Business News Headlines
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.
13th April 2017
New sales structure for J&C Joel
UK – Leading manufacturer of flame retardant fabrics, drapery and stage engineering solutions, J&C Joel, has announced a new sales structure. The changes come as the company looks to position itself for future growth and develop the sales team to ensure its customers are receiving class leading service.
Oliver Marns, previously the UK, Europe and Russia sales manager has now been appointed to the newly created role of sales manager to head up creative sales and focus on key accounts within the business. J&C Joel has identified opportunities in the creative market that it believes can be serviced better and as one of the company’s key sales managers, Oliver has the skill set and experience required for this critical role.
Oliver has worked for the company for more than five years, leading the UK, Europe and Russia sales teams and during this time has been involved in delivering several of the key creative projects the company has provided. His new role is designed to enhance J&C Joel’s existing offering to new and existing customers by giving them a dedicated person to deal with and ensure the firm offers innovative solutions whilst continuing to deliver on specification, budget and on time.
Oliver said: “I am delighted to take on the new role and I am genuinely excited to work even closer with our amazing clients to deliver more world class projects. In carrying out this role, I also get to work alongside our fantastic creative manufacturing team to ensure they can focus on what they do best; making the impossible, possible.”
Stuart Coomber, sales director at J&C Joel, said: “Oli’s experience and industry knowledge make him perfect for this exciting new role. Our creative offering is a key area of development for the business and having someone who can provide end to end customer service is vital for us going forward.”
Roland Rizk will take over responsibilities for Europe and Russia and will now report directly into the sales director, Stuart Coomber. His support team includes UK based Joshua Trueman, the business development executive for the region and Abbie Wadsworth, Europe and Russia sales executive.
In recognition of ever-increasing customer demand, the structure of the internal UK sales team has also been changed with each member of team now responsible for a specified region in the UK. To ensure continuity of service when usual points of contact are absent, cover has been considered and is in place. The changes will also see UK external sales representatives Richard Bains and Bridget Kaur report to the UK sales office manager, David Sykes.
Stuart Coomber added: “These changes are a positive step forward for the sales team. We have recognised the demand for customers to have a key person for them to contact. By ensuring customers have a dedicated person who they deal with every time they make an enquiry, stronger relationships will be established and the team will be more focused on delivering excellent customer service to their region.”
“The changes will give clearer responsibilities to everyone in the team and help drive the business forward to continually improve our service and support our customers’ growing needs.”
13th April 2017
Venuetech and SGM re-establish old ties
SGM has announced the appointment of Venuetech LLC as the sole distributor for the Middle East. Relations go back to 1992, where dynamic lighting made its entrance to the global market. Venuetech is renowned for illuminating a long list of landmark buildings and entertainment projects in the region. With their strong presence and SGM as key player in the global market for dynamic lighting products, together they form a strong alliance.
Peter Johansen, CEO of SGM Light, says: “We have high expectations and we look forward to exploring this strong relationship in a market with such big growth potential for LED dynamic lighting. Together, we create the foundation for cementing a number one position in the region.”
Elie Kheirallah, Technical Director of Venuetech, says: “SGM is going to reinforce our presence due to the extensive product range ideally suited for the harsh conditions in the region. We look forward to develop this strategic partnership.”
In picture: Peter Johansen (left) with Elie Kheirallah at Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt.
7th April 2017
Arena Group Acquires Wernick Seating Division
UK – Arena Group has acquired the seating and mass participation divisions of Wernick Events, with effect from Monday 3rd April, rebranding the business to operate as Arena Seating from its existing Coventry facility, as part of Arena UK and Europe.
This multi-million pound strategic acquisition continues Arena UK & Europe’s ongoing expansion plans, with the addition of all of over 30,000 temporary grandstand seats, scaffolding, deck and truss. Arena Seating’s UK stock now rises to over 120,000 temporary seats available to the marketplace delivering over 350 projects this year.
Grahame Muir CEO Arena UK & Europe states: “We are delighted to have completed this deal which will consolidate our strength as the UK’s premier event seating supplier. We are focused on achieving a seamless integration of the business into Arena Seating, whilst retaining the Coventry base and thus improving our service level across the UK.
“The rapidly expanding mass participation sports division of the company also adds an exciting new dynamic to our UK offering. This year we will supply over 250 mass participation sports events to prestigious clients including Cancer Research UK, British Military Fitness and the British Heart Foundation.”
