Lee Newton, CEO of organiser Media 10, has launched Blah Blah Digital in a bid to diversify away from just pure trade and consumer events.
Newton, who previously launched CaboodleAI, a news aggregation software start-up during lockdown in 2020, explains the idea behind Blah Blah Digital.
What exactly is Blah Blah Digital?
Lee Newton: It’s an agency that will initially operate a range of products using the data, brands and assets of Media 10 – and I am sure we will attract other companies to follow suit.
We want to attract revenues from more than just the exhibition marketing budgets from our old and new client base and if we can leverage their digital spend too then we may well have a company that dwarfs Media 10 in the future.
Why have you launched this as a separate company to Media 10?
We feel that to get the full benefit of the traction available in the digital market we need a separate entity and completely detached team, working solely on digital opportunities.
Some of Media 10’s directors have been in their respective markets for many years, also being part of the new business gives us unrivalled knowledge in the home
s, design s, architecture, construction and optical markets to drive a business that is unhindered by the history and complexities of running a trade and consumer events business.
The joint shareholders will not be receiving a salary for their efforts but will rely solely upon dividends from the new venture. We believe this gives the new venture every chance of succeeding quickly – minimum cost, maximum benefit.
Who are the founding clients?
Currently our biggest client is Media 10 itself. We’ve agreed an arms-length deal to use the power of Media 10’s long-established event brands but in a totally separate entity. It is using the assets of Media 10 but without the handcuffs of deadlines and the finite nature of running live events.
Who else is involved?
We have set-up a totally separate company and Board which includes some existing Media 10 board members as well as new, young digitally-focused blood including my own son Joe, who’s experience with Sparks 44 and DigiDoMedia will help guide the new team.
The current Media 10 Board wholeheartedly agreed that to truly take advantage of the digital marketplace, a completely new entity needed establishing, driven by a new team of heavily incentivised shareholders.
How would the deal work between the two companies?
Media 10 givesBlah Blah Digitalcomplete freedom to use its brands and data but only in a digital capacity, and the digital agency will, in-return also help market all the Media 10 events in a win-win scenario.
What is the business model?
Blah Blah Digital is, in effect an independent digital agency – with Media 10 currently its biggest client. We have often wondered what an independent digital company would do with our data and brands, and now we are putting that into practice. Unlike a lot of digital agencies, we have the advantage of having complete freedom to use the assets of Media 10 and the digital inventory and history of the brands that goes with it.
What is the long-term plan?
So far we have launched over 20 digital daily and weekly newsletters using the brands and data of Media 10’s assets and all are delivering revenues into the new entity. This is just the start and we have grand plans for the new business and the new team. Who knows, in the future this entity may launch its own events – meaning that Blah Blah Digital becomes far bigger than Media 10. That might sound fanciful but in a changing world, we believe that diversification is the key to success.