At the risk of engaging in a little navel-gazing, I thought I’d present my list of the top 10 things I would like to see happen to make covering the 2016 NAB Show in Las Vegas, April 18-21, an even better personal experience for me than covering this year’s edition.
10. Watch where you are going. Stop gawking at exhibits as you walk the aisles between booths. You wouldn’t do that while driving down the street — I hope. In the same vein, stop texting or reading emails while you walk. You wouldn’t do that behind the wheel either, presumably.
9. Quit walking three abreast. I can take two of you shoulder-to-shoulder, but three creates moving roadblocks in the aisles. Why not have one of the three walk point and call out warnings to the other two if they must text and walk at the same time?
8. Don’t come to a complete stop at the entry to an exhibit hall. Know where you are going. If you don’t, stand out of the way until you can figure it out. And if you run into a long-lost industry acquaintance at one of the entries, go get a cup of coffee and catch up. Don’t do it in the middle of the entrance.
7. Keep your hip and groovy toys in your booths, not in the aisles or entry ways. I’m sure you know why by now.
6. Don’t schedule your company’s press conference to be held at booth before the exhibition hall opens for the day. Those with press registration-only can’t get into the exhibit hall then. Not a problem for news organizations that also exhibit, but not every media outfit does so.
5. Don’t casually assume the press knows your NAB Show URL. Some companies with press releases and images to distribute, direct the press to visit their websites to download materials. No problem, but don’t assume we all know where to go online. Tell us!
4. Apply the inverted pyramid to your press conference presentation. Tell me what’s most important to begin with and fill in the details of your company’s story as the press conference continues. Don’t make me guess.
3. Don’t mix press conferences with dealer shindigs and motivational sessions for users. If I walk into a room and there are 500 to 1,000 people attending a “press conference,” it’s not a press conference at all. If there isn’t an opportunity to ask questions, it’s not a press conference, either. If you insist on mixing these events together, at least offer an opportunity for the press to accompany your spokesperson to a quiet environment after the rah-rah session to ask questions.
2. Stick to the schedule. If you say your press conference is going to last 30 minutes, don’t go any longer. Doing so sends a time ripple out that must be dealt with by the presenter of the next scheduled press conference and the press.
1. Resist the temptation to present like Steve Jobs; you’re not a clone of the late Apple CEO, nor will you ever be. Simply be yourself, tell your story and don’t let style get in the way of substance.
Now, if only all 100,000-plus people attending next year’s NAB Show as well as the nearly 2,000 exhibitors that will be there can deliver on these recommendations, I will have an even better show than I did this year.