Business News Headlines
Further successes against product copiers: MA Lighting continues its consequent strategy
Worldwide - For the past few years MA Lighting has followed its strategy against counterfeit products. This resulted in multiple actions at several trade shows, e.g. Prolight + Sound Guangzhou, GET Show, Sound Check Exhibition and Palm Expo India, where fake consoles were removed from the booths or the respective catalogues destroyed by the officials. Even some of the booths were officially closed.
At Prolight + Sound Guangzhou MA Lighting could also rely on the great support of the organisers that were keen to remove the fake consoles and catalogues. At GET Show MA was assured that no copies will be tolerated at the trade show any more, not even for booth lighting control.
Additionally Sound Check Exhibition in Mexico and Palm Mumbai in India were a huge success this year as compared to last year, there were nearly no copies and no catalogues to report.
Furthermore, MA Lighting has been busy in the internet as well. Hundreds of announcements for fake consoles on social media portals have been deleted so far.
MA Lighting would like to stress again, that copying its products is a crime and will be punished with all legal consequences.
18th July 2019
SLX applauds the fundamental simplicity of VeriCal
UK – As UK hire and events company, SLX, prepared for ISO accreditation, it faced the annual prospect of being without its 14 QC-Check workstations for a period of up to four weeks whilst the units go off-site for certification that the PAT testers are within their operation specifications. However, this year, Data Strategy was able to provide the valuable assistance of VeriCal. The hand-held, on-site alternative to off-site calibration, VeriCal, ensures the Out Board PAT-4 testers – an integral part of the QC-Check system – are within their operational specifications to produce verified and accurate results.
SLX business systems and quality co-ordinator, Gary Smith (pictured) explains: “As a busy company, we are very reliant on the equipment passing quickly through the QC-Check inspection process so taking even one workstation out of service would have a big knock on effect for us. The prospect of taking them all out of service for calibration was quite daunting.”
Data Strategy’s VeriCal enables the recalibration process to take place in-house, so that no workstation is out of service longer than it needs to be.
VeriCal transformed the previously arduous task of calibration into a simple experience for SLX and Gary marvels that the testing process which, “…took just a few days. Everyone was able to carry on testing while I took the units out of service for half an hour at a time, which was not an issue at all.”
With equipment for projects going out hourly, the SLX QC-Check workstations are in constant use. Every item of lighting, sound and rigging equipment is put through the testing process as it comes back in from a hire.
QC-Check takes the operator step-by-step through the full testing procedure, individually tailored by SLX to meet its needs. Equipment requiring an electrical test will be PAT-tested and whilst some equipment requires just one annual test, the QC-Check is so fast and simple to use that SLX run electrical testing just for convenience on items that must be plugged in to be checked. All-important visual testing procedures are also guided by QC-Check, maintaining all items to the high standard expected of the hire company and its customers.
Gary says the process of employing VeriCal was not only simple, but invaluable too. “In total, using VeriCal amounted to just over two days of solid work. Just like the QC-Check itself, you’re guided step-by-step through the whole testing process. Not only did we succeed in the ISO accreditation process, but the warehouse was able to continue to work seamlessly and that is critical for our operation.”
17th July 2019
ETC announces first manufacturer’s representative for the UK
UK – ETC has introduced 3LR Lighting Ltd as a representative organisation to support the promotion and growth of its architectural product line in the UK.
Following the global acquisition of ArcSystem, BluesSystem and CueSystem, 3LR Lighting Ltd will represent ETC in the UK and act as an additional resource to the company’s dealer network which will remain unchanged in its operation and pricing structure.
Based in Somerset, 3LR – which stands for ‘3rd Light Receptor’ – is a new company which has been set up to be a manufacturer’s representative that specialises in architectural lighting and control systems in the UK.
As the first ‘Rep Agency’ outside of the USA, the company aims to increase exposure into new market sectors whilst bringing high-quality support to ETC’s customers and dealers. Managing director, Matthew Lloyd brings over 30 years of experience in the industry with a thorough knowledge of the architectural market place and its future direction. His previous experience of successfully developing the ArcSystem, BluesSystem and CueSystem sales path provides a strong foundation for progressing ETC’s architectural business in the UK.
“We are delighted to represent ETC and be part of developing its architectural market presence in the UK. We look forward to bringing the company’s architectural range to the forefront and identifying new and emerging sectors to grow in,” remarks Matthew.
Sales manager for ETC Ltd, Darren Beckley comments: “ETC has targeted architecture as an area of focused growth throughout Europe and introducing 3LR as a ‘Rep Agency’ is a positive step in driving this forward. As ETC continues to expand its product offering across both the architectural and entertainment sectors, 3LR will support our dealers to ensure that only the best solutions are provided for our customers’ needs.”
17th July 2019
EM Acoustics moves into Russia with Hi-Tech Media
Russia – EM Acoustics has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Hi-Tech Media, one of the largest distributors of professional AV solutions in the Russian market.
Hi-Tech Media (HTM) started in 2011 as a reseller for just one brand focused on the congress, conferencing and Public Address markets. Since then, the business has expanded to the point where HTM is now one of the main players in the Russian AV market and the leading supplier of AV equipment in Russia. Representing the interests of more than 40 vendors and working closely with over 600 dealers throughout Russia and CIS, HTM continues to strengthen its distribution portfolio with modern solutions to satisfy partners’ project needs.
“We are proud to start our collaboration with EM Acoustics. Their systems sound amazing! Incredibly accurate, responsive, and natural with excellent dynamics and great headroom,” says Pavel Shemiakin, professional audio systems brand manager at Hi-Tech Media. “With EM Acoustics, we can supply our partners with high-performance line array elements that are capable of covering “five digit” venues. In addition to their excellent line array solutions, EM Acoustics also has a range of compact systems suitable for everything from small huddle rooms to theatres and congress halls.”
