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Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
Tom Anderson is vice president of Marketing for Breker Verification Systems. He previously served as Product Management Group Director for Advanced Verification Solutions at Cadence, Technical Marketing Director in the Verification Group at Synopsys and Vice President of Applications Engineering at … More »

Guest Post: DAC, the Industry Marathon to Beat All Industry Marathons

May 20th, 2014 by Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing

Many newcomers to Breker’s Web site comment that they are impressed by the quantity and quality of the material located or linked there. For a small company, Breker does publish a lot. Our site links to nearly 250 items from the last two-and-a-half years: conference papers, technical articles, blog posts, press releases, interviews, press coverage, and more. On average, something by or about Breker appears online twice a week, not counting social media alerts or the content hosted on our own site.

Of course this takes a lot of effort by Breker employees, but this level of production would not be possible without the expertise of Nanette Collins, whose marketing and public relations agency has been instrumental in the success of many EDA companies. We thank her for her efforts and welcome her as a guest blogger today. Nanette shares her thoughts on the upcoming (June 2-4) Design Automation Conference (DAC) in San Francisco:

To anyone who has had to get an EDA or IP company to DAC as an exhibitor, it must seem like running a marathon. The planning, preparation and (forgive the pun) step-by-step race to the most important yearly industry event is no small feat. It’s an outsized task, with responsibilities that range from rallying and training the booth staff to coordinating product demonstrations, scheduling and making sure everything comes together within budget.

Oh yes. DAC and marathons are immovable deadlines. They will happen whether a company or a runner is ready … or not. In my mind, DAC can be as exciting or grueling as a marathon. I was thinking about this as I walked home from a positively thrilling Boston Marathon April 21. We can draw a lot of parallels, including a marathon is like starting a company, beginning with the well-used metaphor: Starting a company is not a race but a marathon.

With DAC a mere two weeks away, let’s focus instead on DAC as an enjoyable and educational five-day marathon for attendees and exhibitors, and everyone else who’s helping organize this year’s conference.

Certainly, it takes loads of support and encouragement, both of which were on full display in Boston last month. And, so it is with DAC. The effort to plan a program that will be interesting, stimulating and thought provoking to designers, researchers, students and commercial vendors is enormous and takes months of careful preparation. Countless talented individuals contribute, many of whom are volunteers. The same goes for the Boston Marathon.

On the exhibitor side, companies spend months planning, much like a pre-marathon running regime. Presumably, marketing executives build a strategy around how the company should be represented, what it’s announcing and building a theme that will tie everything together.

If they don’t, they should. DAC is one of the few times each year when their company is able to present who and what it is in an environment different than the website, a one-on-one sales call or any other marketing program.

It’s also an expensive proposition, especially if it’s done poorly and meeting the goals for attending DAC falls short. Nothing quite beats failure as the finish line nears. Experienced events managers can help ensure this doesn’t happen by providing the creative drive and pulling all the details together. Just like a marathon, it’s often in the details. If something is missed, it could become the one big thing that brings down what would otherwise be a success.

Both DAC and the Boston Marathon are great networking events and many attendees use them for this. By chance, DAC attendees may discover a company they didn’t know about or pick up a design tip. Even better, they could learn that research into a particular design area may solve an especially gnarly problem.

Even our footwear needs attention. The Boston Marathon winner this year was no different than DAC attendees. He flew by me in a pair of Skechers, athletic shoes not normally linked to marathon runners. No matter. Meb Keflezighi’s form was perfect and his strides confident. The poor guy on his heels trying to catch up had no chance. At DAC and other conferences, attendees and exhibitors thoughtfully consider their footwear. If not, they are at the mercy of unforgiving concrete floors and, possibly, a long walk to public transportation or parking lots on achy feet.

One more point about Meb Keflezighi’s form, stride and record-shattering win. This didn’t happen accidently. It took months and months (maybe years) of planning, practice and hard work. That can be a lesson to all of us who are about to attend DAC.

In any case, I’m slipping into the most comfortable shoes I own and will look for you at DAC. See you there.

Nanette Collins NVChas close to 20 years experience successfully launching companies and products into the marketplace, achieving solid and consistent results. She and her team work closely with companies to understand their business, marketing and public relations needs and help them set realistic, achievable goals.

Founded in 1994, Nanette V. Collins Marketing and Public Relations specializes in promoting companies within the Wireless, Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software, embedded systems and semiconductor industries.

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