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ETC postpones in-person trade show attendance until July 2021 and offers live online demos

26/10/2020

POLAR Appointed UK Distributors for Bluesound Professional

23/10/2020

Prolyte welcomes All Creation to become distributor in Japan

23/10/2020

SLS, from Sales Partner to Official Distributor

15/10/2020

Backup announces Hardship Fund

13/10/2020

Bandit Lites Supports Muzology

08/10/2020

Funktion-One appoints Ko Team as its distributor for Israel

05/10/2020

SCENA is with Prolyte in Russia

05/10/2020

UK Event Industry Campaigns Combine Forces to Deliver One Industry One Voice

05/10/2020

GDTF website migrates to VPLT association

01/10/2020

Adamson & ReWire Welcome Latest and Largest S-Series Partner in Japan

01/10/2020

DEMOA Partners with Renkus-Heinz to Ensure Premium Loudspeaker Solutions are Available Across France

29/09/2020

#WeMakeEvents campaign continues to build momentum

25/09/2020

The owners behind Visions acquire Dobson Sound Productions

24/09/2020

Award winning SME Pearce Hire joins industry roll call demanding urgent Government action

23/09/2020

Creative Technology Launches a New Website

23/09/2020

#WeMakeEvents campaign continues to build momentum

21/09/2020

K-array sound is an Urben legend

17/09/2020

ALD Launches Sponsored Student Scheme

16/09/2020

Entrepreneur, Nigel Wray invests in television lighting experts Version 2

16/09/2020

Absen among China’s Best Managed Companies 2020

11/09/2020

Backstage Academy Takes Centre Stage with Covid Best Practice

09/09/2020

Brompton Technology makes Sunday Times Sage Tech Track 100

08/09/2020

Prism Sound Appoints Trimac Products As Its Indian Distributor

28/08/2020

Point Source Audio Partners with Studio Connections Australia

27/08/2020

ETC postpones in-person trade show attendance until July 2021 and offers live online demos

ETC postpones in-person trade show attendance until July 2021 and offers live online demos

Worldwide – Out of concern for the safety of its employees and global community, ETC has announced that it will not participate in traditional trade show exhibitions until July, 2021. With the pandemic affecting many people’s ability and desire to travel, the company has instead decided to focus its resources on remote demos and online events.

A major part of the trade show experience is the chance to see the latest gear and get one-on-one face time with product experts. With this in mind, ETC has been hard at work converting in-house demo spaces throughout the company’s offices into studios for online product demonstrations. Customers may now use an online portal to schedule live, one-on-one demos of some of the company’s newest fixtures: ColorSource Spot jr, Source 4WRD Color, and the fos/4 Panel and fos/4 Fresnel studio products from the comfort of their own homes or workplaces. With plans in the works to expand these online offerings, ETC hopes to make online demos a permanent resource for customers looking for the latest in lighting technology.

Until live events can safely return, ETC is also turning its focus to online events and programmes. The company’s online Study Hall seminars – ongoing since the beginning of the pandemic shutdown – continue to provide remote learning and Q&A opportunities, with past sessions posted to an ever-growing YouTube library. Having held a successful training workshop for reps and dealers over the summer, ETC is also planning customer-facing events in the first half of 2021.

Live trade shows, customer visits and training in our offices around the world, all these activities will return to us in the future,” says David Lincecum, ETC’s vice president of marketing. “For the short term, we will focus our business plan on learning new ways to connect with customers.”

www.etcconnect.com

ETC postpones in-person trade show attendance until July 2021 and offers live online demosETC postpones in-person trade show attendance until July 2021 and offers live online demos

26th October 2020

ETC

POLAR Appointed UK Distributors for Bluesound Professional

POLAR Appointed UK Distributors for Bluesound Professional

UK – POLAR, established supplier of key industry brands to the AV Integration, MI and professional audio markets, has announced the addition of Bluesound Professional to its portfolio. Bluesound Professional provides networked audio streaming for installation and integration in the commercial world, offering a versatile way to incorporate music streaming from dozens of different platforms, including internet radio stations, Spotify and Amazon Music. A combination of hardware and software, Bluesound Professional’s range of streamers, amplifiers, active and POE+ installed loudspeakers and controllers provides an easy-to-install, expandable and secure solution designed for the commercial space. Utilising plug-in barrier strip connectivity, the platform can be integrated with existing audio installations for retro fit into retail, hospitality, restaurants, gyms and office environments, or as a complete end-to-end Bluesound installation.

Stuart Leader, director of POLAR’s Integrated Services division comments: “Before the advent of Bluesound Professional, the options for businesses wishing to stream digital audio content for replaying in public spaces were somewhat limited. Large businesses might use a ‘music provider’ which could be inflexible and expensive, whilst smaller operations were often limited to using a particular streaming service via a phone or a laptop. Bluesound Professional’s full range of streamers, amplifiers (rack-mounted) and all-in-one speakers, deliver high quality audio, are secure and have proper control options for commercial users.

“We’re very confident that this game-changing, cutting-edge addition to our portfolio will be an instant hit with our customers.”

Graeme Harrison, VP and general manager at Bluesound Professional adds: “We’re pleased to be partnering with POLAR to expand our presence in the UK. The POLAR team combines vast experience with the highest level of technical expertise, and its portfolio of brands speaks for itself. We feel that POLAR is perfectly placed to support the Bluesound Professional brand, and to communicate to its customers the advantages which our products can deliver to a wide range of commercial settings.”

 

23rd October 2020

Prolyte welcomes All Creation to become distributor in Japan

Japan – Established in 1995, All Creation is a professional team for construction in Japan, including stage setup, LED assembly, lighting installation, TV, movie set assembly and other event services.

The first journey between All Creation and Prolyte dates back to 15 years ago when the easy connection of trusses was introduced to All Creation. At that time, it was common sense that bolts were the mainstream for connecting truss flange surfaces and work would not progress without an impact driver. "However, Prolyte truss is easy to be connected by a hammer, and I was surprised and interested in the overwhelmingly fast assembly speed without worrying about forgetting to tighten the bolts," said Koichi Okajima, CEO of All Creation.

Back in the day, there was a concern about the lack of experienced personnel (engineers) in Japan, while the same applied to All Creation. Safety issues and personnel training were the most discussed topics in All Creation. More importantly, they are the present and future subjects to be taken care of. "Using Prolyte products, I realised that not only can these problems be solved, but also the construction time can be shortened. Partnering with Prolyte helps us reduce cost, the costs in all perspectives. This is one of the reasons I choose Prolyte."

"In addition, next to the outstanding product that drives this partnership, the biggest reason is the close communication between Eddie and all the staff in Prolyte. Both Eddie, who is the main responsible for All Creation, and other colleagues. They answered all our questions and fulfilled our requests sincerely and patiently by conducting multiple meetings. In the last several months, we were led to great relief. I am thankful to you."

I look forward to continuing to improve my knowledge of products and expand Prolyte Market in Japan." Koichi Okajima continues.

Eddie Slotboom, projects director of Prolyte says: "Glad to be back in Japan with direct contact for all customers in Japan. Happy to work with such a dedicated and well organised team as All Creation. Professional view on the entertainment branch with a wide knowledge. Sure that the Prolyte brand will succeed under the flag of All Creation with Mr. Okajima."

23rd October 2020

Prolyte

SLS, from Sales Partner to Official Distributor

SLS, from Sales Partner to Official Distributor

 

Portugal – Prolyte celebrates its latest addition to the family as Prolyte’s latest authorised dealer, Sound light and system (SLS), being Prolyte’s sales partner since 2014, has now become Prolyte’s latest distributor in Portugal.

Established in 2014, SLS has always had the mission to provide complete solutions for the professional audio and lighting market in Portugal.

"With the development of the market during these uncertain times, it is reassuring to have a strong trustable partner to further deliver high-end quality products and structural solutions that are in increasing demand in Portugal,” Prolyte manager William Voskuil said.

Rui Nunes, SLS CEO, states: "We’ve worked with Prolyte for years now and we firmly believe that Prolyte is in fact the best truss solution for the Portuguese market. Being a well-recognised and known brand, Prolyte is ahead of its game in the market, as it is not only used and trusted by everyone but also recognised for its potential to lead. Prolyte has always offered us an excellent, tech-savvy product line, and we’re more than excited to be an official distributor of the Prolyte family. We at SLS look forward to working together with Prolyte and create amazing things together.”

"It is always a pleasure to work with SLS, and the growth of this relationship is publicly recognised with this transition up the latter. SLS being our latest official distributor in Portugal strengthens our worldwide network, while increasing the availability of Prolyte's wide ranges of products across Portugal and the world. Rui Nunes is an industry professional and we are delighted to continue our magnificent work together with him and his team. We are pleased to have flourished this friendship and developed this partnership with one another, with a shared commitment to providing high-quality and safe products to the entertainment industry," William Voskuil adds.

“All of us at SLS are more than excited to work on great things together, now and in the future after these troubling days,” Rui Nunes, SLS CEO concludes.

SLS leads the Portuguese market by their young and ambitious team working around the clock to offer absolute top tier solutions at attractive prices. Thus, with this latest development, Prolyte assures that current and new Prolyte customers have quick access to materials, services, knowledge, and support from a trusted source within the industry.

15th October 2020

Prolyte

Backup announces Hardship Fund

UK – In light of the devastating impact of COVID-19, Backup – The Technical Entertainment Charity, has announced the creation of a separate initial Hardship Fund, which will provide limited financial assistance to crew/production personnel, and people working in the technical supply chain across the UK entertainment sector, including those from live events, theatre and TV and film.

“The technicians and their families in our industry, particularly freelancers, are experiencing incredible hardship at the moment and, with the lack of ongoing financial support from the Government, there are many people who are in desperate need of help,” says Backup chairman, John Simpson. “As an industry, we are trying to help ourselves, and Backup is now in a position to be able to offer a small measure of assistance. We still need more donations to help many more of our colleagues in distress.”

With the help of its supporters, including “We Make Events”, Backup has raised £100,000 to date, with Light Relief agreeing to match this funding with a further £100,000, targeted to help support the lighting community. This means that there will initially be a total fund of £200,000 allocated to this Hardship Fund, with further fundraising in progress.

During the first application period, from 19th October 2020 (08:00) to 30th October 2020 (20:00), Backup is targeting resources to people who have received no government grants (e.g. from the furlough scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)) and no grants from other charitable funds (e.g. Theatre Artists Fund, Arts Council, etc.). All successful applicants will receive funds two weeks after the closing date.

“Whilst we know this is not a perfect solution, and that there are so many technicians in need of assistance, we are ensuring that we help people who have had no financial support whatsoever first,” John adds. “If funds are available after this first application period, we will look to help people who have received limited government support or other charitable support.

For details on the hardship fund, eligibility criteria and how to apply, please visit:

https://www.backuptech.uk/apply/hardship-form/

13th October 2020

Bandit Lites Supports Muzology

USA – Students across the nation started this past school year enjoying maths, even though the subject had been incomprehensible to many of them previously. The reason: a concept called Muzology that combines music videos with the principles of pre-algebra.

“Our industry has been decimated by COVID-19. Another sector under immense strain is education,” says Bandit Lites chair, Michael Strickland. “We have to continue to provide quality education to our children, be it in the classroom or at home, and through platforms like Muzology this is happening.”

Strickland first learned about Muzology through his client and colleague, Bob Doyle, long-time manager of Garth Brooks.

“As soon as I heard about Muzology, I knew I had to help,” said Strickland, who is on the University of Tennessee President’s Council and helped pilot the Muzology programme in Knoxville. “Muzology has changed the lives of learners throughout the country. Now, to support equitable access to learning, Muzology has released Love @ First Sound (When Math Met Music), which has been submitted for consideration for a GRAMMY nomination in Best Children’s Album.”

Created by Doyle and memory expert, Dr. Lana Israel (a Harvard and Oxford-educated Rhodes Scholar), Muzology enlisted hit songwriters, producers and subject matter experts to craft academically sound songs that teach critical maths skills.

“We recognised that many students struggled with learning yet knew the words to countless pop songs,” explained Dr. Israel. “That’s because music directly activates brain regions critical for successful learning.”

Doyle added: “It’s how we all learned our ABCs: to a song, so why not extend the learning power of music to teach more sophisticated curriculum.”

A recent feature story on Muzology in Billboard quoted maths department chair, Shirley Forehand, who uses Muzology with her students in Little Rock, AR: “It’s probably one of the best resources that I’ve got and I’ve been teaching for 25 years. It reminded me of what I grew up on, Schoolhouse Rock but on steroids.”

8th October 2020

Funktion-One appoints Ko Team as its distributor for Israel

Funktion-One appoints Ko Team as its distributor for Israel

Israel – Loudspeaker manufacturer Funktion-One has joined forces with Ko Team as its distributor for Israel. The collaboration signals an exciting chapter for both companies, as they look forward to bringing Funktion-One sound to more venues and audiences around the country.

Following a meeting at ISE in early February, the conversation between Funktion-One’s director of business development Bill Woods and Ko Team’s Keynan Oz continued, with the partnership being finalised remotely due to travel restrictions.

“After the show we all agreed that Ko Team are the right company to work with in Israel and take the brand forward,” recalls Bill. “I was scheduled to visit Tel Aviv in early March but as the Coronavirus began to inexorably spread, I cancelled my flight and my appointments. After about a month, it became clear that trying to plan a visit was pointless, so the handshakes and on-boarding had to be done virtually.”

Though the distribution partnership is new, Keynan’s connection with Funktion-One goes back a couple of decades. He explains: “We have owned many Tony Andrews designed speakers over the past 20 years, and have grown from working as technicians in companies that owned them, then owning them ourselves, learning everything about them and now taking on the distribution.”

For Keynan and his team, the aim is to create the best environments, which means the best possible audio. He continues: “We believe our mission and life’s work is to create the best atmosphere in Israel’s nightlife. We see Funktion-One as the very best sound system in the world, so we’re very excited to have it in our company.”

