If you want to boost the visibility of your product, service, business or brand, then hosting an event or a conference is one of the best ways to accomplish this. This way you can make involvement with your plans seem a lot more exciting and you can attract a lot more interest and generate a lot more buzz. At the same time this is an ideal way to get media coverage as you create more of a story for them to write about (not only the fact that you are launching a new product or service, but also the fact that you hosted a sparkling event). Finally, by hosting an event you enable yourself to directly address the press and your guests and to describe what you’re doing with your own words and with all the showmanship you can muster to make it seem more impressive.
This is something that many companies know well, and in the past great conferences have been used to build a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for projects, services and devices. Here we will look at some recent examples that you can maybe learn from.
The Google I/O Conference
The recent June 27th 2012 Google I/O conference was a great hit for Google where they unveiled a number of their key projects and technologies. We saw the introduction of Android 4.1 ‘Jellybean’, we saw the Nexus 7 and Nexus Q and perhaps most excitingly we saw the Google Glasses. The presentation for the Nexus 7 was a successful announcement for a tablet by any standards and it came across as a great device. This by-the-numbers presentation demonstrated that you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles if you have a good project to demonstrate. Even if the project itself is quite straightforward.
More exciting though was the demo of the Google Glasses which saw a bunch of skydivers leap out of a plane while transmitting their POV directly from the glasses to a Google Hangout. The video was a rather bombastic and no doubt expensive demonstration of something not anticipated to hit shelves until 2014. However it did a great job of demonstrating the kind of thing that the glasses can do, and more importantly it did what Google wanted it to do – which was to get people talking. Think about this at your own conferences, how can you go against what is expected and deliver a presentation that will really be remembered? What kind of gimmick could you bring up on stage to show what your device or service could do? What kind of celebrity? What kind of skit?
The New Apple Maps
The presentation for this was a brilliant example of Apple still ‘having it’ after the departure of Jobs and they did a fantastic job of building up the excitement with demonstration on demonstration of what the maps can do. The only error that they perhaps made though was not saving the best revelation for last. No doubt the most exciting and impressive aspect of the maps is the 3D flyover effect, which allows you to pan around buildings in 3D with the textures all rendered in real time. It’s amazing stuff, but oddly they decided to show the relatively uninteresting turn by turn navigation for last. Something which most people have seen before on many other devices and which would have been great at the start of the talk, but was a bit of a wet squib at the end. Something to consider when devising your own presentations.
The Wii U
When Nintendo first announced their next console they didn’t quite get everything right and the gaming industry generally reported muddled messages – a fact that Nintendo felt through their investors. The problem was that they didn’t make it at all clear what the Wii U was or what it was capable of, and opted to only show the new control pad. Was this a new handheld gaming device? An add on controller for the existing Wii console? And what were its features or specs? Subsequent revelations and presentations failed to really build excitement either as the specs remained mysterious and were reported by some sources to be lower than even some current gen consoles (this is unconfirmed).
Nintendo has time and again proven that it knows what it’s doing when it comes to games. And in a time when we can stream games straight from the web we are fast approaching a point where specs don’t really matter and the way that hardware needs to differentiate itself is by being different. However Nintendo clearly failed to get this point across or to generate the right kind of speculation; a lesson for you to learn before making your own presentations.
The author, Michael Frampton, works for a well-known event management company. They vote theoxford.com.au as the perfect venue for your corporate events