Business News Headlines
We need to start a revolution – PSA and PLASA collaborate on mental health in the live entertainment industry
UK – Mental Health has become a topical subject and has been launched into the limelight with the Royals’ ‘Heads Together’ campaign, promoting conversation to shatter the stigma surrounding the subject. PLASA Focus Leeds 2017 coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week and prompted a collaboration between the Production Services Association (PSA) and the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) supported by Back-up Charity.
The live entertainment industry is a fast-paced, high pressured industry pushing creativity and technology to the limits with long periods of time away from home, and post-tour depression is just one example of how mental health affects many people in the industry.
The Talk2Me seminar session introduced by Steve Banks chairman at PSA and hosting Robert Heath music therapist, Chris Madden student welfare officer at Backstage Academy, Peter Heath MD at PLASA and Andy Lenthall GM at PSA, focused on highlighting the emotional and psychological issues faced by so many in the entertainment and creative industries as part of their working lives.
Panellist Chris Madden was the counsellor sent by Production Park to support the Avenged Sevenfold crew earlier this year.
The session referred to the Mental Health Foundation survey quoting only 13% of people report living with high levels of good mental health so therefore most people are suffering or have suffered from a mental health issue at least once in their lifetime.
Robert who has a particular interest in the use of creative songwriting as therapy and has developed an approach to this work which is currently being taught in several Universities in Britain and Europe mused: “We need to start a revolution to get people talking and to normalise mental health issues.”
Andy Lenthall added: “As an industry we need to train people how to recognise the signs when colleagues are beginning to struggle with their mental health and how to encourage that person to get the professional help they need. We need to make it more OK to talk about mental health issues such as anxiety and depression and seed the industry with people who are trained to talk to about it.
“Mental health first aid training can help us achieve this and it is important that we encourage employers to train staff and additionally, train individuals in production and tour management positions who can add mental health first aid to their management skillset, with a view to being a support for those who are self-employed.”
All of the panellists agreed that it is vital that to get people back to ‘acting like human beings’ to talk to one another, to act with compassion to colleagues, friends and family. The industry needs to normalise mental health conditions, not pathologise them. Many people will suffer from mental health issues at some point in their lives and 'medicalising' the conditions just creates stigma around them. It is normal to suffer from depression and anxiety and people should feel normal and free to talk about these problems.
Peter Heath concluded: “Mental Health issues should be discussed and need to be more visible in the industry. We need to encourage companies to be aware of their duty of care and figure out a way to encourage people to talk about their issues and remove the supposed stigma. We will have a follow-up session at PLASA Show in London, 17th - 19th September, and launching some initiatives which companies can get involved and the industry can start to feel the benefit.”
23rd May 2017
Spotlight on Milos LED Screen Support Structures second video released
Milos has released its second video for it's three-month spotlight on Milos LED Screen Support Structures (1st April – 30th June). This video gives an overview of the complete range of Milos LED Screen Support Structures with their main technical specifications. Click on the link below to discover how Milos LED screen support structures are suited for any screen support needs.
18th May 2017
AV Stumpfl announces Theatrixx as its new Canadian distributor
Canada – AV Stumpfl recently announced the Canadian company Theatrixx as its exclusive media server and show control distributor for Canada.
The Montreal-based company distributes and manufactures technical equipment for the performing arts industry. Theatrixx Technologies also designs custom equipment that offers solutions for video, lighting, audio, power and cabling challenges.
AV Stumpfl CEO Fabian Stumpfl explains the context of the new partnership: “Coming from a country with a lot of mountains ourselves, we have always had a soft spot for Canada and its majestic landscapes. However, it was obviously not just the beauty of this country that made us look for a direct distribution partner, it was the vibrancy of the Canadian creative scene. Canadian companies are among the best in the whole world when it comes to finding innovative ways for using media server and show control solutions to create unique experiences.
“Theatrixx has a dedicated team of experienced and highly enthusiastic individuals with a deep understanding of AV technology solutions. We are confident that our media servers and related products will soon become much more well known in Canada, thanks to Jacques and his team.”
Theatrixx president Jacques Tessier comments on his company‘s decision to distribute AV Stumpfl media servers in Canada: “AV Stumpfl is a staple of quality and innovation. From the projection screens to the media server line, each of their products breathes passion and forward thinking. My team and I were impressed by their new product range, going from small media players to the incredible RAW Engine, but more importantly we saw partners as dedicated as us to empower creators and operators around the world. Furthermore, the road map for new products, recent investments and wonderful new talent joining the ranks, convinced us that AV Stumpfl represents definitely the future of media servers, picture sequence players and show control.”
In picture: Gabriel Duschinsky (Theatrixx), Philippe Laframboise (Theatrixx), Horst Damoser (AV Stumpfl), Jacques Tessier (Theatrixx) and Helmut Protte (AV Stumpfl).
16th May 2017
Face to Distribute SSL Live and Broadcast Products
Belgium – FACE – the Foundation for Audiovisual Commerce & Engineering – has taken on distribution of Solid State Logic Broadcast consoles for Benelux (The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemburg), and Live consoles in Belgium and Luxemburg. These will include Live L200, L300, and L500 digital consoles, the System T networked broadcast production environment, and the SSL range of Network I/O products.
To support this new partnership, FACE will be running various launch events for both Live and Broadcast markets at its Boom, Belgium headquarters, starting with a series of broadcast technology sessions on the 7th and 8th of June.
