Could the problem have been where it was held? Not likely since it took place in Dallas, Texas, what Publishers Weekly calls, “the buckle of the Bible Belt and a top market for Christian publishers.”
To be fair, the event was planned two years ago, before the market downturn. And, despite having only a minimal marketing budget, it was designed as three days of panels and programming like a conference. It appears that “minimal marketing budget” pretty much consisted of word of mouth via Dallas churches.
“We can’t afford these kinds of risks,” said Dennis R. Hillman, publisher at Kregel Publications. “In a year like this the last thing we want to do is something that has no payoff.”Michael S. Hyatt, president and CEO of Thomas Nelson seems to believe there will be an event next year. Others are not so sure.
“InterVarsity Press will be looking for a more concrete, specific marketing plan for the event – with some strings attached – before we would consider setting aside money to participate,” said associate publisher Jeff Crosby. “Viewed in total, the event was a major disappointment.”