

Saturday sees two newly revamped meetings; the Business Leaders’ Forum will be reserved for senior executives to debate the results of ICMA’s recent classified media business survey, discuss the realities of specific case-studies, and in a first for ICMA, participate in a true Web 2.0 meeting where they get to set the agenda with questions sent in live by delegates. In parallel, the Business Operations Forum will tackle sales and marketing, technology and product development topics as they relate to classified media. Finally, on to the Gala Party to unwind…

The programme is published below and will be updated as speakers are confirmed in the next few weeks.

Registration is already open and the Standard rate (EUR 699 for members and EUR 999 for non-members) is available.
NEW! – a special rate of just EUR 199 for non-members to attend the Welcome Reception and Dinner, Thursday sessions and the Hungarian Feast

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GM Budapest

Wednesday 11 November
Thursday 12 November – Keynote Address, Plenary Sessions, Sharing Best Practice
Friday 13 November – Plenary Sessions, Workshops
Saturday 14 November – Business Leaders’ Forum, Business Operations Forum


Wednesday 11 November

GM Budapest

16:00 – 18.30
Registration for early arrivals in Hotel Intercontinental Lobby
19:00 – 20.00
Registration for later arrivals at the Welcome Reception on the conference floor 1
Welcome Reception and Dinner at the Hotel Intercontinental

Thursday 12 November

GM Budapest

Session 1
Chairperson’s Welcome and Opening
Registration for later arrivals at the Welcome Reception on the conference floor 1
Keynote Address

The Budapest Keynote Address will focus on one of the most profitable online media companies in Poland, Agora. We will learn what some of the greatest challenges are for online publishers and how to overcome them, via first hand recount and case studies on multimedia, local markets and most importantly the monetization of classifieds. Don’t miss this great opportunity to find out how they positioned themselves so early to achieve this enviable degree of success and what their future plans are.

Tomasz Józefacki – President OPA Europe and Vice President and Head of Internet Division, Agora, Poland
Session 2
The monetizing model…

One of the most exciting aspects of online business is the number of new varieties of business models that it can support. Whether you believe that there is a finite number of possible business models and any “new” ones are just recycled from these, or whether you feel that the Internet genuinely offers new opportunities that didn’t previously exist, this session will inspire and enlighten you with an overview from an incubator of innovative new online models which classified media can learn from plus two practical case-studies of transitioning between models. We’ll leave plenty of time for Q&A…

Sebastian Ross – Managing Director for Strategy and International Business Development, Grupo Intercom, Spain
Making search pay

Search is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of almost all online activity (how many of you have Google as your homepage?). So this session will look at the business of search as it relates to classifieds, before we turn to how to make money. Examples include search-related products and services by leveraging your sales force and client relationships to re-sell search advertising, or monetizing your own traffic by smart implementation of an AdSense-type programme, or developing intelligent vertical search tools to capitalize on the micro-blogging site, Twitter. Time to stop being afraid (or confused) and start making money!

Loren Dalton – President,, USA
Bill Fischer – Co-Founder, Work Digital Ltd/ , UK
Katrina Gosek – Product Marketing Manager, Endeca, USA
Sessions 3&4
(Please note: separate sessions for senior executives and sales managers)

A repeat of the immensely successful sessions from recent conferences with some additional tweaking to increase delegate value. The aim is to ‘get behind’ the numbers and really understand what business decisions and strategies can impact these key markers. Participants will be asked to submit in advance some easily-established business metrics relating to the principal areas of their online business. These will be shared with the session attendees, and then discussed in small groups, so that participants can quiz the star performers on how they have achieved their results, and in turn share their best practices with the group.

Improvements to previous sessions will include:

limiting the number of metrics to enable more in-depth discussion

better guidance to how those figures should be calculated (e.g. by picking a single site instead of an average of several which could obscure some interesting insights)

more segmenting and indexing of the reported data to provide more comparison and ranking information

fully briefed and prepared facilitators to guide each group

supplying company profiles of participants to set the figures in context

This will take place in two sessions (90 minutes then 60 minutes) informal and relaxed forum alongside a parallel sales track so the sales professionals don’t miss out.

A fantastic opportunity to ask all the questions you’ve always wanted to!

Participation in this session is included in the registration fee, please indicate when registering that you wish to participate so that Head Office can send you the short questionnaire to complete.




Late afternoon:
Time to visit the exhibitors and sponsors
Hungarian Feast

Friday 13 November

GM Budapest

Session 1
The Great Classifieds Strategy Debate

The Great Classifieds Strategy Debate: whether to invest all your efforts into a single monster property, or nurture a fragmented stable of niche or vertical businesses? A structured debate format with two speakers putting the case for the opposing views moderated by a “wise man”, followed by plenty of time for questions and a chance for delegates to express their opinions.