FACE already represents a wide portfolio of manufacturers and products, with multiple aspects, including dedicated Professional AV sales and project and integration divisions. This breadth of interest fits well with SSL's recent announcements on integrated AoIP networking and control across its broadcast and live product ranges.
“We’re convinced of the synergy between live and broadcast for large TV entertainment shows, for example," says Glenn Willems, audio specialist at FACE. "Shared resources and Dante networking is definitely a winning point.
"Both the Live as well as the Broadcast consoles fit in a network and into a stand-alone environment, and the user interface is great for stressful situations, which occur on a regular basis in Broadcast and Live.”
The CCO of FACE, Sam De Pauw, comments: “The secret of SSL’s success is its dedication to great sound and its innovative approach to creating outstanding products with absolute power and ultimate flexibility. This entrepreneurship fits perfectly with FACE, so we’re very excited to add SSL Broadcast and SSL Live to our portfolio.”
Jim Motley, SSL's senior vice president, international sales, adds: "We have been very impressed by Face’s reach in to the Broadcast and Installed markets and think that they are in a great position to support SSL’s AoIP products. The FACE team have been fast learners and I look forward to supporting them at training events and end user demonstrations in the coming weeks."
In pictuure: Tim Harrison (SSL sales manager), Richard Wand (SSL service engineer), Glenn Willems (FACE account manager audio) and Hugues Rogie, (FACE account manager audio).
16th May 2017
NEXT-proaudio has a new Standard for Quality Control
Portugal – A new quality control programme was implemented on the NEXT-proaudio's factory last month.
This new quality control philosophy implied great changes done on the factory, with the implementation of inspection and structured testing on each stage of entire production line, reducing the common fails on the final test at the end of the production line in more than 97%.
It starts with incoming materials and parts, which are subjected to thorough batteries of tests and evaluations to check the components before they are embedded in the product.
To monitor and control this new process, NEXT-proaudio has designed a custom software that 'follows' each unit since the first stage of the production. The constant comparison with the standard, and an associated feedback loop confers a trustworthy error prevention for the future.
At the end of the line, each finished product passes through rigorous functionality, reliability and safety tests procedures. All mechanical and aesthetic details are rechecked (enclosure, paint, metal parts, etc) by a trained quality inspector. Automatic frequency response, polarity, Rubb & Buzz and distortion tests are performed through custom software scripts running on specialised quality control equipment. Finally, a conclusive listening test is performed by a skilled audio technician.
After being packed, and before closing the carton box, the quality inspection manager checks one last time for any damage on the carton box and confirming that all the labels and accessories are present.
If the product successfully passes all these meticulously designed testing and inspection procedures, it becomes a quality assured product and can thus be delivered to the customers.
12th May 2017
Britannia Row Productions Goes Global
UK – Following a successful strategic alliance which has been in place since the beginning of the year, Britannia Row Productions has announced its acquisition by Clair Global, Inc.
Clair Global has a long-established history and is one of the most respected entertainment industry suppliers with several international operations.
Britannia Row Productions is one of the leading UK audio companies with links throughout the world. “Both companies see this as the perfect way to expand and strengthen their worldwide client base, allowing them to offer consistent service in all major territories,” said Britannia Row directors Bryan Grant and Mike Lowe in a joint statement.
“The synergies we’ve experienced with the entire Britannia Row team have been overwhelmingly positive. Culturally and professionally, we are on the same page. We are excited to bring this new level of global support to our clients and better serve their passions to advance this industry.” Troy Clair, president/CEO, Clair Global.
10th May 2017
Meyer Sound Appoints New Distributor for Korea
South Korea – Meyer Sound has appointed Ingang Audio Co., Ltd. of Seoul as its new principal distributor for most verticals in the fast-growing South Korean market. Ingang Audio will assume primary responsibility for building a stronger network of Meyer Sound dealers and system integrators in Korea, and for connecting customers to Meyer Sound through a more direct and transparent relationship.
"Meyer Sound products are well known in the Korean market for their quality and durability," comments Ingang Audio owner Steve Kim. "At Ingang Audio, we will build on this reputation with more promotional activities, expanding our dealer network, and strengthening relationships with existing dealers, consultants and end users."
Announcement of the new appointment will be made at the KOBA Show in Seoul on 16th May by Brian Chow, Meyer Sound sales manager for Japan and Korea.
In a separate agreement, Kinoton Korea, Inc. will continue distribution of Meyer Sound products for the two market verticals of cinema and baseball stadiums. All other markets will be handled through Ingang Audio.
"Several key people at Ingang Audio have long experience working with Meyer Sound through prior association with a former distributor," notes Meyer Sound's Chow. "They know our technologies and how Meyer Sound can serve their customer base. This experience, combined with the more dynamic structure of Ingang Audio, will make for a smooth transition and for rapid growth in the coming months."
In addition to owner Steve Kim, key principals at Ingang Audio include president Joo Hong Chang and technical director Eric Han.
Ingang Audio Co. Ltd. is located at 307 No. 307, Garden Five Works, Munjeong-dong, Choongminro 52, Songpa-gu, Seoul.
9th May 2017
ALD adds Combined Liability Insurance to Member Benefits
The Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) has announced the launch of a combined liability insurance cover scheme for its professional and affiliate members. The insurance cover will eventually become a permanent benefit entitlement to be included within the annual ALD membership fee but, in this first year of launch is available to members as an opt-in service, for a small surcharge in addition to membership.
