Business News

disguise-elearning-press-releasedisguise launches online learning platform
Friday, 27 November 2020

UK - disguise has recognised the need to take learning online. Users can now access the company’s full complement of training courses directly from a new online learning management system (LMS), free to anyone looking to upskill in any of the disguise workflows and disciplines. The launch of the online platform coincides with disguise’s decision to extend the free licence for their Designer software until June 2021 in an initiative to extend learning opportunities to all.
The disguise training team has redesigned the entire training programme, in order to facilitate remote and flexible learning. The new programme will split each major course up into two parts; one taught online on the new system, and the second, more practical part, carried out in-person. The programme will allow students to test their knowledge on specialist disguise equipment, and students will also have the option to undertake entire courses in a classroom setting should they request.
The new approach allows disguise users to learn concepts anytime, anywhere at their own pace and recap material easily after they have taken the classroom courses.
Global head of training, Chris West, explains: “The purpose of having a learning management system is to have a central location where our customers can manage their learning journey through disguise. It provides a pathway for people to find the right courses to suit their needs and gives us the opportunity to deliver training directly to anyone across the globe.”
The system will include all major training pathways offered

thumbs-up-from-the-uj-theatre-crewgrandMA training a hit in South Africa
Thursday, 26 November 2020

South Africa - grandMA training is in full swing, with numerous grandMA3 Basic Training days taking place in Johannesburg and a grandMA2 Basic Training course recently hosted in Durban. The workshops, all presented free of charge, form part of the official MA University training programme.
Whilst there are currently only a few grandMA3 consoles in South Africa, it has not stopped lighting designers and technicians from keeping up to date with the latest trends and technology. DWR Distribution’s Jannie de Jager has orchestrated and presented grandMA3 Basic Training in Johannesburg, where three workshops took place in November (including a workshop dedicated to the UJ Theatre crew), and a date has been pencilled in to host the Jo'burg Theatre at the start of December.
In Durban, Aubrey Ndaba and Bongani Makhanya wanted to reach out and create a training opportunity for technicians based in KwaZulu Natal. The Playhouse Company kindly opened its doors and made a venue available to host a two-day grandMA2 workshop, presented by certified MA trainer Olebogeng Boinamo, on 9 and 10 November. The training was attended by 16 technicians and was made possible thanks to Nosipho Bophela who worked behind the scenes to secure the venue, promote the event, and was available on both days to lend a helping hand.
“Thank you very much for the opportunity you gave, and we hope to build from this,” said Njabulo Zuma, who attended the Durban

 
 
ClearOne strengthens distribution in India
Thursday, 26 November 2020

India - Responding to growing regional demand, ClearOne has bolstered its sales network throughout India with the appointment of its newest distribution partner, Trustech Audio Visual Solution LLP.
“ClearOne represents innovative AV industry leadership with their full portfolio of solutions,” said Hardik Shah, co-founder and director of Trustech. “Our partners’ needs vary widely, and we know we can count on the reliability of ClearOne solutions and their commitment to providing the customer support our clients require. We know we can support any type of installation with confidence.”
“As the breadth of ClearOne solutions continues to expand, we are tasked with finding those outstanding distribution partners around the globe with the history and industry knowledge upon which customers can rely,” said ClearOne chair and CEO Zee Hakimoglu. “Trustech stands out in India as a trusted authority for AV solutions and customer service.”

 
andi-rodgers-copytvONE appoints distributor for South Africa
Thursday, 26 November 2020

South Africa - tvONE, manufacturer of video conversion and AV signal distribution technology, has appointed DWR Distribution as a new distributor for tvONE and Magenta brand products in South Africa.
DWR Distribution offers full technical solutions for the entertainment, broadcast, architectural, and commercial markets in Africa. The company’s current band offering also includes Green Hippo, which is a sister company to tvONE.
DWR will distribute a full range tvONE and Magenta products, including video wall processors, scalers and switchers, multi-window processors, signal extenders, matrix routers, distribution amplifiers, racking solutions, and more.
This is an exciting acquisition for our company,” comments Robert Izzett, director and head of sales at DWR. “While we look forward to utilising the extensive product range in studios, which includes all the virtual studios that have come up since COVID-19, the door also opens for applications in the corporate world such as training rooms, houses of worship, and of course the rental market, which we can’t wait to see flourish once again. Andrew Rodgers of DWR has been appointed the tvONE brand manager.”
Frithjof Becker, EMEA sales director of tvONE, adds: “We are happy to partner with DWR Distribution to provide the best AV solutions and support to the South African market. We look forward to working with them and their customers in the future.”

