Michael Walker: Harman Professional Solutions

Why did you pursue a career in the events industry?

“A lot of my earliest childhood memories relate to music. Playing guitar in a band was all I wanted to do growing up but I realised fairly quickly that making it a career was not in the plan for me. We played a few gigs, cut some tracks and had a lot of fun but working for nothing indefinitely was not something I wanted to do so I had to find more gainful employment.”

What has been your ‘big break’ in the industry?

“My first job in the business was working for Creative Technology as their first ever business development manager which combined the commercial skills I had developed in other industries with my love of music and the entertainment industry – the next best thing to being in a band!

“CT has always been the pinnacle of AV staging and video rental solutions and I learnt a huge amount from the best people in the business and developed my career as a part of that great team for 14 years and became a board director of the company.”

How has professional lighting developed?

“The biggest change has come from LED as a light source which Martin Professional has pioneered since the beginning and developed it into a superior alternative to the discharge lamps of old and managing to find the holy grail of LED quality, the MAC Encore, featuring a tungsten lamp emulation light engine to satisfy the most critical of applications. With the implementation of embedded P3 control Martin Professional is still out in front with innovation as our lights become video enabled to add unique creativity to the way lighting is used.”

What Martin Professional projects stand out to you?

“Difficult question with so many to choose from but a recent one would be Carpe Diem which used Martins Creative Video products extensively and to incredible effect, Muse with Ollie Metcalfe designing and programming some of the most creative rock and roll shows I have ever seen and the Chemical Brothers with Paul Normandale pixel mapping MAC 101’s behind a transparent EC20 screen which was the first time that technique was used.”

How do Martin Professional develop its products?

“What we have done is focus R&D at its home base in Aarhus, Denmark with the same team that have been designing Martin lighting products for many years. We have also joined the product development team with the rest of Harman Pro’s other brands at our Shenzen facility in China where 320 people now work to bring product innovation to life.”

What is next for Martin Professional?

“Expect to see a lot of exciting new product revealed at LDI ready for shipping later this year and next, the new product roadmap is packed with lighting technology positioned in each of the main categories and demonstrates perfectly how the changes are delivering what we have planned and what the market wants.”