EICMA 2007: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
File under Exhibitions Opinion
Author: Mike Werner
Location: Normandy, France
I guess it's my turn to strike back. Strike back at all the waiting I was made to do, all the endless financial and corporate speeches I had to endure, the toes I was stepped on (and those I stepped on myself).... Here are the good and bad things I noticed at the EICMA 2007 motorcycle exhibition. Let's start with the negatives...
Very Bad - EICMA
The EICMA organization itself. The press registration via the web was a major nightmare, with press passes arriving a day or two before departure, some who didn't receive anything, and had to fight for their lives to get in. The day & age of the internet and still it gets made complicated.
No one knows anything, and you get moved from one area to another. Try to get a simple pass holder.... major problems. A bit of training beforehand could nicely solve that problem.
A press center that officially didn't open on Monday, despite the first press conference being on Monday. No catalogs, no information available until Tuesday lunch time. In the mean time you had to guess where you went.
Nowadays, more and more journalists come from the web media. It's time EICMA took note, and kept their press center open longer and earlier. This way, we can actually upload out photos and stories after the last press conferences have been done, instead of having to go to our hotel.
With more and more journalists requiring access to the internet, make more space available. WiFi is great, but you do need a place to put your computer, and you need electricity. Seating for some 15 people at a time is not even close to enough.
Spread out the press conferences over two days, giving us time to catch a breather, and file our stories. Tuesday was crazy, and never to be repeated.
Press conferences t stands should be for the press, it's crowded as it is, but when you let anyone in, including employees, dealers, customers and even people who managed to get in from the street, it becomes impossible to do our job.
Coffee machine was broken on Tuesday morning... disaster.
Silvio Berlusconi arrived with hundreds of security and cops, who shoved everyone away ....who does he think he is..
Worst Press Conference - BMW/KTM
Both earned the top spot of worst press conference. KTM because they had so much staff and dealers in front, that those of us who make a living making photos couldn't work. One KTM staff/dealer was rude to me when I tried to make a photo. Unbelievable!
BMW because they still think they're addressing the board room, and not motorcycle journalists, wasting time talking about EBITDA et al. Forget using a senior executive to talk to motorcycle journalists, using the product people. Don't wait until the last minute of your alloted time to actually show the new motorcycles.
NOTE: This should be a lesson to all companies holding press conferences. KNOW YOUR PUBLIC! The people there are not journalists from the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal. They're motorcycle journalists who have come to see new motorcycles, not listen to how well your company is doing. Don't you see and hear the difference when you present your financials, and when you finally unveil a motorcycle....
Least Ecological - BMW/KTM
At the same ranking, both BMW and KTM produced massive binders with full color shots of all their motorcycles, including CDs and DVDs with all these images and text. A total waste of paper. Just a DVD will do, thank you. Remember the environment, and also remember the poor journalists who need to carry all that...
Worst Dressed - BMW
Again Mr. (or in their case Dr.) BMW, this is a motorcycle exhibition, not a board room. Dressing up in dark business suites, while 99% of the journalists are in jeans, leathers or normal street clothes, makes you look alien. Lighten up, we're bikers.
And now for the more more positive parts:
Best Press Conference - Ducati
Ducati held their conference the day before everyone else, and they held it in a special conference room. The speeches are short, the show is great, and they know how to build suspense. It looked like a well oiled machine...
NOTE: Honda did very well as well, they were just one tad below Ducati. Sorry Honda, Ducati won.. again..
Best Dressed - Ducati
Ducati staff are all clothed in Ducati colors (red jeans white shirts), including their CEO. It's a relaxed atmosphere, it looks cool and professional.
Most Ecological - Vectrix
Not only do they have electric motorcycles and scooters, their press release was a USB Flash drive. No paper, no plastics, no CDs, no DVDs. Bravo! Also a lot less to carry!
Most Represented Nation - China
No matter where you turned, no matter which hall you where in, there were always loads of Chinese stands, mostly inhabited by a few Chinese people with nothing to do, looking bored. Go to an exhibition training course for crying out load...