Big conferences are dead…

E3 (the big game conference) is dead. Great analysis.

The truth is you gotta look deeper than that. Look at how you heard about when I quit Microsoft. I talked to 15 people. At a freaking blogger conference which cost almost nothing to put on. And it got, according to one PR guy I know, 50 million media impressions.

So, why does anyone need to go to a big conference to hear the news again? Simple: you don’t. It’s not worth doing.

Not when a CEO can write a blog, get more people to visit it in 36 hours than would probably visit his booth at the Detroit Auto Show.

How do you get news out? Invite a blogger over for lunch. It doesn’t matter who the blogger is. If the news is interesting it’ll spread and spread fast.

I wonder how long CES will survive?

123 thoughts on “Big conferences are dead…

  1. With the exception of CES and NAB, big conferences may be dead in the computer industry. In part, this has to be due to several factors: a change of audience demographics (that the organizers missed); relevance; cut-back in exhibitor marketing dollars scaled down from the Cecil B. DeMille big booth days. But I would suggest that in many other industries, there are still valid events: medical science and cancer research, photography and digital imaging (PMA, PhotoPlusExpo); U.S. Army and Defense Department, and of course, the various auto shows. Organizers should do real market research, and when the events are relevant, the exhibitors, the attendees, and the skepticcal media, industry analysts and bloggers will return. Mark (recovering trade show PR professional).

  2. With the exception of CES and NAB, big conferences may be dead in the computer industry. In part, this has to be due to several factors: a change of audience demographics (that the organizers missed); relevance; cut-back in exhibitor marketing dollars scaled down from the Cecil B. DeMille big booth days. But I would suggest that in many other industries, there are still valid events: medical science and cancer research, photography and digital imaging (PMA, PhotoPlusExpo); U.S. Army and Defense Department, and of course, the various auto shows. Organizers should do real market research, and when the events are relevant, the exhibitors, the attendees, and the skepticcal media, industry analysts and bloggers will return. Mark (recovering trade show PR professional).

  3. Everything starts with the writing, and the “farm system” will likely never realize that.

    Amen. But I would add, even if they realize it, they don’t have the infrastructure to support it, nor will they honor all the WGA schedules, nor will the real pro’s be inclined to play their reindeer games.

    The “farm system” will go for the celebrity A-List flash and the YouTubby viral flash-in-pan stupidity; eternal gimmicks to get traffic and hits; the blog template model — dissing anyone outside the circled circles, those who ‘don’t get it’.

    “Bridging the divide”? Just one problem, no bridges to even connect. There really isn’t any such thing as a “new media company”. A differing format, a differing distributional method, makes not a media company. The better the “new” becomes the more it becomes “old”. And the “old” can simply use the same formats as the “new”, evolution not revolution. The “new economy” was a full-scale illusion, as is the “new media company”.

    Forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air…

  4. Everything starts with the writing, and the “farm system” will likely never realize that.

    Amen. But I would add, even if they realize it, they don’t have the infrastructure to support it, nor will they honor all the WGA schedules, nor will the real pro’s be inclined to play their reindeer games.

    The “farm system” will go for the celebrity A-List flash and the YouTubby viral flash-in-pan stupidity; eternal gimmicks to get traffic and hits; the blog template model — dissing anyone outside the circled circles, those who ‘don’t get it’.

    “Bridging the divide”? Just one problem, no bridges to even connect. There really isn’t any such thing as a “new media company”. A differing format, a differing distributional method, makes not a media company. The better the “new” becomes the more it becomes “old”. And the “old” can simply use the same formats as the “new”, evolution not revolution. The “new economy” was a full-scale illusion, as is the “new media company”.

    Forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air…

  5. I think it would be a good idea if the Publishers held smaller conferences that were open to both press and public that focused on getting some play time with upcoming games and being able to speak with developers.

    Despite the fact that Cliff Blezinski has a blog, I don’t really feel like I can talk to the guy.

  6. I think it would be a good idea if the Publishers held smaller conferences that were open to both press and public that focused on getting some play time with upcoming games and being able to speak with developers.

    Despite the fact that Cliff Blezinski has a blog, I don’t really feel like I can talk to the guy.

  7. LayZ/Chris,

    Thank you for your comments.

    Comments can be sent to me thorough my web-master, Michael (which is on the site).

    I need a new web design with an obvious comments sections.

    Robert, all apologies for placing non-specific User Generated Comments (comments directed towards my post) in your comments section, but as always–thank you for generating such an engaging discussion.

    In one of your other sections, Jim Kerr commented on “bridging the divide” between new media companies and “old media”–the entertainment industry. I look forward to your comments–and the comments of others– on this issue.

  8. LayZ/Chris,

    Thank you for your comments.

    Comments can be sent to me thorough my web-master, Michael (which is on the site).

    I need a new web design with an obvious comments sections.

    Robert, all apologies for placing non-specific User Generated Comments (comments directed towards my post) in your comments section, but as always–thank you for generating such an engaging discussion.

    In one of your other sections, Jim Kerr commented on “bridging the divide” between new media companies and “old media”–the entertainment industry. I look forward to your comments–and the comments of others– on this issue.

