Last week I spoke at my first media event. Which was kinda fun.
Here's what happened.
As part of the Microsoft Heroes Happen Launch event last week, Microsoft put on a media event. It was all organised by their PR company (in this case Howorth Communications) and involved getting a few key Microsoft executives (Martin Gregory and Bob Kelly) plus a few clients (5 in this case) to tell of their experiences with the new Microsoft products.
The event was reasonably small, with perhaps 15 journalists, the 2 key Microsoft execs, plus a few Microsoft staff and the 5 client representatives (of which I was one).
Martin Gregory hosted the lunch (the food was pretty good I should add), and spoke about Microsoft's message for the launch. He then handed over to Bob Kelly who outlined the Microsoft vision and covered off a number of the new features in the Microsoft products released in the last year – focusing of course on the 2008 stack.
Following that, each of us (ie the 5 clients) had a few minutes to outline the company we work for and our experiences with the 2008 stack.
The clients who presented were Lion Nathan, CargoWise, University of Canberra, Mincom and Elcom. It was interesting to hear about how massive an impact the 2008 stack is having on these companies. Each had good stories to tell about increased productivity, performance and functionality. As you'd expect at an event like this it was all positive about Microsoft of course, but that doesn't diminish the breadth of results being experienced. Coding times are being cut, turn around times are being reduced, network upgrades are being fast tracked and performance is being increased (as we are testament to) – to name just a few advantages.
After the presentations each of us had a little booth with 4 chairs where journalists could come and chat about our results/experiences if they wanted further information. I chatted with 2 journalists but had to rush off (I was already running late for my presentation in Dave Glover's session). Interestingly, many journalists left straight away without talking to any of us one-on-one.
All in all another great experience. But what can I learn from this? I was reflecting on what I said at the event (you can see media snippets here and here) and thought about what I'd do differently next time.
My main thought was that I probably didn't explain Elcom as well as I could have. I launched into our experiences, results and plans, without first explaining who Elcom is. I wonder if I could have been more helpful to the audience in that regard.
[Note to self: Write a blog post outlining 'The Elcom Story' because I get a few people asking me what it is we do, and realised I have never really explained it here.]
Anyway, that was the fun I had last week.
Have you ever spoken at a media event? If so, what did you do, and what tips do you have?