Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Is it wise to blog by mobile devices? Which social media do you get real benefits from?

ALA 2009

It's just over a month since we got back from our trip to the American Library Association's Annual Conference. This year's show was held at McCormick Place in Chicago. While the number of exhibitors was down from 6,800 in 2008 to 6,000, attendance exceded expectations with around 27,000 people at the show. This may signify that many companies were cutting costs by simply attending the show, instead of exhibiting.
We made many great library contacts, from public, private, school, corporate and others. Authors who had signings in the CMI booth included J.P. Hansen, The Bliss List; April Kelly, Gratitude at Work; John Hlavacek, United Press Invades India and six others; Al Matheny, Baghdad FTU; Laura Reavis, An Angel to Watch Over, and Jeff Beals, Self Marketing Power. People were lining up around the corner for autographed copies of these authors' books!
During the show: To create a presence beyond our 10x10 booth, there was an article about Concierge Marketing's clients and the full page, full color ad in the Librarian News, and we created new full color 16 page catalog. Press, distributors and other publishers, who previously considered us just another author services company, commented on our high quality, relevant titles and were very impressed with our authors. They lined up to see what all the commotion was too! So kudos to all!

Follow-up: After the show, we immediately sent a Constant Contact e-blast to the leads that provided e-mails. We continue to enjoy increased traffic from that. We also mailed out our printed catalog with a thank you letter to them. We will continue to market to these buyers. In addition, we also invested in a webpage on the American Library Association's Buyer's Guides with links to all of your individual sites. Best of luck to you all with the libraries. We believe this is a market worth building.

Overall, we found the show to be extremely relevant and purposeful, coming away with many valuable leads for all of us. I have to admit, I thought the BookExpo, with its size and scope, would be the best for us for a long time; however, with the economy as it is, libraries are seeing a resurgence in patronage (and thus budgets) in most cities. It's positively a show we found worthwhile!

I would also like to publicly thank my staff who worked tirelessly to pull together a tremendous show and more books than ever! Erin, Ellie, and Gary...You all did an amazing job and I appreciate your mad skills, incredible knowledge, great tenacity and elbow grease!

Thank you!
Lisa Pelto, President
Concierge Marketing Inc.