Putting on the perfect event is about creating the right experience for the client and their visitors be it a wedding, corporate event or conference.

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With events especially something like a wedding or awards party you only get one chance, so it must impress. Focus 21 Audio Visual Communications are award-winning experts in AV, we have 20 years of experience in creating memorable event for our clients. 

Here are our 5 tips for getting the most of your AV during that all-important event.

1. Get the most from your AV supplier

It’s important to make the most of your AV supplier and discover the range of services they can offer. At Focus 21, we offer support for your event from start to finish, giving you advice, assistance and a dedicated service to ensure your show runs smoothly.

Our team of industry qualified technicians ensure that the design spec meets your requirements, and will spend time analysing your brief to ensure our recommendations not only meet your needs but exceed your expectations. You will be assigned a dedicated Account Manager who will be your main port of call before, after and during the show to help you to achieve the best results possible.

2. Talk to us as early as possible

The audio and visual for all events is key to ensuring customer satisfaction and by seeking our expert advice as early as you can makes sure that your AV is given the gravity it deserves, we work with designers and stand builders to plan out the required AV and ensure it offers impact while blending with the design to provide the optimum experience.

We can also help by checking everything at the venue will support your requirements from checking the power supply is sufficient to ensuring the space can accommodate your plans.

3. Review the content

Content is king as they say! it’s very important that you make sure your content is created in the right format, We can edit and adjust your content to ensure it is fit-for-purpose, so you do not need to make any changes at the last minute and you achieve the polished effect you desire, and your client deserves.

4. Communicate with your AV supplier

We have spent over 20 years knowing everything there is to know about AV and never assume anything. We understand that AV can be confusing, which is why we work to make sure that you understand every aspect of your AV hire and that you feel confident that we won’t let you down.

5. Make the most of onsite help

We offer dedicated onsite technicians and AV experts as part of your AV hire package and don’t charge you extra for this! our onsite teams ensure your display will be set up and monitored without any issues, so you can focus on everything else.

Let us help with your next event

We have 20 years of experience working in the AV and event technology industry. Based on your needs, we can put together a detailed design for your next event and bring it to life for you. Contact our specialist events team to discuss how Focus 21 can support you.

 

Product showcase - Shure MXA910 Ceiling Array

The Shure Microflex® Advance™ Ceiling Array is a premium networked array microphone that captures best-in-class audio in varying AV Conferencing environments including boardrooms, huddle rooms, and multi-purpose spaces. Revolutionary technology from the Shure DSP Utilities includes Steerable Coverage™, utilizing up to eight beams to capture participant audio from overhead.

Browser-based control software provides an intuitive user interface for microphone attributes including lobe configuration, automatic mix settings, and pre-set templates. Integrates seamlessly with Dante™ Networked Audio, and third-party pre-set controllers including Crestron and AMX, delivering a high-quality AV Conferencing experience and an aesthetically pleasing and productive meeting space that appeals equally to integrators, consultants, and anyone using the ceiling array in their workday meeting spaces.

Designer System Configuration Software allows system integrators to configure multiple virtual MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphones in one tool. Due to the microphone nodes inside the unit being directional you can point them at certain positions in the room and can arrange the pickup lobes for all of the MXA910s over an imported room diagram to ensure precise coverage. Settings can be saved and then imported to each physical MXA910 on site.

We used the Shure MXA910 in our installation for Exponent Private Equity to read the full case study click here

 

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Projects Director Justin Paveley shortlisted for the 'Outstanding Achievement in AV' award for the AVNews awards 2018

Focus 21 Visual Communications are proud to be able to announce that our Projects Director Justin Paveley has been shortlisted for the 'Outstanding Achievement in AV' award at this year’s AV News Awards. This is a prestigious award given to those who have shown a commitment to supporting the industry and those within it. Justin has shown himself to be a worthy finalist and we are very proud to have him as an integral part of our team.

The winner will be announced at the awards breakfast on the 6th of February during this years ISE event in Amsterdam.

