Shure has kicked-off a new strategy to drive greater engagement and form closer relationships with the AV end user market, with the first of a series of planned one-to-one breakfast meeting events.
The audio specialist, a regular at AV User Group events, invited staff from London based AV consultancy firm Blend Technology Consultants to the first event, which was hosted on the 34th floor at the Shangri-La hotel, housed inside the capital's tallest building, the Shard.
The two hour event, which started at 8:30 (and included a full English breakfast), was designed to provide Shure with the opportunity to showcase and discuss new products in its roadmap (under strict NDA) and answer any questions. In addition, the event also – crucially – provides the opportunity for customers to provide their own feedback on Shure’s products, quality of service, and to be honest about what it’s doing well and where it can improve upon.
“We’re building engagement”, said Richard Knott, CTS, market development manager, Shure UK. “We’re just looking to support our consultants and end user clients as best we can.
“By having these kind of events, it gives us a platform on which we can talk openly about what we’re doing and get opinions from, particularly consultants, on where they see the industry going and how technology is driving change and getting ideas on what we can do to help support that."
He continued; “This is the first of that kind of event and is probably better suited to consultants. With end users, we can generally get several in a room together, whilst consultants are a little more protective in terms of discussing their business in front of competitors, which we understand."
Andrew Francis, senior manager applications at Shure added that such events play a huge role in not only helping educate the market on its existing product range, but also in shaping its products for the future.
He noted that Shure’s history as a “high quality” and established manufacturer operating in the live events space (dating back to 1925), and by comparison relative short history in the corporate space, provides it with significant opportunities for growth, but further building relationships, trust and awareness in the market is paramount.
“The feedback we receive from end users and consultants on how the market is moving, really does drive how our products evolve," said Francis.
“Shure’s history is very well known in the rock-n-roll and staging world and we have a very good brand name for high quality products in that space. But we’re still quite new in the corporate space, so it’s about taking all that history and that brand recognition, which a lot of people already know us for, and taking that into the corporate space. So, it’s really about positioning ourselves in a market we’ve not traditionally been in.”
Playing to the audience
Shure is already heavily active in establishing close ties with the end user market, through its activities with the AV User Group and sporadic held events, the most recent taking place in May at Morgan Stanley's offices in London. The new strategy is designed to help further enhance this.
Knott also added that twice a year, members from Shure’s product team in the US (Chicago HQ) visit the UK to hold similar discussions with selected end users and consultants to get a better feel of the way the market is evolving to the demands and needs in the audio field.
“We’ve always been committed to really engaging with the market before developing a product, during the development of a product and in the run up to the release of a product. If manufacturers don’t do that and come up with products that they think are great and release them, they might turn out to not be what the market actually wants. We’ve always been committed to driving that from the live and production background, we’ve taken that into the enterprise world and that’s helping us develop and release products that are really truly desired at the point of them being released because of that research."
He concluded: “We’re looking to have more of these types of conversations and are always looking for opportunities. This first event was exactly what we wanted and provided some extremely valuable insight.”