Steve Shaw will continue in his role as general manager of the Coventry location, reporting directly to Arena UK and Europe sales and marketing director Dave Withey. Steve comments: “The whole team in Coventry feels very excited at the opportunities ahead of us thanks to the investment and significant additional resources of the Arena Group behind us. This will benefit all of our clients as we focus on improving the quality and range of equipment we can offer them.”
In picture: Dave Withey, Steve Shaw and Grahame Muir.
7th April 2017
Leading wireless DMX and RDM products UL listed
LumenRadio has announced that its products have been approved by UL.
The government approved safety inspection company UL, Underwriters Laboratories, is renowned for leading within safety analysis of products. After thorough testing and inspection UL approved the LumenRadio CRMX products.
The Nova series of indoor transmitters, receivers and flex units are now UL Listed and the outdoor series is UL Recognised for installation purposes.
“The tremendous growth on the North American market has driven the certification work that now shows that LumenRadio’s CRMX products complies with the relevant standards for safety,” says Peter Lindkvist, sales director of LumenRadio.
The continuous factory inspections carried out by UL guarantees customers guaranteed that the products comply with all applicable standards.
6th April 2017
UKEF and White Light: supporting services sector exports
UK – White Light is a leading production services specialist operating in a range of entertainment fields such as theatre, concert touring, corporate events, broadcast, themed attractions, education and trade. Established in 1971 by a former member of the Rocky Horror Picture Show production crew, it began its business in the theatre industry in London’s West End and over the course of the last half century has diversified into exhibitions, sporting events and broadcast.
Its global reputation has grown with a number of high-profile projects, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Les Misérables, the Rugby World Cup and exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum. With these major successes has come the opportunity to take on business overseas. In 2010, it began work on a major project in China, providing lighting for a theme park. A number of other projects in the Far East and Middle East followed.
In 2016, White Light won a major contract with a theme park in the Middle East, an opportunity to grow its turnover by over 20%. However, under the contract, the buyer required an advance payment guarantee and a performance bond from White Light’s bank, HSBC. Ordinarily, a bank would require a cash deposit in return for these contract bonds. With the size and length of the contract, White Light was not in a position to provide the required collateral, as it would jeopardise cashflow for other areas of growth and therefore the company’s ability to fulfil the contract.
By working with UKEF and HSBC, White Light found a solution. HSBC approached UKEF to provide a government-backed guarantee to the bank for 80% of the bond, freeing up White Light’s working capital to undertake the contract.
With this success under its belt, further growth in international sales is central to White Light’s strategy for the future. It is now exploring opening an office in the Middle East, to focus on winning contracts with major projects.
Fiona Wood, finance and commercial director at White Light, said: “Without the support of UKEF, we would not have been able to undertake this major contract, and would have lost out on an opportunity to build on our recent growth and add a further 20% increase in revenue. As we continue to grow our overseas business, working with UKEF will give us confidence that we will be able to realise each opportunity.”
Archana Singh, export finance manager for London, said: “With the scale of growth of the global entertainment industry, White Light is in a great position to continue its overseas success. UKEF’s role is to provide government support to help companies like White Light continue to realise their international ambitions.”
5th April 2017
Christie Sponsors Sandy Mitchell, Youngest Ever UK GT Winner
UK – Christie is sponsoring Sandy Mitchell, the youngest-ever race winner in the British GT Championship, who has just been confirmed as a driver in the Black Bull Garage 59 team for 2017 with McLaren GT. Starting the 2016 season at just 15 years old, Sandy was the youngest driver ever to compete in British GT and, within the season, went on to become the championship’s youngest race winner. Now 17, Sandy notched up a series of impressive firsts last season, being named British GT Rookie of the Year, plus winning the Sunoco Fastest GT4 Driver of the Year Award and British GT4 Fastest Lap Award at Donington. He also received the Ecurie Ecosse Le Mans Hub Cap, awarded by the Scottish Motor Racing Club (SMRC) to the most promising young driver of the year.
“Sandy’s list of achievements makes you breathless just reading them,” said Dale Miller, executive vice president, global sales at Christie. “We are full of admiration not only for his obvious talent but dedication and focus. Christie actively fosters and supports talent within the company in many ways; in the UK we have partnerships with university departments, The National Film and Theatre School and, globally, we offer many young people internships and it’s a core value to train and promote from within. We wish to extend every support to Sandy.”
The Christie logo features in the distinctive new livery. Christie joins McLaren Glasgow in sponsoring upcoming young talent. Sandy welcomed Christie as a new sponsor following the confirmation of his return with team-mate Ciaran Haggerty for the new season. Both drivers carry the prestigious SMRC. Rising Star status and have extensive experience with both the car and the tracks following their involvement in the McLaren GT development testing programme last season.
