rAVe EUROPE catches up with Gordon Dutch, MD at Peerless-AV EMEA to pose questions about ISE 2016, European expansion and the latest products. Peerless-AV is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of AV solutions. From its global HQ in USA (Aurora, IL), Peerless-AV manufactures more than 3,600 products and their installation products are found in most major sports stadia in USA. For the past seven years, since Peerless-AV acquired its UK distribution company BBG, Dutch has been charged with growing the business in EMEA from its European HQ in Watford, UK.
How was ISE 2016 for Peerless-AV EMEA? How did you find the new 4-day format?
My personal view is that a 3-day show is really a 2-day show [in terms of effectiveness for exhibitors] and a 4-day show is really a 3-day show. For ISE 2016, I think the transition worked. It costs exhibitors more money to add a day but it achieved more visitors. We are positive on the outcome.
For ISE 2016, your stand adopted a football theme related to the 2016 UEFA European Championship. On top of “striker skill” challenges, you offered a contest for two tickets to Euro 2016. How was your show contest/promotion received?
Our football theme and Euro 2016 competition worked out exceptionally well. We started our PR and marketing early and it really paid off – our stand attracted crowds of visitors every day and we more than doubled our leads from last year. We all had branded football shirts which made the team easy to spot around the RAI. Visitors had fun with the interactive football game and our stand had a good business vibe. We continued the theme at our after-show party which drew more than 320 industry people from across EMEA.
We also had the right products to show in the market this year. We had the exclusive preview of our new Universal Modular LED wall mounting system-- the first of its kind on the market, with a quick pop-out mechanism that supports various brands and panel sizes and its modular design enables custom installs for specific configurations [Shown in photo below].
Visitors to our stand saw an impressive 5x4 video wall using Absen LED panels mounted on our modular system. Feedback was extremely positive, especially concerning the system’s close-to-wall (190mm) space-saving design, which then extends to 775mm from the wall using convenient side handles. No other system offers this functionality for ease of installation and serviceability.
LED has been on our radar for a long time so we’re excited... we’ve been meticulous in our R&D of this system, taking careful consideration of customer needs and working closely with LED innovators on application scenarios. The universal nature of our solution really sets us apart…
Which of your new products made the biggest hits?
Our VW795-QR quick release video wall mount for 65” to 98” displays comes to mind. Designed for quick service access in recessed video wall applications, it offers an easy to install solution for large displays—in either landscape or portrait mode. With tool-less micro adjustment at eight points, the mounts can overcome uneven walls. Custom wall plate spacers eliminate the guesswork-- and that reduces installation time and cost.
We also had a fantastic reaction to our new range of kiosk solutions for digital signage applications. Shown for the first time in Europe, our new indoor, floor-standing portrait kiosk enclosures feature curves, smooth surfaces, and a familiar smartphone façade. They support the latest ultra-thin LED displays and touchscreen panels from 40-75" and can be custom finished. [Shown in photo, bottom left.]
And there was much attention on our third wireless generation PeerAir Pro Wireless AV System which streams up to full HD 1080p and passive 3D content to flat panels or projectors up to 210ft (64m)--through walls, floors and ceilings. Now it can multicast to up to six displays. This wireless unit is a project-saving kit for commercial and residential applications-- at new installations as well as retrofits. [Shown in photo, bottom right.]
Visitors also liked our new Xtreme Outdoor Portrait Kiosk for wayfinding and information points situated outside shopping malls, theme parks and transportation terminals.
You've been making a lot of investment in European infrastructure... can you tell us about some of the moves before ISE and what may happen in 2016?
We were initially a UK organisation with a little export—so the challenge was to make the big jump to become the European presence of a global operation. Throughout 2015 I travelled a lot with the European salesforce to strengthen relationships with OEM and distribution partners and this helped me really understand the local issues.
You’ve probably seen some of the names we’ve added: in marketing, we hired Beky Cann for PR which also freed up Paul Dawes in Marketing. We added Stuart Robson-Frisby as Director of Business Development EMEA, Tom Fenton as Business Development Manager EMEA, Ian Abernethy as Director of Sales UK and Stefan Krüger as Director of Sales, DACH & Eastern Europe.
We added a warehouse in the Middle East to help us out there. And as a global company we have opened a new plant in Taiwan.
We’re pleased with the results of ISE 2016 and buoyant about the future. Barring outside influences, factors like the strength of the US dollar and BREXIT, we think we’ve got the right people and right products-- a winning team just like the AV industry saw with our stand theme at ISE 2016.