On Sunday January 29th, Dell and Intel streamed 2 live telecasts to movie theaters across the country, as part of a special event for our retail partners.
“The Intel® Retail Edge Program” was attended by thousands of sales professionals from various retail stores across the United States. Participants were treated to a one-hour training session, followed by a raffle of many great prizes, and a special screening of the Summit Entertainment thriller “Man on the Ledge.”
The Dell team – Holly Knowlton, Scott Salitsky and myself – travelled to San Francisco to join our colleagues from Intel in preparing the studio for the show. The studio room was surprisingly cozy and the production team…everyone from the camera crew to the make-up artists…was incredibly nice and professional. We could tell that we were in the hands of professionals who knew their business very well.
Preparing for the show included lots of detailed decisions and considerations like: deciding on imagery, putting final touches on the set, studying available space of the studio, learning where to best stand, when to turn to the product and when to the host, at what point to dim or brighten the lights and so many other things. These decisions were particularly important because the broadcasts would be live. So we were excited, and yes, a little bit nervous!
(Photo: Scott is making the final decisions on the systems layout)
Since Scott has a natural talent for product placement, we let him handle that on set. In the meantime, Holly and I went over the training content, practicing out loud, working on tone and speech rate, gestures and use of space.
(The studio team is finalizing all the video, audio and light preparations.)
Next, Holly visited the make-up artist before the crew conducted a test recording. After Holly’s practice run on tape – which went really well – the crew then recorded a test run with Mike Lavacot, Intel’s technical guru, who was a part of the telecast as well.
(Photo: Questions from the sales professionals start to pour in.)
Then, with only about an hour before kickoff, questions from participants started to come in via the Intel Retail Edge mobile app.
As the time drew closer, we…and especially Holly and Ruby…were excited and ready to go.
(Photo: Ruby (left) and Holly (right) are smiling for the camera)
Right at the start of the hour, Ruby kicked off the program and welcomed everyone to the show. Then she played a video of the new Dell XPS 13 ultrabook being introduced to the world at CES 2012 by Jeff Clarke, Dell’s Vice-Chairman of Operations and Technology.
After the video, Intel began the training session. Mike brilliantly explained the concept of an “ultrabook[HW1] ” – including its unique features, advantages and benefits. He then demonstrated the boot-up times of Dell’s ultrabook versus a similarly configured laptop. (Spoiler: The XPS 13 booted up several times faster!) Ruby then asked Mike some questions that had been submitted by the audience.
While Holly took Mike’s place and got ready for the “Dell part” of the telecast, we also opened up the poll questions and had a little fun interacting with our geographically-dispersed audience.
Holly’s presentation focused on the most unique features of Dell Inspiron R, XPS 15Z and XPS 14Z series laptops and the new Dell XPS 13 ultrabook. She showed each system and provided some useful information and selling points – including her personal favorite features. She also included some features that her sister Heidi (proud owner of an Inspiron 15R) had raved about….just the kind of personal stories and scenarios that sales professionals can use to understand what is important to a customer.
Holly was clearly most excited about the new Dell XPS 13 ultrabook. And that’s understandable: it’s the hottest new device on the market, and we can’t wait until it’s available in stores. She finished by answering some of the Dell-specific questions submitted by the audience.
The hour went by quickly, and before we knew it, our first live telecast successfully drew to a close. Cheers, claps, and a general sense of celebration filled the studio room.
The second show ran in the same fashion…with more questions from our audience and more answers from our experts. We concluded our second broadcast right on the hour, and thanked our amazing studio team for their incredible work.
This is a first of a kind event for our retail training and support team, and we are looking forward to similar and exciting projects in the future.
We would like to thank:
…and – of course – our partners, the sales professionals who attended the event. We hope you had as much fun as we did, and we look forward to “seeing” you again soon!