“Hi-Tech Media is expanding its area of expertise and today we have gone far beyond the corporate AV segment,” continues Pavel. “Together with our partners, we develop solutions for theatres and concert halls, clubs, entertainment facilities, museum and multimedia installations. There are sports facilities and public spaces in our portfolio. Rental companies are another rapidly growing segment of our business,” he adds. “EM Acoustics offers the solutions that are required in these segments and perfectly complements our brand portfolio. And these are not just good speakers, they are exceptionally high quality systems.”
EM Acoustics’ Mike Wheeler is equally pleased with the partnership. “We’ve been working hard on strengthening our distribution network, and Russia is potentially a huge market, so we’re thrilled to be working with Hi-Tech Media who are already very strong in the corporate market and fast gaining traction on the rental and live entertainment side. The timing is perfect for us as a brand, and gives HTM the tools they need to address new markets.”
In picture: Pavel Shemiakin and Andre Kogtev of Hi-Tech Media.
16th July 2019
Ayrton appoints Lunatec Sp. Z o.o. as exclusive distributor for Poland
Poland – Ayrton has announced a further expansion of its international distribution network with the appointment of Lunatec Sp. z o.o. as its new exclusive distributor for Poland, which takes place with immediate effect.
Headed by CEO Michał Bisikiewicz and sales manager Adrian Gediga, Lunatec is a newly formed company with a wealth of industry experience. Bisikiewicz has over 20 years of experience in the sales and rental of high-end professional lighting equipment to the Polish market with a specialism in television and broadcast, while Gediga brings an equal pedigree from 20 years experience in Germany, including his time at VisionStage, the erstwhile Ayrton distributor for Germany. They have worked together many times over the years so when Ayrton approached them with the view of changing its distributorship in Poland, they found the proposition very interesting.
“Ayrton has always been a stand-out company and its presence at Prolight+Sound, Frankfurt showed it has the full spectrum of products with a beautiful homogeneity across them all,” says Bisikiewicz. “But when Ayrton released its Ghibli profile spot, followed by Khamsin, our decision was made. Here was a product that could do everything and showed Ayrton was moving in a good direction; it caught the attention of all the big companies in Poland. We were approached by Michael Althaus, Ayrton’s global sales director, who explained Ayrton’s road map for the future, and we are convinced that Ayrton is the No1 for products, without equal.”
Lunatec Sp. z o.o. was formed with the sole purpose of distributing the full range of Ayrton products across the whole of the Polish market, including theatre, broadcast, entertainment, festivals and Poland’s many rental houses.
“It is lighting designers who create the market, and Polish rental houses are keen to keep up with the latest equipment of the highest quality to service their ever-changing needs,” continues Bisikiewicz. “We are now in a position to service those customers with the best products and after-sales service and are excited at the prospect of the busy time we have ahead.”
“I think the fact that Lunatec was founded to distribute Ayrton says it all,” says Linnea Ljungmark, international sales for Ayrton. “We have the moving lights and they have the local network and energy to strongly move forward, a perfect match!”
In picture: Michał Bisikiewicz, CEO of Lunatec and Linnea Ljungmark, international sales for Ayrton.
16th July 2019
London’s new Green and Friendly LED Dry Hire Option
UK - Light Engine Dry Hire, London’s new dry hire service, launched on the 1st of May 2019. Light Engine offers a brand-new stock of the latest technologies and innovations in LED fixtures from a wide variety of manufacturers.
Directors Colin Bodenham, Jon Newman and Angus Chinn were drawn to their strict fixture selection by the clear advantages offered by LED fixtures of improved sustainability, minimal waste and high efficiency. The core team is completed by Ayesha Chinn as warehouse manager and Steve Warren and Carolina Fajardo-Linares of LDC as the contracted marketing and promotional dept.
The Light Engine Dry Hire centre is conveniently located in London’s “Lighting Quarter” of Park Royal NW10, making its position ideal for collections and deliveries within Greater London and gives easy access to the M1 and M40 motorways. Light Engine Dry Hire already holds substantial stocks of exclusively LED sources, with the focus on IP rated outdoor luminaires. Assets director Jon Newman states: “Light Engine will focus on our core values of offering the highest quality and latest technology with further planned investments to be driven by the demands of lighting designers and rental company customers.” Light Engine Dry Hire addresses the demand for the newest fixtures including Astera Tubes, Robe Washes & Effects, SGM Floods, GLP Strobes, Martin Sceptron, Ayrton Spots, Vintage eye-candy Portmans, Chauvet Battens, Washes and Profiles, Elation IP Pars, ProLights Uplighters and ETC Profiles and Fresnels.
Operations director Angus said: “Light Engine Dry Hire will allow production rental companies to satisfy client and lighting designers’ creative demands by choosing exactly the products they desire whilst growing their businesses quickly with minimal capital investments.”
The knowledgeable, experienced and friendly team at Light Engine Dry Hire are looking forward to becoming your London based dry hire partner!
In picture: Steve Warren with Light Engine Dry Hire directors Jon Newman, Colin Bodenham and Angus Chinn.
12th July 2019
Dear Reality becomes part of the Sennheiser Group
Germany – Audio specialist Sennheiser has taken a majority shareholding in Dear Reality GmbH on 1 July 2019. The expert in spatial audio algorithms and VR/AR audio software will continue to operate as a separate company based in Düsseldorf; customers will be able to rely on existing dearVR products and can look forward to joint VR/AR workflows by Sennheiser and Dear Reality. Uwe Cremering, responsible for AMBEO Immersive Audio at Sennheiser, will support the company as a third CEO alongside founders Achim Fell and Christian Sander.
