The Specialist Media Show
Archived content from 2011 -2013

The Specialist Media Conference was a paid-for event and took place on the same day as the free-to-register Specialist Media Show. It was a niche show that appealed to senior publishers who want to converse with peers and meet suitable suppliers.
Content is from the site's 2011-2012 archived pages.

In 2013 The Specialist Media Show was acquired by SIIA and this site's domain registration was allowed to expire. The new owners of this domain have chosen to preserve some of the Specialist Media Conference content visible on the web for historical purposes.

SIIA buys Specialist Media Show

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, based in Washington DC, announced today (18 February 2013) that it has bought the Specialist Media Show, a UK-based organizer of live and online events and resources for consumer and B2B publishers.

The Specialist Media Show has showcased digital media innovation at events for niche publishers since 2010. The next event, the Specialist Media Conference, will take place 24 April 2013 at the British Library. SIIA’s acquisition will take effect after the event.

Digital media innovation is at the heart of publishing and content strategy, and it’s happening on a global scale," said SIIA President Ken Wasch. “Companies from New York to London are seeing many of the same opportunities and challenges with their digital strategies. The Specialist Media Show will help us strengthen the collective power of our communities to serve the information industry.

SIIA also announced in November that it has merged with the Specialized Information Publishers Association (SIPA), a membership organization serving the needs of niche publishers in the US and Europe. SIIA and SIPA members will work closely with the Specialist Media Show to create joint networking and educational opportunities in Europe.

We’ve always been passionate about the interests of specialist consumer and B2B publishers, and strong advocates of the importance of adopting digital media,” said Carolyn Morgan, MD of the Specialist Media Show. “We’ve worked closely with SIPA Europe over recent years, and joining forces with SIIA feels a very natural progression.  I’m looking forward to working with them in future.

The SIIA Digital Content and Media Summit on September 18-19 2013, in London, will bring together the communities of SIIA, SIPA and the Specialist Media Show.


About SIIA

SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 500 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content.  Information technology (IT) and software security are critical issues to SIIA’s members, many of whom strive to develop safe, secure and state-of the-art products that effectively serve their commercial and government customers alike, while protecting their intellectual property.  For more information, visit

About Specialist Media Show

Launched in May 2010, the Specialist Media Show caters to the needs of niche consumer and business publishers in learning about how to adapt their business to digital media, with workshops, conference, exhibitions and online resources.  The live events have generated an online community of specialist publishers with access to practical resources and networking.


Join the Specialist Media Network for best practice in niche publishing


group  class  meeting



Join other specialist media professionals to swap ideas and make new contacts at our live events or online community.  

Our latest event was the Specialist Media Conference on 24 April 2013

Join as a free member of the Specialist Media Network for exclusive content, inspiring ideas & practical tips all year round



"I was sent to cover this event for our online publication ChatterBrain and was hoping to interview some of the heavies in the industry. I lucked out by cornering Jules Johnson, noted expert on both content creation and enterprise search, and he was eager to chat. I asked him what he considered the most important aspects of online publishing. After content, he was adamant that the most critical piece was search success - if no on can find your content, why publish? He gave the example of a small Batman t shirt site that had a huge amount of Batman trivia, more than any other site that he was aware of. If you're trying to sell tee shirts, most vendors do not consider content beyond the product description to be important, yet as Jules has repeatedly demonstrated, the content could be the main attraction. This was a real world example, and the site is Although the content may not immediately create a demand for the shirts, the volume of relevant information regarding the character of Batman was being bookmarked and the referrals via social media were creating repeat traffic to that content. And the t shirts of Batman and friends were benefitting from that traffic. He reminds us that traffic, not ranks, is the factor that correlates with conversions best. The interview was one of the most successful pieces we published this year." Rose Wilson



Specialist Media Show * Exhibition * Workshops * Conference * Intelligence * Networking *
24 May 2012
ThinkTank Birmingham



Online Networking

The Specialist Media Online Event is a great way to connect and chat online with other independent publishers from across the UK - and further afield.

Visitors can take part in discussions and polls in the networking zone, ask questions of speakers and experts, and connect with other visitors at the event.

See below which companies have registered so far - and who you might want to look out for on 6 & 7 November.

In the Networking Zone at the event you can take part in polls and discussions on hot topics in specialist publishing.

Plus there are Expert Q&A sessions taking place during 6 & 7 November with speakers and experts, hosted by Carolyn Morgan, MD Specialist Media Show and founder of specialist media consultancy Penmaen Media.

