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11 September, 2018

An interview with Ismat Assafari, Operations Manager at Venuetech

Latest developments at Venuetech 

We started working with two new lighting brands - SGM and Elation.  We’re very excited this year as we will be showcasing at Prolight + Sound Middle East 2018 our SGM G7 IP66-rated moving head spot with 6500K white LED engine.  This is the first medium size IP rated moving head in the world.  It has been globally launched in the market, but this will be the first time it has been launched in the Middle East. 

Moving lights are known for entertainment, but the idea behind IP rated lights, and the SGM G7 spot in particular is that the motor is inside and the optics to use the spot version is very neat. 

Soon SGM will make a profile version, which we believe will be a game changer for architects as well because it can be used not only for entertainment but for architainment which is a mix between entertainment and architecture.  This is because of the output capability, the color, the IP rating and durability. We already have a few projects where we installed moving heads for architectural purposes. 

One of our recent projects is the renovation of our own website, which is now more user friendly, and structured to showcase our brands and capabilities in their proper segments. 

 

What to expect from Venuetech at Prolight + Sound Middle East 2018 

At Prolight + Sound Middle East 2018 we’ll be showcasing our four lighting brands – SGM from Denmark, Elation and Altman from the USA, Robert Juliat from France.  Each will have a separate section where visitors can see their applications. We have another new brand that we’re working on, but it’ll be a surprise for everybody at the show and will be exciting. 

A highlight from Elation is its Proteus Hybrid lamp - it’s a 3-in-1 hybrid moving head beam, spot, and wash luminaire with a Philips 8,000K lamp producing over 23,000 lumens.  These are used on Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and have very high outputs. 

On the audio side, we’ll have Sennheiser on the booth as one of our main partners. For the first time in 2018, we’ll also showcase APG – a French company with over 40 years’ experience and ‘savoir-faire’ in loudspeaker system design.

 

On Saudi’s entertainment market 

We’re very excited about Saudi Arabia, and we’ve recently opened an experience centre in Riyadh. We currently have a company based there and will have a showroom opening toward the end of 2018. It’s under another name – DPG, and it will be the distributor for all Venuetech’s brands.

The first outdoor event will happen in Riyadh in 2018, which is a watershed moment for the Kingdom’s entertainment industry.  Riyadh is a very interesting market with big potential. All our partners and big rental companies are excited to move there. 

We’ve always worked in Saudi, and have eight people based there. We had several huge projects, such as the Imam University in Riyadh. But as the market develops, you always need more reinforcements, and it’s a very competitive market. We want to make sure that we’re present and our suppliers get the exposure they need. So, it was a necessary move to make. 

Imam University wanted a professional solution, and something that they can rely on and not have to change in the coming years. It’s such a huge place and they’re growing year on year. It is one of the most prestigious universities in KSA and they were expanding and focusing on technology.  This was one of largest projects involving most of our brands, covering audio, video, lighting, control systems, and conferencing as well.

 

Architainment in the UAE 

In this market, we have been getting into architainment. It has been one of our main segments, especially in the hospitality sector.  Multimedia façades are becoming popular and everybody is getting into pixel and LED technology in video and lighting. 

Architainment is the whole mixture between lighting up a building and making it look nice – something more than just static lighting. Having the option to do more than just lighting design that gets the building to stand out. In a country like UAE and especially in Dubai, people always want to have the option of maneuverability between applications. 

That is where we see things heading, and obviously, audio is big part of this. The UAE is a very big entertainment based region, and it’s very focused on making sure people and families are entertained owing to technology. 

We’ve done a lot of recent architaintment type projects such as Dubai’s City Walk and the Burj Al Arab.  We also did a projection project with Barco, in Dubai Mall’s Virtual Reality Park, where we installed Barco projectors projecting #D images on the ceiling. In addition, we had a couple of Elation projectors to wash the ceiling. 

 

Dubai Expo 2020’s impact on the entertainment industry 

The Dubai Expo 2020 is giving a lot of hope, and we’ve seen an influx of competitors in the market. It’s a positive thing to have competition as we know our position in the market. This shows that there’s potential in the market and room for growth. 

It will be a huge event, and we’ve been in contact with some of the ambassadors of participating countries, such as the Danish, Australian, Lebanese, and the Belgian pavilions. 

Our brands are mostly European, so we have a patriotic leverage towards these pavilions, and we’ve been presenting ourselves as representatives of these audio-visual European brands. 

The Dubai Expo 2020 will be a showcase of the most advanced technology. It will be a platform for us to demonstrate architainment and its meaning. It’ll show the brands we have, and the innovations we made, plus we have a strong reference list to back it up. 

At Venuetech, we support our clients and designers with acoustic studies and we’ve done huge arenas where we did the sound design such as Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi which was an ISE Award Winner.  The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was a full audio system from Venuetech with Sennheiser and Active Audio installed acoustics. 

Our director of audio designed the acoustic system, and we believe, in a few years, our brands will have something even better to offer and that we will showcase it in the Dubai Expo 2020. It will be a showcase of what we can do with the brands we have. 

From now till 2020, we hope to see a business revenue volume growth of 10-15 percent annually. The pipeline is huge for projects in line till 2020, and we’re very positive and hopeful for the future.

 

The importance of Prolight + Sound Middle East 

We have a good relation with Messe Frankfurt Middle East, and every year our participation grows at Prolight + Sound Middle East. We want to be part of this movement to educate and instill curiosity in people’s minds. Compared to the international market, people in this region still do not have much knowledge about the importance of our industry. 

So, we want to be part of this group to make people understand the evolution of our industry, and Prolight + Sound Middle East is the platform for us not to only market ourselves but to market the industry as a whole.  We want to be the leaders in this market as well, and as the region’s focal point for the entertainment and pro AV industries, Prolight + Sound Middle East is very important for us. 

 

Who do we want to meet at Prolight + Sound Middle East 

We would like to meet the latest innovators, architects, lighting designers, rental companies, and curious people who know what we do, but want to work with us. People who we can open up about our brands with. We want people to come and ask about our products, how they work and how to use them. These are the questions we love to hear.

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