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AV News announces Focus 21 as Project of the year finalists

AV News, have announced the finalists for the Project of the year - Commercial, and we are thrilled to be among those shortlisted for our project for Bayer UK.

The Bayer project was a triumph thanks to the hard work of our team who worked to complete it, in a short time scale and to the Bayer team led by Glynn Seymour and Mix Consultancy who had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve with this project.

To read more about the installation or our on-going services check the links below

Bayer Case Study

Meet Rupert Charles

The winners will be revealed at the 2018 AV News awards on the 6th of February during ISE 2018. Wish us luck!

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5 Things to consider before starting your office renovation

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The old office is due for a renovation and the company has given you the task of making the necessary changes, but where do you start? Here are our 5 top tips for getting the most out of your office renovation.

1. Purpose of the renovation: The first thing you need to understand is the purpose of the renovation? are you simply looking to improve the ambiance of the environment, create more space or increase the productivity of the employees? The purpose will then dictate where the biggest portion of the budget should be placed, and what elements are most important.

2. Set up a flexible budget: Before renovating your office, you need to define a reasonable budget, to do this, list the things that will make your business more profitable. For example, you need to figure out whether you need extra space to accommodate more workstations or extra meeting room spaces.

3. Hiring the right people: When planning office renovation, always hire an architect, interior designer or office fit-out company who can provide examples of work that are similar to the renovation work you are planning, and then instruct an Audio-Visual consultant or integrator to work with them. The contractors will evaluate your space, discuss your requirements and give you a quotation based on your preferences. Involving an Audio-Visual integrator or consultant from the start of the project will provide a cost-benefit and ensure better aesthetics for the final look of the space. When speaking to your team ensure that you are clear on both the budget and your must have features.

4. Consider functionality and comfort: When it comes to renovating an office space, functionality, comfort, and style are important. Your office layout, furniture and equipment all should align with the image of your company. In addition to that, your employees should also feel comfortable while working in that environment, and be comfortable using any IT/Audio Visual equipment provided.

5. Plan for the future: When considering office/workspace renovation, it is important to consider your future requirements. Look for a layout and design that not only meets the present requirements but will accommodate a growing workforce and potential changes in how people will work in the future. Consider providing infrastructure for future upgrades or deployment of technology to enhance or compliment areas of expansion.

 

 

Focus 21 shortlisted for the AV Technology Europe 2018 Awards

AV Technology Europe 2018, has announced the finalists for the Best Large-Scale AV Project or Event and Focus 21 Visual Communications are among those shortlisted for our project for Bayer UK.

Working with Bayer’s team led by Glynn Seymour and Mix Consultancy, during this installation was a real pleasure and to be shortlisted for this award is the icing on the cake.

To read more about the installation or our on-going services check the links below

Bayer case study

Meet Rupert Charles

The winners will be revealed at the 2018 AV Technology Awards on the 7th of February during ISE 2018. Wish us luck!

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Product showcase - LG Ultra HD 86UH5C

The 86 inch Ultra HD large display, UH5C Series supports Ultra HD content as well as a divided content layout to show up to 4 split images on one screen. Its benefit enables you to create various formats of content to deliver a commercial message effectively. Also, it is enhanced in content management. With LG SuperSign EZ providing basic content templates, you can create and edit content simply and quickly on your mobile device or signage display.

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Supporting the Client User Base - are you doing it correctly?

How would you define a successful AV deployment? Many professionals would provide different answers to this question

Signed off and invoiced? Successful.

Within budget? Successful.

Consultant brief achieved and implemented within the timeframe? Successful.

These are often the boundaries within which a modern AV integration project exists – Purchase Order through to project sign off – and it’s the milestones and targets between these points, and costings and time frames that are set alongside them, that we define our successes upon. However, an end user may view things entirely differently.

Post-project implementation, an AV integrator may offer the client a range of service products that promise a level of support that meets their business needs. These products will guarantee fast response callouts, quick access to technical support, and product replacement and repair times that proffer a minimum impact on business from product failure. For many clients, this level of service is a must-have, given the reliance on technology that users now have to perform their tasks effectively and collaborate productively.

