Xerox Lets Clients do the Talking at Launch Event
The goal for the Xerox launch event at New York City’s Manhattan Center Studios was as clear as it was daunting. “Our objective was to launch what would be our biggest growth enablers not only of 2004, but also of the next several years,” says Edward Gala, the company’s vp-worldwide strategic communications.
Xerox would use the event to tell key clients, media and the financial community about a pair of new technology platforms and a suite of new consulting services. The introductions were crucial given Xerox’s efforts to distance itself from recent financial struggles. “Having rebounded through a series of steps by management, we really wanted to focus the attention on the company’s future and our r&d investments that we’ve continued to make,” Gala says.
The messaging began before the actual meeting, as Xerox webcast a behind-the-scenes look at the venue and production to employees at 120 sites around the world. Xerox ceo Anne Mulcahy got the event going, addressing the audience of 1,200, and intoning the day’s themes of innovation and customer focus.
Light effects and live percussion led into a video montage of Xerox innovations over the years. After a Xerox exec took the stage to proclaim 2004 “the year of the customer,” several handpicked clients talked to the crowd about how Xerox technology had helped their businesses, backed by video documentation.
“That really brought home the idea that Xerox was focused on what’s important to the customers,” says Jimmy Ervin, president of Velocity Communications, Alexandria, VA. “And that got picked up in the press.”
Xerox sent a live 90-minute broadcast of the event to satellite downlinks at 10 different locations across the globe; the viewing area in Dusseldorf, Germany, had a two-way link to allow for a little international q&a.
“There are always a multitude of options when you announce new offerings,” Gala says. “We could have taken the approach of just saying we have two new products built on new technology platforms, without a multinational strategy event. But we were looking at this as more of a strategic growth opportunity, and that turned it into something much bigger.”