Both Bill and Keynan recognise the potential in Israel and an opportunity to bring Funktion-One sound to more people. Bill says: “Having spent time in Tel Aviv a few years ago, I was aware of the bustling bar culture in the beach area and the potential for our brand if we were with the right company. Keynan and I totally agreed on a strategy and the stock necessary to take that forward. The pandemic conspired to scupper the initial plan, but I am 100 per cent confident in Keynan and his team’s ability to put Funktion-One in the position it deserves.”

Keynan adds: “There are over 1,000 nightlife locations in Israel. We are very excited to start installing Funktion-One systems; upgrading our customers and raising the sound quality of installs in Israel.”

5th October 2020

SCENA is with Prolyte in Russia

 

Prolyte would like to introduce its distributor for the Russian market, SCENA. The company was founded in 2016 by specialists with many years of experience in the field of equipment for cultural facilities and social and entertainment events.

“In different times one stays constant. Great quality and support from a truss manufacturer with over 25 years experience, Prolyte is available at Russian market like never before,” said Nikita Safonov, SCENA.

Having been a leading manufacturer and supplier of aluminium truss and staging for a long time, Prolyte has gained its reputation in providing the highest quality and safe products for the entertainment industry.

SCENA has an enormous knowledge of the Russian market and has already partnered with Prolyte for many years. Together they can formulate a more inclusive development of products and services according to your demand.

In these uncertain times, Prolyte and SCENA are reliable partners for valuable business.

5th October 2020

Prolyte

UK Event Industry Campaigns Combine Forces to Deliver One Industry One Voice

UK – Organisers of several high profile events industry campaigns have created a taskforce to ensure strong alignment and more effective communication in fighting for awareness and financial support for the whole industry. The organisations behind #WeMakeEvents, #Let the Music Play and #WeCreateExperiences will align with One Industry One Voice and are encouraging other campaigns to get in touch.

The three campaigns represent different communities of interest within the £84 billion UK Events industry, and a diverse range of creative and technical skills, venues, suppliers and infrastructure that make up the UK events ecosystem. By joining forces through the One Industry One Voice initiative, the taskforce hopes to co-ordinate closely on campaign dates; to amplify each other’s messages where relevant; share and agree on data and statistics to accurately reflect key industry numbers; align closely on key industry asks of government; and to promote each other’s activities.

The taskforce incorporates umbrella trade organisations, business visits and events partnerships (BVEP) which represents the conference, exhibition and outdoor events sector, the UK Live Music Group which represents the UK’s live music industry, and events and entertainment technology trade association the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA).

Simon Hughes, chair of the BVEP comments: “Many different industry sectors will be looking to government for additional help and assistance in the next few weeks, alongside the more public/corporate targeting with the narrative of confidence and expertise. So it will be critical to ensure that messaging with the various target audiences are aligned across the extended ecosystem that comprises the whole of the event industry in the UK and the extensive supply chain that supports many thousands of livelihoods and enriches the lives of millions of people from all parts of society."

PLASA started the #We Make Events campaign in May 2020 as a response to its members' plight. "We are immensely proud of how this has galvanised into over 22 trade bodies, along with thousands of industry professionals from over 28 countries, all working together voluntarily to create awareness of the whole events supply chain and the urgent need for financial support," says Peter Heath MD of PLASA "The alignment of the major hashtags allows us all to communicate more, maximise our efforts and streamline our voice to government."

“With a long dark winter ahead for many in the arts, culture and events spaces, it’s imperative that we work closely together,” says Greg Parmley, chair of UK Live Music Group. “Bringing the campaigns under one collective cross group addresses the need to communicate both short and medium-term tactics as well as the longer term plans required to support the industry.”

5th October 2020

GDTF website migrates to VPLT association

GDTF website migrates to VPLT association

General Device Type Format (GDTF) founders MA Lighting, Vectorworks, Inc and Robe lighting have transitioned the GDTF website to VPLT, the German Entertainment Technology Association. This migration will ensure a compliant platform for the exchange and future development of GDTF, which offers manufacturers and users a better way of planning and controlling complex productions from design to implementation for an event.

“On behalf of the three founding companies, we are all more than pleased to move the GDTF website under the roof of the VPLT, an independent association,” said Gerhard Krude, managing director of MA Lighting Technology. “This step is actually underlining what was always the intention of the original website, which is a barrier-free entity for serving the entire lighting industry community of end users, as well as manufacturers regardless of products, brands and boundaries.”

GDTF was conceived to create a unified definition for the exchange of data for the operation of intelligent luminaires. The unified standard provides a constituent and dependable way to adapt new fixtures and devices in the lighting industry. GDTF was previously recognised by DIN SPEC 15800 as an open standard for the entertainment industry worldwide.

“Technological developments are part of everyday life in our industry and ensure even better opportunities to deliver creative solutions that are precisely tailored to diverse productions of the highest quality,” said Randell Greenlee, director of commerce and international affairs at VPLT. “With the publication of DIN SPEC 15800, a new and important standard for the event industry has now been created. We hope for the widest possible dissemination of the standard within the industry thanks to the companies involved: MA Lighting, Robe lighting and Vectorworks, who have strived right from the start for an ‘open’ standard.”

VPLT is the German Entertainment Technology Association, representing around 800 members from the service, personnel, trade and manufacturer sectors of the event industry. The association is actively involved in all of the industry standards and standardisation processes of DIN and is represented in the European standardisation committee (CEN / TC 433 - Entertainment Technology). The association is also involved in standardisation in the ESTA Technical Standards Program (ANSI) in the USA.

1st October 2020

MA Lighting

Adamson & ReWire Welcome Latest and Largest S-Series Partner in Japan

Adamson & ReWire Welcome Latest and Largest S-Series Partner in Japan

Japan – Adamson Systems Engineering, together with its exclusive Japanese distributor, ReWire, has welcomed Osaka Onken as its latest S-Series partner in Japan. With its substantial investment, Osaka Onken now boasts the largest S-Series inventory in the country.

“Wanting to significantly boost our offerings with an investment in a high-end, sub-compact loudspeaker system, we invited several very reputable loudspeaker manufacturers to demo their products in late 2019,” says Tatsuo Yamamoto, president and CEO of Osaka Onken. “It was immediately clear that Adamson’s S-Series was the top choice in terms of performance, and we’ve only grown more confident in that decision based on the support we’ve received from Adamson and their colleagues at ReWire in the time since.”

The new system comprises: 48 sub-compact S10 two-way full range array enclosures, 16 complementary S119 subwoofers, eight ultra-compact S7p two-way, full-range point-source enclosures and eight PC5 two-way coaxial loudspeakers from Adamson’s Point Centric Series.

The system was delivered to Osaka Onken’s headquarters earlier in the summer, and the company hosted Adamson’s globally-standardised applied certification training for staff and outside technicians shortly thereafter in mid-July.

Based in Osaka, Japan’s second-largest city and a major hub in the West, Osaka Onken is one of the country’s most reputable production firms. Founded in 1973, the company is famous for supplying the system for The Beatles’ first-ever performance in Japan. In the years since, they’ve added a video division to support a wider range of applications.

“We’ve been very happy with our ongoing growth in the Japanese market thanks to our great partners,” says Ryoichi Ishii, director at ReWire. “We’re proud to welcome a company as revered as Osaka Onken to the global Adamson Network and look forward to working closely with them as they grow their business and help to strengthen Adamson’s presence throughout the country.”