 
 
prints-for-musicPrints for Music donates to Stagehand fund
Wednesday, 25 November 2020

UK - Unprecedented line-up of world-renowned photographers donate prints of iconic music artists to raise money for Stagehand’s COVID-19 Crew Relief fund.
Over 100 iconic prints of renowned music artists taken by globally celebrated photographers including Rankin, Tony McGee and Jill Furmanovsky are now on sale. 
Available for £95 each, the sale represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of music history, with many of the prints usually unavailable to buy. 100% of proceeds go to Stagehand - the only UK charity specifically dedicated to providing hardship funding for live music crews who have fallen on tough times.
Available from today for a limited four-week period, expect a mix of established photography names, from Gerry Mankovitz and Pooneh Ghana to Adrian Boot and Ki Pharaoh. The eclectic range of artists represented in the photographs include David Bowie, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Bob Marley, Mick Jagger, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Marina Diamandis, The Streets, Florence and the Machine, Liam Gallagher, Jonny Greenwood, Beth Ditto, Tina Turner, Brett Anderson, Alice Cooper, Sting, Stormzy, Kate Nash... to name just a few.
Mike Lowe, Chair of Stagehand’s Board of Trustees, comments: “The livelihoods of people working in live music productions has been decimated by the effects of COVID-19. Every day we hear from people who are struggling and Stagehand is raising funds to help those in most need, with the simple aim of helping to keep roofs over heads and food on tables.”
All photographs are on sale at Prints For Music

 
powersoftPowersoft appoints Kinovox for Denmark
Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Denmark - Kinovox is the latest distributor to join the Powersoft family in the Scandinavian region.
Founded in 1943 and based just outside of Copenhagen, Kinovox began as a rental staging distributor, before expanding over the years to include broadcast, retail, and digital visual recording products. Today, the company is a dominant supplier of high-quality pro-audio products and offers a vast support system for its clientele.
“We have always been aware of Powersoft, as its phenomenal products have always been prominent in the market - for very good reason,” said Jesper Kirkegaard Jensen, co-owner of Kinovox Scandinavia. “When the opportunity came up to work with Powersoft, we knew we couldn’t pass it up and immediately accepted.”
The company has an intricate understanding of the professional AV market in Denmark, and its future, of which it says is fast turning to remote working installations. “The market is leaning heavily towards installation, which is where Kinovox is at its strongest,” says Jensen. “Conferencing and meeting rooms are, without a doubt, in very high demand, and are simply being made to handle remote work in order to fit with the world we currently live in. Having Powersoft in our portfolio will be a fantastic asset to our product offering for integration.
“We’ve been supplying brands like Audio-Technica, Bluesound and RDL for years, and Powersoft supplements that portfolio of products very well with high power, low consumption amplifiers,” continues Jensen. “The recent launch of Powersoft’s Mezzo

 
 
jandsJands celebrates 50th anniversary
Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Australia - Jands, Australia’s largest theatre and audio visual technology distribution company, celebrates 50 years of continual ownership on Friday, 27 November, capping five decades that closely tracks the history of live production and indeed, Australian rock’n’roll. 
Starting with some psychedelic lights in the basement of their parents’ home, Brothers David and Paul Mulholland were soon joined by school friend, (the late) Eric Robinson and went on to buy the fledgling J and S Research Electronics on 27 November 1970. The business took off as live music boomed from the straight-laced 1960s and solid state technology took hold, allowing louder, larger amplifiers. Column PA systems gave way to horn loaded systems derived from cinemas while swirling psychedelic liquid lightshows were replaced with stage lighting systems.
Jands built all their equipment - including speaker cabinets and cases being handmade by the company accountant Robert Young, Strobes, Colour Organs, dimmers and amplifiers being made in the company’s Marrickville factory. When promoters began booking international acts for outdoor concerts more sophisticated sound systems were required. Rock festivals like Sunbury needed more and louder sound, soon the Par Can came along and Jands bought the first 20 Altman versions, quickly copying a hundred to fulfil the demand.
“There is no better example of the strength of Jands expertise than when we were asked to provide audio for the first Elton John tour of Australia and New Zealand,” recalls Chairman Paul Mulholland. “All

