The JBL name carries a lot of weight in the A/V world. Quality, craftsmanship, and powerful are just some of the adjectives that can be used to describe the JBL product lineup. So it should come as no surprise that an event hosted by JBL and Harman would be any less than amazing. Welcome to the 2019 JBL FEST.
Starting in 2017, JBL and Harman have assembled some of the best musical acts, most popular audio equipment, celebrities, and forums into one location – LAS VEGAS! The 2019 edition was no different and Almo Professional A/V was proud to send Josh Taylor, Mac McKay, and Leo Merizalde to experience the sights and sounds. From the moment you arrived to the Aria Hotel you will notice that an entire wing of the hotel was decorated top to bottom with JBL graphics and promotional marketing.
You are truly “living” the brand at that moment. You have options to experience an oxygen bar, some of the best food you can imagine, and possible celebrity sightings and then you remind yourself that the party hasn’t even really started! The day ended with a special performance by Run DMC and hosted by Shaquille O’Neil, which was made all the more special considering the group only does 2 concerts per year now and this was held at an exclusive outdoor venue.
On the 2nd day of JBL Fest there was a Tech Forum in which the keynote speakers were Paul Zikopoulos, VP of Big Data Cognitive Systems at IBM and Robert Herjavec, Founder of Herjavec Group and star of Shark Tank. The discussion of the forum centered around the topic of “Is the World Ready for Intelligent Technology?” and how collaboration amongst partners and even competitors will unlock the full value of data in the business world. Definitely a thought-provoking discussion to kick off the day! After the Tech Forum concluded we were surprised to be able to attend the “gifting station.” As if the opportunity to be in Las Vegas with JBL wasn’t enough we were able to design custom backpacks and received Maui Jim glasses and JBL Bluetooth headphones! WOW to say the least. The fun didn’t stop there as we next went on the e-sports arena tour that was held at the Luxor. For anyone who is even remotely into gaming this is a bucket list item! Being able to experience the behind the scenes action and what makes the arena function was definitely an eye-opener. The evening was capped off with an event at Club JBL at the Jewel Nightclub where Bebe Rexha and Armin Van Buuren kept the energy at a peak. The final day of the event was no different. Although a bit more relaxed, there were various game stations set up where you could win prizes, a DJ Masterclass with Armin Van Buuren in which he showed you how he mixes and creates some of his greatest hits and a private concert area set up where JBL Brand Ambassador, KHALID, closed out the week.
There aren’t many opportunities where you can experience a true “once in a lifetime” event but I would place JBL Fest in that grouping. Throughout my time working with Harman I have come to expect the best of the best and it is safe to say that they extend that mantra to their events. I cannot wait to see what the 2020 version has in store. Whether you are a JBL fan such as myself or you simply love A/V of all kinds, put JBL Fest on your list for next year and experience the sounds and sights of one of the top audio manufacturers in the world!
Thank you to our contributing co-author, Mac McKay, ALMO National Business Team, for sharing his perspective from the event.