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Hal Hart <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 19 Aug 1997 18:04:50 -0700
text/plain (112 lines)
(SORRY IF YOU GET THIS MORE THAN ONCE.  I JUST REALIZED A BROADER
SAMPLE THAN JUST SIGAda ORGANIZER TYPES IS NEEDED FOR A FAIR READING
ON THIS INFORMAL POLL.  I DO BELIEVE THAT Tri-Ada's CONTINUED SUCCESS
IS A HARBINGER OF OVERALL Ada INDUSTRY/COMMUNITY HEALTH, AND HENCE AN
APPROPRIATE TOPIC TO SOLICIT TEAM_Ada AND ARA LISTS FOR INPUTS.  hh)

------- Forwarded Message

To:[log in to unmask] (SIGAda Officers & WG/Comm.Chairs)
Cc: [log in to unmask] (Currie Colket - SIGAda Vice Chair-Mtgs & Confs)
From: Hal Hart <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Hal Hart <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Thoughts on Tri-Ada "Publicity"
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 97 10:06:38 -0700


David Harrison's comments below about un-cost-effective glitz in
Tri-Ada publicity came somewhat as a suprise to me.  I am circulating
them for wider reaction/input to assist future TA Publicity Chairs &
Committees in answering key questions such as:

(1) Do you think 4-color art on the Preliminary Advance Program (PAP)
    & AP influences substantially more people to attend (relative to
    1- or 2-color designs)?  Or helps to obtain mgmt approval to attend?

(2) Same question for PAP & AP "rich" in artwork design (as opposed to
    much simpler & fewer non-text parts)?

(3) Do you think it makes any difference if the artwork/design on the
    AP & PAP are keyed closely to themes & messages about Ada and
    the emphasis of the conference?  Or is more appealing, eye-catching
    art which is associated with general current hot topics is better than
    bland art trying to depict the conf. themes?

(4) For TA96 and TA97 we are doing an elaborate PAP with full registration
    form (assuming that's what many managers need to see to start approval
    processes) a month or two before (and in addition to) the always
    regular 2- or 3-month ahead AP which adds full technical program
    info to the PAP, and then following up with a "Last Chance" reminder
    postcard 2 weeks before the Early Reg'n cutoff date.  (For comparison,
    virtually none of OOPSLA, STC, SIGCSE, Nat. SEPG, SEI do more than
    the one AP.)  Consider the following questions from the perspective
    of the typical Ada practitioner or one interested enough to find out
    more about Ada.  Doing a regular AP at least 2 months ahead is a given:
   (a) How much do you think the earlier PAP adds to attendance relative
       to just doing the AP on time?
   (b) How much do you think the reminder postcard adds to attendance?
   (c) Which do you think helps more  --  adding the PAP or the postcard?
   (d) Do you think doing all 3 of the PAP, AP, & postcard is better than
       doing only 2 of them?

(5) Which would you guess would help attendance more:
    (a) The current 3 pieces (PAP, AP, postcard) mailed to 35,000 culled
        from past attendees & the AJPO/AdaIC mailing lists?
    (b) Fewer, cheaper (but no less in technical content) pieces costing
        perhaps 2/3 as much mailed to 50,000+ people (adding lists obtained
        from subject-similar sources such as the STC conf., SEI lists,
        & other ACM SIGs such as SIGPLAN, SIGSOFT, & SIGCSE).
        - (or even cheaper, costing half as much, mailed to twice as many?)

(6) Do you think the advent of electronic advertising (great website,
    pointers from many related webpages, email, etc.) has reduced the need
    for printed/mailed advertising such as the PAP, AP, & postcard?

Enough.  Feel free to make comments/suggestions/questions off this list.

        -- Hal

- ------- Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 19 Aug 1997 08:25:53 -0500
From: David Harrison <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]
Subject:  Hal/All:

Hal/All:

I think - and have publicly stated many times - that the costs for
publicity are more than we need to be paying.  For example, I have
seen no substantive proof that four-color presswork is more effective
in garnering registartions than the equivalent single color would be
(e.g., STC's stuff is always just one color, and they seem to have
little difficulty in attract registrants to what has become one of the
biggest shows around).

The costs for multi-color work add up.  Even a 25% reduction would be
welcome - and give you the 20K you need.  As for the graphics work,
much of its appeal - or lack thereof - is a matter of taste. (Norm and
I don't like it, and Drew is neutral; but I've heard nothing from any
other TA97 Committee Member on the subject, and as much from other
recipients. Does this mean that the graphics don't displease others?
(Or is it - as I darkly suspect - a matter of indifference?)  We've
been operating (last year and this) on the assumption that, to attract
a larger audience, we need to have "flashier" adverts.  I maintain
that many Ada professionals are not drawn by such things, but are more
interested in what's on the program.  Most managers of my experience
are unmoved to send employees to conferences based on the "flash" of
an AP.

I know Brad has mounted many strong and good arguments toward better
adverts, but if the extra 20-30K we spend doesn't get us the 50 or 60
extra registrants, it's just not good business to continue it.

As for the quality of the design and its message, I submit that too
much of it shows an utter lack of knowledge of the product, and that's
bad advertising!  Examples abound, but I've talked too much already.

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