So, earlier in October we held Fokus 2010. We had a great
time here in Holzkirchen with about 160 of our dealers and customers from all
over the ETC, GmbH region including folks from Germany, Switzerland, Austria,
Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Russia (to name a few of the
various countries represented.) It was two days full of presentations, product
demos and workshops covering all the ETC products and how they can be used. We
had Eos, Ion, Element, NT-X, SmartFade, Congo jr and Congo consoles. We had
Unison Paradigm and Mosaic control on display. We had a sample of every type of
dimmer rack we make including Sensor, Matrix MkII and AlexM. We had Source Four
ellipsoidals and PARs. We had Selador including Lustr, Vivid-R and the new
Pearl. And we had colleagues from Robe, Coolux, Schnick Schnak Systems and
Lighting Innovation with us to help show off how ETC gear can be combined with
gear from others to make systems that fit a customer's needs exactly.
(Apologies for the photos being a little fuzzy, I took them
all with my iPhone.)
presents the history of ETC
interlude for the crowd at the Eos session
On Monday we had presentations during the day with a keynote
address on the history of ETC from Fred Foster, followed by a session on
Selador LED technology, then a session on using moving lights in theatre and
finally a session on media servers from Coolux. To highlight how we use Selador
and Eos in action, those sessions both ended with a short musical performance
by a professional harpist/pianist. In the evening we had our own version of
Oktoberfest in the Festsaal of the venue - Kultur im Oberbräu here in
Holzkirchen. We had music from the "ETC Hotline" band with our own software
developer Hans Leiter on keyboards and a special appearance by our own Mark
Tobler from Sales to sing a few songs for us. After that, we heard traditional
beer hall music from the Valley Brass Band with our own Andreas Weindl on bass
drum. The evening's catering was handled by the Pabst Café - one of our usual
lunch spots. There was no better way to let our visitors know what it is to be
ETC here in Germany! And a good time was had by all.
sings with the ETC Hotline Band, Hans Leiter on keyboards
Brass Band enters with style, Andreas Weindl on bass drum
On Tuesday we held smaller workshops around the building
with topics such as RDM/ACN, use of Media Servers in theatre, use of Selador
LED technology in theatre and television, the differences in our dimmer
technologies, use of Congo in theatre and live events and a preview of Congo
v6.1 software, and more on the use of moving lights in theatre with the Eos
system and a preview of Eos v1.9.5 software. Many questions were asked, many
solutions were offered, and in general everyone was pleased with the event.
Eos crew during the party - Mike Adam, Heiko Steuernagel and Matthias Strobel
share board op duties while Philipp Schaeffer (General Manager, GmbH) and
Ludwig Krauss (Sales) look on.
From the US
contingent: Fred, Jake Dunnum (Marketing) and Greg Thomas (R&D) look on
It's always great to get a chance to talk with our dealers
and customers. In Europe one only gets these opportunities so often, and
usually at a trade show. To invite everyone "over to our house" for a couple of
days made for a far more relaxed atmosphere than you get at a trade show and so
you can get into longer conversations with people, do some show file trouble
shooting, and get early input on software development all at the same time.
What more can a product manager ask for?
One of the things I equate with the "ETC Experience" is
feeling part of the family. I have felt this way for almost 17 years since my
first time at an ETC training workshop where we learned about Sensor Dimmer
Doubling and the Response Network Controller (how many of you remember that
one?). This event brought that feeling to our newest markets and welcomed 160
more people into our ever-growing family. We welcome you all!