In picture: Osaka Onken staff with new Adamson S-Series inventory

1st October 2020

DEMOA Partners with Renkus-Heinz to Ensure Premium Loudspeaker Solutions are Available Across France

DEMOA Partners with Renkus-Heinz to Ensure Premium Loudspeaker Solutions are Available Across France

France – Renkus-Heinz, manufacturer of professional loudspeakers, is partnering with DEMOA to bring premium sound offerings to France. The move puts Renkus-Heinz solutions in the hands of more integrators and end users, allowing for quality sound to be placed precisely where it is most wanted: on the audience.

“We’re extremely excited to be working with DEMOA to help AV consultants, integrators and architects in France,” said Michal Poplawski, European technical sales manager at Renkus-Heinz. “DEMOA is a rapidly growing team of well-known and respected talents in the country, and will offer a specialist approach to supporting audio professionals and end users seeking to place high-quality audio with precision.”

DEMOA specialises in professional audio and video solutions across markets that dovetail well with Renkus-Heinz’ mission to place sound precisely on the audience. This includes work in the education, hospitality, corporate, live performance and sports facilities space. Highlights from their list of recent projects includes the five-star Hotel Manali, the St. Etienne City Stadium, Rolland Garros Stadium, and GAIA Restaurant.

Renkus-Heinz has provided premium loudspeaker solutions for more than 40 years, and for more than a decade has worked to perfect digital beam steering technology. These steerable solutions allow for audio to be positioned in any room, keeping the focus off any architectural peculiarities or reverberant surfaces and instead placing it precisely on the audience. With supporting tools, from robust software suites to elegant Android and iOS applications, the integrator and end user is put in total control of their loudspeaker systems.

“The French market will greatly benefit from this partnership as Renkus-Heinz crafts impressive, high-end solutions that bring a technical advantage to audio integrations,” said Etienne Bérard, CEO at DEMOA. “By bringing these incredibly valuable products to our customers, organisations in France will have better sounding AV systems and customers of those organisations will have access to a better sounding world!”

29th September 2020

#WeMakeEvents campaign continues to build momentum

#WeMakeEvents campaign continues to build momentum

UK – The #WeMakeEvents campaign aims to raise awareness around the current plight of the live entertainments sector and its urgent need for financial support if it is to support the Covid-19 crisis. Last month, it was announced that it would be steered by a collective of industry trade bodies, businesses and freelancers, all working in collaboration with each other. Over the past few weeks, the team has continued to build momentum around the campaign, working endlessly to rally the government for much needed support.

Following last month’s Day of Action which saw buildings across the UK lit up in red as a show of support, the #WeMakeEvents team has been busy capitalising on the extensive media coverage and attention this received. One of those involved is White Light’s managing director Bryan Raven, who comments: “The Day of Action was vitally important for our cause as it finally got people talking. There were a few government figures who weren’t particularly listening to our concerns prior to this and didn’t fully appreciate the scale of the crisis we are in. That certainly seems to have changed now and, whilst it may appear that the campaign has been slightly quieter for the past few weeks, this is only due to us putting all of our energies into the various meetings and surveys we’ve had to conduct to ensure the campaign continues to gain momentum.”

Activities over the last few weeks include meetings with political advisors, who are helping to formulate precise action points of the campaign’s next steps, as well as collating a Briefing Information document which is being used to rally MPs and other people of influence. There have also been several surveys conducted, such as the Freelancer Survey, which will allow the campaign to present the government with facts and figures which show how vital this industry is to the economy. A letter featuring prominent industry heads was printed in The Times newspaper to rally further mainstream support of our plight. The campaign team has also been working hard to determine just who will be able to receive any existing government funding, after receiving confirmation from the DCMS that the Culture Recovery Fund will not apply to event companies.

In addition to raising the profile of this emergency, #WeMakeEvents is implementing its plans to raise funds for those most affected, the first step is the merchandise store, now available on the new WeMakeEvents.com site, https://www.wemakeeventsstore.com/, and contributions to our chosen industry charities starting with Backup – The Technical Entertainment Charity. 

There have also been plans made for a Creative Action Protest to be held in Parliament Square on 29th September to continue pressuring the government for support. For this event in particular, the #WeMakeEvents team would encourage as many individuals as possible to attend in order to emphasise the importance of this campaign as well as how the industry is edging ever closer to collapse. Reinforcing the professionalism of our sector, all events observe Covid safety protocols including masks and social distancing, of course. You can register here. This will be followed by the Global Action Day on the 30th, more information on which will be issued shortly.

Bryan concludes: “It’s safe to say that it’s been an incredibly busy few weeks for all of us at #WeMakeEvents. Unfortunately, we have to be honest and say there is no instant fix available to solve the issues we all face, so instead, our time and energy need to go into well-thought out strategies and ensure we use our resources as effectively as possible. With Furlough ending next month, this is a battle that still needs fighting and we will be at the forefront of that. We will continue our hard work over the next few weeks and hope that our efforts will see the breakthrough we so desperately need.”

For more information about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit www.wemakeevents.com

25th September 2020

The owners behind Visions acquire Dobson Sound Productions

UK – The Creative Production Group who are the owners behind Visions based in Reading and Manchester, has announced the purchase of the London-based sound reinforcement company, Dobson Sound Productions.

Dobson Sound Productions work with a wide range of artists and venues on events from small, intimate dinners through to large festivals delivering high-end systems into a wide variety of live environments.

Chris Norman, CEO said: “We have always looked at opportunities to expand our service to our clients and have been keen to have a base in London. We intend to keep Dobson Sound Productions at its historic location in Deer Park Road, Wimbledon where David Lewis, Bill Woods and key members of the team will be on hand to look after customers. The acquisition allows the group to significantly expand its stock holding of sound equipment with a specialist audio provider, it also allows expanded services to Dobson clients.

Paul Dobson adds: “It is great news that Dobson Sound can continue to look after its clients. Becoming part of the larger family with the services Visions provides, creates exciting new opportunities.”

24th September 2020

Award winning SME Pearce Hire joins industry roll call demanding urgent Government action

Award winning SME Pearce Hire joins industry roll call demanding urgent Government action

UK – The beginning of 2020 could not have got off to a better start for Peterborough-based Pearce Hire. Securing three final shortlistings across various industry award ceremonies, the team was thrilled to win the Favourite Power Supply company at the TPi Awards at the end of February – an accolade they had worked tirelessly towards securing for several years. Things were looking bright, and business was thriving.

Then the pandemic took hold and the industry was the first to be locked down by the government.

Almost six months on and Shaun Pearce, MD of Pearce Hire is actively lobbying the government, as are many throughout the sector. He is asking for urgent government intervention. Specifically the continuation of SEISS (self-employment income support scheme) for those individuals working in the industry, continuing furlough support for employees and extending rates relief to event hire businesses (most of which are SMEs and owner operated like Pearce Hire). Campaigning at the very least, for low interest, long-term repayment loans for those business needing a lifeline to survive until social distancing is a thing of the past and the live events industry can get back up and running.

