Robe International Dealer Conference 2009

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Robe lighting staged its 3rd International Dealer Conference in Roznov, Czech Republic, attended by over 150 people representing Robe distributors from around the world.

The one day event was timed just ahead of the Prolight + Sound show in Frankfurt, allowing attendees to preview Robe's exciting product launches for the show as well as energising them for the exhibition.

The day started with a tour of Robe's factory premises in Valasske Mezirici. This has been expanded considerably since the last Dealer Conference in 2007, with an additional 4000 square metres of space added, which is being utilised for new warehousing facilities and a logistics centre, plus plastic moulding workshop. Visitors also saw the new Robe's Research Centre, the hub of the company's R ‘n' D department and another addition since 2007.

The agenda included a stop off at the new Anolis factory, a totally separate premises opened last year to facilitate the massive increase in demand for the Anolis brand of LED products.

The afternoon was dedicated to a conference session at nearby Zerotin Castle, a beautifully preserved 16th century fortress, now used for all types of corporate and experiential events.

This started with a presentation by Robe's International Sales Manager Harry von den Stemmen reporting on the success and growth of the company over the last 2 years.

Following on was a brief outline of Robe's origins by MD Josef Valchar, who also detailed all the developments and construction programmes and the strategies involved in Robe's physical expansion since 2007.

Von den Stemmen continued with a report about the latest major projects utilising Robe products, which included the initial shows using Digital Series fixtures in 2007 right up to Miss Wold 2008, which features 12 of the latest DigitalSpot 7000DTs and 32 REDWash 3ï‚Ÿ192 LED wash lights.

The conference then really got rocking with a lively presentation by Miss World 2008's lighting designer Tim Dunn from Gearhouse South Africa. He explained in detail how the digital lighting was maximised to produce spectacular effects that ran throughout his stunning show – illustrated by specially edited video footage.

Dunn emphasised the importance of set design and surfaces to get the best out of the Digital Spot effects when used as digital lights, which also includes their positioning and the creation of custom media to bring out the intricacies and best effects.

Miss World 2008 was watched live by over 2 billion people in 200 countries on 373 TV stations.

Dunn's presentation was followed by Louise Stickland, PR and press co-ordinator for Robe and Gearhouse South Africa, who spoke about the massive impact of the integrated technical PR campaign following the Miss World show. This resulted in magazine features placed worldwide, along with Robe and GHSA press releases in over 40 web publications.

Stickland underlined the essential elements of any high profile PR campaign, including the right press contacts, well written copy, fantastic photography and immediate dispatch of the news. She also stressed the amazing teamwork and strong working relationship between Robe and its distributors in generating news stories.

The afternoon was rounded off with Valchar and Technical Sales Manager Ales Grivac presenting the new products – the Robin 3 Plasma Spot and the Robin 300E Spot and Wash – plus the full Digital and RED Series' fixtures. A subsequent Q&A session indicated great interest in the products and generated much discussion about the current market conditions and how they need to be addressed.

In the evening, dinner was followed by the Robe 2009 Distributor Awards. Twenty-two Awards recognised the commitment, energy and success of the distributors in a selection of categories ranging from Outstanding Performance to Technical Support.

A diverse, action packed and highly successful day was rounded off by an After Party at the City Club in Roznov.

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