One unseasonably warm November afternoon, I arrived with my publisher at the “fun” end of the Atlantic City Expressway, ready to present the MM&M brand to a spritely audience of our corporate brethren, pillared by senior management and directors, and padded by every media sales exec on the Haymarket Media payroll.
A key objective of the gathering was to exchange knowledge, experiences and ideas between 15 key brands. Our mission was to convey the essence of MM&M—our position, audience, products, challenges and presence—in just 10 minutes. 10 minutes? While I have been very close to both brand and industry for more than eight years, the challenge of balancing insights about who we are with info on what we do, and then squishing it all into 10 minutes, was enough to warrant a minor revelation, along the lines of: Damn, we really have a lot going on.
Both during and after our turn, it was interesting to observe the reaction. Each thread of insight turned out to be news to at least somebody in the room, and often to everybody in the room. The response was consistent for the other presentations and it opened my eyes to how little we might actually know about the brands and products with which we assume familiarity. With this in mind, and seeing as it's the holiday season, I'm going to talk about family: the MM&M family.
Revealing our age usually produces the first “wow”. MM&M debuted in print October 1966, which makes us 45 years old. And despite the well-documented decline across the board of traditional media, just five months ago we published our biggest-ever print issue.
The MM&M Awards program probably needs little introduction. Look out for brand new mobile app categories in 2012 as we look to further improve the biggest and best program in the industry.
We also like technology. We have a website (you probably do, too) which has long been the hub of our operation, and the focal point for our content, channels, archives, services, and information. You may not know is that we post daily news stories and exclusives, all penned by our seasoned journalists.
There have been a few exciting digital developments. First up, we recently launched our HTML5 mobile web app. It's effectively a mobile site that looks and behaves like an app and it's a great upgrade to our mobile capabilities. (Try it: mmm-online.com).
Even more exciting is that we are planning to host at least three more virtual conferences in 2012. If you didn't catch the inaugural MM&M Virtual Summit in May, we built a virtual conference environment designed to emulate the best experiences of a physical conference, such as a virtual exhibit hall with virtual “manned” booths, a resources center for downloading materials and a networking lounge for interacting with attendees. We then devized a program of objective content, delivered by top industry leaders and thinkers via webcast and video, and available to stream at anytime.
This year's Summit was supposed to be little more than a testing ground for us, but an incredible 1,000 people registered, with 500 attending live. The Virtual Summit 2012 will take place in March, with two additional events, focusing on mobile and compliance, respectively, slated for later in the year.
There are plenty more ideas in the pipeline for products and content channels. Expect, also, a much greater video presence from us in the coming weeks and months.
Happy Holidays and we'll see you in the New Year.