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10 questions to Rick Calvert, CEO of BlogWorldExpo

Now then here’s another event that I’d like to draw your attention to, especially if you’re into social media as I know a lot of the people reading are. BlogWorld & New Media Expo is taking place on the 24th-26th of May  in New York. This year they’re adding a mobile stream to the conference schedule — and all things being equal, I’m going to try and be there!

I asked Rick Calvert, the top man at BlogWorld to answer some questions about the event (particularly in the context of mobile). Here we go — my questions are in bold:

– – – – –

1. Could you introduce yourself — who are you and what’s your background?

I am the CEO & Co-founder or BlogWorld & New Media Expo. I have been reading blogs since 2000 and started my own political blog “The Real Ugly American” in 2005. Before launching BlogWorld I worked on several large tradeshows here in the US including The SEMA Show (everything you don’t need to make your car go faster or look cooler which brings 100,000 attendees and more than 2,000 exhibitors), ComiCon (everything you ever wanted to know about Comic Books 100,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors) and AWFS (Association of WoodWorking & Furnishings Suppliers)

2. Describe BlogWorldExpo — what’s the event concept? It’s not just for people who write blogs?

BlogWorld was built primarily to provide an industry wide gathering and help digital content creators succeed. In order to accomplish that we identified four main goals with our event.

#1 Help content creators learn how to create, distribute and monetize content.
#2 Expose the different communities within the blogosphere to each other.
#3 Educate companies large and small how to use these new media and social networking tools and teach them how to build relationships with content creators.
#4 Foster the convergence between new media and traditional media.

We also have a very diverse community. This includes four main groups:

  • Digital content creators who are currently earning some income or a full time living via their blog, podcast, internet radio, internet TV or other form of digital content.
  • Other folks that we consider a core part of our community include people who are insanely passionate about their content and want to improve what they are doing but might not be making any money at it or may never even have the aspiration to do so.
  • The next group are the corporate bloggers, community managers, social media managers, and evangelists.
  • Lastly, come the suits. The PR flacks and “Corporate Communicators”, the CMO’s VP’s and Directors of Marketing, the Ad Agency pitchmen and small business owners who want to engage with our core community and learn how to use new media tools to sell more stuff, provide better customer service and improve their internal corporate communication, etc.

3. I’ve always associated BlogWorldExpo with the West Coast — tell us about the addition of the New York show?

We have wanted to do a show in the east coast for a long time now. People are constantly asking us to produce an event on the east coast. This year we finally had the right opportunity to do that in partnership with our friends at Reed and Book Expo America. This is going to allow people within our community who have always wanted to attend but haven’t been able to travel out west to be a part of the BlogWorld experience.

4. What kind of organisations exhibit and present?

Like the rest of the blogosphere it is a pretty diverse group. Blogging platforms like WordPress and Posterous, to analytics and social media monitoring services like Radian6 and Raven Tools, content syndication services like Newstex, Advertising and Affiliate networks, domain hosting and registration companies, blog networks, audio and video hardware like Kodak and Sony, to corporate sponsors like Ford and Southwest Airlines.

5. Who should attend BlogWorldExpo?

Anyone who wants to create, distribute or monetize content on the web. Any company that wants to learn how to use social networking tools like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn or how to blog and podcast.

6. The event seems to have a phenomenal reach — tell us about that?

Well last year we had 3,200 attendees at the show. In turn those 3,200 people had a combined monthly audience of over 250 million people. That is just counting their self reported blog audience. That doesn’t include their reach on Twitter, Facebook etc. I think the fact that we hold the Guinness World Record for “most social media messages sent in a 24 hour period with a single hashtag” #beatcancer is evidence of that reach and influence.

7. Mobile, blogging and social media are beginning to tightly integrate — and to this end you’ve introduced a mobile stream — tell us about that?

The mobile revolution is going to dwarf the internet revolution. As smart phones get smarter and easier to use and with the increased adoption of tablets like the iPad. Billions of people are all going to be consuming the content that bloggers, podcasters etc create on those mobile devices. They are also going to be making buying decisions and direct purchases from their mobile phones. Any content creator that isn’t formatting their content to be consumed on mobile devices is going to be left behind very quickly.

8. What’s your message to companies in the mobile industry thinking about coming along?

They need content creators as much as we need them. The sooner the mobile experience becomes friendly and easy to use and consumers can access content easily the faster mobile devices will be adopted.

9. Talk us through some highlights — what are you particularly excited about?

Well as I am writing this reply, we just confirmed as are newest exhibitor. We are pretty excited about that. It is the first time they have officially been on the show floor 8). But the co-location with Book Expo America is definitely the highlight of the NYC event. This is the first time an entire segment of the traditional media space is going to be exposed to the new media universe at large. We always attract a few publishers, radio, TV and film industry folks to our event and they attend other social media conferences but never have the two met face to face head on. I think both communities are going to blown away by what they learn from each other. A lot of misconceptions on both sides are going to be confronted and that is going to bring about some great conversations.

10. Where do we find out more information?

That’s easy or give us a tweet or a call. Thanks Ewan!

– – – – –

Thank you Rick — thanks for taking the time and I look forward to physically meeting at BlogWorld soon.

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