But does any of the above, executed perfectly, mean an end user will get the most benefit from new technology? The answer is obviously, no. A successful AV deployment could equally be judged upon the improved or sustained productivity of the end user. Following project implementation, it is just as important to make the client aware that you are there when things are going well, not just when things are going wrong. Maximum ROI means getting the most use out of the thing you have bought, so making sure the end users have all the support they need in getting to know the technology and applying it directly to their tasks is the final and arguably most important task for an AV integrator.

So, how would you NOW define a successful AV deployment?

If your client can see the positive impact of their investment as soon as possible, and support the use of their new technology across their teams internally, then surely this is what you would consider to be a successful deployment?

Focus 21’s FirstQ Support Program is implemented with this in mind. Our clients get a dedicated contact who’s role it is to support the client in training and usage of their AV deployment for the first quarter of use directly after sign off. This happens both in line with a service contract that has been agreed or of course without. It is part of the product. We see it as our duty to care for our clients in this way.

If you would like more information about the Focus 21 FirstQ Support Program, or indeed information relating to any part of the Focus 21 Installation Process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

Focus 21 shortlisted for two InAVation Awards 2018

The finalists in the Project and the Avixa standards categories for the 2018 InAVation Awards have been announced after tough deliberations over more than 300 entries! and Focus 21 Visual Communications are among those shortlisted for both awards for our project for Bayer UK.

Being shortlisted for these awards has topped a fantastic year for us and we are truly grateful to our client Bayer UK for allowing us to enter the awards with their project and for choosing us as their installation partner. The relationship we have with Bayer has gone from strength to strength since completing this impressive install at their UK offices at Readings Green Park and it is a pleasure to be able to continue working with them through our ongoing service support.

To read more about the installation or our on-going services check the links below

Meet Rupert Charles

The winners will be revealed at the 2018 InAVation Awards ceremony on February 6, 2018 in Amsterdam during the ISE show. Wish us luck!

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When Architects and Integrators come together

In the past it was often the case that the audio-visual integrator was called in after the architect had completed their designs and quite often well after the build was completed, But the world has moved on in the last 10 years and organizations are now realising that the audio-visual technology is no longer a secondary consideration in the planning of a new office/workspace but actual as important as the building itself.

With Millennials and generation Z now becoming the largest demographics in the workplace it is easy to see why technology that supports collaboration and work flexibility has become so important. 

Organisations have moved on from simple presentations and email communications, and making a phone call is almost considered archaic! Video, instant messaging and group collaboration tools such as interactive touchscreens are now common place in all corporate offices. The integration of these solutions is now taking centre stage in the modern workspace, these products need to sit comfortably into the architecture of the building and be intuitive enough for the employee to feel comfortable using them.

AV integrators and AV consultants are now working closely with architects to successfully incorporate technology seamlessly into physical working environments. The benefits of these collaborations to the end-user are clear and the final outcome creates a user experience far more streamlined then previously experienced.

However, for these collaborations to work effectively the AV integrators or consultants need to be involved in the early stages of the project planning and the end client must have an idea of what their overall goal is! What are they hoping to achieve with the technology, are they looking to increase productivity? Attract younger talent to the organisation?

When an AV integrator or consultant view a project brief they will be looking for ways to seamless control devices, how equipment can be concealed so as not to disrupt the aesthetic qualities of the space, what technology will provide the client with the best chance to reach their chosen goals and how each piece of the technology would be used by the employees. The AV integrator or consultant will if involved from the beginning of a project be able to ensure that the space is fitted out with the proper equipment connections and placements built into the design.

Cost benefits

Often projects can be completed in far less time when the AV integrator/Consultant is involved from the offset, eliminating costly workarounds by ensuring wiring and connections are in the correct place before the AV team turn up to install, they can also ensure that the technology being specified will work in the spaces provided, for example ensuring that alcoves for screens are correct or that racks are not going to block exits.

