The legendary, annual HARMAN CES showcase is a key destination for journalists, executives and company partners each January. When this time-honored tradition was moved online, as many were last year, HARMAN’s brightest minds were put to the test. How could we make sure audiences around the world got the chance to experience our newest innovations and technologies, all from the safety and comfort of their own homes? Thus, HARMAN ExPLORE was born.
We broke down the conceptualization of HARMAN EXPLORE, our virtual showcase, with the masterminds behind this year’s virtual operation, Chris Dragon, HARMAN’s Senior Director of Global Product Marketing for Lifestyle, and Stacia Anderson, Senior Director, Experiential Marketing, Automotive, on a special episode of the Audio Talks podcast.
While this year presented a different challenge, the team had a well of experience to draw from. For example, every year HARMAN has held our Las Vegas showcase, Chris has run the show. Additionally, Stacia’s in-depth experiential marketing expertise has allowed her to bring HARMAN’s innovations to tradeshows the world over, turning her efforts this year helping to steer our virtual automotive showcase. But of course – this virtual showcase was an entirely new challenge.
While working through pandemic conditions is the norm for every company showcasing a virtual CES presentation this year, with HARMAN’s international nature, we had to navigate an intricate video production process with a team from all over the world, all navigating different lockdown regulations and personal circumstances.
HARMAN ExPLORE created its share of opportunities, as well. On the Audio Talks podcast, Chris emphasized that in-person experience is a major part of any trade show HARMAN attends. It was essential to him that those experiences could be recreated to accommodate the virtual showcase format. “We’ve been sending a lot of samples out so press, customers and others can experience products,” he said.
We also tapped into a brand new way to display our products and demos. Making use of AR, live video and on-demand content allowed us to cater to consumer trends while testing our creativity and adaptability. This proved essential for the Automotive division. “We’ve really started to explore this Augmented Reality, 3D-form of our demos,” Stacia said on the podcast. These demos will live on the HARMAN ExPLORE platform forever, but they came to life for the first time at the Jan. 7 virtual showcase. “We’re really, really excited about going from this physical to virtual realm with our demos,” she said. And, we established the HARMAN ExPLORE platform, which we will utilize in the future when tackling other important industry events throughout 2021, including the Geneva International Motor Show, Mobile World Congress and the Beijing Motor Show.
For all of the insights Chris and Stacia had to share about the unique experience of producing HARMAN EXPLORE, take a listen to the full episode.
The Audio Talks podcast is available to stream on Spotify and other major platforms, including Apple Music, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Podigee and Deezer. You can also find descriptions and breakdowns of every groundbreaking innovation we debuted at HARMAN ExPLORE by visiting our media kit. And, of course, both the Automotive and Lifestyle presentations of HARMAN ExPLORE are available on-demand.