The policy offers public liability and products insurance as well as professional indemnity and is specifically tailored for those who work freelance as a “lighting designer or lighting technician, including the design, preparation, installation, maintenance and operation of lighting rigs, video and projection designer and/or technician, the teaching or mentoring of these activities and as a manager or technician in the theatre, entertainment and live event industries.” It is purposed for those working within the United Kingdom and covers temporary work engagements abroad.
ALD executive director, Ian Saunders, commented: “We have often received enquiries from members and non-members alike asking if we supplied Public Liability Insurance as part of the membership fee. With a breadth of membership covering a wide range of jobs in the live performance lighting industry, finding something that will suit our members has taken much research and refining, but we believe this is a tangible benefit for those choosing to join the ALD, and a meaningful addition for many members.”
The ALD was originally established to represent the needs of lighting designers. It transformed isolated individuals into a substantial body of people within a profession, and recently the membership has widened to include the other members of the creative lighting process such as console programmers, production electricians and most recently video and projection designers and technicians.
Bringing together all those involved in these roles, the ALD aims to share their experiences, knowledge and guidance to their peers and future generations, helping to raise the professionalism and recognition of the art and creative input of manipulating the use of light in live performance. With that unity comes strength and influence and the ALD offers advice and practical support in all aspects of working in the world of lighting, through various media including the ALD website and the association’s quarterly magazine, Focus.
A full summary of the Combined Liability insurance can be found on the ALD’s website, listed amongst the full range of membership benefits, at www.ald.org.uk/ald-membership
In picture: ALD chair, Peter Mumford (right) and ALD professional representative, Johanna Town, lead discussion at the 2017 ALD AGM.
9th May 2017
Avolites appoints new distributors in Canada and South-East Asia
Worldwide – British manufacturer Avolites has announced the appointment of Canada's AVL Media Group and Malaysia's Acoustic & Lighting System (A&L) as its new distribution partners for Canada and South-East Asia respectively.
The two new partnerships will see Avolites' products available across Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. The impressive move comes at a time when the Avolites' brand enjoys its largest order book in company history and a rapidly growing international client base.
Of the Canadian expansion Andrew Hope, managing director of AVL Media Group, says: "Avolites is an iconic brand offering an exceptional portfolio of lighting and video products, unique in the Canadian market."
The AVL Media Group partnership was officially launched at Expo-Scène – the only major Canadian event dedicated to lighting, sound, and video technologies. The trade show was held at the Palais des congrès de Montreal between the 12th and 13th of April.
"We are excited to expand our vertical offering with this partnership as Avolites continues to innovate," says Hope. "The newest Titan v10.1 and Ai v10 releases allow our clients even more creative freedom whilst significantly streamlining pre-production and programming time."
Spearheading the partnership is Koy Neminathan, sales director at Avolites, who says: "I am delighted to have AVL on board as we have a team of individuals who are fully qualified to train, support and sell our range of lighting control solutions as well as our media servers."
In South-East Asia, Avolites will be represented by one of the region's leading distributors, Acoustic & Lighting System. With this partnership, Avolites ensures its full range of integrative lighting and video control products is available to the brand's rapidly expanding regional customer base.
"Both A&L and Avolites are well established companies with strong brand names in the entertainment technology market," says Eugene Yeo, general manager of A&L. "Avolites' branding and product versatility coupled with the A&L know-how and an established regional distribution network will create a good synergy between our two companies. With this partnership we will be able to push at the boundaries of the South-East Asian market."
As part of the expansion, A&L will be running a series of Avolites product training seminars and workshops across the region. The multilingual workshops will cater to all proficiency levels for both existing and potential Avolites users, similar to the brand's successful South American strategy.
"Avolites has been a leading lighting control brand and has developed a strong client base in South-East Asia," says Yeo. "A&L is in the process of expanding our tech support in order to provide more local back up and training across the region for Titan and Ai."
"Avolites is on a clear path to attaining the best distributors around the world who align themselves with our vision," says Neminathan. "AVL and A&L's contact with key designers in the lighting and video field in their respective territories is just one of their strengths. We are delighted to be working with two such highly driven teams. Avolites is in a new phase of growth and we are looking forward to working more closely with our users and spending more time with non-users in Canada and South-East Asia."
8th May 2017
Canford relocate Production to bespoke facility within Washington HQ
UK – Right from the very beginning it was clear that Canford wouldn’t become an “us as well” re-seller of pro-audio and broadcast equipment. Instead, Canford would design and manufacture its own distinctive products, and would create manufacturing employment opportunities here in the North East of England.
In the 1980s, the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) controlled commercial radio. They came up with a device that simplified the then ‘type approval’, which identified equipment suitable for connection to the BT network. The IBA asked Canford to produce the audio fuse barrier protection panel (Pt: 20-091). It would prevent possible injury to BT exchange staff in the event that wiring or studio equipment failed, allowing dangerous voltage onto the line. An early consumer unit RCD, if you will.
One of Canford’s first plastic mould tools helped address another problem encountered by audio engineers of the time. The Canford splicing tape dispenser could be conveniently fixed to the side of a tape machine and provide a handy supply of tape for editors.
Demand for Canford manufactured product grew, as did the production team as more new products were introduced and the Canford brand evolved to what it is today.