“For us, 3D audio is the future. With AMBEO, Sennheiser is active in all areas of immersive audio production, from the initial recording to mixing and processing and, finally, reproduction,” said co-CEO Dr. Andreas Sennheiser. “Audio software is an important building block in this production chain, especially as regards VR/AR applications.”
Co-CEO Daniel Sennheiser explained: “We are pleased to have gained additional highly qualified software experts and further 3D audio products with the acquisition of Dear Reality. At the same time, leveraging the strength of the Sennheiser brand and its global distribution network will give Dear Reality a larger scope of action.”
“We have been working closely with Sennheiser as an investor and partner for the past one and a half years, and are excited to now become a part of the Sennheiser family,” added Dear Reality founders Achim Fell and Christian Sander. “3D audio software has an ever-increasing importance in audio production. Together, we will expand our innovative, professional end-to-end workflows – and develop new ones.”
dearVR SPATIAL CONNECT enables sound engineers to immersively mix VR in VR
In picture: The CEOs of Dear Reality GmbH – Uwe Cremering, Achim Fell and Christian Sander.
12th July 2019
Eventec Takes Over PR Lighting’s Australian Distribution
Australia – Major lighting reseller, Eventec has been appointed PR Lighting’s new exclusive Australian distributor.
According to Eventec MD, Emanuel Maniatis: “Given the prior relationship between PR Lighting, and notably Sasha Xiong, with myself and our operations manager Yan Shao, it seemed obvious that Eventec would be in an excellent position to bring PR Lighting back to Australia.”
Xiong herself said she was “thrilled” by the new relationship. “Emanuel Maniatis is an old friend of PR Lighting, and his extensive knowledge about our products, the industry and the market trends makes this an ideal partnership.
“I believe Eventec can offer high quality service and support, and take PR to another level in Australia and benefit all our customers there.”
Maniatis had formerly been the service manager, and later purchasing manager for one of the previous distributors for PR Lighting, dating back to the days when the manufacturer was an OEM supplier.
“PR Lighting has been in Australian for some time,” he said. “Their product is of high quality and they have a very good development team.
“Up to this date we have been supplying middle-range lighting, and PR Lighting would sit in the upper range of our portfolio. Significantly, it has also introduced a large range of architectural products.”
He confirmed that Eventec would guarantee “top quality support and reasonable pricing” to bring the confidence back in the market, and they have wasted no time in honouring this commitment. “We have started supporting the products which are already in the market and our demonstration stock will be here during the course of late July/ early August.
“Initially we will be targeting our existing client base and the brand will be on demonstration with Eventec at the next industry show, Integrate, which will take place in Melbourne, in late August.”
In conclusion he says: “Eventec is a relatively new company in the Australian market, which has grown quick over the past few years.
“With the lack of higher-end moving heads and architectural fixtures, as well as the excellent relationship between us, it simply makes sense that we take on PR Lighting.”
11th July 2019
POLAR Takes Stock of Biamp Parlé
UK – POLAR, established supplier of key industry brands to the installation, MI and professional audio markets has announced that Biamp’s new Parlé ceiling microphones are available for shipping. Aimed at every conference room and utilising the patent pending Beamtracking technology found in the TCM-1 pendant microphone, Biamp has responded to a growing demand amongst architects, designers and end users for ‘invisible’ technologies, with the sleek, attractive TCM-X ceiling microphone.
With four 90° zones for full 360°room coverage, the TCM-X’s beam tracking technology, which actively tracks and intelligently mixes conversations, works straight out of the box, simplifying installation and reducing commissioning time. Each microphone uses just one channel of acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) for far more efficient processing resource utilisation than conventional beam-forming models. The range also includes the TCM-XA with 2-channel PoE and amplifier for further ease of installation (requiring only a single cable from the DSP to the unit’s ceiling-located amp) and the TCM-XEX expansion model.
Stuart Leader, director at POLAR Integrated Solutions is enthusiastic about Parlé: “Parlé’s Beamtracking technology combines full room coverage and complete freedom of movement while making system commissioning easier for integrators. Room aesthetics are a major priority in contemporary settings and Biamp have significantly raised the bar in this respect with these models. At less than six inches in diameter, the microphone enclosures really do blend subtly into the ceiling while delivering crystal clear conferencing.”
9th July 2019
Chauvet Appoints Chromasound Plc as
Hungary – Chauvet’s presence in the Hungarian market has become much more prominent in the past year, as its lighting fixtures and video panels have appeared at a growing number of festivals and concerts. Recently, the company took another major step forward in this market by appointing highly-regarded Chromasound Plc as the distributor of its products in Hungry.
“We’re extremely excited to welcome Chromasound on board,” said Stéphane Gressier, international sales director of Chauvet. “Our company has made a major commitment to this market, and it’s great to have a service-driven, professional organisation like Chromasound representing us. Working together, we will build on the momentum we’ve established in Hungary.
Chromasound will be representing the Chauvet Professional, Chauvet DJ, and ChamSys lines of products. The company will be supporting its sales effort with a strong commitment to customers service and education.
“The business philosophies of Chauvet and Chromasound are very much in line with one another,” said Chauvet business development manager Goran Doncic. “Both companies take a long range view of business that involves not just selling customers, but doing all the things necessary to develop lasting relationships with them.”
This sentiment is echoed by Chromasound CEO Imre Makkay, who said: “It is a joyful moment for us to become the Hungarian distributor of Chauvet products. We share Chauvet’s values, and we admire not only its high quality products, but also the way it treats customers. We are looking forward to accomplishing great things together.”
In picture: Goran Doncic and Imre Makkay.
9th July 2019
Chroma-Q Announces Grau Luminotecnia as its New Spanish Dealer
Spain – Chroma-Q has announced Spanish company Grau Luminotecnia as a dealer of its LED Solutions in Spain.