Shaun established Pearce Hire over 30 years ago and since then has worked tirelessly to build a hugely successful business providing technical production services and dry hire solutions to over 2,000 events annually across the UK. That was annually: until 2020. Shaun and his management team had planned months in advance for another record year, recruiting another four permanent members of staff with typically, over 70 seasonal freelance technicians being employed every year as well. Pearce Hire was on the cusp of rolling out its busiest summer season ever when the government shut down the economy and everything came to a grinding halt.

“The impact was immediate and disastrous for us,” grimaces Shaun.

As an event production company, with an expertise in temporary power and production services for outdoor events and greenfield site events, May to October are Pearce Hire’s busiest months. With an all too familiar and gloomy story, Shaun explains what happened next. “Even before lockdown was officially announced we had started to get cancellations from early March onwards. From then on it was a downward spiral and within six weeks we had lost over 85 per cent of our annual business because of circumstances entirely out of our, or anybody else’s control.”

As the severity and seriousness of the pandemic became apparent, Shaun saw his company’s packed summer diary disappear. Late Autumn and Christmas work is also now being cancelled as fears of a second spike loom. “We have an extremely loyal customer base and many of the events we supply are on rolling long-term contracts, so planning and collaboration with our clients begins months in advance and we work closely with them as close-knit teams. But we couldn’t do anything about the situation and nor could they, social distancing and a ban on mass gatherings basically wipes out our core business activities.”

Shaun had to make some immediate, and very difficult decisions. From the end of March all his team went onto furlough. Since then he has lost 40% of the Pearce Hire workforce through redundancy. “We hope that will be as far as we have to go, and we are currently working very hard to try and ensure it does not get any worse for our loyal, experienced and highly skilled team.”

Shaun has diligently petitioned local government to help them understand the unique issues the industry faces and to seek additional support as it became increasingly apparent that: “We were the first industry to be shut down and will be the last to re-open.” A mild mannered and softly spoken man, he firmly believes that: “Now is the time we really need the government to step in and provide some additional support to prevent the whole industry, the SMEs and freelancers who are the backbone of our industry being decimated.” He has spent hours writing letters, emails and making telephone calls to local MPs, councillors on the Peterborough City Council, the Mayor of Cambridgeshire, and the Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire County Council, all to no avail. “We pay tens of thousands a year in business rates and we have not even been given any rates relief! I actually don’t think the local authorities have been given the scope by Government to get the grants to where they are needed most. Other small businesses, which the government seems to understand better, are getting all sorts of rebates and support while Pearce Hire, with an 85 per cent loss of business, a strong local workforce (both full time and freelance), an extensive staff training and welfare policy, large annual tax bill, work experience and training engagement with the local college and schools gets nothing! It’s just unbelievable and I know we aren’t alone in this nightmare.

“Yes, we may well be a young and relatively small industry sector in comparison with others, but we are a world leading, highly skilled and resourceful industry. Our sector makes an enormous contribution to the UK economy, possibly punching above our weight in this respect. The camaraderie amongst our crews, our freelancers and even between our company and our competitors is really unique. We are an industry based on individual skills and made up predominantly of freelancers and gig workers. But all this is at risk.”

Shaun and his team have also been supporting the industry’s key initiatives #LetTheMusicPlay, #WeMakeEvents and #LightItInRed. At the recent ‘Red Alert #WeMakeEvents” call to action, Shaun and most of his team headed down to London to join over 3,500 other industry colleagues and friends. Whilst others in the team travelled up north to support the demonstrations there. “Our industry works in the background, literally backstage, the spotlight is never on us, but we need to step out of the wings and demand the support we need. It’s not a comfortable place for any of us to be – upfront and on the stage, but at the moment we need to be. Festivals don’t just happen. Tours don’t just appear in a city one day, and another city another day. TV, corporate events, product launches … these events all rely on a skilled workforce coming in and doing what they do best to produce the best events possible and match or exceed their client’s expectations.”

Shaun is forever an optimist, he is positive, determined and considered in his approach. He is also passionate about the industry: “How often as an industry have we been told ‘you’ll never do that’ and then we have gone ahead and made it happen! It is this approach that makes us a strong industry!”

Shaun believes that the industry profile is becoming a little more front and centre as he watches the rolling news every day. This is helping to raise the awareness, but he still feels it’s not enough for the Government to take note, and, more specifically take action. “I really wish it was. I am sorry to be a pessimist, it’s not in my nature, but without any Government intervention the situation is going to get a whole lot worse before we see even the slightest signs of improvement. We need grants (not loans), business rates relief and an immediate extension to the furlough scheme for our sector. An industry catastrophe is just around the corner coupled with a harsh winter for all the staff and crew of this industry and it breaks my heart.”

Pearce Hire has partnered with some companies to provide technical and production support in the weeks since March as, and where it has been able. The team has by no means replaced its usual packed summer calendar, but it has provided some technical resources to the Nightingale field hospitals around the country and the Covid testing stations. It has also supplied power equipment requirements for Amazon’s large warehouse facilities to provide Covid-safe areas for staff access and egress to the warehouses. In recent weeks, as one of the preferred suppliers at the East of England Arena and Events Centre and Showground (EEAEC), Pearce Hire has also supplied power and on-site PA systems for one of their regular clients Warner’s Exhibitions who were able to stage a socially distanced Outdoor Motorhome Camper Show. This was one of the first outdoor events permitted since lockdown eased and followed the strict All Secure Covid guidance to produce a safe environment for all exhibitors and attendees.

The team is also now working with James Eade Training to provide socially distanced BS7909 courses (covering temporary electrical systems for entertainment and related purposes) from Pearce Hire HQ, the next of which is running from Monday 28th - Wednesday 30th September. “We are pleased to be able to support training like this to help individuals feel ‘match ready’ once the industry opens up again,” says Shaun with a rare smile crossing his face.

“We can’t wait to get back to what we do best: providing award winning services to this brilliant and resourceful industry of ours and helping everyone get out there and celebrate life through festivals, gigs, running events and all manner of other outdoor and indoor events. Until then, we’re backing the #WeMakeEvents campaign which is now planning a global day of creative action on 30th September and we will do all we can to support that. We are an industry in crisis but there is a huge amount of camaraderie and positivity out there. We will play our part where we can. That’s what this industry does, when faced with a challenge we meet it head on and make things happen no matter what the barriers are! Why should the Covid crisis be any different?”

23rd September 2020

Creative Technology Launches a New Website

Creative Technology Launches a New Website

Creative Technology (CT), one of the world’s leading providers of technology services to the global events industry, has recently launched a new and dynamic, mobile responsive website.

Since joining the NEP group three years ago the CT business world-wide has expanded significantly through a combination of organic growth, acquisition and re-branding of regional businesses and is now operates from 24 inventoried locations across 15 countries.

The new website built over a 12-month period, provides a consistent look, feel and messaging while allowing a high degree of local customisation for CT’s evolving global structure.

At launch there are dedicated new sites for US, UK, Middle East and Spain, including multiple language options on the Spanish site.

In the coming weeks Asia Pacific, Northern Europe, Ireland, Germany and Holland will be added each with dedicated sites focusing on relevant local service offerings and market sector activities and significant additional language functionality.