AV Integrators and consultants, in addition to working with the client & architect they also have relationships with 3rd party trades and consultants regarding seamlessly integrating the AV solutions during the construction or fit-out phase and can also gain preferential pricing from suppliers of audio-visual equipment.

Aesthetic benefits

Collaborating from the beginning of a project ensures that the functionality of the technology and the space in the building is correct but also ensures that the architect's vision for each area is upheld. The overall look and usability will be stronger, and the space will benefit from a more professional finish.

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Focus 21's FirstQ gives customers a helping hand

The FirstQ support program is a unique initiative from Focus 21, Which has been around officially for 12 years. FirstQ provides our customers with a more personal and attentive level of support during the first period of beneficial use after project completion. Most of our installations are wide-ranging, large-scale integrations dealing with multiple types of technology provided by many different suppliers and manufacturers. These installations are often to be used by hundreds of staff in new office deployments right from the get-go, and taking ownership of this equipment can often be somewhat overwhelming in terms of making sure each user gets the full benefit of new technology.

As FirstQ supervisor, it is my responsibility to help the client manage user training and support, technical support, proactive maintenance and understanding the system itself. The end result is that the AV/IT staff spend more time dealing with bolstering their end user’s productivity rather than troubleshooting, and the business as a whole sees the benefit of happy and productive staff. It is more than just a technical support program, the FirstQ supervisor is not just there when and if anything goes wrong, but there when things are going well also, to help the client feel continually comfortable with the new level of technology in their possession.
— Matt Oliver - FirstQ Supervisor

Focus 21 is proud to represent and work for a whole number of clients who will benefit from this level of industry-leading service and feel that our commitment to training of our own start has helped ensure we can offer our clients the best possible support, Focus 21 are currently the largest holder of CTS qualifications in the country with over 58% of our technical team with CTS or Higher.

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Matt Oliver CTS-I

FirstQ Superior 

Matt is a former BAE Systems engineering apprentice who values the importance of engineering accuracy. Matt’s first venture in AV was a staging & test engineer for a digital cinema company, supporting a team of installation engineers upgrading cinemas from archaic 35mm projection technology to modern 2K DLP projectors. Matt has had many roles within AV engineering in both commercial and residential sectors, and has extensive experience as a senior lead installation engineer and lead commissioning engineer. From there, Matt moved into AV design engineering and has spent a large amount of his recent career dealing with detailed customer briefs, requests, and technical issues, turning them into solutions and recommendations. Matt has always thrived in roles that have close client contact, as they are filled with opportunity to impress, and is excited to represent a company as renowned as Focus21.    

Product showcase - Biamp Tesira

Tesira is the world's only integrated, networked AV processing and distribution platform

As Biamp’s flagship audio and video platform, Tesira is a true Networked Media System and the first truly scalable media system for digital audio and video networking using AVB/TSN. Tesira SERVER and SERVER-IO are configurable audio servers. TesiraFORTÉ products are fixed audio servers available in a number of different models optimized for specific applications. Rounding out the Tesira platform are the TesiraLUX fixed video servers for transmitting 4K60 video over your network. All Tesira products can be configured and managed using Tesira software, helping create dynamic, efficient AV systems.

Matt Oliver - FirstQ Supervisor

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Matt Oliver

FirstQ Supervisor

Focus 21 welcomes Matt Oliver to the team as FirstQ Supervisor

Matt is a former BAE Systems engineering apprentice who values the importance of engineering accuracy. Matt’s first venture in AV was a staging & test engineer for a digital cinema company, supporting a team of installation engineers upgrading cinemas from archaic 35mm projection technology to modern 2K DLP projectors. Matt has had many roles within AV engineering in both commercial and residential sectors, and has extensive experience as a senior lead installation engineer and lead commissioning engineer. From there, Matt moved into AV design engineering and has spent a large amount of his recent career dealing with detailed customer briefs, requests, and technical issues, turning them into solutions and recommendations. Matt has always thrived in roles that have close client contact, as they are filled with opportunity to impress, and is excited to represent a company as renowned as Focus21.    

