<begin whining rant>
Along with CNET’s David Berlind, I am not impressed at all with PepCom and felt compelled to write a bit about why I don’t think they are doing a good job promoting technology at their events which work by capturing attending press folks from CES Las Vegas and other technology events.
First, this is not a criticism of CES. On the contrary if you a technology enthusiast heading to Las Vegas for CES 2009 I can say from my experiences last year that you are going to have a wonderful time, especially if you are a tech blogger and thus qualify for the many fun parties and events where bloggers and other press folks are generally welcome.
Last year at CES 2008 the Consumer Electronics Association and sponsors did a wonderful job hosting blogger lounges, lunches, parties, and full access to conference sessions. Despite some prankish BS by the folks at Gizmodo I think most bloggers were happy with the arrangements.
PepCom’s Digital Experience on the other hand is not so blogger friendly, effectively refusing admission to all but full time press and reporters. Sure, they have a right to run their own show. However I have a right to call them for poor strategy and annoying rules. Why keep *any* technology bloggers out of a “Digital Experience” which is designed to generate positive buzz and reporting about their technology sponsors, who pay something like $8,000 and up for a table and a few hours of exposure to press folks?
Adding injury from last year to this year’s insult, I’d actually been invited last year by one of PepCom’s sponsors to the party but was turned away at the door along with many others who I think were in the same boat of having an invitation that was not approved by PepCom. Aside from feeling insulted not to “qualify” for the event, it’s no small thing in Las Vegas where you walk very long distances to get to places. Given the confusion they’d helped cause with the problematic invitations they should have fixed this simply and quickly by offering admission. But no. I should have realized then that the PepCom Digital Experience was going to be a bad experience, but I decided to jump through their silly hoops this year and fax in my business card and blog information, especially because this year we’re really planning some extensive coverage at Technology-Report.com with two reporters, a lot of pictures, and even some video. But no. We did not meet some of PepCom’s stringent press standards of full time reporters and/or mainstream press.
Again, that’s OK – it’s their party and they can run it how they see fit, but ….
Who ARE these PepCommers anyway? Certainly they are not folks who understand how technology gets reported and promoted.
<end whining rant>
Yup, I completely agree with you! They should fire their Marketing VP but perhaps it’s the CEO who needs to ‘wake up’?
Hey Joe, thanks for the positive comments on the 2008 CES experience. We (CEA)appreciate the bloggers who attend CES and we are committed to making the 2009 International CES the best ever.
Thanks Carolyn – I felt a little bad dumping on PepCom, but it really stands in contrast to how well Blogging folks were treated last year (and I’m sure this year as well) by CES, Parnassus (Intel blogger party), Showstoppers, Monster’s great efforts, SONY, and many more. The blog lounges were very comfortable, well equipped and the staff was super friendly. I had laptop problems but wound up posting regularly last year thanks to the great lounge setups.
I heard that most bloggers were very happy with their experience. I hope to attend next year. Great job CES!