Bas Leinders, team manager, Black Bull Garage 59, commented: “We are delighted to have Sandy and Ciaran back for 2017. We're looking to hit the ground running and build upon the successes they had last year. With the experience running with the McLaren 570S GT4 in 2016, we are in a strong position going into the new season, and hope to be challenging for podiums and race wins again in 2017.”
Christie’s Dale Miller anticipates the 2017 racing season adding: “As a engineering company ourselves, we have huge respect for McLaren’s expertise and precision, often looking to take fractions off lap times by engineering excellence combined with the driver. With Sandy at the wheel, the race is a treat to behold and we look forward to many weekends with our partners, customers and colleagues enjoying the buzz of first class motor sport. We wish the Sandy, Ciaran and the McLaren teams every success.”
The Christie logo features on the bonnet of the distinctive new livery for the new season and the team is set to complete an extensive testing programme prior to the season commencing in April. The opening round of the British GT Championship returns to Oulton Park for 2017, over Easter Bank Holiday weekend 15th – 17th April. Having started karting when he was aged nine, in his first year Sandy went on to win the NSKC Honda Cadet Championship at Golspie He also finished third in the Scottish “A” Plate Championship and then went on to finish fourth in the Scottish “S” Plate Championship with some great club wins., collecting many other club trophies on the way, all in his first year.
Sandy graduated to the Super One Honda Cadet Championship attending circuits south of the border for the very first time racing with Project One Racing. He went on to finish an impressive sixth overall with a win and a third at Shenington, setting the lap record at the same time. Sandy was once more the Scottish “S” Plate Champion and also the Scottish “A” Plate Vice Champion. Sandy went onto become the British Open Champion and following on from that he went on to become British Junior Rotax Karting Champion. In his debut season in British GT last year, Sandy's record included British GT4 third.
Sandy’s achievements include:
- British GT Silver/Silver Runners up
- British GT Race Winner at Donington and Snetterton
- British GT4 Lap Record for Spa-Francorchamp
- British GT4 Pole Position at Spa Francorchamps
- British GT4 Pole Position at Silverstone
- British Open Champion
- British Junior Rotax Karting Champion
5th April 2017
Robe Deutschland is Launched
Germany – Robe lighting announces a new wholly-owned subsidiary, Robe Deutschland GmbH, which will be based in Munich and have a regional sales force covering the entire country.
The new company hits the ground running in this key European market with an exceptionally strong, experienced and well connected ‘dream-team’ on-board.
It will be headed by Dieter Gross, MD for sales and marketing and Martin Lönner, MD for operations and finances, a dual management framework that has worked so well in other Robe subsidiaries including Robe France and Robe North America.
Stephanie Walloner is deputy sales and marketing director and sales managers include Olaf Nehrenheim who will be on the road in north Germany and Martin Opitz who will be covering east Germany and Berlin.
Robe s.r.o.’s sales director Harry von den Stemmen explains that Robe Deutschland architecture has been strategically moulded and the personnel carefully hand-picked to drive the continuation and further optimisation of Robe’s success in the region.
“As we all know, getting good people and the right people is absolutely essential to maintaining relationships and building new ones. There has been intense interest from people wanting to join, and we are very fortunate to start with an incredibly well-respected and liked management team who are both outward looking and united.”
He adds that the recruitment will continue during the first months of Robe Deutschland GmbH‘s operation and as its business takes shape.
While sales in Germany have been healthy in recent years, they are committed to extending Robe’s very personal service and standards of excellence in customer support, for which the brand is synonymous.
Robe wants to get closer to customers and end-users, not just physically, but to more fully understand the detailed requirements of their business and continue its path of innovation and providing the solutions and strategies they most need to grow, as well as bringing a wider range of products to the market.
In Germany, Robe is popular in the worlds of rental, live production and automotive events. Robe Deutschland will grow these alongside developing markets like television, theatre and architectural. “There is a massive potential,” says Harry, “especially with the current and planned products, and we believe the best way to capitalise on this is to have the strength and stability of a full Robe operation in place.”
Robe CEO Josef Valchar commented: “This is a very exciting phase in Robe’s development and we welcome our new colleagues in Germany to the Robe Family. We are all looking forward to working alongside them and sharing ideas, energy and success.”