Lara Vane - Business Development Manager

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Lara Vane  

Lara Vane – Service Business Development Manager

Lara has been with Focus 21 since January 2014, Starting as a contract administrator. Her dedication and attention to detail have seen her progress through the company, we are pleased to announce Lara’s promotion to Service Business Development Manager.

Lara’s role involves identify potential future customers for Focus 21 and finding ways to engage with new clients to showcase our offerings. 

I’m coming up to 4 years at Focus 21 and I am really happy with the progress I have made, I started off as a contracts administrator unaware of AV and how it impacts pretty much everything. Focus 21 have given me the tools and support to progress. I am proud to be a woman in AV and proud to work for Focus 21
— Lare Vane - Service Business Development Manager

#TBT - A decade of interactive kiosks

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#TBT

A Decade of Interactive Kiosks

Here’s a bit of nostalgia for you, I had an excerpt from an issue of AV News forwarded to me today from February 2007 relating to Interactive Kiosks and was asked for my take on it, and how things have lived up to the anticipation of such devices.

I suppose the first thing that comes to mind is that this was only 10 years ago … I say only, when it comes to technology, that has to be the equivalent of 10 generations according to Apple – who released the original iPhone just four months after the publication.

So, what does it say and look like? Well it’s opposite in all of its retro glory for you to take a look at if you so wish – I had a chuckle within the first few paragraphs so it’s well worth a read - how unimaginative we were.

We all knew that Interactive would become a staple of everyday life the second we got our hands on that first generation of smart phone. All that power in the palm of our hands in a sleek, cool, trend setting device. The internet at the drop of a hat, all of our music available from a few taps of that little screen, and we could also make calls to people – back in a time when people spoke to each other rather than rely on E-Mail and messaging apps as the primary for communication.

BUT….and this is a big but... The interactive kiosks mentioned in this article were the start of it all. The start of people interacting with machines on a daily basis, the start of people being able to effortlessly procure their own information, and the start of a revolution in service and experience.

I think the only thing that might be wrong, is how underestimated the volumes in which the interactive kiosk market would be adopted. Citing the article, Michael Burns, an analyst from Frost and Sullivan, ‘believed’ that it was a billion-dollar market worldwide. With an estimated ‘high’ growth rate of between 18 and 23%.

Fast forward a whole decade and here we are, and who would have thought that the CAGR would actually be more like 40%, with Research and Markets forecasting a $30.5bn market up to 2023.

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The above graph from Markets and Research, you can see that over the next 5 years, adoption is set to more than double as people become more and more confident in the technology and its uses. But on top of this, the way that kiosks are used will evolve also,

So, what’s to come with Interactive Kiosks over the coming years… they are only going to get smarter I’m afraid. Utilising our mobile devices which, 9 times out of 10, are somewhere on our person, the content will get more and more personalised. Using the phone to identify the user and bring the ‘people who were interested in this, were also interested in’ without having to even interact.

Utilising NFC, contactless authentication, will also become a major part of a kiosk’s design – Barclays Bank have recently rolled out to some of their branches ATM’s that you don’t even need to put your PIN into to withdraw cash.

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Utilising NFC, contactless authentication, will also become a major part of a kiosk’s design – Barclays Bank have recently rolled out to some of their branches ATM’s that you don’t even need to put your PIN into to withdraw cash.

In short, we seem to be a society that would rather interact with a screen than a human being. Our understanding of technology, in that it does exactly what you tell it, and very rarely makes mistakes makes it wholly understandable that this is a $30bn market.

We’re embracing technology, being in my mid-thirties I had to adapt to the technology as it came out, transforming life as I knew it. Generation Z however, they were born into it – the technology is normal and integrated into everyday life.

I personally think it’s exciting, and can’t wait to see the next evolution of the uses of interactive Kiosks and how they will only get smarter and smarter as the human need for information and service in a calculated and concise manner increases.

