It’s always interesting to find out how different people find their way onto the HARMAN team. The men and women working here are as avid a group of technology buffs as you can find, but they often have winding paths that lead them into the world of creating, marketing, selling, or servicing audio, video, lighting and control products. I know that is the case with me, and it is certainly the case for Matt Hallard, the new UK sales manager for tour lighting.
When Matt got his start back in college, he planned on being an actor, which is why he majored in Dramatic Arts. However, despite appearing in a number of plays including Sweeny Todd, Hamlet and Twelfth Night, Hallard quickly realized he was much more interested in working behind the camera not in front. So, Matt co-founded a production company called Salad Productions along with a group of likeminded friends. The group started producing corporate training videos for companies like British Areospace, allowing them to raise enough funds (and gain experience as masters of blagging equipment and filmstock) to shoot their own 35mm feature film titled Des Carter.
After leaving university, Hallard landed a job on a cruise ship as a videographer, but his true passion became lighting. Over 8 years, Hallard worked his way up to Production Manager, where he served as a joint specifier for the cruise line for new theatrical builds. During his time working for the cruise line, Hallard circumnavigated the globe 3 times, and as such has a number of stories to tell, including a rather famous account of being chased by a dragon on the island of Komodo.
Once Hallard decided to “come ashore” as it were, he started work as a project manager for lighting rental company PRG. It wasn’t long before the sales distribution department lured him away, a career path that eventually led him to HARMAN Professional in 2013. Hallard served as the EMEA rental business development manager for Martin Professional until March of 2016, when he became HARMAN’s UK sales manager for Tour Lighting.
Hallard now manages a dedicated team of lighting professionals, dealing with sales to rental houses, installations, distributors as well as providing detailed technical support for a diverse range of lighting requirements. “Every day presents a different show critical challenge,” says Hallard about his new position, “and every day we rise to the occasion. The show must go on and our customers can always count on us in their time of need. It’s having that direct relationship with the market and its influencers that enables us to respond proactively to the changing needs of the designers and specifiers whether it be through innovation or support.”
Outside of work, Hallard is an avid sports person. He claims that he “will play anything with anyone” and tries to “squeeze in as much running as possible—anything to offset the late evenings and long dinners that come with the territory.” He also works with various local charities. “Being able to raise money for good causes is close to my heart,” says Hallard, “and getting to donate the money within our own community and see the gratitude is soup for my soul!” Hallard’s love for sports and charities came together last year when he ran the London Marathon, where he raised money for Save the Children with donations from HARMAN as well as a number of private individuals.
A big thank you to Matt Hallard for taking the time to talk with us today! Have any of you had the opportunity to interact with him? Has anyone ever heard that Komodo dragon story? Share the details in the comments!