Sponsor Spotlight

//Sponsor Spotlight
Sponsor Spotlight 2021-06-23T14:59:50+00:00

AAMP Sponsor Spotlight – Karen Vogel

K Vogel EAG Photo

This issue’s AAMP Sponsor Spotlight is with Karen Vogel, Managing Partner, Event Advisory Group & Event Performance Group.

What is your main role within your organization?

I am responsible for growing new association business and developing audience marketing & engagement strategies and implementing new technologies to grow audience participation and satisfaction, while achieving revenue targets and goals for our clients’ events.

What are the main challenges facing your company right now? 

Due to the pandemic, most associations and companies had to cancel their in-person events, quickly pivoting to produce a virtual event.  Those virtual events were produced very quickly without the proper time to plan and execute successfully, with disappointing audience participation and exhibitor / sponsor ROI results.

The lines have become blurred between events, digital media, communities, social media, and other digital properties.  The event industry has been forced into the digital transformation age, and it’s imperative for organizations to embrace new strategies and technologies to better engage and connect in-person and virtual audiences — not only during a few days of the event, but year round.  

Events have an opportunity to reach broader audiences through a hybrid model, however, to attract a larger audience it will take new marketing strategies, relevant and timely education programming, valuable content, and new product / solution information showcased in an engaging format.

Hybrid events have added more complexity to plan and execute successfully, especially when many organizations had to reduce staff.  The challenge will be to invest enough and allow the time to produce a successful hybrid event to achieve revenue and audience growth goals.  Many should consider an experienced company that can help develop the strategies and identify the right technologies to grow audience participation, engagement, and satisfaction, as well as internal goals.

How will your firm’s marketing efforts continue to change for your clients’ events over the next year?  

We are looking at several different technologies to help our clients expand reach and better engage and connect audiences.  This includes platforms that use Artificial Intelligence to recommend relevant education sessions, peer connections, products / solutions, and content recommendations in real-time.  And, others that offer 3D and virtual tours that could be used to showcase a special event, manufacturing plant, solution in action, or other demonstrations that can be live streamed to both the in-person and virtual audiences. 

Events are not bound by geography limits any longer. Using digital marketing with relevant messaging and offerings to cost-effectively reach a global audience can attract a broader audience for event brands.  More importantly, the virtual event audience should be viewed as a great lead funnel for the in-person event the following year.

What do you think will be important areas of focus for audience development professionals in 2021? 

It’s still all about the data.  With more data collected from online events and digital media, it will be important to use the data responsibly and effectively to improve the audience experience and engagement year round.

When travel returns, where would you go?

I want to go back to Australia and see many parts of the country.

Where do you see yourself (or your company) in 2021?

Helping associations and corporations improve the performance of their events year-round, including attracting an expanded audience, enhancing engagement and education, facilitating a strong b2b marketplace, and improving revenue results. 

Down to Business with Andrew Strasser and California Marketing!



Andrew Strasser Senior Account Manager California Marketing Group

Describe what you do and how you can help AAMP members.

California Marketing Group (CMG) is an organization dedicated to delivering audience development and contact services. We have over 35 years of experience providing excellent results. We help content providers connect with their audience for sales, lead generation, and customer service purposes. We maintain an experienced team that works with your project design to help you realize your audience development targets. We are in your business. We get it – results matter!

What is the profile of your typical client?

Our typical client is one that is seeking results. Our clients are publishers, service or product providers, event organizers, and researchers. Most of our clients have a need for some sort of lead qualification, lead generation or verification, direct marketing, customer service, follow-up survey, or market research, and they bear the considerable burden of contacting or managing contact with their audience. We are experts at contact services across most platforms, and our clients are experts with their products and services. We merge our expertise to develop and deliver a comprehensive audience contact solution.

What is the biggest challenge your clients are facing in 2020, and how are you able to help them over the hurdles?

Traditional methods of marketing and communication have changed. Your audience is no longer in the office, and what your audience was purchasing in December may no longer be the priority in August. Finding more effective means of audience engagement has vital for our clients. CMG has been an excellent partner in helping our clients adapt to the workforce and new modes of contact that work with their audiences. One message may no longer engage the audience. One mode of communication may no longer guarantee contact. Human connection mixed with all other digital touchpoints is yielding the most promising results – and CMG can help with both.

What new and exciting services and/or technology are you working on?

Communication channels have certainly evolved in the past 30 years, but the past four months have brought about massive behavioral shifts to a new “norm.” Proving solutions in this all-digital, socially distant world has been our focus. We have been focused on audience and participant development to web-based conferences, e-learning, digital content, and text communication in 2020. The bottom line is we all must stay connected, and we have developed processes, adopted technology, and empowered our workforce to help our clients continue to accomplish their communications goals in the present-day world.

What is your favorite kind of pizza?

Pineapple and ham for sure. And if you sprinkle on some jalapeno, you can’t go wrong.

Down to Business with Tony Pytlak, President/COO at SFG, LLC



Tony Pytlak, President/COO at SFG, LLC

Describe what you do and how you can help AAMP members.

We offer AAMP members an all-in-one solution that combines our flexible and scalable order management system, FlexOMSTM, with our integrated operational services, FlexOpsTM. Combining FlexOMSTM + FlexOpsTM supports the many new ways in which companies transact with their customers – as well as the more traditional types of support like customer care, printing and lettershop, mail processing, back issue fulfillment, etc. As AAMP members extend their brands using multiple business models, SFG can help them create a seamless customer experience across all their models in one location and in one system.

What is the profile of your typical client?

The typical SFG media publishing partner (we consider our clients “partners”) is a forward thinking, innovative publisher who is looking for the advantages of a technology-focused provider that can anticipate and innovate in tune with the changing market. Our partners are looking for great ways to extend their brand by applying business intelligence to their marketing efforts or adding new programs such as membership, donations, products, or subscription boxes to its media content.

What is the biggest challenge your clients are facing in 2020, and how are you able to help them over the hurdles?

COVID-19’s takeover of 2020 is raising the stakes for all media publishers. Some our partners’ marketing efforts are actually doing better than anticipated so far this year, probably in response to stay-at-home orders. However, some publishers are facing circulation decline and the proliferation of free information online. SFG’s technology and support of a wide selection of programs has helped some of our partners implement quick tests of new business models, including:

  • switch to or test into a membership-based model
  • expand into new product sales or new packages of existing products
  • begin taking donations

All of this is supported by SFG’s real-time system backed by our truly relational database, designed with the customer at the center. 

What new and exciting services and/or technology are you working on?

Later this summer we are launching SFG’s FlexPage™ System 2.0. The original FlexPage™ System allows our partners to design their own online/mobile order pages on the fly within minutes, but FlexPage™ System 2.0 adds the capability of combining multiple business model offerings on a single order page. Imagine the power of offering print and/or digital magazine subscriptions, products, subscription boxes, memberships, donations, or any combination to your customer in a single order page and transaction – and designing and launching it within minutes!

In addition, our list of secure application programming interfaces (APIs) continues to grow, enabling us to respond to customers in real time, no matter where the data resides.

What is your favorite kind of pizza?

I grew up in the Chicago area, where deep dish pizza reigns supreme, and Lou Malnati’s Pizza is a Chicagoland legend. My favorite pizza is The Malnati Chicago Classic, made with Lou’s lean sausage, some extra cheese and vine-ripened tomato sauce on buttercrust, with pepperoni added.  

Down to Business with…ESP


As most of you know by now, we are not able to hold the AAMP Conference 2020 this year due to the ongoing pandemic.  However, our vendors are still a vital part of our organization, and we would like to keep you in touch with them throughout the year. In each e-newsletter, we will spotlight one of our vendors and what they can do for you.  So without further ado, we bring you Stefan Beeli, newly-promoted CEO of Enterprise Subscription Processing (ESP)….





AAMP: Describe what ESP does and how you can help AAMP members.

STEFAN: At ESP, we pride ourselves in being a full-service and versatile fulfillment provider with a full suite of circulation and data services required for subscription, membership and product fulfillment.  Our detailed and flexible database allows us to cater to both B2B publishers as well as the larger B2C conglomerates. In short, we provide all the services required for subscription fulfillment, from soup-to-nuts.  (SEE MORE….)

From real-time data entry, file uploads, order processing, and customer service, ESP maintains an integrated, detailed, and comprehensive view of your customers. We can customize a fulfillment system for you, including product fulfillment. So yeah – we can help you with all of that. 

AAMP: What is the profile of the typical client at ESP?

STEFAN: We have a diverse portfolio of B2B and B2C clients ranging from small to mid-size publishers, many with several titles and related products. Quite a few of them derive a large portion of their revenue from subscriptions instead of advertising, so at ESP, we pay special attention to paid subscriptions. In fact, our very first customer was an audited B2B publication with a daily frequency and a remarkably high subscription price.  The demanding requirements of that first customer enabled us to create a responsive system that works well for both paid and controlled titles.

AAMP: What is the biggest challenge your clients are facing in 2020, and how are you able to help them over the hurdles?

STEFAN: Right now, clients are concerned about protecting subscription revenue, engaging and retaining their audience, and staying relevant in our ever-changing digital world. We provide the services to keep those subscribers on file, the reporting that shows you how your retention efforts and new customer promotions are working, and the programming services that work with all your 3rd party vendors. We know publishers aren’t just using one service – they’re using a plethora of different marketing, sales, and CRM tools to stay current and move ahead of the competition. Our easy web hooks and seamless API services turn what used to be a nightmare for some into a comprehensive, cohesive, and straightforward integration. 

AAMP: What new and exciting services and/or technology are you working on?

STEFAN: Our dynamic development team has been customizing software to allow our clients to leverage some of the web’s open source packages to take advantage of things like customized AI chatbots, interactive digital editions, and multi-tenant custom product stores with shipment from multiple warehouses. We’ve also been working on a pilot project with WordPress to create plug-ins for our clients. For our smaller clients, we will be able to offer a custom solution that allows them to host their content and have full access and control of the design, layout, and look of their subscription pages simply by using the ESP fulfillment plugin, complete with gatekeeping and all the other bells and whistles that come with WordPress.

AAMP: And last but certainly not least, what is your favorite kind of pizza?

STEFAN: I’m a glutton. My favorite kind of pizza is a thin crust with lots of stuff on it. Sausage, bell peppers, pepperoni, onions, jalapenos, you name it, even anchovies and – horrors – pineapple.   (EDITORIAL OPINION:  Fruit was not meant to go on pizza.  Ever.)