In picture: Front row – Josef Valchar (CEO Robe lighting s.r.o.), Martin Lönner (MD of operations and finance, Robe Deutschland), Olaf Nehrenheim (Robe Deutschland area sales manager for north Germany), Stephanie Walloner (Robe Deutschland’s head of sales for southern Germany and deputy sales and marketing director); back row – Ingo Dombrowski (Robe Lighting key account manager Europe), Dieter Gross (Robe Deutschland managing director of sales and marketing), Martin Opitz (Robe Deutschland area sales manager for east Germany and Berlin,) and Harry von den Stemmen (sales director, Robe lighting s.r.o.).
photo: Louise Stickland
4th April 2017
Delta AV Solutions Take On Martin Audio in Middle East
UAE – Martin Audio has appointed Dubai-based audio-visual integration company, Delta AV Solutions, as its new distributor for the GCC countries. The new arrangement comes into effect from 1st April.
Set up three years ago as a division of Delta Sound, who have bases in the UAE, Qatar and Hong Kong, Delta AV Solutions specialises in the sale and distribution of pro audio and control to the local rental and integration markets.
Contracts manager Gareth Armstrong, a veteran of running special projects in the region, says that Martin Audio plugs an important gap in their portfolio of Tier 1 brands. “Nothing compares to products like the BlacklineX and CDD ranges; as Martin Audio is now being specified a lot on BOQ’s [Bill of Quantities] we are optimistic that these will slot in quickly.”
Another factor that impresses him is the manufacturer’s support. “Their back office in particular is really strong, it can be difficult to know everything and Martin Audio is awesome in providing information and replying instantly to requests. In Dubai, Clients want everything yesterday, and so this is vital.”
Armstrong is also acutely aware of Martin Audio’s technology in being able to mitigate sound pollution problems. “I am presently dealing with just such a problem, similar to that of Hyde Park, where the proximity of other buildings around a site is making life tricky, and Martin Audio’s advanced software in dealing with containment issues will be a huge benefit.”
He confirmed that working with integration partners he has already begun specifying Martin Audio solutions. “We have several exciting projects in the pipeline and this will provide us with useful reference sites, as people really want to listen to the Martin Audio sound in a real world situation.
“We see this as a long term relationship, and aim to do our best for the brand,” he concludes.
Bradley Watson, Martin Audio sales manager, EMEA, added: “Following a number of potential enquiries for the new partnership in UAE, working with Gareth and Delta AV was the obvious solution.
“Gareth has been at the heart of the integration and pro audio market in Dubai now for over 15 years and with exposure like this, his relationships and links to the specifiers and owners is second to none. I look forward to a strong working relationship with Gareth and Delta for many years to come.”
In pictureL Delta AV Solutions’ Gareth Armstrong seals the deal with Martin Audio’s Bradley Watson.
4th April 2017
Prolyte Group expands distribution in Belgium and the Netherlands
Benelux – Following the recent expansion, Prolyte can now welcome AED Nederland as Prolyte distributor in the Netherlands, AED Distribution as ProLyft Service Point in Belgium and Controllux BE as both Prolyte distributor and ProLyft service point in Belgium.
With the appointment of two new service points in Belgium and extra Prolyte distributors in the Netherlands as well as in Belgium, Prolyte Group has guarantueed full distribution coverage in both countries.
Following AED Group’s aquisition of the Luxibel activities of former Prolyte distributor and Service Point in Belgium, Velleman BV, Prolyte needed to re-think its distribution options for Belgium and the Netherlands. With these recent appointments, customers in both countries have all the options at hand.
“Its really important for us that customers are served to our best ability,” states Ralph Stockley, Prolyte CCO. “This means we like to offer flexible acces to both our products as well as our services.” By expanding both the distribution and the service point network Prolyte is doing exactly that.
Both Controllux and AED Distribution are well-experienced and long-term Prolyte distributors, with lots of in-house experience. Both companies have build strong markets for Prolyte products and serve their own customer base.
As Hans Vanderheijden, managing director of AED Distribution comments: “Prolyte and AED always have been a strong team, setting the standard for the European AV market. Prolyte continues to deliver top-class quality and unrivalled support, that’s why we have chosen Prolyte to be our exclusive trussing and staging brand. Prolyte products are available for all our customers, whether they like to rent, buy or lease. We will continue to build our legacy together.”
Enrico Daamen, managing director of Controllux continues: “We are really thrilled to offer our customers in Belgium now the same package of brands we have supported in the Netherlands for over 20 years. We have choosen Prolyte for a reason, they are a high quality brand and their products suit the demands of our customers. It’s very satisfying that, as of now, also our Belgian customer can benefit fully from this professional product portefolio.”