Stephen Gallagher, Canford Marketing Manager said: “While the Canford splicing tape dispenser has been respectfully retired, the heritage of those early days, and the method of understanding our market, listening to customers and producing unique, problem solving products lives on.”
Today, almost 41 years after founder Iain Elliott created Canford, production department is now better known for the company’s ready-made cable assemblies, mains distribution units (MDU), specialist headphone level limiter technology and Canford brands Tecpro and EMO.
A recent strategic review of Canford facilities lead to an opportunity to relocate Canford production and incorporate the team into the main HQ building along with technical, purchasing, sales and warehouse departments.
The new bespoke production area was designed by a consultant lead team, and installed over two floors to improve workflow of raw materials to production, test, packaging and finally back to warehouse prior to despatch.
Production Manager, Graeme Lyon who has been with Canford for 32 years commented: “Our new production facility really does make a big difference. Previously we were moving goods between two sites and although literally across the road from one another, it was a logistical headache, and ultimately had an effect on lead times. Production efficiency and speed at which we can deliver finished product has improved dramatically. Being incorporated with the rest of the team facilitates closer ties with other departments, and has improved morale.”
Health and safety improves too as the new working environment is cleaner and has the latest standards of task lighting and solder fume extraction. Workstations are clearly defined and include pneumatic hand tools to ensure a consistent, high-quality finish which improves Canford’s ability to deliver large volume orders quickly. Benches are tooled and set out identically to enable flexibility of the multi-skilled team which can be deployed as required to meet demand: “An operator can move quickly from MDUs to the Rapid Cable Cell” explains Graeme Lyon.
Canford manufactured product now accounts for over £4.6 million revenue and the company expects further growth following the successful launch of its in-house fibre termination facility.
In picture: Canford directors, Iain Elliott, Chas Kennedy, Werner Bachmann, John Slider and John Francis; Graeme Lyon, Production Manager.
8th May 2017
PT. Goshen Swara Indonesia Appointed Community Distributor in Indonesia
Indonesia – Community Professional Loudspeakers has announced the appointment of Jakarta-based PT. Goshen Swara Indonesia as its distributor for Indonesia.
Goshen is a leading distributor of AV products with an established portfolio of brands including Apart, Shure, Biamp, Rane, DIS, SGM, AVIOM and K2VAudio. Effective from 1st May 2017, the full range of Community loudspeaker products will be included with this premium line-up, enhancing Goshen’s offerings to the Indonesian market.
Cunario Suriya, Goshen’s managing director, stated: “Community is a well-known brand with a comprehensive product range and outstanding technical support. Together with our value added distribution and committed network of installers and integrators, we are confident this provides our market with the right combination for a successful business.”
Mr. Suriya continued: “Community loudspeakers offer tangible benefits compared to other brands, particularly in challenging environments, and we are very excited to have the opportunity to develop and expand sales of their products in Indonesia.”
Community’s APAC sales manager, Kim Muurholm Juergensen, commented: “Goshen is a well-established and respected AV distributor in Indonesia. With their focus on providing distribution across the world’s largest island country, we are confident they will be a valuable long-term partner. With Community, Goshen is gaining a strong loudspeaker range in the quality installed sound sector for both indoor and demanding outdoor applications. Indonesia is an important market for us within the ASEAN region and with Goshen’s approach to adding value I am confident we will be off to a good start. We are looking forward to working with Cunario and his team, both serving their existing customers well and introducing Community’s quality loudspeakers to many new ones.”
In picture: Mr. Koen Claerbout CEO Audioprof Group International, Mr. Cunario Suriya, CEO PT. Goshen Swara Indonesia, Mr. Kim Muurholm Juergensen sales manager APAC, Community Professional Loudspeakers.
4th May 2017
ETCP Launches New Website
The Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP) has announced the launch of a new, redesigned version of its website: etcp.esta.org. Key features of the site include a cleaner and more modern design, a more engaging user experience with enhanced search and navigation.
The site's refreshed and simplified look, combined with enriched content, improved search functionality, and optimisation for mobile devices allows users to better interact with ETCP.
The ETCP Council members are key leaders drawn from entertainment business, labour, facilities, associations, and academia representing the diversity of the entertainment industry. Membership includes ESTA, AMPTP, Cirque du Soleil, CITT, Disney Theatrical Productions, IAVM, IATSE, InfoComm, The League, Live Nation, NBC Universal, PRG, PSAV, TEA, and USITT. ETCP is an ESTA initiative created to promote industry safety.
3rd May 2017
Atlona Names SFM as Distribution Partner in Canada
Canada – Atlona’s leadership and innovation in the commercial and residential AV space is about to get a substantial visibility boost across Canada, as the company announces a new partnership with SFM. Based in Dorval, Quebec, SFM will act as an extension of Atlona’s sales and support network across Canada, joining a quickly growing roster of global partners specialising in Atlona AV solutions and products.
SFM differentiates itself from competitors through a variety of complementary services across training and education, systems integration/custom installation, and product repair. The company also offers a technical application team for customers across the pre- and post-sales process to assist with product qualification, design assistance and troubleshooting.
SFM aims to work with suppliers that share similar business and technology philosophies. In partnering with Atlona, the SFM team believes it has found a company focused on interoperable solutions that also address the pertinent industry trends. Mike Calo, brand manager for SFM, points to Atlona’s recent innovations for AV over IP (OmniStream) and cloud-based control (Velocity) as particularly appealing.