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 24 November 2020


Onerous Restrictions - Theatres have criticised new restrictions planned for December, claiming they are “more onerous” than previous ones and will have major financial ramifications for the sector. Prime minister Boris Johnson announced a new three-tier system that will come into play when lockdown ends on 2 December, and the system will be "made tougher" than before. This includes a requirement for indoor entertainment venues to close in Tier 3, meaning theatres in these areas will be prevented from reopening to audiences next week.
In Tiers 1 and 2, public attendance at performances is limited to whichever is lower, 50% capacity or 1,000 people indoors. The London Palladium is due to start performances of Pantoland in December. LW Theatres chief executive Rebecca Kane Burton said the new measures are more “onerous than they were before” and demanded to see the evidence driving the latest decision.
“Operating with a wide range of safety and social distancing measures, many of which exceeded the government guidance at that point, the London Palladium was open from September until the start of the current national lockdown. During this period, and since, we have not been contacted by NHS Test and Trace, or any of our customers, to suggest that a single coronavirus case might be linked back to our theatre,” she said, adding: “Now the government is set to make the restrictions on theatres more onerous than they were before, we look forward to understanding the evidence which will have informed this decision.”
Live in L

 
 
stem-logoStem purchase extends Shure’s conference offering
Tuesday, 24 November 2020

USA - Two key players in the conferencing audio market have joined forces. Shure has acquired California-based Midas Technology, also known as Stem Audio, which specialises in providing a suite of products including table, ceiling and wall microphones as well as loudspeakers, control interfaces and hubs.
With the acquisition of Stem Audio, Shure will be able to further expand and diversify its solution offering for organisations of all sizes, while Stem Audio will benefit from the global infrastructure and support capabilities that Shure provides.
“We both believe in ecosystems. Working together, we aim to provide customers with better options to deploy great audio in more spaces, more cost effectively, and more quickly,” said Chris Schyvnick, president and CEO, Shure. “Shure and Stem Audio understand the importance of good quality audio and taking care of customers, so this acquisition is a great fit for both organisations.”
The addition of the Stem Audio line complements Shure’s product offering and provides customers with a greater choice of products as their needs evolve – from a “build your own room” assignment to an “I need a professional integrator” project. Stem Audio has developed a proven business model that is attractive to a wider variety of customers looking for audio solutions, filling the market need in a very efficient way.
“We’re thrilled to be joining a company with an unrivalled pedigree and history in manufacturing audio products,” said Jacob Marash, CEO and founder, Stem Audio. “Shure’s scale

 
backupGoboPlus.com supports Backup with gobo range
Tuesday, 24 November 2020

UK - GoboPlus.com has partnered with Rosco to bring to market a new range of gobos in support of our technical entertainment charity, Backup. Designed by Exactly13 LTD and exclusively licensed to GoboPlus.com, the new gobo designs are all inspired by elements of the Backup logo and are a practical addition to GoboPlus.com’s existing Backup logo gobos and the expanding range of charity gobos available from GoboPlus.com.
The new range comprises 15 aerial, breakup and texture designs, each of which will generate a £3 donation to Backup for every glass gobo sold and £1 for every metal gobo.
Paul de Ville, CEO of GoboPlus.com, explains the reasoning behind the initiative: “The aim is to create a legacy income stream for Backup which stretches far into the future, beyond current troubles, and to emphasise the importance of continued support for those in need within our industry. We are a small company with a big heart and while no-one is in a position to make huge donations at this time, we see these little donations like bricks in a wall: all of our small contributions combined together will make a big difference to those who need it."
While individual gobo sales will have a cumulative impact, de Ville also has an idea for supercharging those contributions. “We would like to invite all lighting manufacturers with their own in-house gobo supply capabilities to support Backup by incorporating one of the new designs into their new – or existing – fixtures,” he says. “To this end, GoboPlus.com is happy to waive any license fee for the Backup

 
 
dbsummitVirtual summit addresses the future of live entertainment
Monday, 23 November 2020

