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There were some 70 people taking part, from the five continents representing 51 countries, at the conference hall of the Hotel Cristallo in Bergamo on 12th and 13th May to discuss the highly demanding goals Clay Paky is to set itself in the short and long term.

These were two days of intensive effort during which the participants were able to examine extremely important subjects for the development of this dynamic Italian company, in the course of a Convention that was much more innovative than all the others before it.

In his opening speech, the President  Pasquale Quadri briefly touched on the topics of the two days: the significant growth in the Clay Paky volume of sales, company expansion, the future new operating headquarters, constant research into quality and ISO 9001 certification: Vision 2000, an analysis of market development, the opening up of new operating horizons.

As the senior sales executive Enrico Caironi illustrated, the reference framework features original market dynamics with customers evolving, increasingly more in search not so much and not only of quality products, but above all of complete solutions.

This has meant that alongside the traditional entertainment and professional sectors that have to date been the main area for Clay Paky product world market penetration, there is also an area whose potential has not yet been completely defined because, nearly every day, new opportunities and new solutions are being discovered.

This sector is conventionally defined as the “architectural” sector, which is highly sensitive to and heedful of the extraordinary opportunities for communication by using “creative light” in areas that up to now have hardly been investigated.

Hence the great commitment of Clay Paky in taking part in specialized trade shows in the architectural sector, which together with other “broadcast” shows and of course the more numerous and traditional ones specifically for show business makes for Clay Paky taking part in 25 national and international trade shows.

Advertising, too, in the 33 major international sector magazines, the wealth of the Internet site and a rich production of catalogues and brochures are a major sign of the promotional commitment of Clay Paky.

Considerable attention is also paid to “customer satisfaction”, constantly tracked with surveys aimed at detecting in real time all possible implementations in the manufacturer-distributor-end customer relationship.

The final part of the report by the senior sales executive was dedicated to analysing and examining the concerns of the sales network, its optimum structure and possible strengthening.

The significance of the joint enterprises between Clay Paky and Pulsar – the publication of the magazine “Illuminate” and the “World Light Jockey Competition” – was highlighted by Jane Monk, of Pulsar Light of Cambridge, who stressed how these enterprises are aimed at providing stimulating tools for all operators and creating increasingly closer relations with end users.

Then the financial manager Roberto Piccinini briefly covered some solutions of a financial nature to make the exchange between the centre and the periphery smoother and faster.

he central moment of the Convention was the space dedicated to the evidence and case histories provided by the Clay Paky distributors. Examples of how, albeit in the different operating contexts and cultural backgrounds of the various countries, Clay Paky products managed to solve widely differing problems in an original manner.

The long list of evidence began with the talk by Nobuaky Sakamoto, of the Japanese Jemco Co Ltd, on the creations for the Department Store of Yokohama.
One by one, then, all the others: Hubert Wiriath, of Solumex Audiovisiales, who talked on the Lighting of the fountains of Santo Domingo.

Antonio Agra, who is assigned the area of Argentina and Uruguay, illustrated the creations for The Beauty and the Beast, the El Nacional Theatre, Mendoza Convention Centre, Theatre Argentino de La Plata and for America TV.

Speaking for the United States was Vinny Finnegan, of Group One Ltd. who handled the lighting of some churches, the Gap Stores, Sony Theatres, Bowling Center and Tree life, while for Hungary Gabor Nemeth reported on the Clay Paky creations used for ballet performances.

The Ukraine and Czech Republic were represented by two women, Olga Kuspitovska, of Zinteco Ltd. Fotex Ltd., and Alena Neumanova, of Osvetlovaci Technika Vit Palù, who respectively related their experiences for the National Palace Ukrainian House and the Skoda showroom.

Daniel Pacheco and José Luis Seôane, of the Spanish firm Stonex, talked of the use of the Stage Zoom projectors at TVE;  Peter Schough, of AVAB Scandinavia AB, related his experience at Risksteatern and the Touring Theatre.

Ben Weijters, of Wytec B.V. talked about the Display Line solutions used for the Retail Market sector in the Benelux; Jerome Bréhard, of the French company Impact Diffusion, illustrated the Clay Paky for the Pathé Cinemas and the Peugeot showroom.

Finally, the Germans Günther Olbricht, of Lights & Colors, and Michael Althaus, of Lightpower Showtechnik Vert, tackled subjects of great importance: the former with a talk entitled “The challenge of Architectural Lighting. Strategic and structural solutions for the successful marketing of Display Line”, the latter with the report entitled “World Fair Expo 2000: the challenge in ‘Theme Entertainment’ for Clay Paky.

These reports, as may be presumed, contained a wealth of ideas and content, which became the common heritage of all Clay Paky distributors.
The more technical topics were covered by the Clay Paky works manager, Angelo Cavenati, who talked on the technological development of the projectors.

Paul Mardon of Pulsar, fully illustrated the new features of the electronic components and the new solutions equipping Clay Paky products, while Hans Schwabe and Carsten Setzer, managers of the technical sectors of OSRAM, talked on the improvements and new proposals for lamps.

Pino Tinti, product manager, finally presented all the new features of the Display Line – the new models, new accessories, new adapters and new gobos – while Giovanni Zucchinali, project support manager, gave a preview of the brand new technical course for dealers using an interactive computer system.

Of course, as in the finest tradition of Conventions, the many aspects dealt with in the work sessions were also at the centre of lively discussions during the times for refreshments that, besides being a chance for a welcome break, also helped the participants get to know each other better.

The two days of work and note-swapping were also an acknowledgment of the great commitment made over the years by Clay Paky, its distributors and partners in order to guarantee its customers obtain top quality products and services.
The extremely positive outcome of the meeting is therefore further encouragement to keep on this path and an incentive to organize more meetings with the Clay Paky distributor network and business partners also for the future.