We’ve been on quite a journey from our humble beginnings over 30 years ago when we invested in a ‘state of the art’ 35mm slide making kit to launching our very own warehouse to store an ever-expanding collection of cutting-edge AV equipment.
Little did we know that this was only the beginning… in response to unprecedented growth over the last 12 months we’ve had to triple the size of our warehouse facility to allow us to deliver our strategy of investing in our own set and staging capabilities, as well as expanding our audio-visual resources and the size of our team.
Our warehouse now houses a whopping 7,500 sq ft of multifaceted space with total creative flexibility. Over the coming weeks we’re splitting this incredible space into three dedicated ‘zones’ to store, prep and build a complete range of event solutions.
The storage area will house our tech and AV equipment, along with client assets for repeat use. The prep area will include work benches and tools to give our team a dedicated space in which to repair, maintain and PAT test pre-existing kit. Finally, the build area will contain state of the art joinery machinery to allow us to build bespoke props and sets to match our clients’ specific requirements.
This is a truly unique offering, which we like to think sets us apart from our competitors and offers our clients a fully joined-up event experience, total creative control and stretches their budget further. Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without the additional support and guidance of our talented and highly experienced event production and design teams.
Overseeing these exciting new developments is Howard Alderson-Perkins, our shiny new Events Warehouse Manager. We managed to coax Howard away from the dusty depths of the prop-store to grab a quick chat about his background, what he brings to the team and his ambitions for the future.
Can you tell us about yourself?
My first job was straight from school (40 years ago!) at a multi-purpose venue King George’s Hall, where I progressed through the ranks to Senior Technician. A relocation to Folkstone took me to Leas Cliffe Hall as Technical Manager, after which I took a job as House Sound Engineer for the Dooley’s (a family cabaret show band) travelling to Korea, as well as Europe and the UK. Eventually I returned to my roots at King George’s Hall in 1992 to become their Technical & Operations Manager. I love camping trips, I have a keen interest in Scouting and I’m District Commissioner for Blackburn, growing the district by 44%. I have a large family which includes three lovely grandchildren, with a fourth on the way.
Why did you want to work for HGA, and what do you bring to the team?
I’ve always admired HGA’s forward-thinking, innovation and big client list. Over the years I’ve also worked as a freelancer for a number of different agencies on numerous large-scale conferences and roadshows for the likes of Roche Pharma and Procter & Gamble. This gave me a taste for working on large-scale projects for an impressive client list, so when an opportunity arose to work full-time at HGA, I grasped the chance. I bring a wealth of experience in the entertainment and conferencing fields, I have maturity (some may say otherwise) a sense of humour, and a positive work ethic.
What does a typical day at the warehouse involve?
We set the coffee machine to turn-on half an hour before we arrive, which is usually around 8:00am. We have a team coffee and catch-up session to debrief on the previous day and to discuss the workload for the day ahead. I normally then check and respond to my e-mails, and as the workload dictates, I may be prepping kit for an upcoming event, covering stage panels, sorting props or tidying up. I have OCD when it comes to messy cables, so a proportion of my day is dedicated to removing old tape off cables and ensuring they’re bundled and stored neatly for future use.
What are your ambitions for the warehouse in the future?
I’d love to run the warehouse as a totally self-sufficient entity and I’m confident that the changes that we’re implementing over coming weeks will allow us to do that.
I’m a highly creative person, so understandably, I’m really excited about our brand new dedicated build area and I’ll be constantly exploring ways that we can challenge ourselves creatively and create state of the art design-solutions for our client base. I’m also incredibly cost-savvy so I’m excited about considering how we can offer our clients the most cost effective solutions in response to their event ambitions and ensuring they get the most out of their budgets.
Sustainability is another passion of mine, so in-line with our continued growth, I’d like to ensure we have sustainability at the forefront of what we do, including fully utilising on-site recycling facilities and constantly finding new and innovative ways to reduce waste.
What do you think are the hottest trends in AV & stage design right now?
AV has definitely moved into the 21st century and I believe the hottest and emerging trends are those of laser and LED projection. With regards to stage design, it’s very much the vision of the client which we then put into reality by using different techniques, materials and bespoke design solutions, and our new build area offers us a fantastic resource in which to do this all in-house moving forward.