Dave Desalle -  National Business Development Manager at Focus 21 Visual Communications

 

ISE Europe 2018 - Best practice for the perfect project

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Justin Paveley

Presentation - Best practice for the perfect project.

ISE Europe 2018

 

In today's commercial AV projects there are high-level project management principles and best practices that if used correctly can be the key to a successful project. During this presentation, you will learn to plan, execute and complete an AV project successfully. Also, understand the typical AV industry project life cycle(s) and project stakeholders. Determine requirements and validate assumptions, identify the important project metrics to be captured, measured and analyzed within the typical AV industry methodology.

Justin Paveley, is one of only a handful of people in Europe that hold Avixa's elite Triple Certification, demonstrating all-round excellence in design and installation. As part of the management team here at Focus 21, Justin has led the business's push to become the first APEx accredited integrator in Europe. Focus 21 has been successfully re-certified for three years concurrently. This incredible achievement has seen Justin consistently improve the Avixa accreditation standards within the company and ensure that all elements of projects comply with these standards as one of only a few companies in Europe that share this exclusive accreditation, Justin was recently crowned Avixa's European CTS holder 2017 for his leadership and his passion for education. With over 17 years experience he has led his team deploying some of the most prestigious projects in Europe with measured success.

Room 13-N110 

Wednesday 7th February 14.00-14.20

To find out more visit https://www.iseurope.org/#ticketshop-home

Product showcase - DigiLED FLEX

Create something different

An extremely powerful communication tool, LED screen technology increases fan engagement at stadiums and live music events, promotes collaboration in classrooms, as well as informing and enticing passers-by in retail and corporate settings.

Responsible for some of the world’s most recognisable displays, digiLED have unrivalled expertise and experience in the giant screen industry, culminating in the production of the most innovative, high-quality systems around. Our knowledgeable and dedicated technical team are responsible for the planning and monitoring of component production to deliver original LED screen systems, designed for ultimate performance in often demanding, high-use environments.

The versatile digiLED newFLEX4 LED screen system was selected for the Focus 21,  Cboe Global Markets installation. The ticker style screen installed runs seamlessly around a 90-degree corner with a height of 288mm and a combined width of 7.776m. newFLEX has superb flexibility in offering convex and concave curving, plus straight configurations, meaning that there are limitless creative possibilities ensuring that all ingenious design concepts can be achieved. The display features fantastic blacks for high contrast and unbelievably wide viewing angles of 170˚. It is lightweight in structure and complete with magnetic fixings for simple installation. In addition to the 4mm pixel pitch used in the Cboe project, the newFLEX range also has 5mm and 6mm pixel pitch options available for longer viewing distances. For more information about the digiLED newFLEX range, and the rest of their award-winning product line-up, visit www.digiLED.com today.

For more information or to arrange a demonstration please speak to your Focus 21 account manager.

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Cboe Global Markets 

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NewFLEX4 LED 

Justin Paveley - Wins CTS Holder of the year 2017!

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We are extremely proud of Justin Paveley CTS-D, CTS-I for winning European CTS Holder of the year 2017 at the AV Awards on the 29th of September 2017. 

Hear what Justin had to say about winning the award!

Before starting in the AV industry, I was a soldier in the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment. Adjusting to life outside of the army is not easy; I was used to my life being very structured and suddenly I was going it alone with no obvious career prospects.  Then a close friend offered me a lifeline; a job in the audio visual industry! It was my only option at the time but I chose to embrace the opportunity, applying the discipline from my army days to deliver excellent AV services to our clients.

Many companies will only employ those with industry experience. Focus 21 take a different view; they believe that talented people come from all backgrounds. This award recognizes Focus 21’s emphasis on education and career growth for dedicated people.

It’s important that Focus 21 delivers the highest possible standards to its customers and industry accreditations like Infocomm CTS allows us to do this. 

Focus 21 has created a platform to inspire talented people to do great things and I hope, by winning this the CTS holder of the year 2017,  I can demonstrate what’s possible for those looking for an opportunity in a great industry, that I’m so glad I fell into.