Grau, founded in 1984, has been providing the latest technologies including, lighting, for the film and TV market for 35 years. Focusing on the needs of a constantly evolving market, Grau prides itself in providing leading edge technologies to its clients.
After trying out a number of products, Alfons Grau, Owner of Grau Luminotecnia, recognised the potential of the Chroma-Q LED range, and how it can provide brilliant solutions to their customers.
He commented: “We are very happy to have become a dealer of Chroma-Q, who has two of the leading LED battens in the market, the Color Force II and Studio Force II.”
In addition to the award-winning Color Force II and the Studio Force II, Grau is now a dealer of the full Chroma-Q LED Range, including the Space Force soft light, the Brute Force revolutionary LED quarter wendy light alternative, the Inspire house light range and the Color One 100X and the Studio One 100 PAR.
Paul Pelletier, Chroma-Q brand manager commented: “Grau Luminotecnia has a long history working with in the film and TV industry and we are delighted to have them represent Chroma-Q in Spain.”
9th July 2019
DWR to distribute KLOTZ AIS cables in South Africa
South Africa – Germany’s KLOTZ AIS, synonymous with cable products of the highest quality since 1979, has appointed DWR Distribution as its new distribution partner for South Africa with immediate effect.
As a global leader in design, production and marketing of audio, video, multimedia and fibre-optic cables and cable solutions, KLOTZ AIS is active in 130 countries around the world.
Frederic Kromberg, director of international sales at KLOTZ visited DWR in Johannesburg to secure the deal. “KLOTZ cables have been available in South Africa well over 15 years, but as a strongly solution-oriented company, especially with rental companies, installers and broadcasting markets we are very excited to develop and expand the KLOTZ cable business in South Africa with the highly professional team of DWR. We believe this is a great opportunity for DWR to develop our extensive product range.”
KLOTZ AIS celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year and in those four decades has built an excellent reputation. KLOTZ is renown for high quality, durable products and meets the technical specifications both musicians and professional users expect from a cable and cable systems. “Once people have experienced KLOTZ they always come back,” said Frederic.
“Very often underestimated, the interface between all your devices is as important as the devices itself.”
Said Duncan Riley of DWR Distribution: “I knew of the KLOTZ brand and always admired the quality. But I really got a good feeling when I met Frederic and realised that their company was as people orientated as what we are. It’s an honour to be the distributor for this professional company and fine brand and we look forward to many years to come together.”
In picture: DWR’s Bruce and Duncan Riley with Frederic Kromberg, KLOTZ.
9th July 2019
Maestra Group to open Barcelona Office
Spain – Award-winning event design, technical and scenic production company Maestra Group, has announced that it will open a European base in Barcelona.
Well known for its vibrant culture, the city is: “The perfect hub for Maestra Group’s growing business in Europe,” commented group directors, Tom Clements and Justin Hammond (pictured) who will be overseeing the launch.
The expansion is led by an increase of work in live events for Maestra Group throughout Europe, particularly in key areas of Spain, the south of France and the Italian Riviera.
The new operation, 20 minutes from central Barcelona and ten minutes from El Prat International Airport, will be officially opening in September.
From launch, Maestra Barcelona will be up-and-running, complete with a multilingual team of seven experienced live events professionals who will be working across all departments, from project management to technical design.
To complement its London equipment inventory, Barcelona will be equipped with brands such as d&b, Robe, Analog Way, Sennheiser and Yamaha. This is in line with Maestra Group’s ethos to invest only in premium brands and the latest technologies.
The Catalan capital is a go-to location on the conference and event circuit. Offering trendy venues and spaces, together with the fantastic climate, it is a ‘hot-spot’ for a wide range of events.
As well as being able to supply design services and technical production for international clients more efficiently throughout Europe, Maestra Group will also be expanding its general European business from the Barcelona office.
“Strategically it is a great base for servicing events across the whole of Europe and ensuring that we stay competitive and dynamic in a fast moving world of product launches, conferences and events,” stated Tom.
Maestra Group was founded in 2013 and has quickly become established in Europe, the Middle East and worldwide for its creative flair, innovative design and technical solutions.
Barcelona adds another aspect to this already lively mix, offering all clients the best ideas, services and quality.
8th July 2019
Charcoalblue Welcomes New Partners and Looks to Future Growth
Worldwide - This June, leading theatre, acoustic and digital design consultancy Charcoalblue celebrated 15 years of growth and excellence at its AGM held at the Prague Quadrennial. The PQ offered the ideal venue as it is a showcase of the best of theatre design, scenography, and theatre architecture worldwide. At the AGM, Charcoalblue Group chair, Andy Hayles was delighted to announce a series of new partnership positions, promotions and board initiatives as the group looks towards future growth and sustainability.
Charcoalblue currently operates six studios across the globe. Whilst the international teams often collaborate at some physical distance from each other, the group works hard to maintain a special culture which values the individual, close relationships and an ethic of shared ownership, responsibility and reward.
To enable this culture to thrive and to increase the ability of its talented staff team to share in the group’s future success, Charcoalblue has announced the creation of Local Partnership Boards for the UK, USA and Australia.
Three new partners have also been announced, with further new partnership announcements to follow over the coming years as the operation and control of the Partnership is shared with Charcoalblue’s staff team.
The three new partners are:
Elena Giakoumaki – New Partner
In her nine years at Charcoalblue, auditorium design specialist Elena Giakoumaki has contributed to over 25 completed auditoria around the world. Qualified architect and set designer, prior to Charcoalblue Elena worked at RHWL Arts Team focusing her skills on theatre planning. From the Bord Gais, Dublin and Manchester Home through to Theatr Clwyd and the refurbishment of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane; Elena is one of Charcoalblue’s brightest stars and mentors to our next generation of designers. Elena joins Charcoalblue’s new UK Partnership Board as its first new partner.