With this latest expansion of the Prolyte partner network, customers can be assured to have the best possible access to the full range of Prolyte products, as well as expert support.
3rd April 2017
ETC acquires High End Systems
USA – ETC and High End Systems have announced that they are joining forces as ETC completes the acquisition of the Austin, TX based company from Barco Inc.
ETC CEO Fred Foster says: “Today we welcome the High End team to the ETC family. ETC will provide a supportive environment enabling High End to continue to innovate and make great products for the industry.”
Under the ETC umbrella, High End gains the oversight of an experienced lighting industry team to grow its capabilities in service, support, and product development. “Bringing High End to the family furthers our goal of growing and diversifying ETC. We plan to help High End become a market leader for live event industry products,” says David Lincecum, VP of marketing at ETC.
ETC will operate High End as a separate company located in its current Austin, Texas, USA facility. High End customers should continue to use normal means of contact for sales and service. Current contact information is listed here: www.highend.com/company/regional-sales#RDS
While there are no immediate changes to the sales and distribution channels, High End plans to evolve and improve the company’s reach in all markets by partnering with the existing distributor and dealer base and investing more in the support of these channels.
Mark Vassallo, ETC VP of sales, and David Lincecum welcome feedback, questions or concerns regarding the acquisition.
3rd April 2017
Hawthorn Expands Scenic Department
UK – Creative technical production expert, Hawthorn, has expanded its in-house Scenic department to enhance its set design and manufacturing service and meet increasing demand from clients.
To support the ongoing development of the department, Daniel Carden (pictured) joined the company in October 2016, taking up the role of head of scenic. Having previously worked in Dubai, Dan brought with him a wealth of experience in set building for exhibitions, events and theatre. Having been in position for six months now, he has already made a significant impact on the six-man strong department, including overseeing the purchase of a new CNC machine.
CNC (Computer Numerical Control) involves the use of computers to control machine tools. The machine enables much more precise manufacture than manual machining and can produce complex shapes that would otherwise be impossible to achieve. The new machine expands Hawthorn’s offering to its clients, allowing them to manufacture complex sets in-house, removing the need for additional suppliers.
“I’ve used CNC machines for many years and have seen the difference it can make, especially when a high-end finish is needed,” explains Dan. “It can be very labour intensive for the team to reach the required standard, whereas a computer driven machine can do it a lot easier and in a lot less time.”
And it’s not just large and elaborate sets that can be produced using CNC, but also small intricate fixings and decor. The use of a computer gives a high level of precision that means a task can be repeated, to the exact same standard and specification. With the CNC machine being able to do in ten minutes what it may take one man to do in eight hours, it also significantly decreases production time.
This latest piece of equipment further demonstrates Hawthorn’s commitment to invest in the latest technologies to meet the needs of its expanding client base.
Dan said: “This is a really exciting time for Hawthorn and I’m absolutely thrilled to have joined the team here. The guys in the workshop are highly skilled and by investing in new equipment, such as the CNC machine, we’re able to make the most of this. We can get really creative with our designs now as the machines remove the limitations we’ve had previously. We’re now able to offer our clients a complete scenic solution, from a unique and complex set to a selection of stock treads and flattage.”
Simon Wood, group director of projects at Hawthorn, said: “I’m delighted to have Dan on the team, taking the department forward. He brings a wealth of industry knowledge with him and has already made a huge impact on the development of our set department. The company has seen a significant level of growth over the past 12 months and we’re committed to investing in both equipment and staff to support this.”
31st March 2017
ADB signs with NLT for distribution in Germany
Germany - ADB, the OSRAM group company specialising in theatre and TV studio lighting, has appointed NLT Professionelle Beleuchtungstechnik as sole distributor of its products in Germany.
NLT was founded on the commitment of two experts in the professional lighting field: Berthold Jäger, who has worked in the industry since 1986 and who was head of the ADB office in Germany for a few years, and Mario Sprengel, who has had several experiences in professional lighting system design since 1992. Both have also worked for years as lecturers at the graduate schools in Hamburg and Munich.
“The choice of NLT as ADB's partner for the German market seemed natural to us all," said Simone Capeleto, ADB CEO. "Berthold and Mario have dealt with promoting ADB for many years, and continuity is important to our customers. NLT has an excellent reputation and ensures the best technical skills both for sales and assistance. Moreover, it fully shares the values of the ADB brand, which are quality, reliability and customer service.”
