By John Holland, Chief Revenue Officer, OLEDWorks
Earlier this Fall, OLEDWorks joined some of the brightest minds in automotive engineering and technology for the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting (ISAL) held in Darmstadt, Germany. The above picture shows some of those people, including our CEO David DeJoy, Dr. Michael Kruppa from Audi, and Wolfgang Görgen, Managing Director OLEDWorks GmbH.
The person on the very left of the picture is Geoffrey Vance, a Partner at Perkins Coie LLP and one of the primary counsel for OLEDWorks. We interviewed Geof about what he saw and learned at ISAL 2019.
Let’s start from the beginning. Why did you attend ISAL 2019?
I am a firm believer that an attorney’s success in representing a client can only be as good as his knowledge of the client’s particular business and interaction with the client’s personnel. Anyone who has staffed a booth at a conference such as ISAL knows that those can be long days on your feet in which one can learn a lot and get to know a lot about the people you work with and for. Flying to Darmstadt and spending two full days in and around the OLEDWorks booth provided me an opportunity to learn more about OLED technology and its extraordinary benefits. I was able to spend time and work side-by-side with a number of OLEDWorks executives, suppliers and customers. That opportunity was invaluable.
Tell us some of the things you saw and did at the show.
As reported elsewhere, the OLEDWorks booth kicked off with an opening event at which several people on the OLEDWorks and Audi teams were interviewed, including Dr. Wolfgang Huhn, Audi’s Head of Light and Visibility, and two other top executives responsible for automotive lighting at Audi. I was impressed to learn about all of the innovation surrounding OLED light panels and the important, real-life applications in connection with automotive design and safety. The interviews were the equivalent of a fireworks show, attracting a very large following at the outset of the two-day conference and starting the booth off with a bang.
After that, I stood on the sidelines and watched the waves of interested (and interesting) people walk up to the booth and interact with the various Audi and OLEDWorks representatives. It was a terrific way to educate myself on the ins and outs of OLED technology by listening to questions being asked and answered by various experts in the industry. They explained the many uses and virtues of OLED lighting. That prompted me to ask my own questions about the numerous possibilities for OLED, not only in the automotive sector, but also in a variety of different areas, including general lighting, healthcare and even microdisplays.
In addition to hearing from the experts around the booth, I was able to attend multiple presentations. My favorite, of course, was the standing room-only presentation by Dr. Kruppa who discussed his experience as a leader of what he called the “OLED Taillight Revolution.” That presentation, by the way, earned Dr. Kruppa the “Best Presentation Award” at ISAL.
What did you enjoy most about the OLEDWorks booth?
Where do I start? I was impressed with the booth itself. It was attractive and well designed, yet singularly focused on Audi’s recently announced Digital OLED Technology. I was also impressed with how prepared and interactive all of the participants were. This was not a booth full of yawners watching people walk by, but rather an energetic and articulate group who were obviously excited about their company and technology, and ready to tell anyone who would listen about how OLED technology can and will, quite literally, change the world. Finally, I was impressed with the dynamic social media activity surrounding the Audi, STMicroelectronics, and OLEDWorks presence at ISAL, which earned OLEDWorks the “Best Social Media” award.
What else did you do when you were in Germany?
After ISAL, we drove to Aachen, Germany, where the OLEDWorks German facility is located. I was privileged to be given a tour of the plant by Wolfgang Görgen, managing director of German operations, and David DeJoy, OLEDWorks’ CEO. Messrs. Görgen and DeJoy gave me a firsthand look at OLEDWorks’ massive, one-of-a-kind facility, and explained why theirs is unmatched in the industry.
In what ways was this trip to Germany beneficial to your relationship with OLEDWorks?
The trip certainly strengthened my already terrific relationship with OLEDWorks. ISAL was the perfect forum at which I could learn more about my client and its technology. Not only did I spend more than 30 hours with some of OLEDWorks’ employees, suppliers and customers, I was able to personally witness the incredible interest in and demand for its OLED lighting technology. ISAL 2019 was essentially a two-day intensive course into all things OLED light. It was special.
In addition, the opportunity to walk the floors of OLEDWorks’ Aachen facility was one I simply could not pass up. I had seen the Rochester, New York facility many times, but the Aachen facility was something to behold, something no video or verbal description could ever do justice. To say that it’s innovative is an understatement.
I believe the attorney-client relationship between OLEDWorks and Perkins Coie and me is a partnership in the truest sense of the word. I am honored and privileged to represent a company like OLEDWorks and I want to do everything I can to provide them the best legal services humanly and technologically possible. I can honestly say my ability to advise and counsel OLEDWorks skyrocketed as a direct result of my trip to Germany.