Matt Schifrin, Vice President and Investments Editor of Forbes Media, speaks with Linda Bentley, Director of Business Development, Forbes, about the success of Forbes’ virtual events strategy. In this last installment, Matt discusses how virtual can complement a publisher’s custom publishing efforts and where the industry is headed in 3-5 years.
Linda: How do you view your virtual events complementing your custom publishing efforts?
Matt: Ok, we’ve done four of these virtual events and based on the overwhelming success of these events that we’ve done with InXpo, we’ve actually had a number of sponsor comes to us, potential advertisers come to Forbes and they’ve said, “We want you to do one of these conferences for us. We want an online conference. We don’t want it to be a mass thing. We want for our clients or for our brokers or whoever their constituents are.”
And so, we think there is a bright future in terms of “custom publishing” with these virtual events at Forbes.
Linda: And where do you see this headed in 3 or 5 years?
Matt: What’s been really good is that we started out in the virtual events business at Forbes in what I oversee mostly investing content. I oversee Forbes newsletters and I also oversee individual investor content. So most of our conferences have been geared towards financial advisors or individual investors. But we can see, and I’ve talked to other people at Forbes, this virtual conference business, which we call at Forbes, iConferences, we can see this expanding to different areas of Forbes.
Forbes Media has lots of brands. We have Forbes Life, which is luxury publication and website, and we have Forbes Woman. We have over dozen international versions of Forbes magazine and Forbes.com. We have Investopedia,.com. We have RealClearPolitics.com. There are a number of different areas where we see virtual events enhancing our business lines. And so, that really think is really going to be the future of virtual events for Forbes.