Rich Garfield – New Partner
Current London studio principal, Rich Garfield will also join the new UK Partnership Board alongside Elena. Rich leads a team of nearly 40 people, and has a background that includes dance and staging large live events around the world, including a stint at Brighton Dome & Festival as head of production. Rich has recently led the Charcoalblue team for South-East Dance and the refurbishment of Ally Pally, most recently presenting the revitalised venue at this year’s ABTT Theatre Show. Rich represents our next generation of ingenious production creatives on the new UK Partnership Board.
Eric Lawrence – New Partner
The third new partner is Eric Lawrence who will join the Charcoalblue Australian Partnership Board. Eric and Andy first met on the Royal Court redevelopment in 1996 and have worked together ever since. Eric has 30 years experience as an architect designing performing arts buildings and formally joined Charcoalblue in 2014, subsequently founding Charcoalblue’s Melbourne Studio. From the RSC Courtyard Theatre, the Belgrade in Coventry to Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the Lyric Theatre in NY for Harry Potter, Eric has designed auditoria internationally for his whole career and is now leading projects with Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Club and the new Waikato Regional Theatre in New Zealand.
Eric says: “Charcoalblue has had to listen and learn a great deal entering the Australasian marketplace; but we are fortunate to have wonderful clients who have guided us at the same time as enjoying our international perspective. Our new theatre for Waikato in New Zealand will be a real show case for our Melbourne Team as Charcoalblue has led the project and employed the design team as part of our turnkey service. I’m delighted to be the first partner to the Charcoalblue Australia Partnership Board, and to report to the Senior Partners alongside Charcoalblue USA’s Partner, John Owens.”
The first of the Local Partnership Boards to commence operation is in the UK and Gary Sparkes has been elected to the position of managing partner to lead the initiative.
Formerly of Scottish Opera and the National Theatre and current board member of The Backstage Centre, Gary has been a partner at CB for four years. Currently leading the Charcoalblue team for a new theatre for Leuven, Belgium; Gary is proudly European in his outlook and has also recently won commissions for Charcoalblue in Antwerp, Stockholm and Poland.
Gary says: “It’s a joy and an honour to be appointed managing partner to Charcoalblue UK. I look forward to continuing to bring the strength of our internationally experienced team to the UK and Europe. No job is too small for us to consider, and similarly no project too complex. From the Manchester Factory to the Centre for Music in London, our talented teams in London, Bristol and Glasgow bring their drive and design expertise to every challenge. It’s a privilege to lead the UK Partnership Board.”
To further support the Local Partnership Boards structure, the existing senior partnership team have formed a Group Board providing overarching governance for Charcoalblue. Andy Hayles has been elected to the position of group chair and together with senior partners Jon Stevens, Gavin Green and Katy Winter, will oversee Charcoalblue’s UK, USA and Australian operations.
Andy says: “This is a special moment in Charcoalblue’s 15 year history. While we still feel like the new kids on the block, it’s already time for us to address future leadership and to start planning succession to hand over responsibility and to share reward with our talented team. The next 15 years will see our local partnership boards grow and become the powerhouses for Charcoalblue’s next stage of development. We still have plenty to learn and plenty to do; not least to try to improve diversity in our industry and to dedicate ourselves to environmental sustainability. This is a long term plan, and the senior partners and I look forward to focussing on nurturing and ensuring the healthy, sustainable growth of the expertise of our team; and to making further new partner announcements over the coming years. Our hearty congratulations to Elena, Rich, Eric and Gary!”
5th July 2019
TechLED expands its operational reach
UK – Tech LED Ltd, UK-based, specialist design and supply company for LED lighting equipment and UK distributor for Acolyte Lighting, has opened up its operational reach to encompass two new avenues of business. The company has consolidated award-winning LED supplier, Ambience Lighting, into its business framework and also launched a hire division for specialist LED lighting products.
TechLED has enjoyed a long-standing business partnership with high-calibre LED installation specialists, Ambience Lighting and the move formally incorporates the company to the Tech LED fold. The companies have long been allied through a shared commitment to the highest quality LED lighting products and responsive customer service. Ambience Lighting, a trusted and award-winning specialist supplier of high-calibre LED to the entertainment, hotelier, restaurant, shopfitting and television industries, will continue to operate under its name.
Ambience Lighting’s, William Kirby, states: “We’re excited to be working more closely with TechLED. Gordon’s technical ability and project management skills are second-to-none. We’ve worked together over many years and I’m looking forward to this next stage in our history.”
TechLED’s rental division launches with a unique inventory of LED products which includes products such as Luxibel moving heads or architectural floodlights, and Elation weather-proof Pixelbatons. Operating from TechLED’s Production Park-base in West Yorkshire, the company will provide the facility to hire prestige LED Lighting fixtures across the UK, with or without specialist operators.
TechLED managing director, Gordon Addison, commented: “I’m delighted TechLED is able to extend these services to our customers. At TechLED, we have the technical and operational experience to get the job done and get it done right first time, using the best products for the job. It’s a pleasure to be able to extend that assistance to more of our customers and ultimately to the end user.”
In picture: Ambience Lighting's William Kirby.
5th July 2019
Brompton’s new website goes live
Brompton Technology has announced the launch of its new website which has a new, modern look, an easy-to-navigate menu structure and extra features that provide a better overall user experience.
“We wanted to ensure that the website reflects the easy to use, intuitive nature of Brompton’s LED processors and provides both useful and essential information in a much more user-friendly format than we had previously,” explains Brompton’s managing director, Richard Mead. “For example, in the ‘Support’ area, as well as the latest product information and downloads of the latest software, we have added a sign up page for our increasingly popular training programme, making it quick and simple to find out where and when courses are happening and reserve a place.”