“Atlona offers products that are compatible with existing hardware and video conferencing software, for example, which is important to the success of systems integrators today,” said Calo. “We also believe that Atlona is focused on the future of our business, which includes providing AV over IP and other solutions as a way for Pro AV and CI integrators to differentiate themselves. From where we sit, Atlona fills the void in our catalogue for top-tier video solutions. And beyond that, Atlona and SFM share a similar business approach that is focused on excellent customer support and reliable technical application services.”
Omar Prashad, Atlona’s country manager for Canada and SFM’s direct point of contact, believes that these traits make SFM an ideal firm to support Atlona’s quickly growing commercial product portfolio – including Atlona’s recent innovations that move beyond its traditional focus on wired AV switching and distribution.
“SFM’s approach to company representation makes them an ideal fit for Atlona’s rapid expansion across Canada, which is certainly on the leading edge of today’s AV trends across 4K/HDR, AV over IP, and soft codec-based conferencing,” said Prashad. “We look forward to working with SFM to bring more choices and value to systems integrators and end users working in corporate, education, worship and other key AV businesses.”
2nd May 2017
Kenderdine Electrical Take on GLP Distribution in New Zealand
New Zealand – GLP has appointed Kenderdine Electrical as its distribution partner in New Zealand. With nearly 60 years of trading, the company brings vast experience and market knowledge.
Kenderdine Electrical was started in 1959 by Hugh Kenderdine, a working theatre electrician, as a hire service to the theatre industry. Over the years the company grew to be a major supplier of equipment to the theatre and rock & roll industry. By the early 80s the company was purchasing and importing equipment for its own hire stock, but more importantly, reselling to customers around New Zealand.
In 1982, Chris McKenzie joined to form Professional Lighting Services to look after the growing film and TV markets in New Zealand.
McKenzie confirms that his company had been seeking a premium moving light brand to introduce to the New Zealand market. “We had been aware of GLP for a long time but at the time it was being represented by an Australian company who also had distribution for New Zealand.”
However, Kenderdine put up a strong case to take on the brand. “GLP now fits into the top end of our product portfolio to provide our professional customers with a world class brand.”
The company acknowledges that while the brand is well-known in the international touring market by local companies who service this sector, they will set out to educate other potential customers. “We have had very positive feedback from those who know the product but more especially from customers who are seeing GLP for the first time,” Chris McKenzie adds.
“In particular we have received solid local interest in the X4 Atom, X4 Bar 10 and 20 and X4 L from second-tier hire and production companies. We will also be showing the units to TV companies and Government-owned theatres who have the budget to run their own lighting stock.”
Kenderdine have certainly opened their account in the most spectacular fashion, with a hugely successful launch at Auckland Live / Aotea Centre. “We had rental companies and production companies from Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch attend the presentation and they were pitched with a well choreographed show,” Kenderdines’ MD continues. “After the first show we had Søren Storm run through the attributes of all the fittings and then present the show again before customers were able to check out the kit close up.”
The next step is to take the GLP range on a five-city road show tour of the North Island.
Commented Søren Storm: “We are very pleased that Kenderdine Electric has taken on the distribution of GLP exclusively in New Zealand, as this will help gain a strong foothold in the market. Kenderdine has a long and strong history as a distributor who can represent a brand well, with a strong, dedicated team that knows the industry.
“It was also very clear at the launch of GLP in New Zealand that the brand is well known and has a really good name in the industry.”
28th April 2017
Green Hippo Celebrates Successful first Quarter for 2017
USA – Since the establishment of Green Hippo Media Service Inc. in October 2015, Green Hippo’s US presence has exceeded projections with strong growth in sales and continued formation of alliances into 2016, a trend which has continued into the first Quarter of 2017.
Celebrating a continuation of last year’s record figures and increased distribution reach, the US division of the UK-based media server developer has again flourished with the addition of new staff and expanded premises.
“Sales have been very strong across the whole of North America,” comments Cynthia Austwick, west coast account manager to the US office. “We tried to set a realistic target for growth in the US from the outset based on the advanced nature of Green Hippo’s products and their sophistication for users as tools for the event technology industry, but we needn’t have. It seems Hippotizer and Aviary video tools products are just as relevant to the North American market as ever and we’ve established some great, mutually beneficial partnerships, evenly spread across the territory.”
Green Hippo has re-affirmed long time relationships with many continued partners in the first three months of 2017, including VER, PRG and Dunaway Designs. Furthermore, in the short trading time since Christmas, firm distribution arrangements have been inked with over a dozen major companies. 4Wall, Clearwing, Stage Equipment and Lighting along with Blue Planet have agreed distribution packages followed in mid March by North Carolina’s Audio Ethics, adding weight to Green Hippo’s presence in the houses of worship sector.
Many long-time Hippotizer collaborators have stepped forward and re-worked their agreements with Green Hippo including Main Light Industries, Mainstage, and Barbizon.
“We’re delighted with not only the number of new partnerships we have in place but also the spread of disciplines we’re engaging with,” comments Tim Riley, head of US Sales. “Green Hippo products have always enjoyed a diverse array of users from Broadway to live touring and our recent flourish of partners and distributors demonstrate this strongly. Add in the amount of growth in our visitor attraction projects and we really have hit the ground running this year.”
