Interview with Stefan Berens, Head of Media Entertainment Business Division at Panasonic CanadaJanuary 25, 2022
Hi Stefan! How did you get your start at Panasonic ?
Actually I started working for Panasonic in Germany in 2007 as a product manager. I was always very passionate about technology in general and Panasonic was one of the brands that I “grew up” with.
It was really the quality and the breadth of products that Panasonic is offering that enticed me to apply for a job there. I moved to Canada in mid 2008 and started working for the Canadian group which was a great opportunity to grow.
Since then I worked my way up through different roles but always wanted to become part of the Visual Systems group since I truly consider this business the most exciting within Panasonic. Specifically with our Media Entertainment group it is so exciting how technology and art are coming together and creating immersive and interactive spaces that are just mind blowing. During and after COVID these immersive spaces will bring people back out and together.
Is that what excites you most about the creative industries today?
It is ! The way art and technology are coming together is so unique and it has created a whole new way of entertainment and a way to deliver emotions like never seen before.
Also any of these immersive installations have been able to attract all age groups… One example are museums and art galleries that have really embraced the new technologies. They have been able to attract a lot more visitors in their spaces.
Also the creative industries have become an integral part of education. A great example are science center that are using more and more immersive technology to educate young and old on different topics.
With Montreal really being the global hub of the creative industries it is super exciting to be part of this community and provide some true value.
What innovative projects have impressed you the most recently and why?
Mural is certainly one of the organizations that have impressed me a lot. Their recent event has really shown what can be done with art and technology and how to bring the audience in in an interactive way.
Panasonic also announced a partnership with Quartier des Spectacles. The exceptional collaboration is related to the Laboratoire numérique urbain, which includes hundreds of pieces of state-of-the-art equipment installed in public spaces.
Not only are the projects super exciting but it really gives Panasonic the opportunity to learn from the community and develop technologies that meet the needs of the creative industries.
Can you tell us how you help creators who use Panasonic equipment?
We support creators from start to finish and in all aspects namely sales, marketing, technical support. We would like to be involved from the start of a project because we can provide amazing expertise on a global scale.
Our local engineers help with spec’ing the right equipment, we can create and verify e.g. projection studies and our engineers in Japan are always more than willing to jump on a call and answer questions. Because we know our own products the best, we can come up with creative solutions that one would have maybe not thought about.
On the sales and marketing side we obviously support with attractive pricing for projects in and outside Canada. With Montreal as the global hub for content creation we have developed strong expertise in delivering projects whether they are in Canada and/or around the world.
On the marketing side we offer support on really showcasing the power of the creative industry around the globe. We like to do case studies (written and video) on projects that we then distribute through the whole Panasonic network globally which has resulted additional business for our creative partners. We have a strong social media presence that all our partner are more than welcome to take advantage of.
The most important point though is that want to learn from the community. You will see a lot more communication from Panasonic in the future where we invite our creative partners to become part of our development. Our creative partners have ideas and visions through our technology we can help to bring these to life. In order to do that we want the input from our creative partner to create products that will serve their needs now and in the future.
On a lighter note, what is one science fiction gadget you would like to have in real life and why?
I think the Starship Enterprise holodeck was something that I could never imagine becoming reality. Now we are at a point where we are getting there. The technology is evolving so rapidly that this will be reality in a few year from now.
Just imagine you could go on a safari, to the North pole or to space without actually traveling there and still experience the same emotions and conditions that come with that. This is where the technology is going. Super exciting!!