The latest headlines from AV Alliance
AV Alliance member Congress Rental provides AV technology for the G20 summit
AV Alliance is proud to report that our Argentinian member Congress Rental provided partial audiovisual support of the recent G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our local member company provided full AV support such as projection, sound, Bosch conference systems, dome cameras, lighting as well as IT and logistics for 57 different meetings all over Argentina. Ultimately they supported the Joint Meeting of Finance Deputies. Congress Rental was able to meet the high demands of the G20 delegations and successfully supported a series of important meetings across Argentina. The work of Congress Rental helped to facilitate important political discussions of the participating G20 states.
You can read more about our Argentinian AV company Congress Rental here.
AV Alliance board member Les Goldberg speaks about the show business
There’s no business like show business, but is it right for everyone?
When you were a child dreaming of what you wanted to be when you grew up, what could have been a better dream than show business? The excitement of a production – the lights, camera, action – whether on the stage, or behind the scenes, there is an energy before the curtain goes up, and when it goes down, there are applause. Who couldn’t love being a part of something like that? Sure, there’s the glory side of the live events industry, but it comes along with a great deal of hard work and sacrifice. It takes a special breed of person to succeed in our industry, and while many people might think we are a bit crazy to enter into this challenging field, the results make it all worthwhile.
Let me explain a few of the reasons why I personally love being in show business. First, the live events industry offers so much to do for so many different types of people. It brings people together with a diverse set of skills and personalities, working towards a common purpose to create something amazing. People starting out in this industry can choose to go down a creative path, such as a designer, content creator, producer, scenic builder, or the technical road, pushing the buttons to make everything come to life and run smoothly. There’s also the business side of the industry, such as accounting, marketing, information technology, logistics, purchasing, to name a few. Whether you are the person dreaming it up, hooking it up, or something in between, everyone contributes an important role in the process of being able to create live events.
Second, the live events industry is just plain awesome. When you see an idea that was in someone’s mind transform into a truckload of cases, and in a matter of hours or days built into a huge spectacle that leaves an audience in pure amazement, there’s no arguing there is a sense of awe if you were part of making that happen. People that work in this industry should feel like superheroes every day for the incredible things they are able to create in short time frames. It is not easy, and but if you work in this industry, especially in the trenches on show site, you feed off that adrenaline rush and pressure situation to make it all come together quickly and smoothly, and that feeling of pulling it off gives a huge sense of accomplishment.
Lastly, we get to play with all the cool toys. From the basic tools such as projectors, speakers, and lights, to more complex elements such as video mapping/tracking, holograms, 3D, LED, virtual reality, the technology is endless. In today’s live event era, there are innovative tools coming onto the market faster than ever, and a passion for embracing and learning new technology is critical to succeed in this business. If you are not a person that has loved technology from an early age, this is not the field for you. That would be similar to a librarian that hates books and reading!
Of course, if the live events industry were all glitz, glamour and playing with cool stuff, everyone would be doing it. As I mentioned, it takes a special type of person to wake up and be motivated to keep doing this every day, and the reason is working within the live events industry offers anything but a typical life. It’s extremely fast paced, and you have to be a master of multi-tasking or you will quickly fall behind. The industry runs on a schedule of critical deadlines, and work hours are often long and stressful. These are not banker’s hours. Often times, shows load in and out in the middle of the night, and under specific time constraints. You will work weekends, holidays, when you are feeling sick, and when your kid is playing the lead in the school play. It can be challenging to plan your life around the demands of the industry, whether you are one of the creative planners, technical team, or working in a supporting position. On a positive note, you are always busy and won’t easily get bored, but it takes a great deal of personal sacrifice to work in this industry, and it’s not for everyone.
In addition, the live events industry can be very unforgiving. Expectations are really high when working on a show, and when you fail, people remember. The expression “you get one shot to get it right” on a show may sound harsh, but it’s true. If something goes down in the middle of a live event, there are no do-overs. You can’t take a mulligan if the audio or lights go out or the screens go dark. Plus, there aren’t that many industries where your mistakes are happening with hundreds or thousands of people watching and waiting for a resolution.
