by Annie Byrne
In an industry where presentation is everything, companies are constantly looking to the latest cutting-edge technology to meet clients’ demands.
Priding itself on its relationships within all areas of the industry, UK-based audio-visual supplier to the live events industry, Smart AV, is already heading in the right direction.
With 20 years’ experience in the events industry, Darren Poultney, owner and managing director of Smart AV, started the company in 2005, working from home, buying technology on credit cards.
Ten years on, the firm has offices throughout the UK and Dubai, employs more than 40 staff, and has a turnover close to £5m.
“There were a lot of people making good money offering poor quality equipment and low levels of service,” Poultney explains.
“Many AV companies were owned by investment funds or people who actually don’t have an interest in the industry.
“It was just a business to them. I wanted to create better experiences for our clients where they knew they could rely on us to deliver the promises they had made to their clients.”
Investment in new technology, including more creative indoor and outdoor-led solutions, helped the company grow further and launch the Incredible Pixel Group (IPG).
The new group brings together the company’s four primary business divisions: Smart AV, Smart Digital, Smart Solutions and Poken.
“Our evolution into the IPG is what has allowed us to extend our passion and experience into a fully-fledged, industry-established technology solutions provider,” Poultney tells EN.
The four divisions of IPG will continue to operate in their respective specialist areas, based at the firm’s new 3,716sqm HQ in Harlow, delivering a suite of smart, interactive, digital products, technology and services to events around the world.
“With user experience now underpinning every element of an event’s success, these divisions bring together specialist teams, new technologies and an integrated approach to servicing our clients, with a focus on helping them to use technology in a way that is memorable, measurable and profitable,” he explains.
Poultney says the team has developed an in-depth knowledge of client needs when it comes to technology at events (including Mobile World Congress 2015).
This has lead to further expansion with additions to the core team, including high-end project managers, content specialists, and account management.
Looking ahead, he says the firm wants to continue to grow organically without losing the quality of service and support that Smart AV has always been based on.
“I think there will be continued acquisitions in the marketplace.
“But we feel we have the edge on larger organisations because we can react quickly to market conditions, invest in technology quickly and we have always supported our clients with new kit to make their project happen.
“We have been known as an expert AV company and we will continue to focus on that market in addition to offering our broader technology solutions under the IPG banner.
“I am proud of the team behind our success, and delighted to be unveiling this new identity that is a more accurate reflection of our business in 2015."
The firm's four divisions:
Smart AV - Offers LED, multi-touch and audio visual solutions for the events marketing space. Smart Solutions - This division has been formed solely to work with production agencies and bespoke stand builders working where a higher spec and more complex equipment requirement is needed. Smart Digital - Comprises event media specialists offering commercialisation and digital communication strategies for exhibitions and events. Poken - Poken is a digital, green event suite that provides networking, lead generation and engagement solutions to the events industry.
This article was first published in the June edition of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne