GateHouse Live, the events production company of GateHouse Media, took home the 2019 Mega-Innovation Award February 26 at the Mega-Conference in Las Vegas.
Judges cited GateHouse Live for its extensive program of events and promotions that engages huge audiences while generating serious revenue numbers.
At GateHouse Live presentation of its award entry at the Mega-Conference, Vice President Lyndsi Lane noted that last year it launched approximately 4,000 promotions for 400 events attended by some 600,000 people.
Along the way, GateHouse Live has amassed a 5 million-person database.
GateHouse Live’s revenue growth has been the proverbial hockey stick. From a graph shown during their presentation, the company went from far less than $1 million in events revenue in 2015 the year before GateHouse Live staged its first events, to $8 million in 2016—to more than $42 million in 2018.
Part of the innovation GateHouse Live won for includes adding new twists to tested ideas. Its Best of the Best program “basically takes Readers Choice to a different level,” another vice president, Rebecca Capparelli said. GateHouse Live has added a glammed-up live event to the results, hosting finalists and sponsors. “It feels like you’re going to an Oscar night with a red carpet and Champaign.”
Bonus: 66% of Best of Best business comes from new or inactive advertisers, Capparelli added.
GateHouse Live is also dramatically increasing their events in racing—think 10Ks and marathons—and music. Rugged Races, a company they bought recently, will host about 100 events in 2019, and 30 music events are scheduled for this year.
GateHouse Media, which owns the Austin American-Statesman, also had a finalist in the Mega-Innovation Award with Statesman Media (Studio Sessions).
It was recognized for it Austin360 Studio Sessions, live-streamed half-hour music shows produced in the Statesman Media studio. Acts featured on the shows can be established local musicians, nationally recognized bands and others somewhere in between.
In 2018, Studio Sessions recorded 479,069 views of Austin 360 shows, Scott Pompe, Statesman Media’s vice president of advertising.
The Buffalo News was the other Mega-Innovation Award finalist for its proprietary paywall system that is harder to evade, and that it credits for a big rise in digital subscriptions.