Pro Media Audio Video EU’s Andy Rigler discusses the company’s first year on UK soil

12 months on from Pro Media Audio Video EU’s strategic launch, Business Development Manager Andy Rigler speaks exclusively to MONDO-DR about the sports and live entertainment integration performance specialist’s first year on UK soil.

It’s been one year since Pro Media launched its European arm. How has the company grown and developed during this short time?

AR: It’s been an incredibly exciting and busy period as we have worked to establish the Pro Media AV name across the UK and overseas, including communicating our unique offer to key consultants and manufacturers. Our income stream has kicked in pretty quickly and remains ahead of plan, meaning that we are able to accelerate our growth plans.

You were the second member of staff to be added to the core senior management line up following the appointment of Eddie Thomas as Director. Who else has been brought into the team, and in what roles?

AR: Tom Williams joined in May 2021, as our Technical Lead bringing his extensive design expertise and connections. Jake Miller joined us in September 2021 to head up our project delivery team, again he brings a wealth of experience having worked on large scale projects, such as the Tottenham Stadium. The global team also takes in Ted Leamy in the US and Lez Dwight in the UK.

Is this team going to expand further this year?

AR: Yes, we anticipate making another announcement over the coming weeks, as we grow capacity to take on more clients and projects. Our business plan allows for us to grow quickly, identifying and recruiting the talent to support this objective.

You each come with a lot of previous, proven industry experience. How are the current team nurturing the reputation of the EU brand?

AR: As a team, we each bring the benefit of different backgrounds and experiences. Our key drivers are to ensure we deliver quality and innovation to our clients’ projects. As a team, we won’t compromise on projects when doing so will harm the outcome and the result won’t meet client expectation. Pro Media’s long-term plan is to develop a reputation associated with iconic projects.

There’s always been a long term plan to bed deep into the marketplace across both the UK and Europe. How are you collectively making effective change here?

AR: For the first year, our focus was mainly on becoming established in the local market, but we have already created good ties in certain overseas markets, bidding for business in those countries. Having Clair bases in Madrid and Switzerland has been most useful in supporting our European business.

What do you feel the UK/EU marketplace could improve upon?

AR: We see a welcome shift towards providing audiences with higher quality, entertainment grade audio in stadia, alongside investment in video screens. Additionally, our clients are looking to exploit capable WiFi systems to deliver interactivity, including the use of AR. Adding features and benefits to a project naturally creates an impact on costs, but doing so also increases the return on investment, especially over the mid to long term. Most of our end customers understand the benefits, but we still see pressures to reduce costs, often to the detriment of a project, and usually through the contracting path. Our industry’s services should not be commodified, we deliver experiences and, as each system is bespoke, it is not really helpful to compare say, solution A with solution B, based only upon cost as a measure, ignoring other parameters.

With the team’s extensive technical and project delivery knowledge, alongside Pro Media’s decades long history with key sporting venues in North America, which local sectors have you been collaborating with in the first year of business?

AR: Initially, within the sports sector, we have been working for some top-flight football clubs dealing with the certification, maintenance and upgrades to existing systems. However, we do have active proposals out for projects some of which we anticipate commencing in the spring.

Can you reveal any information about upcoming project wins?

AR: We recently won a project for a notable new London music venue, with work on the site already underway, and have become the technology partner for another large multi-use venue in London where we are looking at upgrading the facilities across the site. Our work at The O2 Arena is ongoing, with planned upgrades and new facilities.

How does the rock ’n’ roll production pedigree of Pro Media, a Clair Global company, help to inform and enhance what can be achieved in the fixed venue installation sector for live audiences?

AR: It’s been interesting to see that, for the UK, the Clair Global brand is not as generally well-known, certainly within the management of sports and arena venues, as our local brands, Britannia Row and Eighth Day Sound. Prospective Pro Media AV clients are certainly impressed when they learn about the scale and reach of the broader Clair Global business, especially so if they operate in locations outside of the UK. Our work on events with a global audience, such as the Superbowl half-time show, really helps to reinforce our credentials.

The whole EU team will be in Barcelona for The ISE Show on May 11-13th. You’re both exhibiting and delivering talks. Where can we find you?

AR: After the recent postponement, plus the absence of a show these past couple of years, it will be fantastic to be back at a busy show. We are using the event to help drive our European business and to meet new and existing contacts. We will be on stand 7T750 and are on the schedule to deliver talks in the Live Events Arena, Hall 7. Exact timings are still to be announced by the organisers.