“This update is just the first phase, and we expect to add additional pages and functionality in the coming months, including a lot more video to help users of our processors really understand the full potential of our latest features. We will also be creating a Chinese version of the site, especially to help support our partners and customers in Asia.”
Other new features include a product comparison chart, making it quick and simple to determine which product is best suited to the needs of any project, a list of Brompton’s manufacturer and rental partners which will soon be expanded to include what Brompton products they have, and access to the latest news about the company.
Visit Brompton’s new website at www.bromptontech.com
3rd July 2019
Creative Technology Acquires Ion Solutions
Ireland – Creative Technology Group (CT), a Live Events Company of NEP Group and worldwide specialist in audio visual equipment and bespoke staging solutions, has announced that it has acquired Ion Solutions, a leading provider of professional audio visual and broadcast technology systems in Ireland.
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Ion Solutions specialises in the creative and technical delivery of indoor and outdoor live events, conferences and exhibitions, as well as the design, supply, installation and integration of audio-visual communications equipment, broadcast television systems, digital video production / computer graphics systems and digital signage solutions. Ion Solutions will now become part of the CT Europe & Middle East group and will be rebranded as Creative Technology (CT) Ireland after a transitionary period. The existing management team of Ion Solutions will continue to run the day-to-day business.
Ion Solutions was founded in 1967 as a technology engineering specialist, adding broadcast and AV systems integration, AV rental, facilities management and content creation capabilities. The business also offers a range of managed audio-visual services, ranging from maintenance contracts to on-site AV technician services. Today, Ion Solutions is led by an extremely experienced management team and employs 70+ full-time staff based out of two office locations in Sandyford, Dublin. Clients at Ion Solutions span a variety of sectors including broadcast, retail, healthcare, hospitality and educational facilities, as well as corporate venues.
NEP has 4,000+ employees in 24 countries, while CT operates 19 offices on three continents. The acquisition is consistent with NEP’s stated strategy to become the world leader in Live Events services. The deal adds Ion Solutions’ significant high-end AV equipment inventory and local delivery capability on the island of Ireland, supported by an experienced technical team. The addition of Ion Solutions also increases synergies across NEP’s operating segments to provide clients with access to even more robust AV resources, a deeper pool of skilled engineers and technicians, and a range of end-to-end solutions to support live events and broadcast productions in Ireland and on the world stage.
In picture: John Roche and Dave Crimp.
2nd July 2019
Highlite is NovaStar distributor for the Benelux
The Netherlands – NovaStar Technology Europe BV has appointed Highlite International BV as its new distributor for the Benelux, effective 1 July. NovaStar, a leading manufacturer of video processing units, provides LED display solutions globally. With Highlite’s extensive distribution experience and fast delivery system Novastar has found the right partner to serve the Benelux-area.
“Highlite is very professional in providing show equipment. It doesn’t matter if it is sound, audio or our core business, the LED industry.”, says NovaStar’s account manager, Evelyn Zhang. “With a fully automated warehouse and fast delivery we believe that Highlite can provide the best service and support to our clients,” Zhang continues. Highlite’s brand manager Leon Vissers is thrilled about the NovaStar distributorship: “We are very proud to become NovaStar distributor for the Benelux area. NovaStar produces high quality, well-engineered LED display solutions. You can almost feel the dedication they put into every single unit. We believe that the combination of their expertise and our distributing experience will be very successful.” Highlite already offers a diverse range of DMT LED screens and various VJ- and media software applications. By adding NovaStar to their portfolio Highlite creates a 'one-stop shopping' environment for their customers.
To extend its support to current and future NovaStar users Highlite is going install a dedicated NovaStar showroom at their headquarters in Kerkrade. Here a complete overview of the NovaStar-range is being installed with a fixed presentation. Product-specialists are going to host exclusive product training days where the customers will be educated and learn about the features, functionalities and possibilities of NovaStar LED display solutions.
Evelyn Zhang stated: “The most important thing is we have the same goal. NovaStar and Highlite are both excellent companies with great brand influence but also we have lots of people working hard, keeping innovation in mind and holding clients requests as our greatest priority.”
2nd July 2019
Ayrton appoints NMK Electronics Ent. as exclusive distributor for GCC countries
Dubai – Ayrton has announced that, with immediate effect, NMK Electronics Ent, has been appointed as its new exclusive distributor for the GCC countries.
Established in Sharjah in 1987, NMK Electronics Ent. is now based in Dubai where it has grown into a leading distributor of professional lighting, sound and AV products in the Middle East. Together with its portfolio of reputable brands, a dynamic team and strong financial foundation, the company has achieved a market leading position and has prepared itself for new ventures that will propel the company to new heights in the coming years.
“The lighting industry has changed rapidly over the last few years with the introduction and acceptance of LED fixtures as suitable replacements to conventional lamp-based fixtures,” states NMK chief operating officer, Alex Kemanes. “Ayrton is on the rise globally, taking a large portion of the market share of the entertainment lighting industry by consistently developing state-of-the-art lighting fixtures which reduce operating costs while maintaining high lumen output. Our team was very impressed with Ayrton’s current portfolio and future roadmap.
“Our appointment to work with Ayrton in the GCC will further cement NMK’s already prestigious name in the live events industry as a distributor of premium brands. Many regional lighting designers and event companies have been very keen to use Ayrton fixtures but never really had the opportunity to test them in a real environment. We will now be able to give our clients hands-on experience with the fixtures to understand more about the Ayrton philosophy.”