27th April 2017
Theatres Trust announce the appointment of six new Trustees to the Board
UK – Theatres Trust, the national advisory public body for theatres, has announced that the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has appointed six new Trustees to the Theatres Trust Board.
New Trustees include Pam Bone, Paul Cartwright, David Ian, Gary Kemp, Richard Johnston and Simon Ricketts.
Tim Eyles, chair of Theatres Trust says: “Our new trustees are as passionate as we are about great live theatre and with a diverse range of backgrounds including theatre ownership, theatre production, the performing arts, planning law, private equity and arts fundraising, they are ideally placed as advocates for the Trust. I look forward to working with them alongside the rest of our Board to strengthen the voice of the Trust in helping Britain's theatres prosper for the future.”
All Trustees will be on the board of Theatres Trust for a term of three years from 1st July 2017.
26th April 2017
CUK Audio takes on distribution of Arthur Holm
UK & Eire – CUK Audio has announced that it has been appointed the exclusive UK and Eire distributor for the multi-award-winning range of Arthur Holm upmarket boardroom technologies. The latest accolade was at ISE 2017 where DB2, its latest range of retractable monitors, earned Best in Show status.
Based in Barcelona with offices in Madrid and Paris, Arthur Holm combines Scandinavian design traditions with Mediterranean flair to produce a range of elegant, highly engineered meeting space solutions including motorised retractable screens and microphones, customisable motorised housings to conceal video conference cameras, signal sharing solutions and more.
CUK Audio MD, Stuart Thomson, is delighted to add Arthur Holm to CUK’s extensive portfolio of conferencing and boardroom products. “Arthur Holm solutions bring unparalleled elegance and simplicity to the boardroom or indeed any interactive meeting space. They are a well-established company who have earned themselves an enviable reputation as the market leader in technology-driven meeting experiences. Their client list includes banks, government buildings, major hotel chains and international corporations to name but a few. CUK Audio’s business is expanding rapidly in that direction, so Arthur Holm is a perfect fit for us and we’re proud to be representing them in the UK and Eire.”
Arthur Holm’s Montse Romero who is responsible for international sales, is equally pleased. “We have a thriving global sales business and we are present in over forty countries worldwide, but we were missing an effective distributor in the UK which is a very important market. Looking at how CUK’s business has evolved over the last few years and the kinds of projects they are currently working on, it was clear that CUK would be a very strong partner for us. I’m looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship.”
26th April 2017
Sincopa Israel joins Team BlackTrax
Israel – CAST BlackTrax announces that Sincopa lightvision will represent BlackTrax real-time motion tracking system for large-scale theatrical, dance, music projects in Israel. The company will provide support to projects, technical advice, and consultancy.
Amos Bokobza, general manager at Sincopa takes up the story: “We’ve been looking at tracking for a long time now as we need a system that can calibrate and track lights, performers, and stage elements as fast as possible. We’re so excited to be the first to bring BlackTrax to Israel. We’ve been using wysiwyg lighting design and previsualisation software for projects for a number of years so it’s a natural progression to take on BlackTrax.
“With BlackTrax, Sincopa lightvision will turn our client’s ambitions into reality in the most mind blowing, amazing way possible,” added Bokobza.
Sincopa’s recent projects included Justin Timberlake and the Rolling Stones in Tel Aviv’s giant Hayarkon Park.
Sincopa lightvision completed full BlackTrax training in March 2017 enabling them to deliver real-time motion tracking services immediately thereafter.
25th April 2017
Robe Announces New Mexican Distributor
Mexico – Robe announces a new Mexican distributor – Showco – a well-established and connected company headquartered in Mexico City and with sales offices in Monterrey, Guadalajara and Cancun.
Guillermo Traverso, regional sales manager for Robe in Latin America comments with a large smile:, “It is my absolute pleasure to be working with these bad hombres! I am certain they will have great success in building our brand and taking it forward in this vital and highly strategic market.”
Harry von den Stemmen, sales director of Robe s.r.o. Adds: “Mexico is a key market both as a gateway between the US and Latin America, and due to its vibrant live music and entertainment scene. It is also highly competitive, and we are confident that Showco will offer us a strong and stable sales and marketing platform to further establish Robe as a primary choice for rental companies and lighting professionals throughout Mexico.”
Robe chose the eve of the 2017 Sound Check Xpo in Mexico City as the backdrop to make this important announcement.
As the region’s most important annual entertainment technology trade show, over the next three days, most of the key players in the Mexican market – and many other Latam countries – will be visiting. They can chat with the Showco team and see a range of Robe products in action in Hall Olmeca II, which will include the best-selling Pointe, the signature BMFL series, the new Spiider LED wash beam, the Spikie and many others.
Showco was established in 2002 as a distribution company focused on the professional and semi-pro lighting markets. Success with a number of premium lighting brands led to an expansion of the range to include rigging products, with audio added to the portfolio a little later. The company is owned by GTM Holdings and currently has around 45 full-time employees including sales, technical support engineers and service and warranty technicians, across all the facilities that include eight nationwide service centres.
Customers can visit their own “Showco Shops” in downtown Mexico City, Cancun and Guadalajara where they can receive training with specialised engineers and benefit from a demonstration area to try out the products.