The development process has been led by Kris Jonson, director of marketing for CT in North America who commented: “With this new website we have more flexibility with SEO, and our graphics have been updated with a more modern look and feel which is crucial to keeping the brand fresh.”

Dave Crump, CEO for CT’s EME division added: “We were determined to develop a new web platform which clearly communicates our core values and global service proposition , whilst allowing a high degree of regional flexibility, a clear focus on our local delivery capability and reflects the widely varying customer culture in different geographic markets. Kris has been hugely supported through this process by our world-wide marketing leads and Factor 1, a Phoenix based web studio chosen to support the project.”

www.ct-group.com

23rd September 2020

Creative Technology

#WeMakeEvents campaign continues to build momentum

#WeMakeEvents campaign continues to build momentum

UK – The #WeMakeEvents campaign aims to raise awareness around the current plight of the live entertainments sector and its urgent need for financial support if it is to support the Covid-19 crisis. Last month, it was announced that it would be steered by a collective of industry trade bodies, businesses and freelancers, all working in collaboration with each other. Over the past few weeks, the team has continued to build momentum around the campaign, working endlessly to rally the government for much needed support.
Following last month’s Day of Action which saw buildings across the UK lit up in red as a show of support, the #WeMakeEvents team has been busy capitalising on the extensive media coverage and attention this received. One of those involved is White Light’s managing director Bryan Raven, who comments: “The Day of Action was vitally important for our cause as it finally got people talking. There were a few government figures who weren’t particularly listening to our concerns prior to this and didn’t fully appreciate the scale of the crisis we are in. That certainly seems to have changed now and, whilst it may appear that the campaign has been slightly quieter for the past few weeks, this is only due to us putting all of our energies into the various meetings and surveys we’ve had to conduct to ensure the campaign continues to gain momentum.”

Activities over the last few weeks include meetings with political advisors, who are helping to formulate precise action points of the campaign’s next steps, as well as collating a Briefing Information document which is being used to rally MPs and other people of influence. There have also been several surveys conducted, such as the Freelancer Survey, which will allow the campaign to present the government with facts and figures which show how vital this industry is to the economy. A letter featuring prominent industry heads was printed in The Times newspaper to rally further mainstream support of our plight. The campaign team has also been working hard to determine just who will be able to receive any existing government funding, after receiving confirmation from the DCMS that the Culture Recovery Fund will not apply to event companies.

In addition to raising the profile of this emergency, #WeMakeEvents is implementing its plans to raise funds for those most affected, the first step is the merchandise store, now available on the new WeMakeEvents.com site, https://www.wemakeeventsstore.com/, and contributions to our chosen industry charities starting with Backup – The Technical Entertainment Charity.

There have also been plans made for a Creative Action Protest to be held in Parliament Square on 29th September to continue pressuring the government for support. For this event in particular, the #WeMakeEvents team would encourage as many individuals as possible to attend in order to emphasise the importance of this campaign as well as how the industry is edging ever closer to collapse. Reinforcing the professionalism of our sector, all events observe Covid safety protocols including masks and social distancing, of course. You can register here. This will be followed by the Global Action Day on the 30th, more information on which will be issued shortly.

Bryan concludes: “It’s safe to say that it’s been an incredibly busy few weeks for all of us at #WeMakeEvents. Unfortunately, we have to be honest and say there is no instant fix available to solve the issues we all face, so instead, our time and energy need to go into well-thought out strategies and ensure we use our resources as effectively as possible. With Furlough ending next month, this is a battle that still needs fighting and we will be at the forefront of that. We will continue our hard work over the next few weeks and hope that our efforts will see the breakthrough we so desperately need.”
For more information about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit www.wemakeevents.com

21st September 2020

K-array sound is an Urben legend

K-array sound is an Urben legend
K-array sound is an Urben legend

UK – AV industry innovator, Urben, will open its newly transformed in-house demonstration facility this month, showcasing the company’s UK-manufactured range of digital collaboration solutions which include integrated ultra-compact K-array loudspeaker systems.

St Albans-headquartered Urben delivers unique all-in-one meeting room solutions all around the world, with units designed for corporate communications ranging from small huddle rooms and large boardrooms, to control room installations and digital signage. The permanent on site demonstration suite will showcase solutions for safely returning to the office during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as featuring innovative solutions for lobby spaces and immersive collaboration requirements.

K-array takes pride of place amongst the top technology providers deployed in Urben systems as one of a select group of brands capable of delivering top quality audio performance from a very small form factor. All of the Urben range of products are slimline and floor-standing, requiring only power and data in the floor and avoiding the restrictions associated with wall mounting, and occupy an extremely minimal footprint. The Urben Trio, which houses as a standard configuration a pair of Vyper-KV25 ultra-flat aluminium 25-cm line arrays and two Truffle-KTR24 compact subwoofers, measures only 4cm in depth, a feature clearly illustrated by Urben’s head of business development, Andrew Giles: “If you want a small speaker to fit in a small space, then K-array is what it’s going to be.

“We chose K-array because it's the optimal combination of size and audio quality to fit within Urben's ultra-thin frames. It's the best sound on the market from such a compact unit; we're delighted with how it sounds in Zoom's offices."

Urben’s bundled audio-visual solutions currently lead the field in terms of modular design, ease of installation and use, and audio performance. Combining industry-leading hardware and software Urben systems have already achieved widespread adoption by the two major digital collaboration platforms aiding businesses to communicate effectively during the restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

Urben is an official Zoom partner, having kitted out several of the communications technology firm’s office suites in San Jose, CA, and London because they wanted a complete solution with top end audio, and also works closely with Zoom in deploying instant meeting room facilities to support Zoom Rooms licenses. Underpinning its vendor-agnostic design concept, Urben equally accommodates the Microsoft Teams platform (amongst others), allowing users to benefit from all available data collaboration options.

“If you want a small speaker to fit in a small space, then K-array is what it’s going to be,” stated Giles.

The Urben concept resonates strongly with the way the world is transforming right now, with the way that businesses are communicating, sharing data and acting on it at a pace that would have been unimaginable a few months ago. Urben provides an answer for companies that are looking to redeploy and make better use of expensive real estate.

“We’re seeing a growing trend for firms to divide up large boardrooms which are rarely used into smaller huddle spaces equipped with our slimline Urben solutions,” explained Giles. “So the Urben systems are a low cost but high-quality solution for people who want to quickly pop up a very simple meeting room; it’s very affordable even for small businesses and start-ups. And it’s all about ease of deployment and speed of installation, we can install a complete Zoom Room or Microsoft Teams Room in a fraction of the time it used to take because the systems are modular and pre-bundled, ready to plug and play. A client can order an Urben Lite or Nano solution before midday in the UK and have it delivered and be up and running within minutes on the next day.

“Our first experience of using K-array was in a British Formula One Team’s control room, which sounded amazing,” continued Giles. “Then we went on to equip a global energy services company’s headquarters with a large scale system using Vyper line arrays and Rumble subwoofers integrated into a 6m by 3m Barco display.”