NLT Professionelle Beleuchtungstechnik works mainly in the field of theatres, opera houses, congress halls and TV studios, with a wide range of luminaires, control systems, dimmers and accessories. Its offer comes complete with a technical advisory service, both for designing and maintaining systems.
Some of the most memorable and prestigious projects carried out by NLT in Germany include the complete replacement of the dimmer system at the Neue Messe München with ten state-of-the-art Eurodim Twin Techs, equipped with more than 600 dimmers, and the expansion of the dimmer system at the Kulturpalast Dresden. Moreover, the Cologne Opera House, the Balletthaus Düsseldorf, the Semperoper in Dresden and the German TV stations HR and SR have also opted for ADB luminaires.
“Having become part of Claypaky and Osram, ADB is now entering a new era,” said Berthold Jäger and Mario Sprengel, “and will provide customers with highly innovative and reliable products. We are very pleased with the opportunity this renewed collaboration brings, which will be officially inaugurated at ProLight+Sound 2017. Our German customers there will finally be able to experience the exciting products our new ADB is bringing to the market.”
31st March 2017
Chauvet Professional Appoints First German Distributor
Germany – In response to the growing interest in its fixtures and video panels in Germany, Chauvet Professional has announced the completion of a distribution agreement with Fischer Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH. A highly regarded entertainment technology specialist with bases in Bremen, Berlin and Munderkingen, Fischer will supply Chauvet Professional products to rental and install houses in the German domestic market and beyond.
The deal marks a significant milestone for Chauvet, as it is the first time that Chauvet Professional fixtures will be available through official channels in the German market. “We are extremely excited to be teaming up with Fischer,” said Albert Chauvet, CEO of Chauvet. “In Fischer, we have found an experienced industry partner with the knowledge, infrastructure and distribution network necessary to cover and serve Europe’s largest domestic market. We look forward to expanding and developing Chauvet Professional’s presence in Germany.”
Michael Brooksbank, general manager of Chauvet Europe, also expressed enthusiasm for Fischer's service philosophy: “Fischer’s speed and efficiency of service is excellent. It’s precisely this approach which ensures compatibility to that of Chauvet’s, and as a result we believe this agreement offers an ideal fit for both parties.”
Fischer will present fixtures from Chauvet Professional publicly for the first time at Prolight + Sound (Hall 3, E10). The company is committed to supporting Chauvet Professional products with the same high level of service that have earned it a stellar reputation in the German market.
"We are delighted to have found a partner with Chauvet in the field of professional LED lighting,” commented Thomas Fischer, CEO of Fischer Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH. “Both Chauvet and Fischer share strong similar core values regarding customer service, product excellence and value, and we are ideally placed to distribute Chauvet Professional fixtures within Germany.”
Visit Chauvet Professional in Hall 4, F55
31st March 2017
Prolyte welcomes new distribution partner in Germany
Germany – Huss Licht & Ton have become distribution partner for Prolyte in Germany. Starting to sell trussing and stage decks, they aim to become a full-fledged Prolyte distributor, offering their customers the complete Prolyte product range.
Based in Langenau since 1989, Huss Licht & Ton has become a reliable partner for offering high quality products in the field of event technology.
Paring excellent customer service with the advantages of simple and secure online shopping they have grown considerable over the last years. The continuous development of their B-2-B webshop, as well as an outstanding performance in deliverability and adherence to delivery dates is the foundation for future growth to new markets.
Recognising Prolyte Group as a leading truss brand Huss contacted Prolyte to discuss partnership, based on their wish to offer its customer base a complete bandwidth of products. As Thilo Huss comments: “In our complete range of high-end event technologie brands, we could not miss a brand like Prolyte as leading truss manufacturer.”
Henry Schuil, responsible distributor manager adds: “We have been looking over a longer period to find a suitable partner in this region. Southern Germany and Austria are parts where Prolyte could be represented stronger. With Huss Light & Sound we have found a partner with not only an excellent reputation with their client base, but also a firm ambition for future growth.”
Thilo Huss continues: “We see a growing demand for larger structures and roof systems, Prolyte offers us access to these products and can support our client base with all the knowledge and service needed. That’s an excellent starting point.”
The complete range of Prolyte products is deliverable at Huss from this date. In their new Prolyte Brand Shop you can find all products listed.
Huss will have a representative on the Prolyte Group stand during the Prolight+Sound exhibition in Frankfurt. Furthermore, Huss will host its second open days on 25th and 26th of April.