Enrique Lask, CEO of GTM Holdings comments: “We feel we offer one of the best professional live entertainment distribution operations in Mexico, working with the top brands, so Robe – currently among the worldwide leaders in the world of moving lights – was a natural complement. It’s a win-win scenario!”
Enrique Patiño, commercial director at Showco added: “I have long admired Robe’s product and their reputation for uncompromised performance. To have the opportunity to represent such a brand is obviously an honour and I am extremely excited about this new enterprise.”
Enrique Lask reiterates that Showco has excellent penetration across all the market sectors, from the highly visible live entertainment and concert touring to theatre and TV productions and all types of venues and installations.
He also feels that Showco has broken the price-driven paradigm that has dominated the Mexican market for so long with: “Many years of providing top-notch technical support and a streamlined and specialised service.”
Showco is a firm believer in face-to-face contact to build and maintain relationships. The company and its staff engage in regular trade shows, product road-shows and dedicated one-on-one demos. It sponsors and supports selected iconic events, is conspicuous in the relevant industry-related printed and online press/publications and has an active social media presence.
Enrique Lask concludes: “In Robe we have a full range of great products to cover all markets and a serious and highly-respected brand and team who will fully back us up. We look forward to a productive and highly successful working relationship with Robe for many years to come.”
In picture: Josef Valchar (CEO Robe lighting s.r.o.), Enrique Patiño (commercial director at Showco), Guillermo Traverso (Robe regional sales manager for Latin America), Enrique Lask (CEO of GTM Holdings) and Harry von den Stemmen (sales director for Robe lighting s.r.o.).
24th April 2017
Sennheiser announces TeamConnect Wireless cash back offer
During the first half of 2017, customers purchasing Sennheiser’s TeamConnect Wireless solutions can receive cash back of up to €1,000 / $1,000 for every system purchased. Customers can boost the value of the offer by sharing their success story to receive an additional testimonial reward.
TeamConnect Wireless is the first portable wireless conference system for online meetings. Its ease of use, multiple connectivity options, fast setup, high audio quality and award-winning design make unified communications simply more efficient. And with the new cash back offers, this incredibly flexible system now offers even better value.
The Cash Back offer applies to purchases of TeamConnect Wireless systems from 1st January, 2017 up to 30th June, 2017. Claims for this period can be made between 1st March and 31st August, 2017.
The programme is simple: step 1, simply purchase one or more sets from an authorised reseller or from the Sennheiser online shop during the applicable period. Step 2, claim cash back from the campaign website before 31st August, 2017. Step 3, to receive the maximum total cash back, claim a “Testimonial Reward“ by completing a short consent declaration to agree to be contacted for a product reference story.
Cash back examples:
TC-W Tray or Case Set: Get €800 Cash Back (inc. VAT) + €200 Testimonial Reward*
TC-W Tray-M Set: Get €400 Cash Back (inc.VAT) + €100 Testimonial Reward*
*Or equivalent amount in customer’s local currency. Cash back is inclusive of VAT.
This cash back offer is available in: Germany, US, Canada, UK, France, Nordics, Benelux, Singapore, Middle East and India.
24th April 2017
Spotlight on Milos LED Screen Support Structures – First video released
Milos has released a new video to go along with its three-month spotlight on Milos LED Screen Support Structures (1st April – 30th June). In this video, Area Four Industries R&D director Marc Hendriks provides guidance in the safe and effective use of LED screen support structures. He speaks about the two stages of use: in service situation and out of service situation, and focuses on wind forces, bracing and ballast.
19th April 2017
Meyer Sound Appoints New Distributors for Russia and the Baltic States
Russia and the Baltic States – In response to growing sales in Northern Europe, Meyer Sound has appointed two new distributors in the region. Moscow-based Major Sound is the new distributor for Russia, while Sonus Exsertus, based in Vilnius, Lithuania, will represent Meyer Sound in its home country as well as the other Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia.
Headed by industry professionals with more than 25 years of experience, Major Sound was recently formed exclusively to provide sales and technical support of Meyer Sound products in Russia. The company is launching a new education program, translating marketing materials into Russian, representing Meyer Sound at trade shows, creating online events, and backing all sales with certified service technicians and local parts inventory.
"Meyer Sound has a unique story and we are proud to become part of their worldwide team," comments Yaroslav Udovik, CTO of Major Sound. "We are working to bring communication between Meyer Sound and our customers up to a new level, and in doing so we will realise the huge potential for expanding the brand's impact in the Russian market."
Sonus Exsertus is an established company headed by a team of professionals with decades of combined experience in electronic engineering, sales and marketing, and project management. The company has broad expertise in both audio and acoustics, and also represents DiGiCo mixing consoles in the region.
"Sonus Exsertus and Meyer Sound form the perfect synergy," states head of sales Ramūnas Alenskas. "We don't just supply boxes, but rather we supply systems and solutions that offer genuine benefit to the customer. We are impressed with the technical skills and enthusiasm of the entire Meyer Sound team, and we will work with them to provide audio professionals in the Baltics with top-notch education and training as well as timely system design and technical support services."
Both new distributors will be coordinating their activities in consultation with Maxim Shevchenko, Meyer Sound's sales director for Russia and the Baltic States.