Urben solutions are distributed worldwide, since many clients are multi-nationals with offices around the globe - a process made even easier due to K-array’s legacy and widespread acceptance as a high-end and ultimately stylish loudspeaker brand. Giles expounded: “the small footprint, crystal clear sound quality and ability to accommodate compact subwoofers in the larger triple screen Urben systems make K-array a perfect match. The form factor gives us a lot of flexibility in the way we design our systems to maintain their slim profile. You may not be able to see them, but when you fire them up they sound amazing.”

In addition to helping people adapt to a radically different working environment and getting back to the office, Urben also offers a smart way forward for distance learning. Again, the modular solutions can be easily customised and deployed, and as a result, secondary learning institutions, higher education facilities and universities are taking advantage of the multiple video and data feeds that are possible, allowing the teachers to see all the students, interact with them and keep track of the lesson’s content in one view.

“We chose K-array because it's the optimal combination of size and audio quality to fit within Urben's ultra-thin frames,” said Giles. “It's the best sound on the market from such a compact unit; we're delighted with how it sounds in Zoom's offices.

“We’re using the launch of our new demo suite to show off AV solutions in a real environment because the technology is evolving so rapidly. People want to see the total solution and hear what it can do for them,” he concluded. “We look forward to welcoming visitors to the K-array experience at the Urben Demo Suite.”

 

K-array sound is an Urben legendK-array sound is an Urben legend

17th September 2020

ALD Launches Sponsored Student Scheme

ALD Launches Sponsored Student Scheme

UK – The ALD, for people in performance lighting, has announced that applications for its perennially popular Sponsored Student Scheme for the year 2021 are open, and that also running alongside the scheme, for the month of September only, is a promotion targeted at the other individual membership categories, for discounted subscription rates for the rest of the membership year to March 2021.

The Sponsored Student Scheme is funded by ALD Corporate Members and is targeted towards students who have not previously been members, offering the opportunity of free ALD membership until the end of March 2022.

Membership within any category provides vital interaction opportunities and connection between established figures in professional lighting and video design, and the next generation of talented designers, programmers and technicians. Members also enjoy complimentary copies of the Association’s magazine Focus, as well as full access to the ALD website (and student micro-site for students) which provides a range of documents and resources designed to inform your contract negotiations, assist your working conditions and highlight issues affecting our members.

Jack Wills, of the ALD student working group explains why students should apply: "ALD student membership gives an excellent introduction to those entering or considering a career in the lighting and video areas of the live performance arts. It allows you to plug directly into a network, and through the experiences and literature offered by the Association, exposes the breadth of jobs and career paths available within the in the UK and around the world.”

Applications for the Sponsored Student Scheme can be submitted straight away via www.ald.org.uk/join, but must be received before Christmas 2020. Students will not have previously been a member of the association and will be studying full time on a UK course or recognised industry apprenticeship scheme and have an interest in the process of live performance lighting and/or video and projection.

For other individuals who have not been a member previously, or for at least three years, the fees to March 2021 are discounted from the pro-rata level for the remaining membership year, with further savings to be made if signing up to pay by monthly direct debit. In addition, those applications supported by a current member ALD Sponsor will also attract a discount on their fees as well. Full details of the schemes and applicable rates can be found at www.ald.org.uk/blog

The last six months have shown that the industry is stronger when it is unified and supporting its practitioners through advice, networking and information sharing. Joining the relevant association now will help the process to build that voice, and contribute to creating stronger representation for those working in the industry as it starts to open up again.

16th September 2020

Entrepreneur, Nigel Wray invests in television lighting experts Version 2

Entrepreneur, Nigel Wray invests in television lighting experts Version 2

UK – Version 2 Lights Limited ("Version 2"), the UK's foremost lighting rental specialists for the television, broadcast and entertainment media production industries, has announced the completion of an equity investment deal with Nigel Wray and his team.

This significant investment represents a milestone step in Version 2’s strategic plan to grow its position within the UK production community through an expanded equipment inventory and enhanced company infrastructure.

"We are delighted that Nigel has chosen to join us at this important stage in the evolution of our company,” says Nick Edwards, managing director of Version 2. “Nigel has an incredibly strong commercial background working with high profile names such as Domino’s and Saracens. His considerable business acumen which, importantly for us, includes a solid understanding of our industry, makes him an ideal partner. His involvement will allow us the scope both to build our equipment offering and to further develop our range of client support services.”

Nigel Wray comments: "Small entrepreneurially led businesses are the true lifeblood of this country. Without those little acorns where will the next mighty oaks come from. We’ve been impressed with Nick Edwards and his team and we’re delighted to join them on the journey to hopefully building a long-term success story."

Working alongside some of the industry’s most prominent lighting directors, Version 2 services a broad range of productions, including Strictly Come Dancing, I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! and The Jonathan Ross Show.

Since its inception in 2016, the UK owned company has enjoyed a carefully managed growth and has recently completed a move to a state-of-the-art facility in Reading. The new partnership, along with the availability of fresh funding, will allow the company to reinforce its market leadership position and maintain the ongoing policy of investment across all areas of its business.

Nick adds: “We have some exciting plans for the future. We are committed to strengthening both our team and our equipment inventory as we continue to support the growing number of productions we service. Having Nigel on board as a long term partner is a fantastic addition. I am confident that our clients will immediately see the benefits that this investment will deliver.”

16th September 2020

Absen among China’s Best Managed Companies 2020

Absen among China’s Best Managed Companies 2020

China – LED display specialist, Absen, has once again been recognised as one of China’s Best Managed Companies in Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies (BMC) programme.

The BMC programme is a global initiative that identifies and recognises private companies with advanced management ideas and excellent business performance. Key factors in the evaluation of a company’s management ability include Strategy, Capabilities, Commitment and Financial Strength. This year, the selection criteria also considered Resiliency towards the Covid-19 pandemic. Absen was deemed to have shown extraordinary competency in all areas, allowing the company to weather these difficult times.

With a reputation for providing high quality LED displays, Absen once again achieved the number one global export position for the 11th consecutive year and will next year celebrate its 20th anniversary. Absen has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with an annual production capacity of 300,000sqm and places great emphasis on R&D and innovation. The company has built a strong customer service network with 15 domestic and overseas subsidiaries in order to support its customers worldwide.

Throughout 2020, Absen has continued to make improvements to its management systems, IT systems and end-to-end processes with the goal of becoming a fully ‘customer-centric’ organisation and while being underpinned and guided by a strong corporate culture and sound financial management. The company has also invested in talent development and corporate social responsibility practices.

Zhao Jian, BMC managing partner, says resilience creates sustainable value for enterprises. Long-lasting businesses and first-class enterprises have experienced several economic cycles, and will have more comprehensive and sophisticated strategies. The greater an enterprise's long-term mission, the greater its vitality. "Highly resilient enterprises" have developed strong immunity.

Alex Couzins, Absen Europe’s head of brand and marketing, said: “We are delighted to receive this award again this year, as we know that BMC Awards examines every component of a company, and this is confirmation that we are heading in the right direction. Getting this business accolade will further boost our confidence in continuing to improve our business management as well as our products and services.”

11th September 2020

Backstage Academy Takes Centre Stage with Covid Best Practice

Backstage Academy Takes Centre Stage with Covid Best Practice

UKBackstage Academy has affirmed its commitment to safeguarding students entering the live events industry after it was selected by the QAA to take part in a series of best-practice Covid case studies. The institution was recognised by the assurance agency for the measures put in place following the outbreak of the pandemic.