The live events industry may be intense and definitely not for everyone, but the best thing about it is the teamwork. People that work in this industry share a passion for what they do, and there’s a comradely that develops when you are working together, under pressure, to create something extraordinary. Sure, it can be stressful, but working hard alongside like-minded people committed to the same goal, there’s a cathartic feeling at the end when you hear those applause.
Text by Les Goldberg from our member company LMG. Les is CEO of LMG Inc., based in Orlando Florida, and an active board member of AV Alliance.
AV Alliance welcomes Stagevision in Canada to our global network of premium AV rental and production companies
Stagevision is the largest privately-owned audio-visual staging company in Canada. They opened their doors in 1984 and have grown to over 140 employees with four operating divisions, the core Staging and Event Division, Stagevision Rentals (in-house hotel AV Division), Stagevision Set Design and the latest acquisition, LMB, simultaneous interpretation services.
Stagevision has built its reputation in Canada for technical expertise, customer service and flawless execution. That focus has led to long standing clients, from production and event-management companies to direct end-clients, many who have been clients for decades. Their experienced technicians have built careers with Stagevision, many for more than 20 years.
In 1995, Stagevision Rentals was founded to meet the daily hotel equipment rental needs. Stagevision is now the in-house AV supplier at 40 hotels across Canada.
Stagevision Set Design was established with the sole focus on the design and construction of custom stages and backdrops. This capability facilitates total creative, cost and production control of major staging elements, conveniently under one roof. Stagevision’s team of designers, carpenters and set dressers can consult, design, build, containerize, ship and set-up custom sets anywhere in the world. Many clients take advantage of their extensive inventory of generic set components.
As Canada is officially a bilingual country, many clients require simultaneous interpretation. Just last year, Stagevision acquired LMB, a market leader in this area.
Stagevision has had healthy and steady growth over the past 34 years. Their 40,000 square foot office, is located just outside of Toronto, 10 minutes from Canada’s busiest international airport. With offices in Vancouver and Montreal, Stagevision has a strong foothold in Canada’s three largest cities. You can find a detailed AV company profile here.
The importance of a global AV Alliance
Simone Petitti and Nicola D'Amore from our Italian AV member company Eventi-X speak about the importance of a global alliance in the AV industry:
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word “Alliance” as ‘a union or association formed for mutual benefit, especially between countries or organisations.’
The AV Alliance was originally formed to promote and facilitate project requirements for international clients, through a network of regional representatives. The idea was to create a true family of AV providers who are committed to giving levels of service and expertise which are second to none.
As a truly international organization, we can offer our clients the latest state of the art event equipment, working only with the top brands in the world. From stunning video, projections, to top of the range 4K LED displays, amazing sound systems and emotional animated lighting.
All our fellow Alliance members employ only well-trained technicians. Here at Eventi-X, our staff selection process is rigorous and on-going training part of our commitment to both our clients and also our staff development.
At Eventi-X we are proud to have been involved with the AV Alliance for 4 years now. Indeed, we are the only member covering the central and south region of Italy. Being a part of AV Alliance allows us to exchange ideas with fellow members in a ‘think tank’ which is the biggest of its kind throughout Europe and the world. It ensures we keep up to date on new technologies in a constantly changing industry, benefitting our clients further.
Currently, there are 71 members in the AV Alliance, each one a completely independently managed company in their own right, each one passionately committed to providing event technology of the highest level, ensuring every client, whatever type of event, enjoys a uniquely memorable experience. Jointly the AV Alliance employs 5,733 people, in 102 locations worldwide and is involved in over 100,000 projects every year. That equates to 274 events every day. Impressive statistics indeed.
Over the last decade, we have lived in a changing world. The innovation technology and the digital transformation has changed the style of life for millions of people. For a company like Eventi-x, that invests in these industries, we need to pay attention to all the innovation programs behind every singular relevant new technology. We need to understand the power of innovation and take the right decisions to constantly improve our quality and give the absolute best services to our clients.