A Prolyte Campus, dedicated to basic truss training, will be part of the event on Wednessday, 26th from 16:00 – 17:00.
30th March 2017
SeeSound Appointed Community Distributor for Spain and Portugal
Iberian Peninsula – Community Professional Loudspeakers has announced the appointment of SeeSound as its distributor for Spain and Portugal.
Based in Barcelona, SeeSound was founded in 2004 with the aim of delivering the best service and technical support, accompanied by a portfolio of premium brands that would provide consultants and installers with a complete range of solutions for projects. SeeSound represents over 25 leading pro audio brands, including AVID, DPA, Powersoft, Optocore, Symetrix and XTA.
Community’s EMEA sales manager, Jamie Ward, commented: “Lead by Nacho Alberdi, SeeSound is a leading distributor with an experienced sales department, an innovative and highly skilled project and engineering department, and a solid administration and logistics department. They are an ideal choice for Community and we look forward to working closely with the team in Spain and Portugal to bring our unique range of products and solutions to a wide range of applications.”
Carles Ribo, SeeSound’s product manager, added: “We have always had a lot of respect for Community. It is a leading brand with diverse applications for installed sound and a big reputation for outdoor loudspeakers, including EN54 and very long throw requirements. Community will definitely benefit our customers in designing and implementing their projects.”
In picture: Carles Ribo, Product Manager and Nacho Alberdi, CEO of SeeSound.
29th March 2017
Christie Lites Coventry Announces UK Team
UK – Christie Lites Coventry has put its UK team in place at its newest – and first overseas location – for the North American stage lighting and rigging rental company.
The warehouse doors open earlier than previously announced to accommodate its first UK/European tour with long-time client KISS. Limited business begins 1st April, with full operations expected to be running by 1st May.
Temporarily serving as set-up team are Dan Souwand, vice president of operations, and Mark Wolverton, operations manager of the CL New York office. Both are on location to ensure the shop and staff are compliant with Christie Lites standards.
Staffing the new UK office are operations manager Andy Mitchinson, along with account reps Roy Hunt and Andy Strachan.
Andy Mitchinson’s 25-year lighting industry career started in 1990 at The Oxford Apollo Theatre, then The Shepherds Bush Empire where he designed for various dance bands. In 1996 he moved to Australia as touring crew for Jands and Bytecraft for the next nine years. His personal highlight was as crew chief for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games opening ceremony. Mitchinson returned to the UK in 2005 as PRG crew chief for stadium world tours including The Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, Oasis, and Sam Smith. He just finished with Drake’s world tour in Paris before joining Christie Lites Coventry.
“Over the years I have only heard good things of the Christie Lites family from my colleagues,” says Mitchinson, “so I am excited to be a part of their expansion into Europe, especially knowing we have the full confidence and support of the extensive US operations behind us.”
Welcoming Mitchinson to the Coventry office, Souwand says: “Andy brings a strong touring background and work ethic, and a great understanding of what it takes to get the job done right, making sure that every show leaving the shop is up to Christie Lites’ and his own high level of quality. This is a reputation backed up by key mutual colleagues and I thank a particular Aussie mate for bringing Andy to our attention.”
Andy Strachan has 23 years in the lighting industry, starting in various theatres in Newcastle, then at various West End theatres in London while studying lighting design and getting his electrical qualification. This led to the Gearhouse group in London with a focus on corporate shows, then to Gearhouse Dubai where he became head of lighting and rigging. During that ten year period Andy looked after many large scale one-off shows and tours passing through.
Strachan also worked in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait to bring touring shows to the American and British troops. A personal highlight was working in Libya in front of the bombed house of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the capital. Through multiple walls of anti-aircraft guns and armed troops, the house was untouched by the bombing, which set the stage for Lionel Richie to perform.
Strachan later moved back to PRG UK as a senior account manager working across all markets, before coming to CL Coventry.
On joining Christie Lites, Strachan commented: “I am really looking forward to working with such a great team to deliver the best service possible for our clients.”
Roy Hunt studied electrical engineering in college and has spent the past 27 years touring in the industry. He started in the lighting industry in the early 1990s at Light & Sound Design in Birmingham, UK, where he went on to crew chief countless world tours with Prince, David Bowie, Pink, Oasis, Stevie Wonder, Jay Z, Korn, Christina Aguilera, Joe Cocker among many. He also served as lighting director for Rod Stewart, Il Divo, Eros Ramazzotti, Boyz II Men, Slash and others. In 2011 he got off the road and into the office as senior account manager with PRG to concentrate on delivering high profile global tours and shows.
