Pennwell’s Asia Power Week 2016 Conference and Exhibition, Seoul

Our production crew recently shot PennWell’s Asia Power Week 2016 Conference and Exhibition in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea was a place that none of our team had ever been before. A place of amazing food, huge urban sprawl and an incredible culture with a bit of a language barrier.

How did our team get along? Here are some highlights from the trip.

MAHMOOD

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Seoul has a unique atmosphere. Panache. Fashion. Beauty. Glamour. Food. Luxury. Industry. These were all in evidence wherever one looks. Seoul rewards all one’s senses.

The city is clean. Pristine and quite easy to navigate. The transport system is easy to get used to making everything within reach. The attractions abound. From the cable-car transporting tourists to the iconic N Tower, to the almost hidden Tapgol park. Koreans obviously also cherish their history. Just witness how the Monument of Wongaksa and the Pagoda are preserved. And they’ve been around since the 15th century.

Personally, the Seoul trip was a particular milestone for me. It marked the ten years of our partnership with PennWell. In those ten years we have travelled to many countries across three continents. We produced dozens of news, promotional and motion graphics films for them. I’m glad that Gulf Broadcast has set the high quality standards that others ascribe to. I am particularly proud that video is now engrained as a critical cultural element that now permeates PennWell. I am also proud of inspiring them to increase their video making capabilities. They have now become almost independent and can take on the video marketing tasks on their own.

It’s a bittersweet occasion of course. But I’m happy and content to have provided that inspiration. As ever, I am grateful for PennWell’s trust and friendship over the years. I wish them the best of luck in their future events and productions.

I am also indebted to our stellar team. Nadine, Erick and Arif were all professional, hard working and creative. Their efforts allowed us to once again exceed our client’s expectations.

Filming abroad is always stressful. We never know what we’re going to face logistically or legally. However, the fun more than outweighs the stress. We welcome the opportunity of repeating the experience again soon.

NADINE

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“As a producer, I am always conscious about time and budgets. Our production in Korea was delivered within time and budget due to the tremendous preparation we’ve put into the pre-production, and the leverage we enjoy from the experience we gained over the last ten years producing these shows for PennWell. Needless to say, I am extremely happy for the fact that Gulf Broadcast once again exceeding our client’s expectations.

As far as Seoul is concerned though I was actually in awe of all the greenery I witnessed around me even in and around the city. As a ‘desert girl’ I don’t often get to witness Mother Nature in all her greatness so when I get the opportunity to go to a country that has hills, forests, mountains, parks and botanical gardens, I do pause and take all that in and enjoy the experience.

The highlight of the trip for me was an accidental hike I accompanied Mahmood on on our last day there. He took me up Mount Namsan and although wasn’t really prepared to do any uphill exploring, two hours later and out of breath and in the wrong shoes, I made it up Mt. Namsan and to Seoul’s N Tower where we enjoyed traditional dancing and cultural displays. You would be right to assume I insisted that we take the cable car back down though!

Seoul was a really great experience that I can’t wait to repeat.”

ERICK

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“I always look forward to PennWell’s events. Over the years, we’ve fine tuned our process to fly into the country and use our preparation in pre-production to shoot the scenes we’ve determined, attend the event and follow our own created guidelines and shoot, edit and deliver on-time. This year’s event wasn’t much different other than it being in Seoul, South Korea of course. A country where none of us had the opportunity to visit before.

What was nicely different on this trip; however, is that our boss gave us the last day off to explore the city and relax a little after a grueling schedule. This was a very well received present indeed! I grabbed the opportunity to go to Gangnam City. This place was made famous two or three years ago by the song Gangnam Style by PSY. And I did the dance. Fortunately there were no cameras to record the experience!

What I liked most about South Korea was that the country is very clean. They have wide streets and a lot of open spaces. The people are nice and friendly. The food is also great. Given a chance I would like to go back to Seoul again with my family for a short vacation.”

