Wednesday, October 29, 2008

EconWomen Conference, New York

It's 1:30pm and I haven't had lunch so I'm trying to make a healthy choice from the sumptuous array of sweets at the EconWomen Conference, where a who's who of women in media are converging for an afternoon of kick-ass panels. I opt for the fruits and nuts but also sneak in a few of the checkered shortbread cookies, and settle in my seat.

Wenda Harris Millard, Co-Ceo of Martha Stewart Omnimedia, kicked things off on a humorous note. In his opening comments her interviewer mentioned that MSO had recently reported earnings and that they had been flat, but she quickly pointed out to him that "flat is the new up." Love it.

Wenda then went on to say that the internet is a medium made for women. "Technology has given women a new voice, and they're screaming," she says. The media veteran believes there is an appetite for intelligent, integrated marketing, and that is the direction she's taking MSO.

"Women are seeking the comfort of home, and we're all about how to have a beautiful life every day, so we're well positioned to capture this trend", she adds. Yesterday they announced they invested in a company called Pingg, which makes online invitations, and they're adding their "secret sauce" to it (watch out Evite). They did this because they found out their readers throw an average of 17 parties a year (who'd of thought that the dainty handicrafters were such party animals?). So now they can plan them on Martha's site. And they're not stopping there. Wenda says their big franchises are food, weddings, and holiday celebrations, so they're looking to invest in other properties in those areas (and she's open to suggestions). It's nice to have money.

It's past midnight so I'm going to bed now but I'll continue blogging about some more very useful insights I got at this event tomorrow. Stay tuned for stories on Andrew Shue (who was one of the hotties on Melrose Place and is now a web entrepreneur), Tina Brown (formerly of Vanity Fair and Talk Magazine), Joni Evans of, Lisa Stone, CEO of BlogHer plus many others. Good night all!

1 comment:

otherone said...

wow, that sounds like a great conference! I agree re: the internet. cool post!