Hunt considers himself blessed to have worked in the industry with some talented people, helping to deliver some amazing shows. “The experience gained from this has etched into me the importance of delivering the very best service possible,” Hunt says. “That’s why I am excited about working with Huntly and everyone at Christie Lites, a company that has its foundations firmly rooted in delivering the very best service as its number one priority.”
Welcoming Strachan and Hunt to the Christie Lites family of reps, CL CEO Huntly Christie says: “I am proud to have them providing the first face of Christie Lites in the UK. For the past 30 years, our focus has been on assembling a long-term team of lighting industry professionals with a passion for gigs and a keen eye on beneficial business. Our UK team will continue the Christie commitment to lighting designers and specifiers who seek out consistent top value and service in the UK, Europe and around the world. Andy and Roy are two top men in the stage lighting business, and I am grateful that they have come on board the Christie Lites bus.”
In picture: Christie Lites Coventry team of Andy Strachan, Andy Mitchinson and Roy Hunt.
29th March 2017
Creative Technology merges Mediatec UK into London operation
UK – Mediatec UK has been providing LED screens and associated production services to a small portfolio of prestige clients across the sporting and corporate event sectors since 2003. The merger with CT will allow the team access to a significantly larger pool of technical and operational resources.
The business will continue to operate from its current premises in Sunbury on Thames during the busy summer period, however it is expected to relocate to CT’s Crawley headquarters during the second half of 2017, allowing the combined business to fully realise the opportunities arising from collective resources.
Dave Crump, CEO of CT Group commented: “CT and Mediatec have enjoyed a close, albeit competitive relationship over many years. Several of the current Mediatec UK contracts started life with us and we have always enjoyed similar operating cultures alongside a healthy exchange of personnel and, occasionally, clients. Bringing the businesses together will provide enhanced opportunities for the majority of the staff and allow us to offer their clients a broader range of technology and services”.
Kenneth Patterson, president of Mediatec Solutions in Sweden added: “We have a great team in the UK who have done some excellent work, however they have always been somewhat limited by lack of local inventory and the distance/cost of operating from Sweden. Joining forces with our friends, and now colleagues at CT, is the ideal way to take the business forward and to allow the team to develop. I would like to thank the people at Mediatec UK for all of their commitment over the last 15 years and wish them the very best for the future.”
29th March 2017
APG Strengthens Presence in Asia with New Distributor Appointments
South East Asia – With an already successful presence in Asia thanks to a joint venture and historic distributors, French loudspeaker manufacturer APG took advantage of the recent Prolight + Sound Guangzhou trade show to announce new partnerships around APG North East Asia, the company’s joint venture in Hong Kong.
The first expansion is evidenced in China where APG welcomed TRAudio, who will share responsibilities with APG’s historical Chinese partner BVCam. “This partnership with TRAudio will focus on the entertainment sector, while BVCAM will keep doing the amazing job they have done for years in every other markets” explains Raymond Wong, managing director of APG North East Asia. “Being based in Guangzhou since 2011, TRAudio is ideally positioned to help us grow the brand in the entertainment market and in particular in the club scene, while giving the APG brand a more comprehensive coverage in China.”
TR Audio's owner Huang Zhao enthused: “We are very happy to have the opportunity to work with APG, a brand with decades of experience in loudspeaker manufacture. We are looking forward to presenting their products to our network of clients in the entertainment market and creating new opportunities for APG.”
BVCam’s director Danny Huen also welcomed the new partnership and is looking forward to seeing the APG brand grow further in China. “We’ve had a wonderful cooperation with APG for many years. We know the growing potential for the brand in China, especially when it comes to theatres and rental.”
At the same time, APG announced its geographic expansion in Korea. Effective immediately, system integrator, Soundplace Inc. will act as APG’s sole distributor in the Korean market. “We have been using APG for three years, and we were always impressed by the sound quality of their speakers.
“The audio industry in Korea is actively looking for loudspeakers that are capable of reproducing sound purity, so we are delighted to welcome APG into our product offering” explained Sang Woo Do, president of Soundplace Inc. The company is already working on several projects with APG that are set to be completed in 2017.
Commenting on the Korean appointment, Wong said: “Soundplace delivers exactly what we were looking for in Korea: An established and renowned presence in the theatre and houses of worship verticals. Their expertise in the fixed installation market will greatly contribute to the growth of the APG brand in Asia.”