18th April 2017
Audiologic Appointed as QSC Pro Supplier
UK – Audiologic has announced that it has been appointed by AED Distribution as a QSC Pro Supplier for the UK. California-based QSC manufacture world-class professional tools, systems and solutions for live sound, including the exceptional K Series of loudspeakers, GXD processing amplifiers and TouchMix Pro professional digital mixers, all of which are certain to be popular with Audiologic's customers. QSC's recently launched TouchMix-30 Pro compact digital mixer has earned universally outstanding reviews, reflecting the esteem in which its excellent products are held. QSC Pro's presence in the Audiologic portfolio is a highly significant addition for both live and installed sound applications.
Andy Lewis, marketing manager at Audiologic recognises the value of QSC Pro: "QSC has been a leader in the manufacture of professional sound systems for decades and are recognised as such across the globe. At Audiologic we pride ourselves not only on supplying our customers with great products but also consulting closely with them to design and deliver projects by supplying solutions that best fit a given scenario. The capacity to recommend and supply QSC Pro products adds significantly to Audiologic's ability to meet customer needs across the widest possible range of applications and I'm certain that demand for these superb products will be very high."
Kenneth Bremer, business development manager at AED Distribution adds: "Audiologic come to us with long-term experience in supporting large scale system design and installation companies and furthermore are well known for their comprehensive after sales support. Audiologic's presence in our selected sales network as QSC Pro supplier provides us with a perfect supply channel to this high-end market sector."
18th April 2017
Green Hippo announces trio of new international distributor partners
Green Hippo has announced three new international distributors. These new members of the Green Hippo family, respectively covering Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa, extend the influence of Green Hippo’s video playback technology, including its award-winning Hippotizer range of media servers.
Spotlight, the Milan-based distributor, will use its 50 years of design and production experience, to help see the Green Hippo gear at work in Italy’s celebrated collection of opera houses and theatres, as well as auditoriums, conference rooms, and TV studios. Nicolo Oliva, Partner and CEO of Spotlight, said: “It’s a short time since Spotlight have started the distribution of Green Hippo, and we’re already very fond of the brand. These media-servers are really powerful and easy to configure, and the new software interface of Hippotizer V4 is a step forward in live video management. We are looking forward to a bright future.”
DWR Distribution, a leading player in the installation sector, takes on responsibility for giving Green Hippo a run out in South Africa. Building on 11 highly successful years since launch, DWR Distribution operates out of bespoke premises in the sweetly named area of Honeydew, just outside Johannesburg. “We are looking forward to a great future with the product, and will be committed to supporting clients who already have Green Hippo products,” commented Duncan Riley of DWR Distribution. James Roth, head of sales and marketing for Green Hippo said: “We are excited about this new partnership with DWR. Their highly professional and customer-focussed approach to the marketplace will undoubtedly give us the opportunity to demonstrate to those professionals involved in the video and lighting industry in South Africa, that we now have a partner that can meet and exceed their expectations.”
Lexair, already exclusively taking care of Green Hippo in Australia, adds New Zealand to its duties, making it the go-to company for Green Hippo buyers and users from Auckland to Perth – and everywhere else in between. Alex Main, managing director at Lexair, said: “We already know, and highly respect, the Green Hippo range from our existing Australian relationship, so we are delighted to take the success story into New Zealand, where we’re sure we’ll be equally as successful.” James Roth also commented: “Lexair is doing a fabulous job representing the brand in Australia and the commercial logic of appointing this fine company as distributor for New Zealand , is obvious both for us and Lexair’s clients.”
18th April 2017
dbn Lighting and Audile become dbnAudile
UK – Manchester based lighting and rigging specialist dbn is joining forces with full service event technical company Audile, to create an exciting new venture: dbnAudile.
The merged company will combine a wealth of experience, skills and talents across the disciplines of lighting, audio, rigging and creative video all under one roof in central Manchester.
dbn’s Stephen Page commented: “We have enjoyed a close working relationship with Audile over many years and we share the same principals of enthusiasm for our work in an industry that we love, a commitment to development and fair treatment of our people, a creative approach to productions and a goal to provide the very best service and technologies to our clients. This merger will allow us to widen our scope and improve our offer even further.”
The increased scope and range of equipment, expertise and strong synergies present in dbnAudile will allow the company to further develop and grow its business going forward.
“By joining forces and becoming dbnAudile, we will build on our individual strengths and focus on providing an even better and more integrated service to our clients with a full range of premium lighting, audio, rigging and video products, plus great expertise and knowledge across a wide range of market segments,” enthuses Audile’s Rob Leach.
There are no planned changes in personnel. The existing Audile team and all their assets will transfer to dbn’s Downing Street premises in central Manchester and the newly merged company’s board of directors will comprise Nick Walton, Pete Robinson and Stephen Page of dbn lighting along with Rob Leach and Rob Ashworth from Audile. All will continue to be hands-on and active at the sharp end of the enterprise.
dbnAudile’s MO will continue the core values at the heart of Audile and dbn, a dedication to delivering brilliant technical production with creativity, imagination and value to clients. Business will continue to be conducted with openness and integrity, maintaining the infrastructure and vibe of friendly collaboration and community that all involved have striven so hard to establish.
dbnAudile was officially launched on 1st April 2017 with all 38 full time staff and a busy operations schedule now concentrated in vibrant central Manchester.
All existing points of contact, email addresses and phone numbers will work for the foreseeable future and the new dbnAudile versions have been active from 31st March onwards.
In picture: Stephen Page, Nick Walton, Rob Leach, Pete Robinson and Rob Ashworth.