The APEX Media Managing Editor reveals how she and her team produce content on-the-go during the three-day APEX EXPO.
Every year, the Airline Passenger Experience Association hosts the industry’s largest PaxEx (Passenger Experience) conference dedicated to experts and decision-makers in the airline industry. This year, the APEX EXPO took place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center from September 24 to 27, 2018. And every year, the APEX Media team produces content – and lots of it – across multiple channels and platforms in a feat of organizational and editorial prowess that leaves client and colleagues alike flabbergasted.
In between many Shake Shack visits, clam chowders, seven km runs to a famous pastry shop and filming Instagram stories, the APEX Media team worked ‘round the clock. And, on one night, Felipe Batista Nunes, Production Manager and Nicolas Venturelli, Art Director, traveled to a print shop located just outside of Boston to provide their press approval for the daily magazines.
Caroline Ku (above), APEX Media Managing Editor shares her eight best tips on how to run a behind-the-scenes media room:
- Prioritize the important stuff when cutting close to the deadline. Focus on getting names and the news right or matching the right picture to the right story and don’t sweat the small stuff like font size or a missing comma (except if it’s in a pull quote or headline!)
- A lot of conference news can be pretty similar. Announcements are usually about a new product or a new partnership or an update on either of those. Look for the thing that differentiates one company’s news from that of its competitor and highlight that.
- Great photographs go a long way. Work with a photographer who’s a people person (like ours!) who’s not afraid to ask for a pose, give a little art direction and knows how to photograph a software demonstration on a device and make it look interesting photo after photo. See our photos from the event.
- Communicate constantly with your team to ensure everyone is on the same page. Have a housekeeping/pep talk the day before everything begins. Check-in either in person or via a messaging app. For example, our Production Manager telling the editorial team to hustle because there are not enough stories for our Art Director to work with, or myself asking our Digital Editor whether a certain news story is already online because I could take that copy edited text for the dailies.
- Keep an eye out for little “snippets” of content in your day that can give the audience a glimpse of what’s happening at the conference. Our production manager took a video of our daily magazine printing on the presses and shared it on social media – that shows we’re producing the news on-site!
- Make time to chat with current and new members. This event is one of the few times in the year we get to interact in person with our audience. We try to stop by the booths of people we’ve been in touch with, even if it’s for a quick ‘hello’ or to ask how the show is going. They may bring up something new that’s happening in their world and that exchange may lead to talk that sparks a story idea for any of our other media platforms. Perhaps it’s a new contact we can feature in a video, or a hint at an announcement that could break online. Booth visits are also an opportunity for us to try a product that we might have been writing about, but have never seen before. This could be a cabin interior, new seat or VR headsets. You never know when a conversation can become a lead for a story idea.
- Have a backup plan, but don’t plan so much that you have no room to be flexible for news that may come up on the fly. It’s just something I remind myself because I tend to want to over-prepare for the worst case scenario. I’ve found it best to keep a few pages open in case something pops-up or needs to change.
- Finally, rely on your team. As a testimony of the team’s bond, one trusty colleague would make sure their busy videographer had a bite to eat by leaving him food where his schedule and a brief pause would intersect.
See the full case study for how we engaged the APEX EXPO attendees with behind-the-scenes event coverage.