Our crew relishes the opportunity to travel and shoot worldwide. We have the experience, expertise and know-how. We learned to travel very light, get the job done to the highest specifications possible and be very efficient with our production and budgets.

Do you have a conference or an exhibition that needs covered? Contact us today, let’s get the ball rolling!

Testimonial by Glenn Ensor of PennWell Int’l (2016) for Gulf Broadcast

Testimonial by Glenn Ensor, PennWell Int'l for Gulf Broadcast

This testimonial by Mr Glenn Ensor of PennWell was recorded at the end of the Power-Gen Europe 2016 in Milan, Italy. In it, he reflects on the relationship between Gulf Broadcast and PennWell which was carefully and fruitfully built over the years.

Mr Ensor, the Director of International Events at PennWell, is the visionary leader who is charged with ensuring the success of every event they organise. His astute leadership and complete understanding of how a dynamic and authentic medium like video, has extracted many benefits for the marketing and success of his events.

Transcript – Mr Glenn Ensor, PennWell Int’l at Power-Gen Europe 2016 in Milan, Italy, June 2016:

We who are in the business of information provision, we are changing rapidly year for year, and that will only accelerate. The relationship with Gulf Broadcast is one that we made as a result of sensing that change and knowing that we had to professionalize the way we presented ourselves on digital platforms, and in moving images, and putting the message out there.

Gulf Broadcast has been instrumental in bringing us, I think, to a state of the art level in how we do these things at the show. Incredibly professional outfit, and also an outfit that is worthy of a relationship with a 106 year old family company like us. We’ve always had a very trustworthy relationship with you, and it’s one that we’ve always enjoyed.

Pros and Cons of In-Sourcing Marketing

overworked by hiroo yamagata

Marketing is a critical element of any business. Small businesses rarely understand its impact and choose to in-source this vital function by attaching it to another job function. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of in-sourcing marketing and its impact on the health of the business.

Many business owners feel that their marketing strategies are decent. But, decent no longer makes the cut. Putting in countless hours may not convert into increased sales. You may end up frustrated, and wonder, “How do we get into the mind of prospective customers?” “What do we need to do to ‘sell’ our product or service?” And apart from selling, you might wonder “What is marketing anyway?”

Marketing can be a scary and expensive sounding concept. From start to finish, marketing is a daunting and time consuming task. Marketing seems to be an umbrella term for a whole host of different things. Getting someone to buy in to what you’re selling should be simple. We all like to think of ourselves as creative and charismatic, so why can’t we just try and do this ourselves?

marketing-cloudWell, we can. Small businesses may opt to take on their own projects with in house marketing. It saves on cost to DIY most projects, but does that apply to marketing? Well, not really. What you may save in money you definitely spend in opportunity costs. These are costs in time, effort, frustration. These rack up fast when you could be doing other things. For example, focusing on making your product or service the best it can be. Coming up with strategies for growth. Even maintaining a work/life balance. These tend to go out the window when you try to take on your own marketing “unsupervised”. It’s a steep learning curve and can be a slippery slope. You can spend hours on marketing which doesn’t translate to immediately increased sales. You may end up discouraged. Most small to medium business have a limited marketing budget. Someone has to take on marketing responsibilities on top of their actual job.

On the upside, no one knows you quite like you do. You can choose your message and preserve it. You care about what you’re selling! A personal touch can be much preferred. Outsourcing marketing can leave you with a a generic strategy. Doing it yourself gives you complete control of the outcome. But, this does tend to come at the cost of quality and timeliness of production. You’re already juggling what seems like a thousand deadlines. Do you want to add more to your plate?

So, what are the alternatives? You could hire an in-house staff or freelance marketer. Or, you could outsource the marketing to a specialised company. Both options cost more than DIY marketing. But, as we discussed, there is more to a cost than just the bottom dinar. The opportunity cost savings here make both of these viable, desirable options.

