SVG Sit-Down: Canon’s Rich Eilers on Educating the Community Amid the Reopening of Venues

The company aims to keep clients informed on all of its latest products

With sports making their return in the U.S., in-venue professionals are heading back to their respective control rooms. As the pandemic persists and changes by the day, the industry is in need of updated technologies and products to get the job done. SVG spoke with Rich Eilers, national account sales director, Canon, about the company’s efforts to keep the industry up-to-date during these unprecedented times.

Canon’s Rich Eilers: “We want to help [clients] figure out better ways of moving their content forward and supporting their productions.”

How has Canon helped in-venue professionals while control rooms are either closed or working at low capacity?
We certainly want these things to get better, and everyone needs to do their part, but we’re moving along and continuing to actively communicate internally. We’re keeping our attention on the startup of various forms of team play, whether it’s the NBA or it’s MLB and the upcoming 60-game season.

We’re planning to reach out to all of our customers to see ways in which we can support them and make some things a little bit easier. They’re going to come back to a completely different landscape since they’re used to serving a [venue] full of people and showcasing lots of video and entertainment.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the typical operations inside a venue?
We’re a very hands-on group at Canon, but there’s not a lot of stuff [for clients to] do because one of the big things that we’re well-known for is that we get our techs out [to the venues] before the start of the season. We try to hit as many stadiums as we can to check the gear, clean it, and provide some help and assistance.

We want to keep them up-to-date, not only on our products and new releases. We also want to take advantage of some time that they have to maybe get some learning agendas done. For example, [Senior Fellow] Larry Thorpe has been doing a great lecture series for a variety of customers. Our goal right now is to do the best we can in our outreach with education and supporting people with information.

How will the company continue to support in-venue production throughout this abnormal time?
Those that run these videoboards are going to have to learn when they walk in. When they walk in the door and the team hits the field, I think that that’s when they’re really going to start evolving what they need to do. Are they going to build more creative content events without fans? Are they going to support the broadcaster to get more angles of the show?

We’re excited to talk to these professionals once they get back on the scene and up and running to figure out how we can support them. But we think we have a lot of different ways that we can do it. If there’s anything that we can do to support the operational needs of any of our venue clients, we’re 100% there for them. We’ve worked with our clients for years; we want to help to figure out better ways of moving their content forward and supporting their productions.