I go to a lot of shows, events, conventions and American Farm Bureau Federation is right at the top of my list of those groups who really know how to help the press do their job. They get it. Provide resources, assistance and you’re much more likely to have coverage.
Let’s take this photo from the opening general session here in Nashville. The press have their own seating area that includes tables, chairs, lamps and many power outlets situated on the tops of the tables. In addition, there are several mult boxes (allows us to record session audio) and good internet wifi. This is a big group of ag journalists here. They are all working more efficiently thanks to AFBF. This is all located at the front of the room, on the side. We have quick access to get up and take photos and then sit back down without having to walk all the way to the back of the room. That may not sound important unless you’re the one having to walk back and forth 15 times during a session!
Now, let’s go back to the media rooms. They have tables, chairs, both wifi and internet cables as well as a extra computers for those who did not bring one (hard to imagine anymore but . . .). They made sure the internet access was beefed up to handle the volume of data that is being transferred. I have not experienced a slow down. I can’t tell you how many times I get to a media room and the internet access just is not capable of handling the traffic. I blame a lot of that on hotel facilities that are trying to scrimp on what they are providing but I think groups need to proactively check it. Use a service like Speedtest.net to see what your speed is for example.
So, if your association or company wants to know how to set up to handle the press I recommend giving the AFBF communications staff a call. Or I would be happy to consult with you too.
I also have to mention food. Like other groups AFBF provides meals for the working press. Many groups many not think this is important but when you’ve got tight deadlines and especially if you’re not staying in the main hotel this can be extremely beneficial.