Germany - Top executives from d&b audiotechnik, the Royal Albert Hall, Audiotonix and Live Nation recently came together to address the future of shared entertainment experiences at the ‘Horizons Summit: Entertainment, Technology and Beyond.’
The virtual panel discussed the effect the pandemic has had on the live events industry and how shared entertainment experiences might look in the future.
The discussion, led by journalist and author, Dan Daley, included Amnon Harman, Group CEO d&b audiotechnik; Jackie Wilgar, senior vice-president Live Nation; Craig Hassall, CEO Royal Albert Hall, and James Gordon, CEO Audiotonix.
The Summit addressed common partner and customer concerns as well as industry trends including: the pivots required to keep live entertainment companies alive; the future of drive-in and virtual concerts; government support during the pandemic; and the indicators of industry recovery.
“2020 has brought incredible challenges for everyone in this industry. While many of these conversations have been taking place behind closed doors over the last few months, this Summit gives the industry the opportunity to openly address challenges and to discuss what we believe will be the future of live entertainment,” commented d&b’s Amnon Harman. “Community matters, strength in numbers matters and we need to bring everyone together to navigate these challenging times.”
To watch the Summit please click here.

 
life-challenge-churchLife Challenge comes alive with Chauvet
Monday, 23 November 2020

USA - There is a special joy the production team at Life Challenge Church, Odessa, Texas, takes in putting together Sunday morning children’s services. Creative spirits run a little more freely, and new ideas are explored more deeply in a bid to make bible stories come to life for young worshippers.
“The kids service gives us an opportunity to go a little more outside the box,” said Gabriel Loera, technical director at Life Challenge Church. “We do more immersive and moving fixtures and contrasting colours across the crowd. We use more upbeat and themed EP backgrounds during the full service rather than just during worship. The kids really respond well to the full immersive environments.”
On 18 October, the church gave adult worshippers the opportunity to channel the childhood imagination that resides inside them with a Sunday Nights Kid Service, an event that shared imagery from the children’s program with the congregation at large. Helping to create this unique experience was a collection of Chauvet Professional fixture supplied by Sweet Southern Sound.
“We do this several times a year,” said Loera. “It’s a family focus initiative that lets parents experience worship as their children do every Sunday morning. Everyone really enjoys it.”
Contributing to the immersive environment through the sanctuary for the event were richly saturated colours from the rig’s COLORado and Ovation fixtures. Loera positioned six COLORado 1 Solo fixtures above the first rows of pews and six over the upstage deck to provide a consistent col

 
 
readingReading FC partners with Vestel Visual Solutions
Monday, 23 November 2020

UK - Vestel Visual Solutions reports that it has been selected by Reading Football Club as its official visual technology partner. Vestel’s digital signage, interactive screens and video walls have been deployed throughout the club’s training complex at Bearwood Park in order to support a number of activities, ranging from tactical analysis to providing players with fitness and nutritional advice.
The new Bearwood Park facility is home to Reading FC’s men’s and women’s first teams, young professionals (Under-23s and Under-18s) and Academy players from ages 8 to 18. It also houses the coaching staff and management team, alongside a significant proportion of the club’s administrative staff.
Reading FC has now equipped the facility with Vestel’s screens to digitally enhance areas such as the yoga room and first team gym, the media room - which includes an interactive screen that uses touch screen technology to support both interviews and analysis - the Academy and the women’s Academy, the manager’s office, the parent’s room, reception areas, the medical room and multiple classrooms. These solutions will support the education, training, rehabilitation and performance of the club’s players, as well as its corporate activities.
“Our commitment to the elite performance of our players meant we outgrew our old training facility, Hogwood Park, and as a result we’ve spent a number of years designing and building Bearwood Park,” said Tim Kilpatrick, head of sales and partnerships at Reading Football Club. “We chose Vestel to suppo

 
sylvia-at-seabrookes-theatreRevamped Seabrooke opens with a laugh
Monday, 23 November 2020

South Africa - The newly refurbished Seabrooke’s Theatre at Durban High School (DHS) is making waves and delighting audiences with one successful comedy after the next. After a seven-month entertainment famine, the theatre was launched with Sylvia, presented by KickstArt Theatre Company, which ran from 23 October to 1 November.
Seabrooke’s Theatre is a 100-seater auditorium used by the schools Dramatic Arts Department as well as by amateur and professional companies and groups. Thanks to a generous contribution by DHS old boy and theatre lover, Chris Seabrooke, a much-needed renovation and equipment upgrade was made possible and commenced at the start of the Covid-19 South African lockdown. The theatre has been repainted, seats reupholstered, a green room/dressing room is currently being built, and on the technical side, a lighting and audio system has been supplied and installed by DWR Distribution’s Michael Taylor-Broderick and Nick Barnes.
The new lighting equipment includes 13 Robe ParFect 150s, six Robe LEDBeam 150s, four ETC Source Four 25 to 50 degree Profiles, a Le Maitre MVS Hazer with control via a grandMA dot2 onPC.
A Quest Sound system comprises of two HPI25 Front loaded 600w rms low profile and high power speakers, two HPI 12S Compact Passive Sub-Bass Speakers, two Quest 2004 Stereo Power Amplifiers, a Allen & Heath 16 channel digital console, two Audix OM2 Vocal Microphones, one Audix AP42 OM2A Wireless Microphone. In addition, Michael and Nick have rehung some of the lighting bars and added a patch panel to allow for