For the past 6 months, we have been an integral part of the AV Alliance Startup Mentoring Program called “Future Lab”. This enables young, entrepreneurial companies to trial suitable technologies in live situations. We are always interested in seeing new technologies relevant to the events industry. From logistics, event management to new ideas for lighting, video and audio products. Two of our senior members of staff, Simone Petitti and Nicola D’Amore coordinated by Alexander Fuchs (General Manager AV Alliance) are closely involved with this program and we will be proud to be able to make our knowledge available to create something unique with the rest of the AV Alliance team.
Like all our fellow AV Alliance members, Eventi-X Group is focused on providing the highest quality at competitive rates. Our minimum accepted standard is to match our client’s expectations, our aspiration and goal is to exceed those expectations.
Meet our latest member in New York City: King Cole provides professional event and AV services
King Cole has been serving the hospitality, meetings and corporate event industry for 90 years with great success. Our latest AV member company is based in New York City and stocks a multi-million dollar, cutting edge inventory, occupies a 24,000 sq. foot warehouse including a set shop and in-house repair facility and operates a fleet of delivery trucks operating 24/7.
In addition, King Cole’s well-seasoned team is fully trained and dedicated to quality service, making them a perfect match for AV Alliance. From small intimate diners to large, high profile events, King Cole is uniquely positioned to meet the rigorous demands of all clients. King Cole’s cliental includes the “Who’s Who” of Fortune 500 companies, heads of state, numerous celebrities, and organizations of all types. In addition, they serve as the preferred audiovisual provider to some of the most venerable hospitality venues in New York.
With many years of experience in the meetings and events industry, our New York City based member can anticipate last minute changes and unexpected developments and handles them promptly. In fact, their proactive management style allows them to react before the client even realizes there was a potential problem.
The management style, the people and the resources of King Cole all work in concert to ensure all clients receive the quality AV products and the quality service they deserve.
From boardroom to ballroom, city parks to city streets, and anywhere in between, King Cole is prepared to provide superior presentation technology regardless of the size and scope of your event.
Learn more about our latest AV rental and service provider for New York here.
AV Alliance adds two professional AV companies in India
The AV Alliance network expands in India.
AV Alliance, the global network of premium AV providers, adds Mumbai and Bangalore in India to its international network.
With the addition of Sound & Light Professionals (SNL Pro) in Mumbai and Reynold's in Banaglore AV Alliance adds two highly experienced and professional AV companies in the Indian market. Both companies have been in business for many years and have built an excellent reputation in their Indian home market as well as in many international markets. The two AV providers support the growing demand for corporate events in India and allow AV Alliance to expand its global footprint of premium member companies around the globe. Both companies are the leaders in the Indian audivisual and live event production industry.
The teams at SNL Pro and Reynold's provide extensive event production services for a variety of live events, such as galas and special events, conferences and conventions, corporate meetings, large corporate events, outdoor events, and hotel venues.
"Both SNL Pro and Reynold's are ideal additions to the AV Alliance network of of premium member companies due to their event production expertise and their specific knowledge of the Indian market” said Alexander Fuchs, General Manager for AV Alliance.
AV Alliance Get-Together-Meeting 2018 in the Bahamas
The AV Alliance family spent more than 3 days together with a lot of networking, two interesting keynote presentations, an AV Alliance update, very good traditional food and traditional music, impressive locations, a lot of cool fishes...
AV Alliance adds premium AV technology and event production company in Connecticut, US
The board of AV Alliance is please to announce our latest member HB Live Inc., based in North Haven, Connecticut.
HB Live offers Event Production, Creative and AV Technology services. We develop event solutions focused on the audience experience and results. Audio and video are core tools; experience and creativity ensure event objectives are fully met. In addition to traditional AV solutions, we also create video materials, presentation tools and offer best-in-class web broadcasting services.
Our clients include Corporations, Universities, Venues and Non-Profit entities all benefitting from deliberate consultation leading up to their events. Clients rely on HB for events including CEO Town Hall (In-person or Broadcast), shareholder events, sales & staff meetings, celebratory & awards events, graduation & convocation, conferences, galas and trade show to name just a few.