By hiring a freelance marketer, you keep the marketing somewhat in house. You have more control of the message, and they are easier to reach. This helps you to focus on what you do best. You are great at running the business and making sure that your product or service is the best it can be. Taking that marketing weight off your shoulders can be a huge relief. The benefits more than repay the salary of the professional you’ve hired on. However, there are some downsides. This is only one person. You are getting one person’s specific style and capabilities. While budget friendly, you are asking your hire to put on a whole lot of different hats. Not all hats may fit; your hire may not wear them all equally well. Marketing is a wide concept. It covers research, budgeting. Carrying out advertisement and writing copy. Scripting and executing marketing and communications videos. Designing and implementing PPC strategies. Website and SEO analytics. You want to make sure that your marketing is of the highest possible quality from start to finish. What’s more, someone trained in marketing analytics may not be a gifted designer. You’ll still end up needing to outsource one or more aspects of the job.

Bringing in an external marketing company has these bases covered. Many small and medium sized companies balk at the idea of bringing on an outside marketing firm. “But they don’t know us, they don’t know what we’re about!” Is an objection often heard. True, but this is their area of expertise. Allow them to get to know you, and they can keep your message intact, and amplified! You’re freed up to do your own thing, letting them focus on selling what you’re about. You are still in control. You get the final sign off on all marketing materials. From market research to analytics and advertising— you decide the message. Being dedicated marketing professionals means that this is what they do. From start to finish, they have specialised, qualified people to do the job. Each person on the team wears their own hat, and wears it well. Each aspect of your marketing plan remains consistent and to the highest possible quality. External marketing houses have resources that you may not have access to. Marketing houses may already have focus groups in place. They rely on market research statistics that they have taken years to generate. Their company is teeming with qualified, hired experts. Marketing is based on facts and years of experience instead of instincts and heuristics. Hiring an external marketing agency tends to be the most costly option monetarily. As a trade of, it’s the least costly in terms of time, effort and your frustration. If you want a job done right, trust it to the experts.

How does your company take on its marketing challenges? Have you tried hiring an in-house or freelance marketer? What experiences have you had using the expertise of marketing agencies? Please share your experiences in the comments.

The Daily Huddle at Gulf Broadcast

The Daily Huddle at Gulf Broadcast

People go into business to make money. Right? Maybe. But that’s definitely not the primary reason for starting a business. Most entrepreneurs start businesses to answer needs, to solve problems and to make people’s lives better.

In order to achieve those objectives, a business needs to be sustainable and predictable. All of these are achieved through specialists who exercise their skills to contribute to the success of the company. They work as a team toward a common objective. And in order to do that, everyone needs to communicate to ensure that everyone is aligned to the company goals. Without communication, the company’s direction will be aimless and its success will be questionable at best.

One of the best methods I’ve found that ensures this alignment is a short structured team meeting. We call that meeting the Daily Huddle which everyone attends.

The first time I heard of Daily Huddles was through Verne Harnish’s book “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits“. It was an eye-opener for me. I delved deeper in to the psychology of the huddle when I met him for the first time in Doha, Qatar a few years ago while attending an entrepreneurship conference held by the Qatar chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation. We discussed how other global companies apply this meeting and what discoveries they have made that allowed them to fine-tune the meetings to their objectives and situations. He was intrigued with how I developed the Daily Huddle to suite Gulf Broadcast.

The Daily Huddle at Gulf Broadcast

Our Daily Huddle at Gulf Broadcast is a stand-up round-robbin style alignment meeting. We start our huddle every morning promptly at 08:37 and end it at or before 08:45. We conduct the meeting standing-up because we intentionally don’t want the meeting to last long. We start it at the odd time of 08:37 because we found that people actually get to be on time. People are accustomed to the cardinal times and get to be a bit more tardy then. For us anyway, this time works just fine.

