Media Trade Conference Goes Virtual
As MPMC prepares for the conference at the Embassy Suites over January 26–28, enthusiasm runs high—with a twist. The 2021 event will be entirely online, allowing manufacturers and media to connect from anywhere in the world.
“Because of the design—individual meetings in a closed room with people who rotate every half hour—we couldn’t have abided by the social-distancing mandate,” Fisher said. “We had to find the perfect platform, and SEMA did a great job.”
The idea was to create a virtual reality resembling an in-person event. When journalists open a laptop or tablet and click on the event, they’ll pass through a hotel lobby to the atrium beyond. In a live event, manufacturer banners would be displayed on balconies from floor to floor. Instead, there will be virtual manufacturer tables: Click on a table to gain entrée to a manufacturer’s meeting room.
“Meetings will be similar to a live video conference,” Fisher noted. “Manufacturers can show a video or a PowerPoint and share product information. The platform allows for a lot of versatility when it comes to content.”
That versatility is key. Traditionally, media has been limited mostly to domestic journalists able to attend in person. A digital platform expands the potential universe.
“There’s a big motorsports culture in Europe, Australia and elsewhere, but it’s very hard to get their journalists to hop on a plane for a two-and-a-half-day event,” Fisher said. “This platform allows us to bring in international media and expand that footprint for manufacturers. Everybody on the select committee is super-excited that we have this opportunity.”
Because the media landscape is changing, with less print, more digital and the rise of new media—influencers, bloggers and others who rely on social-media platforms—MPMC set about to help educate manufacturers about the new-media landscape and how to navigate it to their best advantage.
“We developed a three-webinar series that will educate our membership base on new media ahead of the trade conference in order to provide an understanding of the new-media landscape to help drive their businesses,” said MPMC Chair Rob Fisher.
To learn more about the 2021 MPMC Media Trade Conference, visit www.sema.org/mtc.