 
 
new-yorkVerge drone show heralds Christmas season
Monday, 23 November 2020

USA - Signalling the start of its around-the-clock festive music broadcast, iHeartMedia New York’s 106.7 LITE FM marked its Flip to Christmas in the New York City skies with a dynamic, animated aerial light show from Verge Aero. The pre-recorded livestream aired at litefm.com on 13 November from 7pm-8pm.
Verge Aero flew 200 drones in Manhattan from a safe launch zone on Governors Island in the New York Harbour. Accompanied by a medley of Carrie Underwood’s first Christmas album, My Gift, the drones created a spectacular visual celebration with the New York City skyline in the background. The show featured a series of colourful, precisely choreographed festive imagery and animations including a Christmas tree, a drummer boy, a snowman, opening of a gift, a ringing bell, a dove being released, the Empire State Building and concluded with Milton Glaser’s ‘I Love NY’ logo.
Originally scheduled to launch Friday, 13 November, the show was moved up three days due to a threatening weather forecast. Verge Aero had to create the show on site in four hours because of the schedule surprise and earlier commitments.
“Our open platform allows us to quickly import graphics and animations and create shows on the fly,” said Nils Thorjussen, CEO of Verge Aero. “The software takes care of all the safety critical aspects of flight so that designers can focus on making their show look beautiful.”
“We knew we had to do something unforgettable for our annual flip to 24/7 Christmas music on 106.7 LITE FM,” said Joe DeAngelis, direc

 
player-logo-whitePlayer to distribute ARX in Baltic states
Monday, 23 November 2020

Serbia - ARX Systems has announced that Player Music Shops will distribute the full portfolio of ARX professional USB audio interfaces and signal processing solutions in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Slovenia, Macedonia and Albania. As one of the more long-established companies in this region, Player represents over 50 brands covering professional audio, DJ, studio, hi-fi, lighting and MI, with five stores as well as a successful online presence.
Executive director of Player, Predrag Malinovic, has been key in growing the network of clients so that the company now can offer turnkey solutions for applications from musicians to government contracts. The addition of the ARX product range gives Player flexibility in what they can offer across all applications from broadcast, live events and installations, as well as for musicians.
ARX managing director Colin Park comments, “We have worked with Player on a number of contracts and they have proved to be a great company to work with, who understand our target market and who can hit the ground running with the ARX range. We look forward to growing our business in this region.”

 
 
stopbullyinglogoBehind the Scenes launches bullying awareness initiative
Monday, 23 November 2020

USA - Last year, US-based charity Behind the Scenes’ Mental Health Initiative conducted a survey that revealed that bullying, harassment and intimidation are “a common experience” in our industry. Respondents said: “Emotional abuse is part of the culture,” and “harassment, discrimination, and retaliation are rampant”.
As a result, the Mental Health Steering Committee has launched a campaign (btshelp.org/stopbullying) to help workers and employers alike understand the signs and consequences of this behaviour. The aim is to raise awareness and encourage all who experience or witness bullying, harassment or intimidation, to speak up.
The resources provided include a set of posters to raise awareness of words, actions and behaviours that constitute bullying, harassment or intimidation; information to empower individuals to Be Informed, Be Aware, Show Support, and Take Action; and a sample policy and procedures to identify, investigate and resolve instances of bullying, harassment or intimidation and to provide support to those who experience these behaviours.
One survey respondent wrote: “My workplaces are decades behind in helping people with emotional wellness. That starts with the aggressive behaviour, belittling behaviour, yelling, throwing objects, etc. that I see on the jobsite constantly. Most folks feel that they have to just have a tough skin and take the abusive behaviour in their