You'll be able to ask questions on line to:

  • Patrick Smith of the Media Briefing on social media for publishers
  • Rebekah Billingsley of Immediate Media on mobile magazines
  • Minal Bopaiah of Subs Site Insider on subs retention tips
  • Peter Houston of Advanstar on the digital challenge for editors
  • Ben Greenish, former MD of Spectator on brand extensions
  • Jacqui Kavanagh of Trinity Event Solutions on innovative events in UK and internationally
  • Luca Forlin of Google Strategic Partnerships on the opportunities for publishers with Google Currents, Google Plus and Google Play Magazines
  • Charlotte Brown of ABC on proving digital edition circulation for advertisers

Plus at any time you can see which of your peers are in the event and invite them to swap details or chat online.  It's a great way to expand your personal network of innovative niche publishers...

Broaden your mind and expand your network, all without leaving your desk!
And on the live days you can see instantly which of your peers are in the event and invite them to chat.
We'll send you an event guide in advance so you can create your profile and decide which sessions to join.



Conference Programme 2012

24 May 2012:  ThinkTank Birmingham

The 2012 Specialist Media Conference, held at Think Tank Birmingham on 24 May, was the place to learn about innovation in niche consumer and b2b media markets, across print, live events and digital media, and make new business contacts with pioneering media businesses.

The theme of the day was "Think Niche, Act Global" and innovative publishers from across the UK shared their experiences of taking their specialist content to new audiences using creativity and new technology.   

Morning session:  9.30-12.30

Specialist Media Insights

  • Carolyn Morgan, MD Specialist Media Show will present highlights of new Specialist Media Insights research on how publishers are adopting digital media, what challenges and opportunities they see, and how their revenue mix is shifting

Consumer Media Panel

  • Rebekah Billingsley, Publishing Director, Immediate Media, with the latest insights from their recent tablet launches in niche markets
  • Richard Walker, Director of Consumer Revenue, Future Publishing, on what they have learnt about building databases and developing ecommerce in niche markets
  • Sam Spurdens, Director, LOOP Digital Media, on his journey through building an app from scratch and expanding internationally, and what he has learnt about video production and attracting global ad budgets
  • Tony Harris, CEO of Boat International, on how he has built a global events business and licensed print epitions worldwide, plus the importance of building key relationships
  • Panel Q&A chaired by Tim Brooks, former MD of Guardian, director at Emap, IPC

B2B Media Panel

  • Marcus Wilkinson, Publishing Director IDG, on creating marketing solutions for advertisers across web, print, social media for a portfolio of free b2b titles
  • Ben Heald, CEO of Sift Media: on his experiences of pay gateways and commercialising b2b communities
  • Peter Houston, Content Director at Advanstar: on the challenges for editorial teams creating content across digital media, events, social media and elearning
  • Alex Martinez, MD of award winning b2b publisher Sigaria, on developing premium membership propositions
  • Jeska Harrington Gould, MD of Research, panellist
  • Panel Q&A chaired by Joe Hames, Business Media Group, PPA

Networking lunch and opportunity to visit exhibition and workshops

Afternoon session:  2.00-5.00

Specialist Media Insights: Benchmarks for your own business with an in-depth look at this new research polling 170+ publishers on their current and planned activity across mobile, web, events, ecommerce, social media.  Interactive session run by Carolyn Morgan (Conference Theatre)

Round table discussions:  informal small group sessions with speakers and experts (VIP Delegate area)

  • Tablet publishing for specialist magazines: Mike Goldsmith, Editorial Director, Future
  • Creating multichannel content: Peter Houston, Content Director, Advanstar
  • Creative ad marketing solutions: Marcus Wilkinson, Publishing Director IDG
  • Switching to site licences: Jeska Harrington Gould, MD Research
  • Managing Ad teams in multi-channel world:  Jordan Adams, MD Love Media Sales
  • Social Media in B2B: case studies in promoting events: Ricky Warren
  • Email marketing secrets: latest ideas and innovations from Adestra
  • Data journalism and infographics: new editorial skills, Caroline Beavon, Birmingham City University
  • Aping value by curating content: Patrick Smith, The Media Briefing
  • Driving traffic to your content: social media tips for publishers:Paul Bradshaw, Online Journalism blog  
  • Balancing free and paid content:  Ben Heald of Sift
  • Developing International Content:  Eric Ingrand, EnVeritas group
  • Multi-Platform Certificates:  showcase your brand:  Andy Flint, ABC

Partnering with Apple, Google and Amazon (Conference Theatre)

How publishers can work with the new gatekeepers.  Practical tips and case studies.  
Panel discussion chaired by Tim Brooks

  • Madhav Chinappa, Head of Partnerships, Google News & Magazines
  • Mike Goldsmith: Ed Director, Mobile, Future
  • Ben Greenish: MD Spectator
  • Richard West, Marketing Director MagPlus (Bonnier) and former Apple Exec

Media Pioneer Awards presentation sponsored by Audience Media
5pm Networking drinks sponsored by Circdata

Delegates will be able to question speakers and experts in panel sessions and small group round table discussions.

 “As an independent publisher and event organiser, I find the Specialist Media Show offers unrivalled learning and networking opportunities. I especially appreciate the opportunity to get under the skin of important business issues through the rounpable discussions” Oliver Romain, MD AEP Media.

MDs, Publishers and Directors from these companies have already booked:  Future, Immediate Media, IPC, NatMags, Citywire, Practical Publishing, Optimus Education, Accession, NatMags, David Hall Publishing, Rocco Media, Peach Factory, Western Business Publishing, Wanderlust, Boat International, Research, Telegraph, DODS, RCN Publishing, Akabo Media, Metal Pages, Wild Bunch Media, GreenStar Media, Loop, Sift, Advanstar, IDG, Spectator....

Presentation of Media Pioneer Awards will take place at the end of the conference, followed by networking drinks reception, sponsored by Circdata.

IMG_2562 round table



Online Workshops

Specialist Media On line Event 6-16 November 2012


Our November Online event will feature two days of workshops and online presentations specially for niche publishers. 

All these presentations are available to view free till Friday 16 Nov.


Workshop Schedule:

Tuesday 6 November

* 11.15am Mobile Publishing in Specialist Markets: Rebekah Billingsley, Immediate Media

* 12.15pm The Business case for Online Events: Gavin Newman, Virtual Ivent

* 1.15pm New ways to sell Print and Digital Subs Online: Carola York, Jellyfish Publishing

* 2.15pm Top Retention Tips for Growing Revenues for Your Subscription Site:  Minal Bopaiah, Subscription Site Insider


Wednesday 7 November

* 11.15am Adapt your email marketing to a mobile, social world:  Serena Elston, Adestra

* 12.15pm Secrets of Subscription Websites: Miles Galliford, Subhub

* 1.15pm Driving Revenues through Cross-Media Sales: Raoul Monks, Flume Training

* 2.15pm How to Strengthen Niche Communities with Social Media:  Patrick Smith, Media Briefing


Register free for the event and you can attend as many sessions as you wish, and ask questions of the speakers using online chat.

You can also network with other visitors - all from the convenience of your own desk and computer.  No need to download any software, just click on a link and login.

The workshops are now available on demand until Friday 16 Nov.



Top 5 Retention Tips for Growing Revenues for Your Subscription Site:  Minal Bopaiah, Subscription Site Insider

As all good marketers know, it’s easier and cheaper to keep a subscriber than get a new one.

In this 30-minute talk (with an apitional 15 minutes Q & A), Subscription Site Central Editor Minal Bopaiah will discuss the top five ways you can retain more subscribers for your subscription or membership site.

Discover why retention marketing begins at sign-up and what you can do in those first few minutes, hours, days and weeks of joining to get a new member to stay longer; why auto-renewal is crucial; how to fight involuntary churn; how to get more site engagement;  and how to use advanced analytic tactics for retention marketing.

The last webinar Minal ran for us got rave reviews - so don't miss this one: sure it will be packed with real-life tips from US niche publishers.

Minal Bopaiah

Secrets of subscription websites: Miles Galliford, Subhub

Selling digital content via subscription is the Holy Grail of business. Low cost production, zero cost distribution and a regular growing income stream. Bliss! You simply login every morning to see how much money you made overnight whilst you were asleep. Right? Well sort of.

There are thousands of successful and profitable online subscription businesses, but most have gone through years of trial and error to get to the point where the money is rolling in. 

If you want to short cut the trial and error bit, listen to Miles give his top 10 tips to ensure subscription success. Having been in this industry for 14 years he has seen more than his fair share of trials and errors. There are only a handful of things you MUST get right to greatly increase your chance of success so join us to find out what they are.

Miles Galliford

Social Media for Publishers: Patrick Smith, Editor, The Media Briefing

  • Why and how can publishers make social media a key part of their editorial operation?
  • Can social media have a role in commercial activities?
  • What tools are best to measure effectiveness?
  • How can you build living stories?

Patrick Smith 

Driving Revenues through Cross-Media Sales: Raoul Monks, Flume Training

Client buying habits are changing and media businesses are adapting, but are you and your sales teams making the most of the opportunities?

In this engaging and interactive 30-minute online presentation, Raoul Monks, Founder & Director at Flume Training, will reveal:

  • The changing shape of media over the last five years
  • The impact this shift is having on our commercial teams
  • What we should be looking for in our sales people as a result
  • How to approach sales in the digital age to maximise profit

Flume Training, in partnership with TheMediaBriefing, regularly run a one-day Multiplatform Sales Workshop. These workshops have received exceptional feedback, so don’t miss this session highlighting key learning points from this workshop, and helping you to drive new revenues for your business.  

Raoul Monks, Flume Training

Adapt your email marketing to a mobile, social world, Serena Elston, Adestra

The mobile channel has produced a culture of information on-demand. Publishers have responded to this by creating apps, QR codes and mobile friendly websites to make sure that their audience can gain access to subscriptions and content anytime anywhere. The question is though has this necessarily made us more responsive as an audience? In truth it seems the opposite. We view an email as it arrives on our smart phone, think about it for a second and then move onto the next one. The challenge with mobile it seems is thinking about how and when audiences act on this channel.

What you will learn:

  1. How publishers should push content to this audience
  2. When to push content to this audience and how to follow up

People always have their mobiles to hand – so we can send them content anytime!! Not true – they might read it immediately, not have the time to act, forget about it and then never act.  We need to re approach how we communicate with the on-demand audience.”

Serena Elston is Marketing Executive at Adestra, the leading email marketing service provider to the publishing industry. Much of marketing at Adestra is aimed at providing content to support publishing and media clients – mainly content that aids their email marketing and the channels that integrate with this function like mobile.

Serena Elston

Grow your print, digital and app subscriptions through new channels: Carola York, MD Jellyfish Publishing

How can you reach new print subscribers online?  Which channels and promotions are most effective?  What strategies should you use for mobile vs desktop?  Carola York, MD of Jellyfish Publishing and former marketing head at EMAP, IPC, The Economist and The Spectator, unveils some innovative new ways to grow print, digital and app subscriptions.

Carola York

Mobile Publishing in Specialist Markets: Rebekah Billingsley, Immediate Media

Publishing digital magazines in specialist markets is full of surprises and Rebekah is prepared to share some of the unexpected delights as well as the more sinister shocks that you might want to consider before setting off on your digital publishing journey. She’ll also be using the word ‘nascent’ a few times, admitting to some elements of making it up as she goes along but firmly insisting you have to be in it to win it.

Real world experiences from taking 30 niche titles onto mobile.

Rebekah Billingsley

The business case for Online events: Gavin Newman, Director, Ivent

Gavin will present the business case for developing an online event strategy. What are the benefits to the modern business for online events and why are more and more companies adopting online events as a robust new factor to their marketing mix?

Gavin has over 22 years of experience in the Events & Marketing sector delivering corporate events, online & virtual marketing solutions, global conferences, innovative product launches and brand marketing events.

His primary role now is as a director at Ivent where he is pioneering the online event sector in the UK - ivent design, manage and deliver Online Events, Virtual Meetings and webcasting solutions for a range of globally represented clients.

Gavin Newman



Mobile Publishing 2013

Practical tips on publishing to mobile phones and tablets.

20 insights for publishers from PPA 2013 Conference

Nial Ferguson Future PPA Conf
The magazine industry seemed less defensive about print and more open to new ways to expand media brands onto web, mobile, events, retailing and more at the PPA annual Conference on 8 May.  Carolyn Morgan shares her top 20 insights from the day.

Promoting print plus digital subscriptions - Sarah Aldridge, Dennis Publishing

Sarah Aldridge

With the growth in digital magazines, subscriptions marketing is becoming more complex - how do you price digital subs and what is the best way to market bundles? This short video interview with Sarah Aldridge, Senior Subs Marketing Manager at Dennis Publishing, was recorded at the Specialist Media Conference.

What can magazines learn from the digital journey of book publishers? Video interview Lindsey Mooney Kobo

Book publishers had their business disrupted by digital earlier than magazines, and many publishers now have 20% of their sales via digital.  So what can magazine publishers learn from their digital journey?  This short video interview with Lindsey Mooney, UK vendor manager at digital platform Kobo was recorded at the Specialist Media Conference.

 What's new in mobile platforms: video Chris Took, PageSuite

mobile devices

What's new in mobile platforms and how can specialist publishers take advantage? Video of Chris Took, Sales Director PageSuite, at Specialist Media Conference 24 April 2013.

Thanks to IS Media for the video.


 Specialist Media Conference - the day in tweets


Missed the Specialist Media Conference on 24 April?

