Ben Collings, managing director, talks to us about the history of Showcase AVi, adapting to the change brought about by Covid-19, and offers insight into a project carried out for Ascential.
How did you come to work in the events industry; what prior industry experience did you bring to Showcase?
I went straight from school into building a career in audio-visual production for the live events arena. My passion and drive to succeed, and determination for creating the ultimate experience through technical production, led me to launch Showcase AVi.
When did you found Showcase, and what key lessons have you learned from running the business?
After launching Showcase in 2014, after having worked with and for other companies, I realised there was a lack of service-led technical production companies out there. One of the key things that I learned while growing the business was the need to be agile and to surround yourself with the right team and embrace change.
How have you adapted to the challenges posed by Covid-19?
Our industry is facing new challenges on a daily basis to create experiences that match the buzz and atmosphere of a live event, but that also comply with current government guidelines and regulations. We have embraced these challenges and created a dedicated live-streaming department. This is not just another streaming service, but four offerings enabled by today’s technology, to give clients what they are desperate for: a live event experience.
We realise that the desire for a live event hasn’t changed just the way we deliver it, our toolkit is now film, green screen and 3D technology, enabling us to bring speakers across different locations to your event stage.
It’s even more important that events have a human feel and energy and not just a static event streamed onto your laptop.
What services does Showcase offer for hybrid events; how can you simplify the process of holding hybrid events for organisers and venues?
Social distancing, limited capacities and lack of travel now means, in traditional terms, a large live event is just not possible. So, we have teamed up with St. Ermin’s Hotel in London to offer a hybrid event solution. This hybrid offering, a combination of a physical and virtual audience, is the latest addition to our live-streaming products of which the virtual ‘Live Studio’ offering has already been a success.
We have worked with the hotel team designing configurations that comply with the new regulations and have installed a permanent live stream studio there. Having a dedicated home for their ‘Hybrid’ event offering ensures a safe, regulated event environment is ready and waiting to go live.
Can you give us an overview of your work for Ascential; what services are you providing them?
We currently deliver all of Ascential’s Retail Events globally in a live environment. Some of the products and services we deliver range from design, technical production, exhibition design and build, large format print and production management.
Since the Government prevented large live events happening in March, we have sat with Ascential’s retail team to focus on how we can bring a tailored hybrid event to the market place.
This has resulted in us being commissioned to deliver an online event over three days, hosting more than 30 speakers using all facets of our offering including the hosting platform, 3D animation, filming the speakers within the green screen studio environment and the live stream itself.