“Partnering with NMK in the GCC region is a great move for Ayrton,” says Zane Cretten, international sales for Ayrton. “The company is a premium brand distributor with a great knowledge of the GCC market having been in the industry for thirty-three years. Adding Ayrton to its basket on top of its audio and video brands increases its offering to the market and ensures NMK customers have easy access to Ayrton’s state-of-the-art LED fixtures. We can look forward to a lot of success in the GCC region with NMK as our long-term exclusive distributor.”
In picture: NMK Electronics lighting business manager, Darren Caithness, with Ayrton lighting fixtures at the Dubai HQ.
2nd July 2019
Yet another TOP 100 Award for Movecat
Germany - Good news for Movecat from Nufringen in Baden Württemberg: following similar successes in 2017 and 2018, the specialist in stage equipment and kinetics has won one of the TOP 100 awards given annually following a nationwide competition to find the most innovative medium-sized companies in Germany. The presentation ceremony was on Friday, 28 June 2019, in Frankfurt's Jahrhunderthalle. Three hundred and ninety-eight enterprises had participated in the competition.
Commented Movecat CEO Andrew Abele: "It is a great honour for us to have been recognised once again with a TOP 100 Award. At the same time, the award constitutes an incentive and an obligation for us to continue to offer customers the best possible solutions in the future." The practical module system I-Motion Expert-T III, developed by Movecat for its chain hoists, trolleys, winches and load measuring systems, when combined with intelligent control equipment, makes it possible for lifting operations in the course of a wide range of events, tours and studio productions to be carried out safely.
With the I-Motion System Controller Expert-T III, Movecat has developed a control and load measurement system for the most complex show sequences that meets the highest national and international safety requirements. As well as being extremely versatile, the controller is suitable for use on the road and both easy and comfortable to use. This is due in part to its user-adaptable, trackball-equipped control interface, waterproof keyboard and touchscreen, great suitability for daylight use and illuminated night design.
A further plus is the user-friendly software with its ideal modus operandi, achieved despite its complexity and the high safety standards (EN 61508 SIL3) with which it complies and the fact that it offers 3D object-oriented operation in real time. Operation is guaranteed on a wide variety of power grids worldwide thanks in large measure to the integrated UPS and mains filters. A neat finishing touch is the height-adjustable trolley, which allows users of different statures to operate the device in comfort.
Movecat has been recognised again in 2019 as one of the leading innovators among Germany's medium-sized companies; as part of the "TOP 100" initiative, the company won inclusion in the list of Germany's TOP 100 innovators for the third year in succession. This outcome was the result of the analysis and evaluation of TOP 100's scientific director, Professor Dr Nikolaus Franke, who presented the award in the company of the scientific journalist Ranga Yogeshwar and compamedia.
Compamedia has been bestowing the TOP 100 accolade since 1993 on companies demonstrating exceptional ability to innovate and above average innovative success. The scientific direction is in Professor Franke's hands. He is the founder and chairman of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Yogeshwar is TOP 100's mentor. Project partners are the Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Research and the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW). TOP 100 is an annual competition the aim of which is to identify and honour the most innovative medium-sized companies in Germany. For 25 years, it has been setting benchmarks in innovative management.
In picture: Top 100-Mentor Ranga Yogeshwar with CFO Oliver Nachbauer and authorised signatories Mathias Zuber and Yannick Egeler.
photo: KD Busch/compamedia
2nd July 2019
Robe Announces New Swiss Distributor
Switzerland – Moving light and LED manufacturer Robe lighting s.r.o. announces that as of 1 July, 2019, Basel-based ASL Electronic AG / SA is its new distributor partner in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein.
ASL Electronic is a leading sales and distribution specialist in Switzerland offering vast and dynamic experience in the professional lighting market since 1982. It is a purely wholesale company covering all three language regions of Switzerland, with the cornerstones of its successful sales concept being high stock levels and short delivery times.
The sales team is well known nationwide, has excellent connections to all the major players and a diverse portfolio of premium products and brands are already onboard including Eurotruss, Doughty, Liftket and Kinesys for trussing and rigging, Spotlight and City Theatrical for theatre lighting, plus Le Mark and Chris James for accessories, Smoke Factory for special effects and several others.
David Scherz, ASL CEO, states: “We are very excited to be distributing the complete Robe lighting range in Switzerland. It is the leading industry brand right now and, even more importantly, a European brand! We intend to make it the number one moving light choice in Switzerland.”
He believes that Robe has a comprehensive and very good product range. Compact fixtures like LEDBeam 150 or Spikie will do well for the small-to-medium applications while the power of the MegaPointes and BMFLs will always have its place. He also sees massive potential for the refined T1 in the world of theatre and performance.
“We are extremely enthusiastic about our collaboration now and look forward to a long and fertile partnership as Robe keeps producing innovative and relevant products. We are confident that with Robe, we will be able to support all customer needs on an ongoing basis.”
He adds that the collaboration with Robe also works brilliantly on the human level, where corporate values, cultures and visions are “a great fit”.
Robe’s International sales director Harry von den Stemmen adds that Robe has “carefully analysed and evaluated the Swiss market” with the support of its German subsidiary since the beginning of 2019, research which clearly identified ASL as the best match for the brand.
While the companies and individuals had already known each other for many years, several aspects fell into place to establish this new distributorship. “It is essential for us to work with trading companies that have a good but neutral relationship with all customers plus the knowledge and resources to provide good training opportunities and superlative service,” continues Harry, adding that they look forward to all aspects of customer support improving in Switzerland.
Ingo Dombrowski, Robe’s key account manager for Europe says: “We are impressed with ASL’s immediate attention to detail and with the investment they will be making to further establish Robe in the pivotal Swiss market.”
Robe CEO Josef Valchar concludes: “We are delighted that all the stars finally aligned to make this important partnership a reality. The Robe brand is already well accepted in Switzerland, and with this new impetus and level of commitment, we are ready to start pushing that to the next levels.”