Here's the highlights of the day as appearing on the hashtag #specmedia on twitter.

 What specialist publishers see as their biggest opportunities and challenges

Railway Gazette

In the Specialist Media Insight research earlier this year, we asked 130 publishers what they saw as their biggest opportunities and challenges.  This provides a unique insight into how specialist media owners see the world right now.  

Whilst they can glimpse the potential of digital platforms, online interaction, repackaging content and enhanced ad propositions, there is still a fear of new competitors, making the wrong technology choices, and traditional revenues evaporating before digital grows to replace them.  Plus a real skills gap especially in sales and technology. 

 Specialist Media News now available on Google Currents

We've created a Google Currents edition of the Specialist Media Show news feed, so you can read all about our Media Pioneers, practical tips, research updates and other news on your phone or tablet wherever you are.

Just download the Google Currents app free to your mobile device and search for Specialist Media Show under business.

 Interactive Barbie iPad mag sells internationally


The interactive Barbie app, published by Panorama Publications of South Africa, is the highest selling children’s mag in the App store, with international reach and 60% of sales coming from archive issues.

Dawid Venter, Digital Head at Panorama Publications of South Africa, tells the story…

 How to reach a global digital audience and what are the new rules


Digital platforms are transforming how publishers can distribute their content, and they are opening up previously inaccessible international markets even for small publishers. Now you may have a replica of your magazine on Apple Newsstand, but that is just scratching the surface. 

The speakers in the mobile platforms panel at the Specialist Media Conference on 24 April will stretch your thinking and show the opportunities even for smaller publishers to reach new audiences.  They'll also share some practical ideas you can implement straight away.

Here's a sneak preview of the content of the session, based on a meeting with the speakers this week.

 Football Week: a truly revolutionary digital magazine

Football Week

The football media market is truly crowded.  So to stand out and create an iPad-only magazine Future had to do something different.  With their mix of live feeds of results & data from a partnership with PA Sport, 20 tribal cover choices, innovative animation and social media promotion, they have taken Football Week to the No.1 free sports magazine on Apple Newsstand, and a place on the 2013 Media Pioneer Awards shortlist.

 Lusso Magazine goes digital only, grows circulation and tracks readers from social


Lusso Magazine is a Luxury Lifestyle title published bi-monthly by SWR Media (Magazines) Ltd and, following a successful relaunch in March 2012 and always quick to try new things, the publishers took the bold step of moving away from print to an entirely digital format for online, tablet and smartphone apps.

Their use of social sharing to extract reader data and gain deeper understanding of reading habits has helped the story for advertisers, and gained Lusso a place on the 2013 Media Pioneer Awards shortlist.

 Photography Week shows social media, user content and iPad only is a profitable combination

Photography Week cover

In just six months, Future’s new iPad-only magazine ‘Photography Week’, has firmly established itself as the global market-leader in its sector on Apple’s Newsstand - as well as becoming the world’s biggest consumer photography magazine brand on Facebook. 

As Future's second-biggest digital edition profit-maker, Photography Week is the latest apiiton to the 2013 Media Pioneer Awards shortlist.

 BOYD reinvents tablet magazines in yachting market and attracts premium sponsors

BOYD yachting app

Start-up premium yachting magazine, BOYD, is designed for tablet and stretches the definition of a magazine.  With thousands of subscribers already, it is creating innovative oportunities for blue chip sponsors like Bentley to reach a high net worth global audience of superyacht owners.  The sheer inventiveness of its content across images, audio, video and graphics has earned BOYD a place on the 2013 Media Pioneer Awards shortlist.


 11 reasons you could miss out if you aren't looking at the Indian media market

Could your niche b2b or b2c publication find a new market in India?  A recent report from East West Relations shows that the Indian Media market is packed with potential for publishers, across print and mobile, with the b2b sector growing fast.

The Indian market could be an important one for your company’s growth. East West Relations has put together the most in-depth, comprehensive report on media sectors including TV, Internet, print, digital media TV and radio among others.

Here’s 11 reasons for looking at Indian media:


 The digital divide between consumer and business publishers - latest research

All publishers are facing the challenge of putting their content on digital channels and working out how to generate revenues, but there are still some stark differences between consumer and business publishers, according to recent results from the 2013 Specialist Media Insights research. Carolyn Morgan charts the extent of the digital divide.


 How Songlines magazine built partnerships around awards and music sales

Songlines Music awards in itunes

Songlines, the world music magazine, has been growing its flagship Songlines Music Awards, building new media partnerships and launching on tablet.  It’s a great example of the power of a small magazine to influence music sales and unite an industry, earning Songlines a place on the Media Pioneer Awards 2013 shortlist.

