Robe Roadshow in South Africa

The Robe ROBIN Roadshow in South Africa was a tightly organised and hugely well attended series of 3 events staged in Johannesburg (at the University of Johannesburg Theatre) , Cape Town (the Baxter Theatre) and Durban (The Natal Playhouse Company), co-ordinated by Robe's Johannesburg based South African distributor, DWR.

Over 60 people attended in Durban, over 160 in Johannesburg and another 80 plus in Cape Town, showing an incredible level of interest and making it one of the most popular ROBIN Roadshows to date.

Says DWR's Duncan Riley, "We expected a keen take up, but the actual turn out and the intensity of interest still took us by surprise. People stayed a long time at the demos, chatted to everyone on our team and also amongst themselves, while others who had to leave returned for more! "

Robe's MD Josef Valchar and Sales Director Harry von den Stemmen joined the DWR team of Duncan Riley, Nic Britz, Dave Whitehouse, Dan Riley and Nicolet Britz. Says Valchar, "South Africa has consistently been one of our most successful markets and DWR is doing a fantastic job in promoting our brand, which was also reflected in the success of the Roadshows. It was great to be there and see for ourselves just how much of a buzz surrounds the ROBIN range".

The focus was on the usual array of Roadshow products, including the ROBIN 300 and 300 Spot, Wash and Beam fixtures ... and of course, the now legendary LEDWash 600, which as expected, stole the limelight. Also showcased and attracting plenty of attention were the CitySkape Xtreme, CitySkape 48 LED wash lights, the DigitalSpot 3000DT and the LEDForce 7s and 18s.

The Robe and DWR teams were joined by Michael "Quincey" Strathman from MA Lighting in Germany, who demonstrated the latest grandMA2 control technology on all the Roadshow events (DWR is also an MA distributor).

Literally everyone in the SA industry pitched up throughout the week, representing a full cross section of the industry, including rental companies, theatres, LDs, freelance programmers, technicians & operators.

In Johannesburg, the lighting department of SABC the national broadcaster were among the first group of a steady stream of visitors throughout the day, along with venues including the Silverstar Casino, the Johannesburg Civic Theatre, Lyric Theatre, Market Theatre, several architectural lighting designers - and the first 4 legged attendee ever at a Robe Roadshow - Toby, a golden retriever currently training to be an actor in one of the UJ theatre's forthcoming productions.

The Roadshow format once again proved an ideal environment offering the space for run throughs all day, giving an overview of all the featured products and the chance to speak to people on an individual basis - with less of a presentation and more of a dialogue vibe.

Harry von den Stemmen comments, "Apart from the interest in the products, it was a great pleasure to hear numerous comments from DWR customers who took the time to tell us how amazing DWR are as a supplier and technical service company. It was clear from all their reactions and the general atmosphere of the events that the company has many exceptional relationships and is held in the highest regard."

In Cape Town, two DWR clients even walked in with orders already in their hands! SK Sound's Alan Baker bought 6 LEDWash 600s, 8 CitySkape Xtremes and ROBIN 600 Spots, which he collected from the venue at the end of the Roadshow!

It was the first chance most had had to see the LEDWash 600 first hand, and all were blown away by its smooth colour mixing, 15 - 60 degree zoom and ability to produce proper whites at different colour temperatures.

In the course of the week, DWR received a container with its first batch of 100 x LEDWash 600s in South Africa - all of which are already sold. Among the first takers in the country are Johannesburg rental company MGG Productions who have purchased 24 and Black Coffee from Durban who have taken 12. This is in addition to The State National Theatre in Johannesburg, DWR's first ever LEDWash 600 customer whose head of lighting, Simon King took delivery of 16 fixtures in January.

The week ended on a real high note, counting the great diversity of people coming through for the Roadshow, all of whom were enthusiastic, interested and complimentary. "We are expecting some major results in terms of sales!" said Duncan Riley who praised the great teamwork and collaboration involved to make it all rock!

With the 2011 Robe International Distributor Conference fast approaching in Frankfurt, this should keep South Africa right up there among the most successful sales territories of the year.