If you are a traditional media type then you will see this press release today. That’s right as of today BlogWorld & New Media Expo and New Media Expo are merging into one MEGA NEW MEDIA EVENT! This is a great thing for attendees and exhibitors, from both events, who will get more value than ever from participating in one true industry-wide event. The next BlogWorld & New Media Expo will take place October 15 – 17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
But there is more to this story, so let me start at the beginning. Back in 2003, I met Tim Bourquin (the founder of New Media Expo) at a networking event for tradeshow organizers. I liked him right away. He was just launching a new event and I thought his idea was brilliant. It was called Small World Expo and it would be about Nano Technology.
In fact, if my wife and I hadn’t just picked up our lives and moved north from San Diego for a new job in Los Angeles, I would have taken him up on his offer to come lead his sales efforts for Small World Expo. Instead, I called a friend of mine who was looking for a new opportunity and told him about this great idea. He agreed with me, this was a very cool idea for a show and the timing seemed great. I introduced my friend to Tim, they hit it off, and worked together for nearly a year. Unfortunately, as it happens so often with new tradeshows, the event didn’t pan out.
Fast forward to 2006. I was hopelessly hooked on blogging (I’d been blogging about politics for a few years) and really wanted to attend the blogging tradeshow to learn all there was to know about becoming a better blogger, interviewer, podcaster, etc. Problem was, it didn’t exist (read more about that here). Long story short, it is September of 2006, my partners Libby Durfee, Dave Cynkin and I are set to announce the launch of BlogWorld & New Media Expo in November. It will be the only event in the world for blogging, podcasting, Internet radio and TV, social networking and all forms of new media. I am doing some research and come across another event that I had not found before. It’s called the Podcast and Portable Media Expo. This is a potential competitor, so I do some more digging. This is their second event, the first one was called Podcast Expo. Then I come across something weird. The founder is a guy named Tim Bourquin. Is this the same Tim Bourquin I had met three years earlier? Yes, it sure is.
Little did I know Tim and I had been living parallel lives for the last couple of years. He had been podcasting, fell in love with the medium, wanted to go to the industry event, it didn’t exist and so he launched the podcasting event. It sounded exactly like my story, if you just substituted blogging for podcasting.
So we all head up to Tim’s show in Ontario, CA. The show is fantastic! I couldn’t believe the energy; people are excited, having fun and are doing business. Other than being faced with the challenge of possibly having to compete with Tim, we see this as a very good sign for us.
I find Tim, congratulate him on the event, tell him how great it is, and then tell him about our idea, hand him my card and mention we would be adding “& New Media Expo” to the title of of the event when we announce the launch in November. Tim tells me he is changing the name of his event to Podcast & New Media Expo for 2007.
It was a little uncomfortable for both of us (that we were going to have this name confusion), but all in all, it was good to see Tim and I was happy for his success. I mentioned to him in that first meeting that maybe we could figure out a way to work together. Tim agreed.
We both went forward with our 2007 events. Tim’s show was again a big success, and the launch of BlogWorld was a huge hit! We set up a meeting shortly after BlogWorld ‘07 and talked about how we might work together for 2008.
Unfortunately, we both already had our dates for 2008, Tim had signed contracts with the LVCC and his host hotel. In some manner, we were going to have to compete for another year. Tim’s show changed names again, shortened to be “New Media Expo”, and would be moving to Las Vegas and take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center in August 2008. BlogWorld & New Media Expo would take place the following month in September also in Las Vegas at the LVCC.
Finally, fast forward to two months ago. I get a call from Tim. It goes something like this “Congrats on a great event Rick, I have an idea……” and the rest, as they say, is history.
BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2009 will truly be the comprehensive, industry-wide event that Tim and I had both searched for, envisioned, and it’s such a wonderful thing to be able to announce it’s become a reality.
Let me end this post by acknowledging what a pioneer Tim is and has been. He saw the future of New Media. I won’t say before anyone else, because lots of people believed in these tools very early on, but Tim did something about it and gave podcasting and online video content creators an industry event when there was a desperate need for it. We have so much in common, and I’m honored to call Tim a friend. Two combined visions have led to creating a single comprehensive (and convenient) event which is truly a launchpad for our industry’s growth, education and evolution.