I just arrived home after delivering a keynote speech to 700 executives at the Mega Conference in Austin, TX on the future of newspapers. Part of the speech was about how live events and small business sponsorship are going to be a big part of the future for local newspapers.
The newspaper industry has seen a sharp decline in their small business advertisers in the past few years and have been looking for alternatives to their current business model. Enter… live events.
It wasn’t just me who was talking about live, local events for newspapers. It was a buzz that permeated throughout the conference, and is starting to be seen as a new, additional revenue stream for newspapers.
This is incredibly good news for speakers who are looking to partner with local and regional media for a mutually beneficial arrangement. It’s also good news because small businesses are literally an untapped area for sponsorship.
Many small businesses don’t even know about sponsorship. In my experience, small businesses often think that they have to invest millions of dollars to play in that game. But a small business could sponsor a speaker or small, local event for very little. And their return on investment is good because they are reaching a very targeted audience.
The big corporations of the world have been involved in sponsorship for several decades, but small businesses are the new frontier. Big corporate sponsorship has become a very crowded field, making it difficult to break in, especially for a beginner.
I’m encouraged and excited about the direction small business sponsorship is going. Right now, it’s in it’s infancy. But that’s good news for speakers who want to get into a multi-billion dollar industry on the ground floor before it becomes too overcrowded.
Disruption is occurring in all industries. The newspaper industry, like the speaking industry, has had the same business model for many years. And that’s worked just fine… until now. If you don’t learn how to innovate within your industry, you risk being made irrelevant.
But the good news is that opportunities are everywhere. Even in the speaking industry.