Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Events Are ALIVE in St. Louis: How a Regional Magazine Grew Its Events Business Form Zero to 25 Shows in Less Than a Decade

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Events Are ALIVE in St. Louis: How a Regional Magazine Grew Its Events Business Form Zero to 25 Shows in Less Than a Decade

Article excerpt

It's no secret that events can be a great source of ancillary revenue for magazine publishers. Perhaps more implicit, however, is that events can develop and grow a community of engaged stakeholders--beyond the readership.

In St. Louis, a regional magazine has been skillfully developing its event "secret sauce" for nearly 10 years. ALIVE has eight major annual events and more than a dozen smaller events, bringing in more than 20,000 people and accounting for 20 percent of overall revenue.

"We figured it out," publisher Elizabeth Tucker says.

ALIVE has a monthly circulation of 35,000 readers, with more than three-quarters being educated women. More than half (56 percent) of its readers say they look to the magazine to be their go-to source on cultural things to do in the city, which positions ALIVE as local authority on what to do in and around the city. Thus, branching out and extending the brand into events was a logical strategy.

"Originally it was more of an added value to our print readership," Tucker says.

MORE THAN A PRINT SUPPORT

However, it soon became clear there was more to it than bolstering the print product. "It was an opportunity to build community in another way."

The magazine's most well attended and most expansive event is its St. Louis Fall Fashion Week. Fall Fashion Week began 9 years ago, just under three years after the magazine's launch. Tucker concedes that the first year was a bit chaotic, but definitely a learning experience.

That first event was held in a local nightclub and attracted around 800 attendees. Now, its Fashion Week spans 10 days and is filled with several events within the event.

Tucker says Fall Fashion Week now sees more than 10,000 attendees pass through, and it has expanded beyond a local event, attracting fashion designers from around the nation. …

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