. How SHARP reinvented its 2020 Dealers Convention | Meetings & Conventions Asia

How SHARP reinvented its 2020 Dealers Convention

Electronics giant taps in-house technology to power annual meet, and made more than $1M in sales in 10 minutes.

The 14 July event saw 481 participants from six destinations joining online, with a live audience for the opening ceremony, e-sessions for dealers, and more than 10,000 comments in the live chat.
The 14 July event saw 481 participants from six destinations joining online, with a live audience for the opening ceremony, e-sessions for dealers, and more than 10,000 comments in the live chat.

Consumer electronics and home appliance brand, SHARP took its 2020 Dealers Convention to the virtual stage in July, but unlike many making the digital pivot this year, they didn't have to outsource its technology provider. Instead, Sharp utilised their in-house Remote Life Technology to power the hybrid event.

The annual event brings together dealers, business partners and management team members from Malaysia and five other destinations. This year, Sharp dealers and overseas management met via a virtual platform, which kept the 481 global attendees engaged via constant interactions including giveaways and product deals, and new features such as the 'e-Sharp' online retail store.

To create that sense of familiarity, Sharp's top management including head of president's office Yoshihiro Hashimoto based in Japan, and Robert Wu based in Thailand, were beamed into the live studio's 'green' floor in Malaysia for the opening ceremony.

Understanding market and client needs

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Sharp's top management Yoshihiro Hashimoto based in Japan, and Robert Wu based in Thailand, beamed into Malaysia's live studio.

Helping make the physical-to-virtual pivot is brand activation company, Pico Group, who most recently has been forming strategic alliances to drive MICE sector development in Tianjin, and steadily expanding its venue management portfolio across Asia in recent years.

With relevant experience in these pandemic times, Pico devised a virtual event, with Malaysia’s social distancing measures in mind. The final online platform was the result of understanding Sharp's needs — which called for customisable functions — as well as a live broadcast.

Execution

On the morning of 14 July, media representatives gathered physically at Sharp’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. In adherence to Malaysia's existing pandemic preventive measures, all attendees' temperatures were checked and hands sanitised upon entering the venue, with seating arranged to ensure safe social distancing. This also marked the event's only in-person portion.

On site, some 50 media witnessed new product launches, and joined the emcee in delivering the brand's message live to the rest of the audience tuning in online. To ensure seamless delivery, lighting and audio equipment were in place earlier for a mix of in-person meetings with VIPs, as well as a Q&A session.

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Sharp cleverly used the convention to showcase their latest product: Remote Life Technology, also used to power the hybrid event

"What’s better than having the best of both worlds, with a traditional face-to-face session for the media to enlist the best publicity for the brand and an entirely virtual session for dealers to give them more than a touch of novelty," said Pico Malaysia managing director, Jason Teh. "Considering Covid-control measures, the relatively smaller group size of the media being invited made a physical gathering more feasible and most importantly, safe," said Pico Malaysia managing director, Jason Teh.

Later in the afternoon, dealer sessions proceeded to run virtually online. Acting like a regular sales platform, dealers could purchase products showcased at the event using a ‘place order’ button. Real-time sales figures were also shown during the ongoing broadcast.

These sessions also featured video content developed and scheduled by Pico, using virtual backgrounds to complement the emcee’s and VIPs’ live presentations beamed in from Japan and Thailand. Apart from engaging the visual senses, the Sharp team also had surprises woven throughout the day, and announcing prize winners right at the end of the event to retain the audience throughout.

"For the dealer session, the virtual nature allowed our team to apply our imagination to the fullest with a range of interactive virtual activities, giving them a never-like-before memorable experience. We are glad to know that participants enjoyed this engaging experience and our client pleased with the results,’ said Teh.

Key Facts

  • 481 participants, with 99% attendance rate
  • Global audience from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, China, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Europe
  • Over 10,000 comments in live chat
  • RM4,300,000 (US$1,050,831) worth of live sales in 10 minutes

Key Learnings

  • A range of pop-up elements and sounds, such as hands clapping, further engaged the senses during presentations
  • Lucky draws, quiz sessions and surprise gifts were woven into the proceedings to maintain momentum and audience interest
  • SHARP used the convention as an opportunity to showcase and test their latest product: Remote Life Technology, also used to power the hybrid event


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