Interview with Rick Biros, President/Publisher of Medical Device Summit, Part 1

We recently met with and interviewed the founder of Medical Device Summit, a new industry-specific website serving the global medical device industry.  Sparta Systems: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. To start off, can you tell our readers a little bit about Medical Device Summit?

Rick Biros: Medical Device Summit is an online b2b magazine, which follows many of the principles of a print magazine, except we do it without killing trees. We post original and contributed articles, news and blog posts to our site and then push the content out to the industry via our weekly e-newsletter. That’s the e-publishing aspect of MDS. We’re also involved in events such as webinars, one of which Sparta Systems is sponsoring this fall, and we’re about to enter into traditional live conferences.

SS: Can you tell us about your background?

RB: I’ve been in publishing my entire career. I have a marketing degree from college and started off in publishing in advertising sales. Innovative Publishing, which publishes Medical Device Summit, is actually my second company. My first company, which was called Carpe Diem Communications, published the very first magazine focused on food quality assurance and food safety called Food Quality. We worked with Sparta with that publication, as well as a pharmaceutical publication we had.

SS: What prompted you to launch Medical Device Summit?

RB: While there is a series of smaller publishers, the industry is dominated primarily by one publisher. We saw a need for a strictly online publication that coupled the events side of the business with the e-events side.

SS: How does an online publication differ from a print publication?

RB: It differs from print in that it allows for more flexibility. For example, if we’re working with an author on a contributed article and they miss a deadline, the article doesn’t have to wait to be published in the next issue. We can post it to the site when it comes in and then push it out in the next weekly e-newsletter.

When I had worked in print on magazines for the food and pharmaceutical industry, we saw an increase in the demand for our content, yet due to the financial limitations of sending a free magazine to a reader overseas, we couldn’t fully service that market. Now, online, it’s more worldwide. We have readers in Singapore and all across Asia. We’ve got a large reader base in Israel because of the Israel’s connection with the U.S. medical device industry and Europe is a growing market for us.

By having good search engine optimization, people can find us through a search query. We are also very active with LinkedIn, which has proven to be a very good source of new readers for us. We can advance content rather quickly through smart initiatives on LinkedIn.

Lastly, an online magazine serves both the readers and advertisers needs better than print. Most readers don’t have the time to read all the print publications that come to them and if they do read them, they rarely read a print magazine cover to cover. Our e-publishing model provides a more frequent delivery of content but in smaller, manageable doses, benefiting time sensitive professionals. The data and metrics e-publishing generates helps advertisers easily determine their marketing ROI.

The interesting thing about online e-publishing is that while the delivery vehicle is different than print, the basic principles behind successful publishing aren’t any different. It’s all about providing good content. If you have good content and properly publicize it, you’ll get the readership. To learn more about Rick Biros and Medical Device Summit, visit www.medicaldevicesummit.com

Part II of the interview to be published next month.

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