You’ve likely seen the striking books on the coffee tables of cafes and offices across Tampa Bay. Open the cover, and stories of region-altering businesses, must-see attractions, and local thought leaders stare back. The glossy pages drip with color, boasting photos of Tampa Bay’s natural and man-made assets.
Given the depth and breadth of the varied entities detailed in the Best of Tampa Bay and Innovate Tampa Bay publications, you might be surprised to learn that they weren’t created by a Tampa Bay native. You might also be surprised to find that these are just two of dozens of series publications throughout the world produced by the same company, The Global Village.
Sven Boermeester, Publisher of the Global Village, lives in Tampa now. But he began his business as any young adventure-hungry person should – a way to pay for his travels.
Starting out in South Africa nearly fifteen years ago, Boermeester began working on trade and industry publications. He quickly fell in love with the publishing industry.
From South African Boermeester moved to New Zealand, publishing along the way. Since that time he’s been all over the world, growing his team and publishing hundreds of books showcasing countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and throughout the Americas. “One hundred and three countries later,” said Boermeester, ” and I’m here in Tampa Bay.”
When Boermeester started, books and magazines followed a “pay to play” model, basically selling space in their publications as advertising. He recognized that this model didn’t work – and that it didn’t deliver a quality product to the market. No one wanted to buy other people’s advertisements.
The self-described “serial publisher” took another approach. He wanted to provide value – not just advertising. In each country or city, Boermeester gathered local partners – area tourism organizations, businesses, and tastemakers – to best understand the “who’s who” of the place, and to authentically tell their stories – no “pay” necessary.
The Global Village business model is simple. They produce great books detailing each region’s success stories – their innovators, start-ups, and tech giants – in turn, those businesses and many others buy the books to give as gifts to clients and investors.
The Catalyst caught up with Boermeester at Tampa Bay Wave’s recent Pitch Night at Station House. Lucky for us, the world traveler may be staying a while. “This is potentially the end of my road,” he explained. “I met a girl in Tampa, got married two years ago. So, I finally have some roots and I’m happy to be here.”
Next up – Sven is partnering with St. Pete businessman Ashby Green to produce a St. Pete book. More on that next week.