I spent the day at an analyst summit in Shenzhen, China. The company: Huawei, which invited me along for a chance to interview some executives and learn more about the world's third-largest phone brand. The objective: get to know how the maker of gadgets and networking equipment is doing.
As the presentations droned on, it dawned on me that, while I'm a dab hand at whirlwind product launch events, my experiences with analyst summits like this are few and far between. You probably don't know much, either. So, here's a primer.
1. Prepare to sit
Analyst events are a chance for executives to share their divisions' philosophy and numbers, which means you're watching presentation after presentation. So you'll be smooshing your butt against a seat for most of the day. Smoosh.
2. Maybe Wi-Fi, definitely no power
Here's a fun challenge: Taking notes and posting stories over the course of an eight-hour day when Wi-Fi doesn't work well and the ballrooms where you sit (and sit and sit) lack power outlets. Watch as your battery drains! Then again, maybe analysts soak in more information now and save that for later reports, so linking up with the outside world isn't as critical? I'm just making this up -- who doesn't want reliable Wi-Fi?!
3. Great snacks
This summit is at a fancy hotel that has excellent catering, so the snacks are phenomenal. Beautiful Chinese tea, some coffee and an assortment of pastries. I couldn't get enough of the fresh dragon fruit and pastry cream tartlets topped with tropical fruit. More, please.
4. Philosophy and numbers
I've also learned that there's a lot of philosophizing over core values. This isn't exciting stuff to quote, and it boils down to a whole lot of nothing. Stuff like, "Smartphones are the mainstream culture of people."
5. Gems of knowledge
I'm a product girl, so I'm not easily convinced by an executive's vague musings of the company's innovative vision. I require specifics. I need proof! Still, it does well to pay attention. You never know when a key statistic will pop up on the screen, or an unannounced product plan will escape an executive's lips.