 
mainGSA launches livestream theatre project
Friday, 20 November 2020

UK - The Guildford School of Acting (GSA) is hosting development project Creating Theatre in a COVID Landscape.
Developed alongside FUSE ARTS, Creation Theatre and Fray Studio, the project has created four COVID-compliant theatrical events, which will be livestreamed as part of two seminars to be held on 20 and 27 November.
Working with GSA’s technical theatre students and partnering them with professional creatives, the project explores how challenging and provocative theatre can be produced whilst maintaining a COVID-secure environment. It also provides an opportunity for GSA’s students to collaborate with industry professionals in exploring and developing viable contemporary theatre practices in the COVID era.
The seminars will discuss the challenges and possibilities of producing theatre within the context of the global pandemic with the insight and expertise of the next generation of technicians and actors, asking the following questions:  
• How can we collaborate as an industry to produce live theatre against the context of the global pandemic?
• How can we retain the “magic” of a live theatre show through the power of theatre technology?
• How can we produce innovative and viable shows that minimise financial exposure and encourage venues to risk showing Covid compliant work?
 Mig Burgess, project creator and programme leader for BA Theatre Production at GSA, says:
“We want to do our part to help get the lights back on in theatres across the country in any way we

 
 
avatar-photo-credit-jon-landaudisguise partners with Streamliner in New Zealand
Friday, 20 November 2020

New Zealand - disguise has added Streamliner Productions in New Zealand to its worldwide partner network. Streamliner are now a disguise xR creative & rental partner.
The disguise partner network consists of over 200 partners specialising in the disguise workflow and hardware, enabling end-customers to source the best equipment as well as technical and creative talent to help bring live and virtual experiences to life.
Streamliner has recently invested in disguise’s award-winning vx4 as well as the newly-released rx hosting platform for third-party render engines - a key component of the xR solution, engineered for the future of virtual production. The technical production house has also undergone specialist training in the disguise workflows and xR technology to achieve the partner status and accreditation, also becoming the only official partner in the country to deliver a full end-to-end xR production.
“Our crew combines decades of live event experience with an in-depth knowledge of high-end video systems and we’re adept at working on high profile, time-critical projects”. says Richard Manu, Streamliner owner and GM. “We continually invest in the latest hardware, software and systems that gives our clients access to the most advanced technology. Introducing several disguise products into our workflow has brought together those systems and now coupled with the xR pipeline, nothing is out of reach.”
Since investing in the disguise ecosystem, recent work has also seen an official partnership between key players in the NZ film a

 
carallon-1Carallon becomes employee-owned firm
Friday, 20 November 2020

UK - Carallon Limited, an R&D company responsible for creating innovative control products, has announced it has become an employee owned business.
Carallon was founded in 2004 by seven colleagues who enjoyed working together creating new control products for the entertainment industry. All seven of those original founders still work for Carallon today, including Nick Archdale, Chris Hunt and Richard Mead who remain its board of directors.
Over 16 years, it has gone from strength to strength, growing substantially from seven to over 70 employees, and spawning spin-off companies Pharos Architectural Controls, Brompton Technology, and new start-up SixEye. Pharos and Brompton have both been regular winners of high-profile awards for their innovative products, with Brompton Technology recently winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2020: International Trade.
As of May 2020, Carallon is now owned by an Employee Ownership Trust, which acts for the benefit of all current and future employees, and through elected employee trustees gives all staff a say in major strategic decisions.
Managing director Richard Mead explains, “On day one, Carallon was set up as a business owned and run by its original seven employees. Although we’ve got bigger, we wanted to make sure that ethos was preserved and that there was a clear structure in place for the long-term future of Carallon. Employee ownership fosters a spirit of teamwork and less hierarchical management structures, so it fits with our style very well.”
“While the other directors and

 
 
theresavillierswebTheresa Villiers to chair re-established parliamentary events group
Friday, 20 November 2020

