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An interview with Peter Homes from On Tour Events | Technical Event Production Hire Company | London
What steps do you take to stand out from your competition?
Very good question... the reason we stand out from the competition it's because our creativity is hard to match, our trusted long standing reputation in audio visual, event production industry also sets us apart from other event production companies across Surrey London and Manchester.
What's the most unique way you market your business?
The only real way that you can market a technical event production company is by showcasing your work or starting showcasing all the different award shows, corporate conferences, product launches to festivals & private events we have worked on over the years. You'll find that on the On Tour Events website we have written articles about some of our event lighting solutions, conference sound systems and the do's and don'ts, what to look for for when you want to hire a technical event production company and why we believe On Tour Events can I help you.
Do you find social media effective in marketing your business, or do you think it's overhyped?
Social media is hard there are so many different platforms! You have Twitter, Instagram Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn... some are fun & some of these social media platforms seem to be very messy in the way that you get your message across yet Facebook seems to offer some incredible advertising opportunities. At On Tour Events we do use a number of the social platforms but we do this in a passive manner we let our work and our reputation do the talking.
How long have you been marketing your business online? What changes have you seen in this time?On Tour Events as a company is relatively new but the members and directors of this company have been in the sound lighting and technical event production industry for a very long time. On Tour Events have seen web search overtake from word of mouth and recommendations and although when this was happening 8 to 10 years ago when it first started what it does do it keeps you on your toes as all Industries are always changing and we should give credit too older companies who have not just relied on a website or on social media but they grow a company through word of mouth, reputation, trust and a bit of luck... There weren't many event production hire companies building LED screens for conferences or award shows 8 years ago but now there are many hire companies offering staging, sound, event lighting and in some areas of the technical event production industry it's flooded with new production companies trying to setup.
How much do you rely upon word-of-mouth marketing?
On Tour Events has a fantastic reputation as a professional trusted audio visual technical event production hire company & we believe that our customers like working with us thus only say positive things about the service we offer and the level of detail and creativity we offer on all events undertaken whether this is an award show, product launch, exhibition or conference we work at the same high level as ever. When you have 500 to 1000 guests at an award show listening to the audio, seeing the lights and watching the production this can only have a benefit if people were to talk about this but to say that we rely on this would not be true
When did you launch your website? What changes have you seen on the internet since launching your website? The new On Tour Events website was launched only this year in 2020 so it's a bit hard to comment as to how it has performed but we believe with the correct work, some good solid marketing and continuing to build a trusted customer base the new website will only benefit and be an asset to the company. Some of the directors have owned websites prior to this and have found that although some customers will go straight to Google and search for ''event production companies in London'' or ''audio visual companies in London'' the choice is huge and when you are planning a very important event like an award show, your wedding or a conference for the business you work for the chances that you're just going to use a random hire company you found online is unlikely.... you're going to use a company that you have been recommended to you or you have worked with them in the past and you trust the work / productions that they offer.... We believe On Tour Events falls into the latter
What do qualities do you look for in an employee?
When you looking to employ a sound / event lighting technician or maybe a LED screen technician... regardless of whatever they are doing they have to be reliable, have to be trusted, they have to be professional and they have to be knowledgeable in the area of skill set that they believe they have. Any crew or employee that comes to work at On Tour Events must first show a very high level of understanding of the equipment we use whether this is how to build stages safely or how to set up a LED screen correctly or making sure that the sound designed for an award show is dealt with, with attention & the clients budget in mind. Finding good people is hard this is why we are a small close team & only work with crew we know & trust. We work hard to offer you the best experience we can at your event.
What made you get into the business you're in?
Many years ago I worked for a technical event production company in Surrey most of our work was building sets for conferences providing small sound systems for exhibitions and we also installs and audiovisual equipment on the outskirts of London. Fast forward 10 years and I myself became an LED screen video technician as I found some of the best experiences that I have had add is watching well produced content displayed on a creative LED screen while hundreds of thousands of people watch with a smile on my face - it makes me realise the producing and working in the event production industry is right for me.
What's the thing you hate the most about the industry you're in?
I wouldn't say there is anything I particularly hate about the event production industry as 70% of our work is corporate award shows or working in hotels providing conference equipment which is nice when the weather is bad outside but also has its drawbacks when the sun is shining and we're stuck in a hotel carrying stayed up the stairs.... I guess if I had 1 thing in this industry that i dislike it would be transport turning up late due to traffic!!