  9. Chris, we must be twin sons of different mothers.

    The only thing I would add is that I think it’s sad how much writers are not given credit. Everything starts with the writing, and the “farm system” will likely never realize that. Alas, it’s too bad the majority in Hollywood don’t realize that, either. There are shows that succeed almost by pure luck, that have good writing. Seinfeld being the best example. If NBC went purely on ratings it would have never made it on the fall schedule. Unfortunately, Arrested Development didn’t get the same committment. Far and away one of the best written shows in a long time. Thankfully for many writers, outlets like HBO and Showtime can take chances and give these talented folks room to work (“Sopranos”, “Entourage”…)

    The farm system will likely never get to that point. They are going for the quick win, and the companys that host them are simply going for the high number of ad click throughs. They will care little about the quality of the content posted, as long as people click the ads.

    Sorry, nothing snarky to add. Brooke, I’m likely as passionate as you are about the importance of writing in the entertainment industry. The difference is that you are much closer to it than I am. It all starts with the writing. The geeks don’t get that. They appear to think it starts with the technology.

  10. Chris, we must be twin sons of different mothers.

    The only thing I would add is that I think it’s sad how much writers are not given credit. Everything starts with the writing, and the “farm system” will likely never realize that. Alas, it’s too bad the majority in Hollywood don’t realize that, either. There are shows that succeed almost by pure luck, that have good writing. Seinfeld being the best example. If NBC went purely on ratings it would have never made it on the fall schedule. Unfortunately, Arrested Development didn’t get the same committment. Far and away one of the best written shows in a long time. Thankfully for many writers, outlets like HBO and Showtime can take chances and give these talented folks room to work (“Sopranos”, “Entourage”…)

    The farm system will likely never get to that point. They are going for the quick win, and the companys that host them are simply going for the high number of ad click throughs. They will care little about the quality of the content posted, as long as people click the ads.

    Sorry, nothing snarky to add. Brooke, I’m likely as passionate as you are about the importance of writing in the entertainment industry. The difference is that you are much closer to it than I am. It all starts with the writing. The geeks don’t get that. They appear to think it starts with the technology.

  11. Three issues I see, overinflated star power, the rise of the writer as show-runner, and the new media Laffy Taffy YouTubby kiddies. You can’t really mix these into one big casserole; they are but differing meals.

    Star bloated egos? Will always have that, it’s the fuel Wilshire runs on, just accelerated now that the biggie stars have productional studios. But if have great writing, move beyond the SAG top 1%, and to the rest of the 99%. Stars are not always the salvation, not at those prices.

    And ‘franchise mega-writer’ only really applies to TV, writers in Film are lucky to even get an invite to their own Premiere, and oft times banned from the set; studio buys the script, writer gets lost, Director gets credit. TV has moved beyond the dreadful episodic sitcomy, and into the mass drama and DVD Full Seasons; with TV you develop more of a real relationship, over the Hollywood one-night stands.

    But both are wholly separate issues from the shaky-cam YouTubers and vbloggers, no ‘franchise’ or ‘writers’ here. But this is an old one-note song, first they said blogs will replace journalism, citizen media will overcome the old creaky publishing stalwarts — now the switch is on Hollywood and Burbank, after buncha geeks tinker around with Digital Video Cameras. But endlessly rambling stick-microphone-in-face interview shows the best they have to offer, hence, forever blowing bubbles…

    Just because you can, and have the tools, still doesn’t mean anyone is listening or that it’s any good.

  12. Three issues I see, overinflated star power, the rise of the writer as show-runner, and the new media Laffy Taffy YouTubby kiddies. You can’t really mix these into one big casserole; they are but differing meals.

    Star bloated egos? Will always have that, it’s the fuel Wilshire runs on, just accelerated now that the biggie stars have productional studios. But if have great writing, move beyond the SAG top 1%, and to the rest of the 99%. Stars are not always the salvation, not at those prices.

    And ‘franchise mega-writer’ only really applies to TV, writers in Film are lucky to even get an invite to their own Premiere, and oft times banned from the set; studio buys the script, writer gets lost, Director gets credit. TV has moved beyond the dreadful episodic sitcomy, and into the mass drama and DVD Full Seasons; with TV you develop more of a real relationship, over the Hollywood one-night stands.

    But both are wholly separate issues from the shaky-cam YouTubers and vbloggers, no ‘franchise’ or ‘writers’ here. But this is an old one-note song, first they said blogs will replace journalism, citizen media will overcome the old creaky publishing stalwarts — now the switch is on Hollywood and Burbank, after buncha geeks tinker around with Digital Video Cameras. But endlessly rambling stick-microphone-in-face interview shows the best they have to offer, hence, forever blowing bubbles…

    Just because you can, and have the tools, still doesn’t mean anyone is listening or that it’s any good.

  13. I’d love to hear your comments on my July 31 post.

    In my best AOL dialect…oh oh me too. Me too.

  14. I’d love to hear your comments on my July 31 post.

    In my best AOL dialect…oh oh me too. Me too.

  15. Brooke,would welcome sharing my thougths, but I don’t see a way to post comments on your excellent blog.

  16. Brooke,would welcome sharing my thougths, but I don’t see a way to post comments on your excellent blog.

  17. I love conferences, luncheons, and award ceremonies. In fact, I’m going to at least 2 this month.

    It’s great to get away from your coffee-stained keyboard and actually connect with humanity.

    LayZ–your comments at #48 made me laugh out loud.
    I’d love to hear your comments on my July 31 post.

  18. I love conferences, luncheons, and award ceremonies. In fact, I’m going to at least 2 this month.

    It’s great to get away from your coffee-stained keyboard and actually connect with humanity.

    LayZ–your comments at #48 made me laugh out loud.
    I’d love to hear your comments on my July 31 post.

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