The huddle is structured around a published agenda. It consists of four distinct segments:

  1. Good News: Share your good news and achievements. These might include new sales, goals achieved and individual accomplishments.
  2. What’s up? Share your updates and challenges. These are not to-do lists, but higher goals that we aim to achieve on the day; at the start of the week we declare our weekly goals which will help the individual drive his or her contribution to the company’s annual objectives, or “rocks” as we call them.
  3. Your Rocks Status Month-to-Date. Key Metrics to share include revenue against annual and monthly goals, productions pipeline, website analytics, etc.
  4. What’s in your way? Mention the challenges/bottlenecks you face, if a problem requires more than a one liner resolution during the huddle, we take it offline. Challenges, bottlenecks, problems must be mentioned. The only people who don’t get stuck are those who aren’t doing anything!

We encourage our team members to connect after the huddle to resolve an issue, offer help or simply offer congratulations.

Since we started this huddle a few years ago, we’ve hardly experienced any disconnects. The huddle inculcated transparency and staff feel empowered and knowledgeable. The Daily Huddle also has another huge advantage in that it inherently enforces accountability as we all know what each of us is up to. All of this results in the creation of a cohesive caring team that drives the company forward toward its short and long term goals.

Do you carry out any of these alignment meetings? Please let us know how you and your company has benefitted from them and what structure do you adopt. You may enter that in a comment below, or email me directly at m@gb.bh. I would love to hear from you.

Video for Exhibitions and Conferences

secrets of successful videos

People respond to what they see, hear and feel.  Stories get told and retold again.  Using video can maximise your company’s presence while keeping your message intact. Video for Exhibitions and Conferences is particularly helpful.

Have you ever tried to tell a story of an event and found yourself forgetting key pieces of information?  Most of us end up losing parts of a story in translation through rehashing an experience. Pictures and write-ups are helpful, but they only capture a particular moment in time. So, when it comes to featuring your attendance at a trade show or exhibition, how can you keep your company’s story intact? How do you keep your audience engaged?

To identify with your expertise, your audience needs to feel like they are present with you. Video is a fantastic way to bring the energy of your efforts to your stakeholders.

Preserving your story and reaching your viewers is easy, regardless of location. Your viewers can follow your exhibition journey from start to finish. You can provide an immersive environment without compromising your narrative. Your audience can travel with you and see demonstrations of your products at work. This allows for a concise message, which  is consistent and professional throughout.

secrets of successful videos

Excitement is contagious! Share it with video.

Before your show, you can create hype and build interest through showing sneak peeks of what’s to come.  Adding video to your social media feed is a great way to engage clientele in real time. You can advertise your presence at the event, key innovations to feature as well as including contests or promotions at your booth. Live-streams of discussions and demonstrations keep viewers engaged and present regardless of their physical location. Watching you at the event will drive website visits, and generate enhanced interest in your company.  You can add video tours of your booths; interviews with speakers, and event news coverage.  Afterwards, use video as a multi dimensional summary of your experience. Promoting your expertise comes easy when you can showcase your best moments. Relive and revel in your success!

Video is vast medium, so there are some considerations to put in place. A producer can weave together a concise yet engaging professional account of your story. A clear and defined aim is essential for this. Further, allowing plenty of time for production helps to ensure coverage of all angles. This helps your video team meet your objectives and make you look as good as you feel! From pre to post production, video collaboration typically takes about one to two months to complete.  Meticulous attention to detail and creative discussion bring life and colour to your feature. Do you have metrics in place to measure your success? Deciding what is important to you beforehand will simplify the process.

These are some ways that video can enrich coverage of your company at an exhibition, trade show or corporate event. Adding a new element of storytelling helps you engage your audience. Sharing your success will drive a wide range of fascinated people to approach you.

Have you used video as a corporate feature?  How did adding a new level of media coverage add to your storytelling? Let us know in the comments!

If you need to document your participation at an exhibition, or create the required hype to entice visitors to come onto your stand to explore your company and product, do let us know. Our experience in this space is unrivalled with over ten years of successes to vouch for that position. We can help you make your exhibition and conference participation reach much farther.

Please fill in the form below to start the conversation.

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