The Multi-Channel Marketplace
We had a fantastic 4-day programme for the General Meeting in Munich which you can find on this page, click on the links for the speaker biographies.
Wednesday 8 November
12.30 – 13.30
Meet And Greet Lunch
14.00 – 18.00
The Bavarian Olympics – In A Traditional ‘Wirtshaus’
19.00 – 22.30
Welcome Reception And Dinner At The Dorint Sofitel Bayerpost
Thursday 9 November – PLENARY DAY 09.00 – 17.00
Meet And Greet Lunch
Chairperson’s Welcome And Opening
Introduction Of New Members
Keynote Address – ‘Hanging out my Helicopter – A high level view of the Classified Industry’
Looking back over 20 years of classified media, observing current trends and trying to gaze into the future and anticipate what the next 20 years might hold will be the goal of the Keynote Address. As the last two decades have proven, change is often rapid, frequently unexpected and sometimes painful, but almost always offers opportunities to the forward-thinking and innovative publisher. This Keynote Address will identify the principal trends that will affect your business in the coming years, and help you prepare to meet these challenges.
The Power Of Communities
As the online user experience is increasingly owned by the consumer, users are demanding more from online services. The rise of social networking sites which are driven by their own communities shows that users are no longer content with a passive role. How can classifieds services leverage this trend and offer more than a basic transaction service to their users and advertisers?
Panel: Mobile Classifieds
Innovation is defined as introduction of a new idea into the marketplace in the form of a new product or service or an improvement in organization or process. Here, a major classified player outlines some of the most successful innovations that they’ve implemented – lots of ideas to take home and put into practice!
The three key classified verticals of autos, recruitment and property have undergone massive change in the last 20 years. Who would have ever considered buying a car without seeing it first? Or not advertising a vacancy in the local paper? Or that walk-through 360° video and local school league tables would be what users would come to expect when looking for property online? Three of the leading players from these vertical sectors will share their view of how far the industry has come and what might be lying just around the corner…
Panel: Free Distribution
As the movement away from a user pays model towards an advertiser-supported model continues, more and more classified publishers are facing up to the reality of falling copy sales and the corresponding drop in revenues. But with free distribution newspapers increasing in number and popularity and with their results improving every quarter, is this a model that a traditional free-ad, paid-for publication can transition to? Four successful free-distribution publishers discuss the critical success factors that underpin their businesses and debate how these can be re-applied to the paid-for model.
Evening: Dinner at the Augustiner Keller
Friday 10 November – PLENARY DAY 09.00 – 17.00
In an ever-more competitive industry, classified media publishers have to come up with sound revenue-generating ideas and then have the resources and ability to execute quickly and effectively. This often involves the use of a third-party specialist – the supplier – who, if they have a good understanding of your business and a professional approach, can contribute significantly to your bottom-line. In this session, three suppliers to the classified media industry will describe how their product or service directly benefited a real classified business. No sales pitches here, but you could learn some very valuable lessons!
Classified Business Models: Winners and Losers
Good research and accurate facts and figures about the classified media industry are hard to come by, but they’re essential if we’re to make sense of what’s happening in our industry. Miklos Gaspar will share the results of the WAN report that he co-authored which analyses the performance of traditional business models and the emergence of new versions.
Directories And Classifieds: Converging Media?
Directory companies have been active in the classifieds sector for some time, mainly as purchasers of classifieds businesses such as Sensis in Australia, Eniro in Sweden and earlier this year, Yellow Pages in Canada. Is this just a strategic move to bolster their margins for shareholders, or are there significant synergies between the two which can be exploited? A leading Spanish directory business which has ventured into the classified sector explains why they believe the two businesses can mutually benefit.
Newspapers And Classifieds: Fighting Back
It’s accepted wisdom that newspapers have lost the classified franchise to first classified-only print publications and thence to online services such as the vertical specialists or free-free operations like Craigslist.org. Or is it? In Germany, the main dailies have buried their competitive differences and pooled their classifieds together on a common platform – markt.de. How successful has this initiative been in turning around the classified juggernaut?