In picture: Ingo Dombrowski (Robe key account manager for Europe), David B. Scherz (CEO ASL Electronic AG/SA), Sébastien Wira (product manager ASL Electronic AG/SA), Harry von den Stemmen (Robe’s international sales director) and Josef Valchar (CEO of Robe Lighting).
1st July 2019
A4i.tv video release – Getting to know the EXE Rise hoist range
In the newest video release on A4i.tv, Adam Beaumont (UK – EXE Technology brand manager) introduces you to the popular EXE RISE electric hoist range, which is one of the EXE Technology product families.
In the video, Adam gives an overview of the EXE RISE range, highlighting its different models, features of each, configuration accessories and lifting load capabilities.
Click here to see the video.
28th June 2019
Astera Announces DWR as South African distributor
South Africa – Leading battery-powered wireless LED manufacturer Astera LED has announced DWR Distribution as its exclusive distributor in South Africa which will include other southern and central African countries.
DWR is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with bases in Cape Town and Durban as well as extensive contacts across southern and central Africa. The company is headed by Duncan Riley, Robert Izzett and Bruce Riley and is a proud supplier of an array of premium brands and products and equipment for the entertainment and architectural sectors which includes lighting, audio, AV and staging.
“I am hugely excited,” commented Astera’s sales and marketing director, Sebastian Bückle. “I think the African and South African markets are vibrant and full of potential and I have heard so many great things from around the industry about DWR and their incredible customer service! I am looking forward to a great working relationship with Duncan, Sherryn and their dedicated and very enthusiastic team.”
Duncan is also looking forward to a great working relationship with Astera.
He was keen to get involved after hearing so many people talking about the brand and its reputation for quality and innovation as well as starting to notice Astera projects in the press. It also came recommended to him by a couple of other high-profile industry contacts whose opinion he respects.
He reckons Titan Tubes will be a big success in Africa and in fact, before this press release or the distribution was even announced, DWR had already sold its first set of Titan Tubes through word of mouth. That is impressive: from both DWR and Astera perspectives!
Duncan sees the products being popular for film, TV and photography due to the high TLCI and CRI of 96 as well as in the staging market with the smooth colour mixing and dynamic pixel control.
The battery operation he thinks is an absolute bonus in all cases and ideal for lighting set pieces, buildings, rooms, sculptures and other applications, especially in hard to access places and locations.
They are also great for the African market where power can be an issue; being greener and eco-friendlier is a primary consideration for all events.
“I really like the full flexibility that is inherent in all the Astera product designs,” he stated.
In addition to the product’s good engineering, Duncan has heard “great things” about Astera’s own technical support and backup, elements that are vital to establishing top brands in new markets as DWR knows: the company has enjoyed considerable success with names like Robe lighting, MA Lighting, Absen, Green Hippo, DiGiCo, L-Acoustics and many more.
“I’ve just got a feeling about Astera,” confirms Duncan. “They seem to be ‘All about the People’ which is a direct fit for us and seeing some of their projects around the world was another deciding factor.”
DWR’s sales team are getting trained on the Astera products and with Mediatech Africa, the biennial entertainment technology expo coming up in July, there are high expectations for a lot of interest to follow very quickly.
In picture: DWR’s Duncan Riley, Bruce Riley and Jannie de Jager.
27th June 2019
Ampco Flashlight and Outline Newton team up in Benelux
Benelux – With a prominent role and portfolio in sales and rental of professional audio and lighting systems in the Netherlands and surrounding countries, Ampco Flashlight Sales counts DiGiCo, Martin Audio, Allen & Heath, Clear-Com, ETC and Ayrton in its portfolio. With multi-send PA systems and multiple-source audio set-ups becoming more and more familiar, Outline’s FPGA-based Newton processing platform is proving a very welcome addition.
“Being the answer for demanding install and touring applications where top-quality matrixing and processing is required, we are very happy that we can now offer Outline Newton to our clients in the Benelux,” says Ampco Flashlight Sales specialist, Martin van Kouwen (pictured). “Audio quality and technical specs are on the highest level which, combined with the extensive 18x16 matrix, has resulted in high-profile users all over the world.”
Utrecht-based Ampco Flashlight Sales is distributor for Outline Newton in The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg.
25th June 2019
Audio Concept new Obsidian Control Systems Distributor in Colombia
Colombia – Obsidian Control Systems has announced that Audio Concept has been named the exclusive distributor of Obsidian Control Systems products in Colombia. Under terms of the agreement, Audio Concept will provide full support for the entire Obsidian line of hardware and software lighting control solutions.
Audio Concept has been a provider of both professional and high-end consumer audio, lighting and video products in the region for over 30 years. With a reputation for providing complete service to its clients, Audio Concept will soon be debuting the latest Obsidian consoles and launching Obsidian console training sessions throughout Colombia. To date, Obsidian products available under the ONYX lighting control platform include the powerful NX 4 lighting controller with new DYLOS pixel composer, the compact NX 2, the portable NX Wing and the NX DMX node for ONYX.
President of audio concept, Jean Paul Gaspard, commented on the new agreement: “We are excited about the opportunity to offer Obsidian controllers to lighting professionals across Colombia. We believe the intuitive nature of the new Obsidian products combined with training of lighting programmers will help position Obsidian as one of the top control brands in the region.” Gaspard adds that Audio Concept is committed to continuing to support its customer base and all M-Series users as they transition to the Obsidian ONYX platform with the support of Elation’s international sales manager for LATAM, John Lopez, and the Elation team.
“The Obsidian line has transitioned into an amazing control option for all intelligent lighting systems,” John Lopez commented. “We are excited to be working with such a reputable company like Audio Concept and look forward to the first training sessions in June and July and to what the future brings.”