Magazine article Information Today

EVENTLINE Foils Conference Planner

Magazine article Information Today

EVENTLINE Foils Conference Planner

Article excerpt

EVENTLINE Foils Conference Planner

Information brokering is a tough business - the constant scuffling for customers, the deadbeat clients, the high costs. There had to be a better way to make money from information, I pondered, and then it struck me: Organize a conference! What could be simpler? This is the Information Age, isn't it? People have to keep up with all the changes taking place in the information world and they like an excuse to get out of their daily ruts. All you have to do is reserve a swanky hotel in some attractive site, get a few speakers and exhibitors, send out ads, and then watch the money roll in.

Fortunately, I had the perfect online tool for doing my market research in the conference field: EVENTLINE, which lists thousands of conferences, trade shows, meetings, and other public events. EVENTLINE's 16,000+ entries cover conferences in every imaginable field: business, industry, technology, science, medicine, engineering, social science, humanities, education, public affairs, and, of course, information. With EVENTLINE I could get an instant market report on the date, site, sponsor, and event type for every major conference in the information field, as well as a lot of the secondary ones.

Many records also have information on number of exhibitors, number of participants, and official airline. The only key fact which EVENTLINE doesn't list is the event's registration cost.

Niche Hunting

My strategy was to pull out all the electronic information events for 1991, sort them by date, and then look for a nice open niche for my new conference. EVENTLINE has to be searched with some care because descriptors are at times meager or inconsistent, but judicious use of descriptors, title searching and truncation will give you good recall.

As I scanned my do-it-yourself 1991 electronic information conference calendar, I saw at once that winter and spring are out. ALA Midwinter and Microsoft's Multimedia/CD-ROM are in January, followed by NFAIS in February, Computers in Libraries in March, and Dialog Update in April. In May you've got the National Online Meeting and I know better than to schedule something close to that. SLA is in June and there goes the first half of the year.

July, August, and September are out because of vacations. The summer is also a busy time, according to EVENTLINE, for other kinds of public events of interest to conference planners and attendees. …

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