“A training roadshow like no other,” was Sony’s description of STREET 2010 – its latest training initiative which was held in six locations – from Dublin and Glasgow to the South East – and attracted 1,305 retail staff. Combining formal presentations and product displays, STREET 2010 featured products from the manufacturer’s entire range, particularly the ones which were likely to figure on the customers’ Christmas lists.
Taking a leaf out of any educator’s book, Sony acknowledged that learning through engagement and fun is the most effective route to building knowledge and enthusiasm about the brand. The retail staff who not only knows the products well but are also passionate about them are the best ambassadors of the brand on the sales floor.
In a set up of an urban street scene – with graffiti, fast food and street entertainers – Sony created a number of demonstration areas where groups of retail staff had an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the technology and benefits of the latest high speed and 3D photography, setting
up and demonstrating Bravia Internet Video, using VAIO and PSP with PS3 to play games remotely, and learning how to run 3D demonstrations in store. The fun setting was clearly geared
at the participating audience among which there was a large number of young retail staff from independent stores –
a sight which would have lifted the sprits of many in the independent channel.
The high speed and 3D photography session not only provided the delegates with an insight into Sony’s exclusive Translucent Mirror Technology, SLT, featured on the new Alpha cameras, a53 and a55, but also gave them an opportunity to use the products – during the hair-raising acrobatic display of skaters and BMX bikers from Team Extreme.
This was perhaps the best proof of the merits of SLT technology designed for high speed photography (up to 10fps). Armed with the SLT cameras, the trainees were able to see how the camera’s high precision AF traced fast moving bikers and skaters and kept them in continuous focus. In addition to still pictures, SLT cameras are able to shoot Full HD1080 video with background defocusing due to its Exmor sensor. There was even a competition for the best picture – the winner of which will become an owner of the a53.
Next came a presentation from Richard Hammond, retail consultant and the author of the bestselling book Smart Retail. His brief was to show retailers how they could excite their customers about 3D television. He suggested that retailers should tell their customers that 3DTV was not just another TV format but a new form of broadcasting which can get viewers more involved in their favourite television programmes. He advised against making assumptions about customers’ viewing habits or needs, but to explore them together and then present them with the relevant content. He reminded participants that ‘retail theatre’ plays a key role in demonstrating 3D television and getting customer excited about it. “You’re entertainment retailers, don’t forget this,” stressed Mr Hammond.