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Successful B2B Press Conferences

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  • Indium Corporation
  • Ross Berntson conducts a press conference at APEX 2008.

    Ross Berntson conducts a press conference at APEX 2008.

    One of largest (press conferences) on the floor was Indium Corporation.

    One of largest (press conferences) on the floor was Indium Corporation.

    Multimedia receives special support to accommodate any special needs.

    Multimedia receives special support to accommodate any special needs.

    "Many companies had Press Events at the show highlighting new technology and one of the largest attended on the show floor was Indium Corporation, which introduced a new lead-free, no-clean solder paste called 8.9."
    CircuitNet.com

    Indium Corporation has put together a series of successful press conferences over the past few years. The question is, "how?".

    I'm not saying that we don't have a lot of room to improve (we do), but we have been enjoying success. Here are some reasons why I think this is so:

    1) Our B2B Marcom team, marketing staff, product managers, et al do NOT automatically stage a press conference at every exhibition. We only hold a conference when we have something truly meaningful to share.

    2) We respect the media. Most of the industry's (not all) press conferences occur when the media (as a group) is available. This typically means that there are a lot of conferences at exhibitions. This also means that the media are being asked to pull double duty as they attempt to cover the show AND participate in press conferences. We respect the media by keeping our session very concise and by preparing and distributing (in person and electronically) a focused press conference sheet with all the pertinent facts. We also, occasionally, remind the media (gently and professionally) about our scheduled conference – to be sure they remember. Finally, we hold 1:1 press conferences for individual media when they simply can not attend our main conference (this isn't always on the show floor, or even at the show).

    3) We make many key personnel available at the event (during and after the press conference) – for questions, follow-ups, etc. These people include: Marcom staff, product specialists, marketing leaders, tech support engineers, sales staff, R&D representatives, etc.

    4) We schedule our conference using the show's official exhibit press schedule tool. This helps avoid double-bookings and allows the media to use ONE scheduling tool.

    5) We accommodate multi-media. In this case, this means that we take some special care for both the written and electronic media – including video. When people are videoing a press confernece, they may need some special support (power, line of sight, lavalier mic, access to support videos (b-roll), etc.). Also, this means that we offer multi-media support to the traditional press. Most have online components, so we don't fail to offer our videos, weblinks, etc. to them, as well.

    6) We use a PA system. Trade shows offer up a TON of competition for attention. Sights, sounds, schedule jams, sore feet, and more combine to make focusing a real challenge for anyone. When our message can't be heard, everyone loses. We've started using a PA system to be sure that everyone can hear the message easily and clearly. (special note: be sure to work with the media's video crews to assure the PA sound doesn't present challenges to their micing systems)

    Now that I've put these points into writing, I plan to work on my NEXT TIME list – things that I need to do better.

    View Ross Berntson's APEX Indium Corporation Press Conference.