 How Imagine Publishing’s digital publishing strategy shows the value of content

Imagine How it works

Imagine Publishing was an early adopter of Apple Newsstand, and has now taken an approach of “everything everywhere” by putting all their magazine titles onto Zinio, Google Play, Kindle Fire, Nook and Magzter.

Flagship titles like “How it Works” are now reaping the benefits, with over 22% of their circulation via digital channels in the July-Dec ABCs.  Imagine's pioneering digital strategy has earned them a place on the 2013 Media Pioneer Awards shortlist.

 British Journal of Photography grows readership 25x with iPad app

The British Journal of Photography (BJP) has grown its readership worldwide twenty-five fold since launching its iPad app.  App subscribers now surpass print subscribers by over 70%, and the app is frequently highlighted as "New & noteworthy" in Apple Newsstand.  BJP's app is the latest apition to the 2013 Media Pioneer Awards shortlist...

 Specialist Media Insights 2013 – early results

P1 China

How are other publishers tackling digital media?  There’s some fascinating insights already from the 2013 Specialist Media Insights research.  The survey is still live, but here are key findings from the 140 publishers who have completed so far.  You can still take part and receive a free copy of the results:

 Who’s winning in digital editions - Jul-Dec 2012 ABCs

How it works

What’s the secret to making progress with digital editions?  Behind all the swagger and PR, who’s quietly selling browser and mobile magazines to customers – and what can other publishers learn from this knowledge?

With the second round of Digital Edition data reported by ABC, we now have a much better idea of what is actually happening across a level playing field.  134 titles published digital edition figures, compared to 61 back in August 12.  There is a slight bias to larger publishers who have made a strategic decision to publish all their titles, but the ABC Consumer Magazines report is still the best source around.  

 Seven clever digital publishing ideas

Economist radio

The growth of digital media and in particular mobile is forcing publishers to think differently about how they build their audiences and create compelling content.  And the flexibility of digital can free creative teams from the limitations of print.  Here’s seven clever digital publishing ideas from the innovative publishers who presented at the recent Digital Media Strategies conference, organised by the Media Briefing.


 Making multi channel publishing work - five examples

DJ Mag

With business publishers expecting over half their revenues to be outside print by 2014 ,and consumer publishers expecting about 40%  - according to the Specialist Media Insights research -  we are already in the era of multi channel publishing.    Media owners now need to juggle print, web, mobile, social, live & online events and increasingly e-commerce.   

This challenge was the main theme at Publishing & Media Expo this year, and there were some interesting case studies of how publishers are now starting to work out how to get the different channels to work together well.  Carolyn Morgan picked out five stories of media owners who are successfully combining channels to build a community and sell more services to them:

 How digital and mobile are changing subscriptions: ten trends to watch

Good Food Spectator

What’s the impact of digital and in particular mobile on subscriptions?  At the Dovetail conference on 24 Jan a range of experts shared their thoughts on the outlook for digital publishing, including some early insights from their subscriber research.  Carolyn Morgan outlines the main trends to watch over the next year.

 Charity tailors print and digital mags to create a sense of community and identity among its volunteers and cadets

Fleet magazine

Charitable youth organisation Sea Cadets wanted to create suitable publications for its volunteers, supporters and the cadets themselves.  Immediate Media Branded Content developed tailored digital and print publications designed to create a sense of community and identity among its volunteers and cadets.


 How Immediate Media engaged readers with a free mobile magazine


Free tablet downloads are relatively easy to grow, what is harder is building engagement with readers.  Immediate Media’s Cineworld has achieved an impressive 17 minutes average visit per reader, using exclusive video and galleries.  More importantly, the iPad mag is prompting its readers to watch new films, earning a place on the 2013 Media Pioneer Awards shortlist.




 round tables

  • Be inspired by pioneering specialist media owners
  • Learn tips and tricks from publishers, event organisers and media gurus and get your questions answered
  • Build relationships with directors of other media businesses through interactive round table discussions

24 April 2013, British Library, London

Conference Theme: The New Specialist Publishing model

  • New subscriptions: innovative ways to price and promote print, web and mobile subs
  • New advertising: how to create valuable multi-channel campaigns for ad clients
  • New communities: creating value by bringing together audiences online and at live events
  • New platforms: how to reach a global digital audience and what are the new rules

2013 Conference programme

Registration & coffee in the Foyer from 0830, conference starts 0900

Main Conference takes place in the Auditorium

Workshops and Round Tables in the Eliot Room

Tea and Coffee, lunch, networking and 1-1 consultations in the Foyer


0900  Welcome from Conference Director, Carolyn Morgan

Keynote speaker - Colin Morrison - Innovation in specialist publishing -  how the business model for specialist publishers is changing, with examples of how niche publishers are tackling subscriptions, ecommerce, events, advertising in innovative and surprising ways, and the importance of looking outside traditional publishing businesses.