Located at the world-renowned Production Park in South Kirby, Yorkshire, the higher education institution was included in a case study report, acknowledged by the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) for its ability to adapt to the pandemic.

The Academy, which offers degrees, short courses and bespoke training for the live events industry, believes the special measures put in place for the next cohort of students in September will ensure “the long term survival of the industry, worth a vital £30bn to the UK’s economy.”

The QAA’s report focused on providers who overcame difficulties due to size, resource and specialisms, and recognised Backstage's fast response to the pandemic’s onset in March, its scenario planning for current students and detailed contingency plans for new students in October.

In addition to the QAA recognition, the results of which can be found here, Backstage Academy has also recently been accepted as a member into the Independent HE group, which recognises training and regulatory compliance, institutional practice, and the professional development of staff.

Rachel Nicholson, head of Backstage Academy, comments: “At the onset of the pandemic, we gathered together our leadership team to analyse the risk it posed. We modelled a number of scenarios to correctly respond to the challenges faced, and to ensure our student’s safety, which has remained our number one priority.

We took the difficult decision to close the campus for students, but when we realised the pandemic would continue, we made sure we quickly transferred all of our teaching online to minimise the disruption to students.”

Since May, the Academy has been planning and implementing measures to ensure the return to campus in a few weeks is safe and enjoyable for new students.

Rachel continues: “Following student feedback, the reinstating of the practical elements of their courses was one of our biggest priorities. We’re addressing this by developing a blended approach for next year, which will include socially distanced hands-on learning as well as the online delivery of some teaching, to build on the experience we gained during lockdown.

Lectures will be delivered online, enabling our large teaching spaces to be repurposed as specialist computer rooms, kitted out to conform with the government’s guidance on distancing.

The use of these spaces, with students kept in ‘bubbles’, will further render safe the learning environment on campus. It will also ensure the courses continue to provide the excellent hands-on learning students love, the experiences of which are so vital for entering the industry.”

Simon Bullock, quality and standards specialist at QAA, said Backstage Academy was assessed to see how it: “Adjusted their teaching and learning, assessment and physical facilities to continue to provide high-quality education while keeping students and staff safe.

We found that often the smaller size of the institution can be a real plus, enabling a more agile and tailored approach to group work, studio space, and assessment timetabling, for example.

The resulting case studies, we hope, can guide smaller providers through the next few months, and give them a measure of comfort that what they have done is broadly in line with similar higher education providers.”
The QAA also recognised the institution for its communication with students, providing FAQs, staff forums and blogs for mental health concerns. Students who remained in accommodation were offered fortnightly one-to-one well-being checks from support staff.

Students looking to join the institution in October this year have been able to access virtual open days and participate in online chats with current students, academic and admissions staff.

Any current or new students who would like to hear more about the measures put in place, or for further information, please visit www.backstage-academy.co.uk.

9th September 2020

Brompton Technology makes Sunday Times Sage Tech Track 100

Brompton Technology makes Sunday Times Sage Tech Track 100

UK – For the third year running, Brompton Technology has been ranked in the Sunday Times Sage Tech Track 100.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 league table ranks Britain's 100 private tech (TMT) companies with the fastest-growing sales over the last three years. This year’s special Covid-19 edition highlights the important contribution that technology companies have made to the UK during the pandemic, from supporting the NHS to enabling remote working.

The current situation has had far reaching effects on the entertainment and corporate events industry, but Brompton has continued to work closely with its customers, supporting them in the development of new initiatives, such as the use of LED screens to provide virtual backdrops for TV and film production in studio rather than on location.

“The company’s priorities for its products have always been reliability, ease-of-use, powerful features and excellent technical support, which all contributed to the significant growth we have experienced in the last years,” says Brompton’s managing director, Richard Mead. “Our rankings in both the Sunday Times SME Export Track 100 and Tech Track 100 league table are testament to the strength and continuous dedication of our entire team. At the moment, we are fully focused on keeping everyone safe and supporting our industry partners through these challenging times, but we look forward to a bright and exciting future for all of us on the other side of the pandemic.”

8th September 2020

Brompton Technology

Prism Sound Appoints Trimac Products As Its Indian Distributor

Prism Sound Appoints Trimac Products As Its Indian Distributor

India – India’s pro audio community can now access Prism Sound’s high quality range of converters and audio interfaces through Trimac Products Private Limited, a leading audio company with offices in Dehli, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

With over 400 channel partners and representation for more than 20 pro audio brands, Trimac is ideally placed to bring the benefits of Prism Sound technology to the Indian market.

Pankaj Kumar (pictured), Trimac’s chief operating officer, says: “Prism Sound’s products complement the products we already distribute and are a valuable and marketable addition to our roster. We are delighted to be able to offer this high end solution to our customers, many of whom are professional studios and hobbyist musicians. We also have customers in the education sector and we look forward to introducing them to the Prism Sound range.”

Alongside its sales business Trimac, in association with its channel partners, is also involved in studio design and installation. The company has a strong reputation for customer service and support and prides itself on providing efficient and reliable marketing services to the local dealers it works with.

“As a brand, Prism Sound is well known in among Indian pro audio professionals, but we feel there is still plenty of support we can give the brand, particularly in terms of bringing its products to the attention of the younger generation of producers, which is an area where we have good contacts,” Kumar says.

Mark Evans, Prism Sound’s sales director, adds: “We are very pleased to welcome Trimac as our new partner in India and we look forward to working with them in the future. Trimac’s excellent reputation across a number of market sectors can only be of benefit to the Prism Sound brand.”

28th August 2020

Point Source Audio Partners with Studio Connections Australia

Australia – Studio Connections will be the new home for Point Source Audio’s unique range of award-winning microphones and headsets in Australia. The move is a result of Point Source Audio looking to build on its already strong reputation in the country with the appointment of a new distributor dedicated to the market.

Point Source Audio microphones and headsets have been available in Australia for a number of years. Various products have featured on a number of international touring productions over the years, creating an ever-increasing demand and the need for a new partner that was dedicated to this territory. Following an extensive search, Point Source Audio has decided that Studio Connections Australia is the perfect partner to meet this brief.

“Studio Connections Australia is proud to have been appointed as the Australian distributor for Point Source Audio,” says Deborah Sloss, managing director at Studio Connections Australia. “Point Source Audio is the perfect addition to our stable, providing us with exciting new opportunities. We look forward to working with the Point Source Audio team in growing this unique, innovative and performance-based brand here in Australia.”

“We have been making good progress in the Australian market and we can see the potential for growth we have here,” adds James Lamb, president of Point Source Audio. “Appointing Studio Connections is a big step for us along this path. They are a well-known and respected player in Australia and will provide us with a trusted presence in the local market. We know that Deb and her team will play a powerful role in expanding our market share in the country and deliver the levels of service our customers around the world expect. We couldn’t be happier with our choice of distributor and we feel this will be the start of a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

The distribution agreement is effective immediately, and Studio Connections Australia will now represent Point Source Audio across the country.

27th August 2020