Home' micenet eMag : micenet October 2018 Contents business keeps on growing. When you’re running
a company you just have to be on the ground and
Staging Rentals & Construction has offices in Sydney,
Brisbane and Melbourne, servicing those markets and
business nationally. With international clients the
company is now also doing more work offshore.
“We don’t go looking for international business. Our
international clients are just asking us to do more
work for them.
“Having said that the biggest job we’re doing next
month is coming out of London but is in Sydney.”
But that’s not the only shift Meri has seen since
“There have been a lot of changes in different areas
of the events industry.
“If you look at where the money comes from –
starting at the top and going all the way down the food
chain – there’s been a dramatic shift in the client base.
“Ten years ago our biggest clients were the
motorcar companies. We built million dollar stands for
motor shows. Now the big spenders in the activation
event arena are the tech giants: Google, Adobe,
Amazon, Facebook. Those guys would be some of
the biggest spenders in the industry now.
“And it’s actually created a growth spurt for
“It’s interesting because most of them grew their
business online and now they want to promote their
businesses with live events.
“For me these changes haven’t been a slow
transition; it’s been, in my view, a fairly dramatic shift.
“Gone are the days when a big firm gave all their
work to one agency. Now the big players like the Googles and the Amazons have a number of
agencies working on their events. Not only that, they’ll have a number of agencies competing
for that piece of business.”
What it means, says Meri, is the whole end-user/agency relationship is a lot more
“And it’s all driven by creative. A lot of them do come up with creative ideas and they pitch it
to the client and the client loves it. The missing link is, can you actually achieve that idea in the
“So what that’s done has spawned the rise of the technical director because agencies are
focused on selling creative and content ideas. When it comes to delivery, the skillsets aren’t
really matched by the sell, so they need to rely on the technical agencies underneath them,
along with other suppliers, to deliver the event.”
One eye on the past, the other on the future
Meri Took’s office reminds me of Gerry Harvey’s who I interviewed many years ago, although
Meri has a couple of computers on his desk. Gerry had a pile of balance books.
If they got their hands on it, a team from The Block would no doubt paint Meri’s office in
muted colours and add a sleek custom-made table with matching accessories and a leather
lounge for dramatic effect.
I for one like that it’s comfortably lived in.
SRC’s David Jones Spring
Summer Collections 2018 Launch.
Creative production design by
David Jones. Image by Ken Butti.
In the adjoining central office area there’s a
cool hand painted mural of a superhero theme.
There’s not a bean bag in sight.
Downstairs, in the warehouse, carpenters
and tradies are working diligently on a range
of new stages and sets and other things. In
one corner are what must be acres and
acres of black drapes. A $300,000 CNC
machine sits silently, waiting for its next big
job which is no doubt just a phone call away.
In another corner are half a dozen mobile
coffee machines that the metal fabrication
shop team are modifying for a client.
It’s a busy, energetic place that has,
obviously, continued to move with the times
to adjust to the changing landscape of the
“Gone are the days when an agency goes,
`Okay we need sound, lighting, audio-visual, set
construction, staging’ and they would have
people within their organisation who would
have relationships with suppliers who could
deliver these services and bring them all in for a
meeting and say this is what we’re doing, give
us your quotes by Monday, put it all together
and pitch it to the client already costed.
“I don’t think that happens as much
anymore. A lot of that is now filtered through
technical direction companies. They provide
the front-end technical services, and
production management services.
Basically, what is happening is that the
“creatives” come up with the concept and if
they’re smart, they go to the technical directors
to see if what they have dreamed up can be
done, and how much it’s going to cost.
“Interestingly, I feel overall, agencies should
be getting more skilled at event production,
however, from what I see, the reverse is
actually happening. They’re dependent on
other people to make the event work; they
don’t actually have the skills inhouse to
deliver the job. This is a big change. They’ve
got the skills to pitch it to the client and win
the job – which are key – but that’s it.”
What this new layer also means is that the
cost to the client is higher. As Meri explains,
for every dollar that is spent with SRC, it is
I KNOW WHY THEY’RE CALLED
MOOD BOARDS. BECAUSE THEY
PUT ME IN A BAD MOOD!
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