Rob Paterson – Group Managing Director, Friday-Ad, UK
Felix Erken – Managing Director, Junk Mail Publishing Group PTY, South Africa
Jack Humphreville – Director of Acquisitions, Target Media Partners, USA
Session 2
Panel: Dealing with the dealers…

Developing and marketing services designed for advertisers of multiple listings such as car-dealers, boat chandlers and equipment manufacturers presents a whole host of challenges. What do they want? More importantly, what do they actually need? How can you accommodate all their varying requirements yet keep it simple and user-friendly? And how do you persuade them to use the final product? In this session, a panel of executives from vertical sites with a high dependence of dealer advertising share their experiences and answer questions.

Rob Hage – Publisher, Farm Country Trader, USA
Fredrik Larsson – Managing Director,, Finland
Paul Cruise – Operations Director, Boatshop24 Ltd, UK
Community-building and social networks

As we move from Web 2.0 to 3.0 and beyond, it’s clear that the influence of social networks and online communities will only increase and impact further on how individuals and businesses buy and sell online. This session will analyse how classified media businesses can:

apply social networking principles to their strategy

integrate key tools and technologies into their products

adopt the necessary collaborative mindset and culture

leverage social networking to better market their business

It’s what everyone is talking about, make sure you have your say!

Frank Schultheiss – CEO, Deine Tierwelt, and Director Internet, der heisse draht, Germany
Suchi Mukherjee – Managing Director and General Manager, Gumtree, United Kingdom
Session 3&4

As at the Tallinn conference, in Budapest we will be offering 3 workshops which will run for 90 minutes and which will be repeated twice. These interactive sessions allow 15-20 participants per session to work closely with an expert facilitator to guide their discussions and answer questions as they share experiences and ideas.

WORKSHOP 1 – SEO (advanced)

An SEO workshop is becoming a regular fixture at ICMA conferences and you’re all getting so good at it that we’re upping the ante and scheduling an unashamedly advanced programme in Budapest. Led by an expert SEO consultant, and based on an analysis of a leading classified site, participants can really get to grips with the details, and who knows, maybe discover that one golden nugget which will send them to the top of the rankings?

Ricardo Amaro – Internet Director, Ocasião Classificados, Portugal

WORKSHOP 2 – Video

If 2009 was the year that social networking came of age, then surely 2010 is the year that video reaches its tipping point. Everyone loves it but who’s making money from it, and how? How can you price it, sell it, and manage it? This workshop will bring together the ideas and opinions of experienced executives to discuss the challenges and opportunities that the medium presents.

David Ingram – CEO and co-founder,, UK

WORKSHOP 3 – Online sales

In some ways, selling online is much easier than selling offline. Automated systems, dynamic pricing structures, instant trackability and reporting are just some of the advantages. But what about customer education and service? Account management? User confusion and frustration? One size fits all inflexibility? This workshop will address some of the common challenges that online classified businesses face, and will help delegates share their experiences and solutions.

Loredana Ghejan – Sales Manager, Inform Media, Romania
Evening: Free time

Saturday 14 November

GM Budapest

Sessions 1-3
Business Leaders’ Forum

The next generation of the Publishers’ Meetings of previous ICMA conferences, the Business Leaders’ Forum is designed specifically for senior executives to come together in an intimate closed meeting in order to share their opinions and ideas with their peers. The first “BLF” will be the most interactive session ICMA has ever held with participants being able to influence the agenda throughout the day by submitting issues and questions for the group to consider and discuss.

The sessions will break into three main parts comprising:

the Balanced Scorecard – an interactive analysis of finance, customers, suppliers/alliances and operations

soft” factors – a discussion of the critical issues of employee and customer satisfaction, online alliances and online marketing

the bottom-line: how to control costs and generate more revenue

Download the BLF agenda

Sahin Tulga – Management Consultant, Turkey
Business Operations Forum.

An expanded and broadened scope for the alternative meeting to the BLF, the “BOF” will focus on the three main aspects which underpin our businesses: sales/marketing, technology and product development (each to serve as the main topic for a single 90-minute session). Smaller cross-functional teams in leaner businesses mean working more closely and better understanding other disciplines, and so this meeting will bring together sales, marketing, IT, online and product experts into a single group to discuss the operational issues that confront them daily. Real practical insights which you’ll be able to apply immediately upon your return to the office.

Download the BOF agenda

Clara Llamas – Online Strategy, Trader Media East, Turkey
Session 4
Business Meeting

The 2010 budget, Head Office updates, report on 2009 projects and the future of ICMA – come and get involved in your Association!

Evening: Gala Party