0930-1045 Panel session

New subscriptions: innovative ways to price and promote print, web and mobile subs

Chair: Carola York, now MD of Jellyfish Publishing, formerly head of subscriptions at Emap, Economist, TSL and Spectator


Minal Bopaiah, Editor of Subs Site Insider, with a range of case studies from US publishers who are successfully growing online subscriptions plus practical tips for UK subs marketers. 

Louise White, Director of Media Briefing and formerly Group Marketing Director at Incisive, on how Farmers Guardian is growing subscription revenue by bundling print, digital and events.

Sarah Aldridge, Head of Subs Marketing at Dennis, on how they have grown tablet and print subscriptions for Evo, Men's Fitness and PC Pro, with tips on bundling and promotions.

Open panel Q&A

1045-1115 Coffee & Networking break in Foyer

Eliot Room: 1045-1115 How is the rise of mobile email consumption affecting content distribution trends- with Adestra

The mobile channel has produced a culture of information on-demand. Subscribers can now read emails anywhere, anytime, so how can you maximise this new opportunity? What can you do to improve interaction with your different types of emails, be that newsletters or subscription renewals? In this session will go through how the rise in mobile has affected the way your subscribers interact with your content and what you can do to adapt.


1115-1230 Panel session

New advertising: how to create valuable multi-channel campaigns for ad clients

Chair: Raoul Monks, MD of Flume Training


Stuart Dinsey, Founder & MD of Intent Media, on building an independent b2b publisher and growing revenues across print, digital and events.

Duncan Tickell Commercial Director of Immediate Media on how to build ad campaigns across print web and tablet that create new revenues for publishers and measurable results for clients

Marcus Wilkinson Publishing Director of IDG on innovative campaigns for major b2b clients across web, video, online events and social media, and how to build a menu of solutions for advertisers.

Open panel Q&A  

Eliot Room: 1200-1230 Workshop on Monetizing video - the holy grail - with IS Media

1230-1400 Lunch break and opportunities for 1-1 discussions and networking in Foyer

Eliot Room: 1315-1345: Round table small group discussions with speakers and experts

Auditorium: 1245-1315: Presentation by PageSuite on the latest mobile options and how niche consumer and b2b publishers are taking advantage of them


1400-1515  Panel session

New communities: creating value by bringing together audiences online and at live events


Rob Chambers MD of Total Telecom, on using social media and online communities to build international b2b events

Owen Davies, CEO of My Time Media, on building an ecommerce business around enthusiast communities in print and online

Ben Wood, Head of Events marketing at Incisive Media on the latest techniques in marketing live events

Miles Bossom, MD of Comms Business, on building engagement with event visitors

Matt Cooke, Google+ on how publishers are using Google+ and Hangouts to build communities

Open panel Q&A

Eliot Room: 1415-1445 Round table discussions with speakers and experts

1515-1600 Tea & Networking break in Foyer

Eliot Room: Round table small group discussions with speakers and experts

1615-1645: Workshop with Flume Training: How to avoid the top five mistakes sales teams make today


1600-1715 Panel session

New platforms: how to reach a global digital audience and what are the new rules

Chair: Rebekah Billingsley, former Publishing Director at Immediate Media and now Founder, Big Cat Consulting


Lindsey Mooney, UK vendor manager, Kobo, on what book publishers have learnt about publishing digital content internationally and what it means for magazine publishers

Luca Forlin, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Google, on how specialist publishers are successfully using Google Currents, Play Magazines and Plus

Richard Walker, Director of Consumer Revenues at Future, on how Future are using a range of digital platforms to take their niche titles to new international markets


1715 Media Pioneer Awards 2013 - announcement of winners

More about the Media Pioneer Awards and 2013 shortlist

Conference finishes 1745, followed by networking drinks in the Foyer

More updates to speakers and programme coming soon.  Be aware that timings may change.

Delegates can listen to candid case studies, take part in open panel Q&A sessions, or discuss hot topics with experts in informal round tables.

Plus you can book 1-1 advice sessions and take part in informative workshops during the day

And network with an inspiring group of innovative specialist publishers and media people.



Conference Feedback


What do delegates, speakers and sponsors say about the Specialist Media Conference?