How is our company different?
HB Live was founded in equipment and technology and is so successful due to extraordinary efforts of our people. As the technology evolved and our services expanded, our experience led to innovative methods for using products. The dedicated team at HB is well trained and demonstrates high confidence in their use of technology.
Our experience goes beyond the traditional AV solutions to include platforms and services previously reserved for the enterprise. This includes Tele-Presence, live streaming and on-site technology augmentation and staffing.
Our close affiliation with HB Communications, an Audio Visual Communications Integrator, gives us insight to everyday client needs that can be implemented in their events. This provides continuity and familiarity to presenters and audience alike. Our extensive network allows us to execute events nationwide and connect domestic events to worldwide audiences.
Challenges and Opportunities:
Businesses face evolving challenges balancing communication, collaboration and budget. Each year, we grow more dependent on remote communications expecting to gain efficiency, yet possibly at the cost of innovation. The offer of face-to-face communication while leveraging effective tech to enhance these in-person events provides the greatest impact for businesses. Creating an event environment appropriate for the audience and message ensures engagement and retention. HB Live continuously develops and deploys presentation solutions that focus on the audience experience.
AV Alliance member tests the d&b audiotechnik soundscape system
At this year's shareholders' meeting of the Porsche Automobil Holding SE in Stuttgart, Neumann&Müller Veranstaltungstechnik tested the d&b audiotechnik "Soundscape" system in practice. In addition to the audio system, which N&M designed and deployed to ensure the event at the Porsche Arena ran without a hitch, the company's technicians also installed the new DS100 system and the required loudspeakers. This system ensures perfect localisation of speakers and their positions on and – as was the case at the Porsche SE AGM – besides the actual stage.
Before the event, the set-up was planned using ArrayCalc, the loudspeakers suspended exactly as specified in the simulation and subsequently integrated into the existing mono system via a Dante interface. The audio impressions were extremely pleasant and localisation of the speakers on the stage was very good from a wide variety of different positions in the hall. Interesting fact: the regular speech intelligibility measurements showed no difference between "Soundscape" and the mono-mix – but in terms of listening experience, the positive impression of a PA system with precise localisation was clearly recognisable.
And that is indeed the aim of the new system that N&M intends to use at congresses and conference as well as for a whole host of other speech applications: to enable the audience to associate speakers on the stage with a precise position and thus be able to follow what is said much better. This, in turn, makes it easier for members of the audience to understand the content so that they do not tire so quickly.
As N&M project manager Matthias Kübler explained. "At the same time, increasing the maximum achievable volume further enhanced the performance of the PA system and consequently the linearity of the system as well. This was because less energy per source needed to be emitted into the room via the loudspeakers to achieve localisation." He added that this resulted in less background noise, an important factor in harmonious listening.
Photos: Porsche SE
Yamaha joins the AV Alliance
AV Alliance welcomes Yamaha as audio technology partner and sponsor
With over 40 years of experience and innovative technology at its disposal, Yamaha is one of the world’s foremost digital mixer manufacturers. Renowned for their reliability and rider-friendliness, Yamaha digital mixing systems are specified by Front of House and monitor engineers across the globe. The company has joined the AV Alliance as a Platinum partner, helping production companies to have access to the best live sound technology.
Yamaha’s history of digital mixing goes back to 1987, with the ground-breaking DMP7. Although intended mainly for mixing the outputs of Yamaha’s DX7 synth and other tone generators, it was also used for live sound mixing and recording applications, thanks to its two built-in microphone inputs, input expansion capability, advanced scene memory and motorised faders.
From this pioneering start, Yamaha quickly became a leading manufacturer of digital mixers, a position it has maintained ever since. The reliability and user-friendliness of consoles like the ProMix 01, 01V, 02R, DM series, PM1D, PM5D and CL series have ensured that Yamaha digital mixers are accepted on virtually every technical rider.
