My recent trip to India’s TechParks reminded me of the fact that there is an inherent reluctance to let traditions slip in the sub-continent. From tea drinking to steam trains, India hangs onto some of the more civilised parts of life. So as part of my week’s meetings I was actually able to attend an old-style press conference. Having worked in tech media for a decade and half, I’ve seen this tradition slip and almost disappear.
Press conferences are something for the Prime Minister, the White House and the Spice Girls reunion announcement right?
In technology media circles the press conference has morphed. This wolf in sheep’s clothing is now called a study tour, a roundtable, a lunch, or – wait for it – an influencer dinner. I’m being unkind, these are all good - it’s just funny to see the old fashioned media briefing die off.
In India, the spokespeople sit at one end of the room and talk for 20 minutes. The journalists dutifully listen (without interruption) and take notes on paper pads. They then ask questions when and only when the floor is turned over to them. From my time in the US I know that they also occur, but it’s usually as part of a developer symposium – so that may not be a good gauge. Oh well, just for the record, this is not a request for invites