You can change three things about the industry you're in - tell us what you'd change.
If I could change three things about the industry they would be as follows: It would be nice to find a technical crewing company who offer reliable freelance sound and lighting technicians as currently this is very hard to find, second on the list it would be nice if hotels or conference suits would understand that when you are setting up for an award show and you're building a production in the middle of a room that trying to lay out 500 chairs and 40 tables isn't a great idea at the same time as we are loading in.... It would also be nice if it was harder for companies to copy websites and brands and this is one of the main reasons we have built On Tour Events ourselves from the ground Up and we want to make sure our brand and image is completely unique and cannot be misinterpreted as another event production company.
What's one thing your target market don't fully understand, but would greatly benefit them if they did?
Lots of our corporate clients come to us with grand ideas, dreams and wishes of elaborate productions taking place in venues where there is not sufficient space, power, riggin or access to load in. We understand that some of our clients want unique and bespoke venues for their event(s), it would just make things a bit easier if some time and consideration was taken to understand how are you are going to get all of the sound, staging, lighting, LED screen and rigging in and out of the venue in sometimes only a few hours. Anything is possible and everything can be done but there is a cost to this and sometimes the grand ideas have to be scaled back due to the realistic budgets that have been put in place for the event.
What's the most annoying type of spam email that clogs up your inbox?
We get inundated everyday you spam emails from companies offering us cheap interior lighting, second hand sound systems or events planners asking us for ''best'' trade rates for a one-off show (yes we do class this as spam lol) and then there is all of the social media spam that comes through and although you can click unsubscribe to a lot of these newsletters and bulletins somehow they still seem to filter through to your inbox!
Do you think the internet is heading in a positive or negative direction?
I think the internet has changed everything but at the same time i do think it makes the determined companies who created in their thinking more determined to succeed as competition is greater as he is easier to give any business a platform now. This is good for sure and something we are all seeing is more and more video content... Maybe in 10-years time you won't have a website field written word it will be a live feed of your office it will be a portal where you discuss ideas and quotes with clients but for the moment it is what it is.
Is your business a lifestyle business, or are you always looking for continious growth?
On Tour Events operates 7 days a week 365 days a year so it is far from a hobby leisure business.... Now to answer the question are we looking for continued growth - Well yes and no .. of course you're always looking to work with new customers on new projects, new conferences, new award shows and yes it's fantastic to work in a new venue and solve problems other hire companies haven't been able to solve before but there is no grand plan or wish or desire to triple in size. What we do and what we have works and we believe that we are at the stage where we are looking to maintain our trusted reputation within the event production industry
Describe your office! For example, do you work from home, or do you have an office full of employees?On Tour Events has as a small office located in the heart of London it has another smaller office in Surrey and we have a second Warehouse with small office also located in Manchester. We like to keep the office's smart, clean and crisp as quite often clients will visit to discuss projects or shows their working on with us on to produce. The warehouse of the business where all of the equipment is kept is also clean and tidy but at the same time we understand and this can sometimes be a tad messy, wet & a dirty environment is the UK weather is not always on our side and some of our events take place for weeks outside! One thing we can promise is the kitchen is clean lol always stocked with tea and coffee so pop on down
What is unique about your business?
One of the main things which makes On Tour Events unique from any other event production company is the fact that we own all of the sound, lighting the LED screen and the staging plus we are able to produce custom sets in house we have access to some of the best c&C workshops allowing us to create amazing backdrops, branded products and we also offer a full 3D visualisation of your award show, conference, wedding or private event. This allows our customers to see what the lighting would look like, how the production looks in a certain space and allows our customers to sign off on the production knowing that what they have seen before exactly what they will get on the day which takes a lot of worry away from many of our customers.
Is the customer always right?
This may not be a popular answer but the truth is the customer isn't always right let me explain to you quickly why I say this.... Your customer is paying you to supply a service and they should trust you to supply that service to the best of your ability and to a very high standard now if you fall short of this then most likely your customer will be right in saying that they are not happy (maybe) but let's say you have a customer who doesn't understand the technical aspect a product / piece of equipment & they have no knowledge about it but they are telling you how it they ''think '' it works like X or Y.... I would find hard to agree with them unless they had some prior knowledge or experience with a technical piece of equipment