In 2015 Yamaha redefined live digital mixing with the modular RIVAGE PM10 system, featuring the company’s Hybrid Microphone Preamplifiers, Virtual Circuitry Modelling (VCM) of Rupert Neve Designs transformer circuitry, SILK processing, Portico processors and more, plus the system’s proprietary TWINLANe networking which seamlessly coexists with Dante.
RIVAGE PM7 is Yamaha’s latest digital mixer, coupling an identical control surface and all the benefits of RIVAGE PM10 technology with onboard DSP, for an exceptionally powerful but relatively compact, portable solution.
“We are very keen to bring Yamaha’s expertise in digital mixing to AV Alliance members,” says Thomas Hemery (Deputy General Manager, Pro Audio Division, Yamaha Corporation of Japan). “Whether large or small, getting every element of an event’s production right is vital. With Yamaha, production companies can be absolutely confident that their clients are getting the very best audio solution. In addition, Yamaha digital mixing systems are compatible with literally any audio format, making integration into existing investments a no-brainer. We are looking forward to working with AV Alliance members to help realise their audio ambitions.”
Simon Ackermann, chairman of AV Alliance, comments: "We are excited to have such a well reputed company join our pool of technology partners. With Yamaha we see a premium supplier of audio event equipment, specifically audio consoles and mixing consoles, work closely together with our 66 member companies around the world. The cooperation in the audio consoles segment will allow us to develop great events together."
Yamaha will specifically be promoting the segment audio and mixing consoles
Consolidation in the live events industry
Les Goldberg, AV Alliance board member and owner of LMG, LLC in the US speaks about industry consolidation and how to select the best AV supplier for your corporate event.
Is your staging company operated by an owner or a private equity firm?
By Les M. Goldberg
While the live events industry has evolved in many ways over the last decade, one of the most noticeable changes has been the reduction of companies due to industry consolidation, through a sweep of mergers and acquisitions taking place across the market. The result of this trend has left the industry with fewer players, basically a couple of giant mega-corporations owned by private equity firms, along with a more limited selection of owner-operated firms that are in a constant battle to compete. In an industry built on service and relationships, it’s important to not only take a deeper look into who you are actually working with on your next event, but also consider how the ownership structure of your staging provider can have an impact your customer experience and show.
Of course, consolidation is not limited to the live events industry, it’s a common trend in today’s world in a general sense. In some cases, it can be a positive outcome to the consumer, but in many instances, something tends to get lost in the transition. For example, think about a great restaurant when it first opens and is owned and operated by the chef. The owner brings his/her personal attention, care and passion to the business, and literally and figuratively a “secret sauce” to how the meals are prepared and served. As a result, the business becomes very successful, franchises open, and eventually they can get an offer for acquisition by a large investment firm. Some of the main elements may still be in place that made it successful in the first place, but is it still possible to offer that special level of “secret sauce” to the consumer when an investment firm is at the helm?
Unfortunately, in most cases, when a business that relies on great service to thrive, it becomes nearly unstainable to offer the same level of quality after an acquisition by a private equity firm. In the live events industry, most clients are looking to develop long term relationships with trusted staging providers that have history of success and reliability. With the industry landscape changing so rapidly these days with these dominant mega-corporations, clients can hardly depend on whether their staging provider will even have the same name for their next show or be in business at all.
It’s not all gloom and doom, there are companies out there with passionate people that offer high quality solutions and are invested in the success of their clients. If you are looking for a long-term staging partner, it has become critical in today’s industry environment to learn more about who is behind the company you will be working with on your next show. Ask about ownership, the qualifications of the leadership team, and look for longevity. An owner-operated staging company is most likely going to bring that passion and “secret sauce” to executing on your event and will be focused on delivering on your results. On the other hand, a company owned by a large investment firm is mainly focused on their own bottom line. Ask yourself, would you rather work with a company that is trying to exceed the expectations of their clients or a board of directors?
Another thing to consider is the level of personal connection you are going to receive when contracting with an owner-operated staging partner. When contracting with a staging company for your next event, ask about who you are going to call if a problem arises. Find out how issues will get resolved and escalated through the leadership of the company and take notice if there is a direct connection to the ownership. A good owner puts their name and reputation behind what they deliver, because they are in this business for the long haul.
