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New Year, New Gear – Protec reflects on 2018 and gives an insight into what to expect in 2019
Worldwide - Protec started 2018 with a big announcement and an even bigger vision for the year ahead. The Protec group expanded to include Protec European Events based in the UK and has extended its global reach to include events this past year as far flung as Rwanda. Also, opening an office and warehouse in Saudi Arabia to offer its clients a service on their doorstep meant a significant growth in resources to avail of the burgeoning events industry there.
With this expansion into the UK and Saudi Arabia there have been many highlights. One that springs to mind is the ground breaking ceremony for Qiddiya, the famous Saudi Arabian giga-project which is set to make all existing global entertainment destinations look minute in comparison. Or there was the media attention generated by their dart playing robots at GITEX, the futuristic technology exhibition, where they showed off their accuracy and prowess against willing show attendees. This made it into the top five attractions to visit according to The National newspaper and also attracted some royal visitors. Protec also were part of some very impressive global conferences such as the UN World Data Forum.
Stephen Lakin spoke about some of the highlights of 2018: “2018 has been an incredible year with a wide variety of outstanding events that we were delighted to be a part of. Some moments that stand out are seeing our dart playing robots on a stand at GITEX garnering so much media attention, helping our client unite 400,000 EDM fans at Unite with Tomorrowland, delivering an opening ceremony to remember for the MENA Special Olympics, to watching our client relationships strengthen and our global reach expand with our European branch; it’s all been outstanding. But, I think it is the industry awards we received this year recognising all these great achievements and inspiring and encouraging us to push the boundaries of event technology even further that stands out the most. It is especially impressive how ‘Protec European Events’ was awarded ‘AV Production, Staging & Rental Company of the Year’ at this year’s long standing AV Awards ceremony – what an amazing achievement from our team during their first year in operation! We also picked up several awards in the Middle East for event technology, project manager of the year and I myself picked up the AV Industry Recognition Award, which was very humbling. This peer and industry recognition certainly inspires us to be even more innovative next year and we already have a few surprises in the pipeline!"
On the back of its recent successes and achievements in the UK, Protec European Events has needed to expand its premises to facilitate its growth. Still strategically located next to the National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham International Airport, the company has more than doubled its storage area to 63,000 ft2 (5850 m2). Alongside the new space to store the growing inventory and expanding staging and scenic department, more world-class personnel will be hired in order to consistently deliver the standard of events the global Protec brand is recognised for. Already on board is Jason Strange who has decades of global experience in the events industry including eight years with Protec in Dubai. He brings creativity and imagination as well as scenic and staging expertise to aid our clients to deliver impactful events and maximise their budgets.
Protec clients’ words speak volumes about their reputation and professionalism across all event types, from corporate to rock and roll, intimate or spectacular.
“Our goal is to bring people from all walks of life, countries, backgrounds and unite them as one with the power of music. That is exactly what UNITE with Tomorrowland did once again and we are very happy with the feedback. It is with the help of strong partners like Protec that make this concept such a huge success in the UAE," stated Barry Pavic, director, Envie Events.
“I have two words that come to mind when I think of the Protec team, ‘professionalism personified’ – they have creative ideas, technical agility and are flexible even under show pressure. We have a great working relationship with them, they understand our business, they know the personalities, and our goals are aligned – we make both our companies successful – now that’s true partnership,” said Evelyn Truter, marketing programme and project manager, Xerox International Operations.
Protec has made some new investments with a busy 2019 in mind including the grandMA3 full size which has already been out on a couple of large events, and four MA3 Light consoles. First to purchase this cutting edge technology in the region, Lighting designer and HOD Aaron Russ explains how these consoles will bring benefit to both the lighting team and their clients: “It is going to give us a whole new world of creative possibilities. Updated hardware means more processing power, that means the mathematical calculations and algorithms can be far more complex. We are no longer bound to going from point A to point B. We can program one hell of a detour in the middle and this has never before been possible. The extra workspace, the now eight display screens (over the old four in the MA2 full-size) has totally changed the workflow, all information is now much easier to access and this makes programming much easier.”
Egor Popovski of MA Lighting Middle East congratulated Protec on pioneering this new technology: “We are very proud to congratulate Protec on being the first to purchase the grandMA3 consoles in the Middle East and are happy that we can deliver these solutions. This is one more important step in our long lasting relationship with Protec.”
Alongside this, Protec added the impressive Robe RoboSpot followspot ground control system and 40 of ClayPaky’s latest Axcor 400 Profile fixtures.
In the video department Protec invested in the OmniCal camera system by ‘disguise’ (D3). Scott Walker explained the benefits of this new addition to our disguise range: “The OmniCal system will cut down set-up time and give us more flexibility in 3D mapping. This system will provide us with updated point cloud data that will allow us to adapt our model mesh to match precisely the real world object which will be great for complex 3D mapping jobs with large quantities of projectors.”
HoD of audio, Ed Ross added that the company has received new LA Rak 2 amp racks to add to its extensive L-Acoustics inventory. He added there is more exciting news on the horizon for Protec’s audio division but is remaining elusive thus far promising very big news in the springtime: “This new acquisition will be terrific not just for Protec but for all our clients putting on large events in the region.”
Alongside their new compact K10 robots, a new addition in the past few months, the ‘Advanced Technology’ department have promised a few exciting surprises in 2019 with some different technology on the event horizon. This technology is expected to be launched in February.
Of course, these new acquisitions and the highly skilled team behind these successful events will be available globally to Protec’s clients in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa as they look towards delivering the same consistently world class events beyond all expectations across continents.
9th January 2019
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