Three Cheers For Geri (Hip, Hip, Hooray)

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

There’s a reason why the lovely, talented, hard working Geri Wolff limits, at events such as #dse2012, the number of press representatives from one company to no more than three.

News that @ravepubs‘s excitable Gary Kayye was to bring 15 people to Amsterdam for #ISE2012 may have excited his sponsors (Chief, NEC, Extron, Visix) but it has caused consternation amongst many of the journalists who will attempt to cover the event with some dignity, professionalism and (dare I say) decorum.

It’s easy as a European to see this as Americans turning the whole event into some form of scrum.

Journalism and general show reporting is not a race to see who can write the most, report the most, video the most (or dare I say it, as we are often guilty of this ourselves) tweet the most! Careful, balanced stories are surely the order of the day, with the odd tidbit of gossip or “You must go see this” – too much and everyone loses (and note, that includes ‘sponsors’, advertisers, exhibitors and attendees).

Gary’s already had one slap on the wrist, being asked to change his earlier opening line on www.ravenowise.com from “We’re taking or (sic) role as ISE’s official media partner seriously” – see the screenshot shown here on the right, taken on 17th January (and still available in the Google Cache if you click on the picture)…

… to “We’re taking our role as one of ISE’s official media partners seriously” – yes to the casual observer it may have seen originally (until we asked for it to be changed) that there were NOT two dozen or more ‘official’ media partners at the event in Amsterdam (as well as dozens more journalists).

If the mob that is going to descend on Amsterdam is anything like that which flew into Orlando last year for #Infocomm11 we can expect to see young ‘interns’ emblazoned in yellow, rushing around filming everything, with the odd detour to the press lounge to scoff all the food (seriously bad form in Orlando were the interns running in, grabbing everything in sight and immediately disappearing again – in fact scratch that, the ‘disappearing again’ was the good bit, it was everything else that was ‘bad form’).

rAVe [Publications] do have their own stand and they can be found in Hall 12 on Stand 12A74 and are offering perhaps, a somewhat useful service to exhibitors – aiming as they are to cover every new product with video interviews.

They also have a free rAVe NOW for iPad App with an INSTANT COMMENT option that notifies all 15 rAVe team members should exhibitors (or we guess attendees as well) want to draw attention to themselves (you can also email them at pr@ravepubs.com

Let’s not forget that #ISE2012 is a big event, it’s one of the highlights of the year for the AV industry and perhaps should be treated with a little bit more respect?


8 Responses to “Three Cheers For Geri (Hip, Hip, Hooray)”

  1. Raffi Vartian Says:

    Now now, Mr. Cotterill, let’s not turn this into some Europeans vs. Americans story. We all know Europeans (whatever that means these days) who fit whatever stereotype that you’re implying here: pushy, brash, etc.

    I think the larger goal here should be access to information – and while there may be stylistic differences between your publications – isn’t there room for both depth and breadth?

  2. Marko Schnitzel. Says:

    Steady on Mr. Vartian. Daily Dooh is to the industry what the News of the World was to the great British public up to recently. Expose’s, page 3 girls or equivalent, gossip……. Do you know what the Brits called it’s sister paper ‘ The Sun’? It was colloquially known as the ‘Current Bun’. So if we see the interns savaging current buns at ISE, we will know where they came from! Mind you, you are too mature for that nonsense.

  3. Gary Kayye Says:

    Adrian,

    First of all, thank you for recognizing our iPad App in your piece, however, I would like to address you post and correctly state our objectives:

    Our goal with our style of coverage at trade shows is to have a comprehensive video library of new products introduced. We don’t just go to big booths, or our sponsor’s booths — we go to EVERY booth/stand, even the tiny 10x10s in the back. To do this, yes, we need a large staff. And yes, this is a different style of coverage than other publications do. We are differentiating ourselves AND providing a service that many people find valuable, including attendees and trade show management/associations. I don’t know why you would find this distasteful or “lacking decorum” or “respect.” We obviously have a ton of respect for the industry and the trade shows, which is why we do our very best to cover them comprehensively.

    In addition, we RARELY employ Interns to do this. We hire the best people we can find and anyone who is allowed to attend a trade show has been through an incredible amount of industry training and many of us here at rAVe Pubs are InfoComm CTS certified as well.

    FInally, fully one-third of our staff at ISE this year will be FROM EUROPE! Sure, we can’t use all Europeans (although I wish I could) as we have a small office in Europe vs here in the USA where we are headquartered. But, even those who will attend from the USA have a global perspective on the AV market and we even have French, Spanish and Chinese speaking team members attending ISE this year – and, I used to live in The Netherlands when I helped open Extron’s office there.

    So, I am 100% confident that my team will not only represent rAVe professionally but the AV industry as a whole. And, I am very confident in our ability to professionally report on ISE – with our own style and decorum.

