A Peek Behind the Curtain at BIA/Kelsey ILM East Event

Typically, BIA/Kelsey ILM events are hotbeds for discussion on technology and sales innovation. While this upcoming ILM East event, March 26-28 in Boston is similar in many ways, it’s also very different from prior ones.

Peter Krasilovsky, Vice President at BIA/Kelsey, and the event coordinator for this conference, recently sat down to talk with us about what’s driving some of the unique new panels they have constructed for this event. Krasilovsky confirmed “…the industry has moved beyond a one dimensional focus on advertising models and this event reflects that. What we’ve all seen is that the relationship with SME’s is based on a wide variety of channels. Developing areas such as social media and ecommerce potentially add up to bigger and better results. In many ways we are really closing the whole transactions loop.”

The BIA/Kelsey folks believe they can achieve this transition by inviting people from a wide range of disciplines such as ad networks, major search engines, and the transaction processing providers who are increasingly coaching companies on how to get more out of their transaction processing. Krasilovsky noted that “…the deals revolution began four years ago a simple daily deal. That was mostly about customer acquisition. But it is increasingly about engagement now.” Expect a range of industries to be represented. BIA/Kelsey events are legendary for attracting senior level executives with a wide range of views and who are looking to collaborate to increase their business and be more effective.

As providers look to move beyond just the initiating the sale to now fully completing it, and then have the intelligence need to make the next sale to them. Krasilovsky commented that “local has really hit the big time. We are seeing major business players, such as the banks and credit card companies. They have a major role in the transaction cycle via their relationships, and companies such as American Express are also leveraging their own brands.“ Leslie Berland, SVP, Digital Partnerships & Development of American Express is expected to talk about the deals she has put together with FourSquare, Facebook, and the Small Business Saturday campaign they started (the Saturday of the Thanksgiving weekend and right after the now famous “Black Friday”).

Besides the hot new innovation areas, several ILM East presentations will focus on the basics: how to help small businesses across all the channels. Jay Herratti the CEO of CityGrid Media will discuss some of the great local advertising solutions their network has developed.

Each BIA/Kelsey conference is also renowned for in-depth local research. ILM East will feature the release of the next iteration of the Local Commerce Monitor survey, which has been tracking the transition of small business marketing dollars to online and mobile for the last thirteen years. The group is just completing the review of the data collected at the end of 2011.

I will be very curious to see how the Venture Capital panel goes. These people are where so much of the funding comes from for new projects funded. And given that the money people have little to no interest in the traditional yellow pages business right now, we need to see what they are watching and investing. Krasilovsky expects top VCs from Boston, New York, and Silicon Valley. With the Facebook IPO now out, all of us can have a deeper insight into how these new social media giants are monetizing their sites, and what they are now doing in the emerging mobile space where the margins are lower.

One cool, more tactical session with be when Local search expert Andrew Shotland holds a special ILM East workshop to provide executives with top insights into making search a strategic tool. Keep an eye on the ILM East site for more details.

The BIA/Kelsey folks have also arranged to visit the Boston Globe’s Media Lab. This effort has been a trendsetter in local media, and continues to be an industry leader in the development of marketplaces, mobile services, paid services and hyperlocal models.

Typical BIA/Kelsey ILM events attract 500-600 people. With this speaker line up, expect that you will see a similar number of registrations. I would suggest you consider registering NOW!!! One secret for you — sign up and make your travel arrangements quickly === they sold out the hotel last year. You can click here to book your hotel room!

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