Through all this maze of change in the world of live events, industry consolidation has narrowed the playing field and impacted the customer experience. The big players owned by private equity are here for now, but can this environment be sustainable for the future is the big question. Investment bankers don’t know what we do to deliver a great show, and more importantly, they really don’t care. They only care about ROI. There is tremendous value in knowing the roots of the team behind your staging company and developing a relationship with a provider that can deliver consistent results with enthusiasm and passion. Why settle for anything less?
About the author
Les Goldberg founded LMG, LLC, a national provider of video, audio, lighting and LED support in 1984 with a small loan from a relative. He also acts as CEO of Entertainment Technology Partners, LLC, the parent company of a collection of exceptional brands within the live event and entertainment technology services industry. He recently published the book, “Don’t Take No for An Answer, Anything is Possible,” available on Amazon and iBooks. For more information, visit www.lmg.net and www.lesgoldberg.com.
For many years he served as board member for AV Alliance, the premium global network of audio visual (AV) rental and event production companies.
Owners of AV Alliance discuss business strategies at InfoComm Las Vegas
Almost 30 owners of the AV Alliance member companies from North America, South America and Europe got together after the InfoComm 2018 in Las Vegas to talk about the effects of the current economic climate, to address social media strategies, growth challenges and to discuss how AV Alliance can further contribute to the success of the business.
Part of a conference series organized by Les Goldberg, owner and CEO at LMG in Orlando, twice a year AV Alliance brings its owners together to discuss business strategies and to exchange best practices and knowledge amongst the alliance members. The owner meetings strongly contribute to the value that AV Alliance is able to provide to its members around the world.
AV Alliance launches new website
In an effort to better display the broad range of services that our 65 member companies provide, AV Alliance launched its new website in April 2018. The new website showcases the many skills and the broad event expertise of our members around the world. Potential clients now have the ability to run a quick search for their next event, giving them access to our members in each region, at every location. The member section allows the member companies to better connect amongst each other, to sell used AV equipment and to share ratings and strengths in the AV Alliance family.
AV Alliance now covers Hong Kong
With the expansion of its member company Dorier Asia, the AV Alliance network now also covers the Hong Kong market. AV Alliance is happy to count on the professional services of Dorier Asia in Singapore, Beijing and Hong Kong.
AV Alliance welcomes Creative Rock in Bangkok, Thailand
AV Alliance is pleased to welcome Creative Rock from Bangkok, Thailand, to our family of premium brands in our global network of event production and technology specialists. Creative Rock serves the Thai market and looks back on many years of event technology experience.
AV Alliance welcomes the Zamar Group, Bahamas
AV Alliance is pleased to announce the addition of our lates member: The Zamar Group, based in the Bahamas.
Zamar Group Companies Limited (“Zamar”) is a full service audiovisual and production company with the most up to date inventory of audio, video, rigging, lighting and audiovisual systems including meeting support. Established in 1985, the Zamar Group is comprised of Zamar Productions, Zamar Audiovisual and Island Pearls International, a full concierge meeting planning and destination management company. Zamar has developed a fine-tuned and successful synergy between innovative technical solutions and solid theatrical design, resulting in new dimensions in meetings and event production. Headquartered in Nassau, Zamar is the leading Audiovisual, Production, and major-event company in The Bahamas. It provides in-house audiovisual and production services for premier resorts in The Bahamas such as The Atlantis, Paradise Island, the leading resort in the Caribbean. Zamar has also provided in-house services for The Grand Lucayan Resort – Grand Bahama. The Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort - Cable Beach, and The Four Seasons Resort - Great Exuma.
With the global network of AV Alliance it doesn't matter whether you plan a corporate meeting, a conference, an exhibition, a sports event or any other type of show. Our experienced members have the expertise, knowledge and technical equipment to create a stunning brand experience for you, no matter where your event takes place in the world.Find an expert