Local Search And Classifieds: The Killer App
Users want comprehensiveness, but frequently resent geographically irrelevant results. Advertisers want eyeballs, but qualified ones with a real likelihood of becoming customers. The importance of local search in this environment cannot be over-estimated, or can it? An expert in the application of local search technologies and business models discusses how this approach can be applied to classified media.
WORKSHOPSThese workshops will last 45 minutes each, and will be repeated 4 times.
1) Website Health-Check
Bring a couple of examples of work you’ve done in the areas of usability, search engine optimization, ad-taking, traffic generation, content generation, operations or marketplace assessment and get a free health-check.
2) Managing Upwards, Managing Downwards
Our businesses may be becoming more flexible and innovative but this brings its own series of management challenges, particularly for those middle managers positioned between the executive and the people on the ground. A master-class in how to get the best from both groups of stake-holders…
How can you make your brand a destination site rather than just a place to trade? What features do you need to provide? Tools for users to feedback and communicate with each other? What third-party partnerships are truly useful and add to the sense of community? Don’t miss this if you want to make your site ‘stickier’!
4) Print Innovations
Let’s not forget that a significant proportion of our revenues are still generated from print, and with a bit of ingenuity and application, there are plenty of opportunities to boost print-related revenues. Join this workshop to share ideas and initiatives which you can take home and implement immediately.
5) Co-operating With The Competition
The new reality is that everyone is a potential partner, even you deadly rival in the same city, or is it? If you include the new online operators, how far can/should we go down the co-operation route, and what’s in it for us? An in-depth discussion of the pros and cons…
6) Counting The Copies<
Circulation’s going one way – south, right? Not necessarily and there are lots of things that you can do to reverse or stem this decline. Join fellow publishers to discuss the success of their various initiatives to boost copy sales.
Evening: Free Time
Saturday 11 November
PUBLISHERS’ MEETING – 09.00 – 15.30
The Publishers’ Meeting at the General Meeting and the 20th anniversary of ICMA will be somewhat different from recent PM’s, after all, it’ll be Sally in charge! Whilst it’ll still be restricted to senior management level, provide a unique and open forum for discussion of the critical issues in our industry, and promote the sharing and discussion of participants’ experiences and expertise, Sally’s promised to refresh the format and structure, introduce some new topics for debate, and to deliver a meeting that ensure participants leave with even more strategic value. Don’t miss it!
SALES MANAGERS’ WORKSHOP – 09.00 – 15.30
The ever-popular Sales Managers’ Workshop will address the perennial issues of sales managers all over the world – how to sell more and better, how to maximize sales in the multi-channel environment, and how to continue improving the performance of your team, day after day? Building upon the excellent work already done in March’s Sales Lab and the Online Revenue Generation Lab in October, the SMW will be highly interactive, focus on operational issues, real initiatives and case-studies, and aim to provide participants with a wealth of ideas that they can implement as soon as they return to work. It’ll inspire some of the most important people in your organization and promises to be a lot of fun as well!
IT MANAGERS’ WORKSHOP – 09.00 – 12.30
Back by popular demand, the IT Managers’ Workshop will bring together the people upon whom we rely for much of tomorrow’s revenue. There’ll be a dedicated session on AdsML, the latest XML-type standard for advertising, and an explanation of its uses in classified media, plus a discussion of the practicalities of integrating the mobile channel with existing databases and applications. And plenty of time to talk about the many other issues that occupy IT managers’ time and attention!
PHOENIX WORKSHOP – 09.00 – 12.30
In Munich, it will be nearly 12 months since publishers transferred from FAPCOM to the new PHOENIX platform, and it’s therefore the ideal time to hold a meeting of all the users to share best practice, tips and advice on how to use the system to best advantage. Training on self-service, report analysis and marketing will be provided, and you’ll have ample opportunity to ask questions…
Lunch – Introduction to the ICMA General Meeting in Portugal
ICMA Business Meeting
The 2007 budget and Head Office updates on activities and future plans – come and get involved in your Association!
Evening: Gala Party & 20th Anniversary
Sunday 12 November