UK - The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Events has now been re-established as an official group in Parliament following the appointment of a new chair and vice-chair.
Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, will be the chair of the group. Theresa takes over from James Heappey MP, who was chair for four years, until his appointment as Minister for the Armed Forces prevented him from serving in that role. Robert Largan, MP for High Peak, will serve as vice-chair.
The APPG will continue to act as the industry’s voice in Parliament and has been credited with establishing stronger links between the events industry, Parliament and government in recent years. Villiers is an experienced MP having served her constituency since 2005, and having previously held the positions of Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Minister of State for Transport.
Commenting on the APPG, she says: “I am delighted that the APPG for Events is being re-established. At a time when the conference and events sector has been devastated by the COVID outbreak, it is more important than ever that we have this group working in Parliament to speak up for this crucial part of our economy.”
The APPG are in the process of inviting members from both Houses of Parliament, and from all parties, to join the group, and are targeting over 250 MPs and peers, in particular those who have either event venues or major events within their constituencies.
A series of industry briefings are being scheduled ov

 
luna-drive-in-at-blenheim-palace-carouselOrbital Sound adds food & drink delivery platform
Thursday, 19 November 2020

UK - Orbital Sound has launched a new product stream with its food & beverage (F&B) delivery platform OrderBoard - building on its success in the drive-In market with the Car-Link Retail wireless in-car audio and information system.
OrderBoard, part of the Car-Link Technology suite of products, is designed to address the limitations of remote location infrastructures, handling contactless payments, F&B kitchen orders, delivery, stock control and reporting in ‘a fast, reliable and powerful data-efficient package’.
As the live events industry focuses on re-inventing itself in the current environment, OrderBoard provides a novel solution to F&B delivery, directly addressing the all-important Covid compliance and secure socially-distanced operation, says the company.
MD Chris Headlam comments: “The addition of the OrderBoard software takes the whole customer experience to a new level. Developing OrderBoard was our response to the well-documented challenges faced by the festival & live industry to give a contactless ordering system that was possible in a remote environment.
“We picked up the gauntlet earlier this year, and have had an outstanding response to the Car-Link Retail’s capabilities. So much so that we are now expanding into Houses of Worship with our ‘donate’ facility, and also excitingly into the corporate and live spaces.
“We recently conducted a series of events with the AA, implementing the full OrderBoard package in conjunction with Car-Link Retail - tailored to provide corporate informati

 
 
crowd-shotFirst Option launches COVID-19 training course
Thursday, 19 November 2020

UK - Safety consultants First Option have launched Event COVID-19 Supervisor / Compliance Officer Advanced Level Training. Adapted from the company's broadcast course, the new training material is written by event safety expert and course leader Martin Barraclough and incorporates procedures outlined in Tour Production Group’s COVID-19 Working Procedures Guidance.
The First Option course trains individuals to implement, monitor and oversee COVID-19 arrangements on event productions. Candidates have access to learning resources to support their ongoing education including First Option‘s The Yellow Book - COVID-19 Production Manual, written by a team of microbiologists, medical doctors, and chartered safety consultants.
The Event COVID-19 Supervisor / Compliance Officer Advanced Level Training has already received positive feedback from its first round of attendees. Touring production manager Paddy Hocken [Biffy Clyro, Queen], was amongst the first to complete it. “I personally got a lot out of this training, and believe the whole class did too,” he comments. “It’s also great that it links back to TPG’s detailed guidance. I would strongly recommend this course to anybody working in live events or concert touring in a senior role. Martin is exceptionally well placed to deliver this course.”
Having worked in live events for some years himself, Barraclough adds: “With the traditional events world being continually challenged by COVID-19 restrictions, making this course accessible to event planners and potential COVID-19 Super

 
Inurface media partners with Active International
Wednesday, 18 November 2020

UK - Digital solutions company inurface media has partnered with Active International. This collaboration will allow inurface to offer several solutions and products and allow its customers to utilise the benefits of digital signage and health technology across any number and type of businesses by financing their investments through Active International’s trade model.
On this new partnership, Josh Bunce, CEO and founder of inurface, comments: "This new partnership with Active is something we are incredibly proud of. We want to ensure that as many people can access the technology solutions we have created and know that the Active team can help more people consider these options as viable. Right now while we are a business individually, but we rely on other companies opening and running to survive, so it is in everyone's interest to try and establish a situation which is as safe as possible for businesses in the hope this will stop any further disruptions or steps backwards. Active's expertise and client base are unrivalled in their field and we hope this is the start of a long-term partnership."
Kieron Murphy, media director at Active, adds: “During these times of continual change, the one constant that all businesses face is the need to find commercial solutions that preserve cash flow and boost consumer demand. We are delighted to be working with inurface media to provide our clients alternative ways to fund next-generation digital display signage to enhance their customers’ instore experience.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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