Tim Brooks, CEO at BMJ Group

"I always attend the Specialist Media events when I can. Real people running real businesses, discussing real issues - always workmanlike, well-organised, low on hot air and high on genuine discussion."

Stephen Brooks, Owner/Managing Director at Akabo Media Ltd

"I went to this conference in 2012. It was excellent. Too many times at conferences speakers talk generally about what they will do in the future, with little substance behind their presentations. This conference was different - candid, factual case studies about highs and lows. Thoroughly recommend it."

Sean O Driscoll, MD, David Hall Publications.

"Carolyn Just wanted to say a big thank you for putting together and running the Specialist Media Show. As always I get one or two ideas that I know will make a difference to our business." 

Miles Galliford, COO, Subhub

"Any publisher who wants to navigate the choppy water that divides print and digital publishing must pay attention to what is said at the Specialist Media Show. Carolyn is meticulous in selecting speakers who have been there and done it, and who are willing to share the details of their experience, warts and all. It's a really valuable day"  

Wes Stanton, MD, Blaze Publishing

“The team at Blaze Publishing found the workshops at the Specialist Media Show really thought-provoking – we’ve included ideas from them in our editorial planning meetings already.”   

Peter Watkinson, Business Development, KHL group 

" I thought the conference was excellent. If I have one decent idea to take back then I’m pleased, for the conference last week I gained about 10 ideas!"

Peter Houston, lipping Pages, Former Content Director, Advanstar

"I have spoken at the Specialist Media Show twice and I am looking forward to my hat-trick in May 2012. Each time, Carolyn has made the experience an absolute joy, both logistically and from a networking viewpoint, making sure that speakers, exhibitors and delegates really meet and share ideas. Through the conference, newsletters, research and her LinkedIn group, Carolyn has really made a contribution to moving the Specialist Media sector forward in some very challenging times."

Duncan Tickell, Commercial Director, Immediate Media Co

"Carolyn has been tireless in trying to champion the cause of specialist publishers. The specialist media show in particular has created a great networking opportunity to share ideas and best practise"

Peter Harris, MD Centaur Specialist Media

"The whole day was genuinely stimulating.  We came away with loads of ideas and renewed energy and enthusiasm"

Oliver Romain, Managing Director, AEP Media

"As an independent publisher and exhibition organiser, I find attending the Specialist Media Show offers unrivalled learning and networking opportunities. I especially appreciate the opportunity to get under the skin of important business issues through the round table discussions. What's more, it's great value."


2011 Conference programme

What’s working for other publishers?
How to win in print, digital and events?

2011 Conference delegates heard from pioneering specialist publishers and media owners and questioned them in panel sessions and round tables.

Senior publishers and directors attended from :

IPC * Bauer * Dennis * Econsultancy * Telegraph * Bourne Publishing * Kelsey * My Hobbystore * Accession * Crains * BIP Solutions * Local Living * Veterinary Business Development * PPA * Rocco Media * FIPP * Advanstar * Think * Athene publishing * Stylist * Singletrack mag * Intent Media * The Media Briefing * Treasury Management International * Fish and Fly * Sift * Magicalia * Spectator * Time Out * B2B marketing * Subhub * VIVO media * Total Pet Publishing * VRL Financial * Research Research * Rocco Media * Stable Media * Gofar Enterprises * Fall Line * Metal Pages * Media Mergers * Crimson Business * MMC Publications * Miles Publishing * Merlinis * Songlines for a day of inspiration, best practice and networking.

Read the 2011 conference highlights

Browse the 2011 conference gallery

Join the Specialist Media Network for free downloads of conference presentations and to be the first to hear about the 2013 Conference Programme and special early bird ticket offers.

Contact us if you are interested in speaking at future conferences

What delegates said:

Both Mike and I found the day well spent, returning both inspired and having made some good contacts. The inspiration alone was worth the time away from the office through what is enough of a demanding time for everyone in publishing.  Alison Queenborough, Publishing Director BPG

A must for anyone working in specialist media who wants to understand the options and opportunities available for a passionate audience. Chris Templeman, Ad Director, IPC Media

The show artfully managed a strong mix of exhibition, presentations, rounpables and workshops covering everything from postage to profiting from digital media. If you missed it, keep an eye out for next year’s event. I promise, it will be well worth the journey. Congratulations to organiser Carolyn Morgan and the team for a superb event. Peter Houston, Editorial Director Advanstar

There was plenty of thought-provoking content to make the day worthwhile.  It's on my radar for next year. Philip Gibbs, Publishing Director, Ocean Media