    Gary Kayye
    gary@ravepubs.com

  4. Jason Says:

    Gary

    Whatever you want to achieve in Amsterdam and however you go about it, if you count yourselves as reporters or journalists, don’t you think that 15 people from one single publication is a little top heavy?

    Where actually does this lead? At this rate any publication could temporarily (and if you are truthful I am sure you would admit that the majority of your ‘mob’ are either temporary or at the very least loosely affiliated with you) go hire a dozen students , arm them with camcorders and go filming.

    What exactly does that achieve? I think Adrian’s point was is it really that important to have video of every single new product or every single stand?

    Taking video and not putting it into context is perhaps slightly nonsensical although taking lots of video might somehow fulfil a contractual obligation with sponsors of more, more, more.

    If a company at ISE were to hire an exhibition stand, staff it with 15 people and then use it to go circulate leaflets or sell insurance I’m sure the organisers would be up in arms.

    Selling sponsorship to Chief, NEC, Extron and Visix to fund your exhibition stand merely to go video everything is not wide of that mark and I’m actually surprised that the organisers of ISE are allowing it.

  5. Gary Kayye Says:

    Hi Jason,

    This is the BIGGEST AV tradeshow in HISTORY. More people will be at ISE than have ever attended an AV show. In addition, there are more booths than at any other show in history. So, to cover them all, we calculated what we needed and are bringing that number.

    Now, on to why we do it this way. ALL the biggies always get coverage. In fact, if you Google the top 50 or maybe even 75 manufacturers, you’ll see a lot of ISE coverage from 2011 and even 2010. But, the smaller and medium-sized booths don’t. So much time is spent covering the biggies, that the smaller companies, where some of the coolest innovation happens, don’t get covered. I remember being at Extron when we were about 20 people and we’d spent 50% of our marketing budget for an entire year on one InfoComm show and I couldn’t get anyone to cover us. No one. And, until we were like 100 people company, no one did. We were, in fact, making products for Apple, IBM and NeXT computer, and no AV press cared.

    I remember those days well. I identify with the little-guy in AV. It has stuck with me some 20-years later.

    What we, at rAVe, are doing is covering everyone equally. We allow the little guy to get coverage by shooting videos they can use themselves to promote their own products, but, more than that, for those attendees who don’t have the time to go to 750 stands in 3 days (who couldn’t possibly do that) we give them the ability to see what they missed.

    And, for all the people that do attend – likely some 38,000 this year – there will be hundreds of thousands of AV folks who don’t go to ISE. So, this way we can cover the entire show for them.

    It’s a win-win. And, to top it off, we track every click on these videos. We know, for example, that our videos are also watched by other members of the press. In fact, we’ve received “thank you” emails from competitive members of the press for making videos of little-known booths and even InfoComm and CEDIA have both asked to use our raw footage for their own product sites (i.e. InfoComm IQ).

    So, although it may seem like a lot, our purpose for going isn’t like most other press. we, too, want to cover the biggies and the show overall. But, we want to find the small gems that no one has heard of and the products and companies (like Extron back in 1987 when I was standing in that booth as a sales person for them) that will eventually become big…

    I hope that clarifies.

    And, NO, they are NOT interns. These are rAVe staff. Team members I am proud to call employees.

    Gary Kayye

  6. James Matthews-Paul Says:

    Surely it is up to any given publication how they choose to cover a show? Gary obviously rates ISE 2012 so highly that he wants to decamp 15 staff to record as much of it as possible. As an experienced publisher, one must assume that he has weighed up the value of this exhibition against expense and resource management and decided that it is worth his while in the name of delivering information to his readership.

    Whether or not you agree with rAVe’s methodology is neither here nor there; I’m sure that some don’t like the way that we report at Output, and that as many dislike your crew’s style at the DailyDOOH. That’s why readers choose a single publication or a set thereof to follow — because they go with the title which best matches the slant they prefer to read.

    Adrian, you do have an unfortunate habit for slagging off the competition and trying to pass it off as news. At worst, you are backing a journalist into a corner and attempting to discredit or humiliate him publicly, forcing him to justify practices that he has absolutely no need to justify. At best, it is just unprofessional. But, more importantly, it has the unnecessary impact of discrediting some of the excellent research and reporting you do in this market.

    We don’t even have 15 people in our company, so muggins here will be treading the boards solo this time around. At my d├ębut visit to ISE I am looking forward to meeting the vast array of interesting technologists that will be present — and to the range of media opinion that will come as a result.

    Respectfully,

    James M-P
    james@outputmagazine.com

  7. Dan Says:

    In terms of the number of representatives that rAVe sends to a show, how is this any different from what CNET, Engadget, Gizmodo, The Verge and others do for shows like CES…?

  8. Tuckertues Says:

    Presumptions are Dangerous Boomerangs sir – Just ask Bill Gundy
    bit.ly/zYsQQD

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