Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Organizing Conference Layout for Optimal Media Coverage

At TransportiCA, we enjoy covering conferences and events regarding sustainable transportation, and many other related issues.  When we cover the event, there is a particular need in which we position our reporters, in order for TransportiCA followers to get the event’s best views.

Within the last year, we have been un-accommodated by conference organizers regarding such needed seating, and hence, our ability to effectively convey the message of the conference.  Afterall, conveyance of the conference is why our organization is invited to the events in discussion.

For these reasons, we put forward a request to conference organizers to design their media area, as pictured below.  These requests come not only from TransportiCA’s experiences covering such events, but are also in-line with press best practices.

When arranging the main hall for an event or conference, there is typically an elevated table provided for Audio-Visual-Lighting (“AVL”) staff.  TransportiCA simply suggests placing another elevated table adjacent for credentialed media.  In the event the AVL table requires being in the exact middle to align with the speaker's lectern, we recommend two smaller media tables on the side of the main AVL table(s).  Besides chairs for the press, we would also suggest having a power strip for any reporting devices, as nothing is worse than such a device near death in the midst of a major conference – as TransportiCA experienced last week.  We also recommend the press table being elevated, as well, so any visual transmissions do not include the tops, or in between audience member’s heads.

It may seem beneficial to place a media table with such requests in front of the stage, possibly solving our concerns.  However, TransportiCA advises against this, for two reasons: first, a reporter’s laptop can cause great distraction to front-seated attendees, as well as, evoke a feeling of being watched, thereby effecting one’s reporting.  Second, if the reporter takes their own pictures, or the organization’s photographer is up front, we would not want to jeopardize a speaker’s ability to follow the teleprompter amidst bright flashes.

TransportiCA hopes this message is not seen as being superior, but rather the ways in which we know will optimize our coverage of the conference at hand, our followers continuing to receive the best information, and ultimately, maintaining the respect and integrity to the conference’s admirable message.

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