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As spring turns to summer, so the busiest time of the year kicks off for Peterborough based production and rental company Pearce Hire.
Alongside working for a number of new clients and some high profile one-off's that have taken place over recent weeks, Pearce Hire is in the midst of producing a series of events for some long standing and loyal customers.
Earlier in the year, Shaun Pearce and his team were involved in an extensive tender process to secure long-term contracts with a number of key clients including the Forestry Commission, the Cambridge Folk Festival, and Warners Group Publications Plc . Pearce Hire's connections with these organisations stretch back many years and the tender process has led to contract renewals all round. And it is the resulting events which are in part responsible for the busy weeks ahead.
Forest Live is a series of concerts run at 7 different Forestry Commission sites around the country over nine weekends in June and July. The events take place with a backdrop of beautiful woodland and forests, and the Pearce Hire team help deliver a temporary infrastructure whilst preserving the natural environments they are working in. Pearce Hire's project manager John Huson explains: 'Our involvement extends back 12 years when Forest Live was a far smaller proposition than it is now, and has increased over the years to a point where we supply all power distribution and site lighting to all seven sites, as well as the lighting rigs.
'We are required to meet the demands of several different artists across the various events, who this year include Paloma Faith, Blondie, The Script, Jessie J and Paul Weller to name a few. To achieve this we draw on our extensive inventory including Martin, Robe and i-Pix lighting fixtures, Chamsys control, and our own bespoke power distribution system. One of the most challenging parts of the project is running two identical systems in different locations for the first three weekends, but our investment over the years has meant we supply both rigs in their entirety whilst also delivering production needs for our other customers at the same time.'
One of the growing challenges since Pearce Hire started working for the Forestry Commission is the issue of event sustainability. But they rate highly in these credentials, as Huson explains ' We have made a number of changes to demonstrate sustainable practice, and over the past 5 years, mainly through the introduction of LED fixtures, we have reduced the total power consumption of the Forest Live lighting rig by over 45%. Power consumption and carbon emissions have also been positively impacted by the use of lower wattage discharge fixtures across all the site lighting and also ensuring that site lighting fixtures are switched off during the daytime.'
David Barrow from DB Event Services is part of the Forestry Commission's Forest Live National Team handling programming, production and licensing for the series of concerts. He has had a long working relationship with Pearce Hire stretching back 23 years and is delighted that Pearce Hire's bid at the beginning of the year proved successful. 'A major part of the success of the Forest Live programme is that our key production suppliers have remained the same and Pearce Hire's team have been a crucial part of this. They are spot on with their services and equipment and their delivery is second to none. The tour is a logistical 'beast' as we are running back-to-back sites at times. The production is a well oiled machine as it moves across the UK to the next sites so the set-up is 100% the same at each site. The Forest Live shows have certainly grown from strength to strength since their inception in 2001 and Pearce Hire deserve credit for being a part of that success.'
Rachael Miller, Events Manager for the Forestry Commission couldn't agree more and is clear on why they have renewed the contract with Pearce Hire for the next 5 years, commenting 'I'm very happy that Pearce Hire have successfully tendered to supply our events until 2017. They have extensive experience on this type of outdoor event, and combined with their huge amount of stock this means they are able to deliver a complete service, as well as respond to inevitable last minute changes. Their staff are valued members of our onsite teams and everyone works together to deliver the events.'
Forest Live kicked off three weeks ago with Blondie, Paloma Faith and James performing at Thetford Forest and Paloma Faith and Blondie performing at Sherwood Pines Forest Park. Other sites include Bedgebury National Pinetum, Dalby Forest, Cannock Chase Forest, Delamere Forest and Westonbirt Arboretum.
Photograph: Marquis Toliver (support act for Paloma Faith) on stage at Thetford Forest, Friday 14th June 2013. Photo copyright Duncan Ireland Photography.
Peterborough based Pearce Hire has reported an excellent response to their first time participation at PLASA Focus last month.
This year was the first time Pearce Hire had taken part in the highly successful regional event in Leeds, presented on an annual basis by PLASA.
Over recent months, the company has committed to a bold growth strategy, which has already been set in motion with an expansion of their warehouse facilities, a considerable investment in their equipment inventory and an increase in the number of staff to facilitate the anticipated business growth.
'Our expansion plans include re-establishing lapsed contacts, as well as reaching into regional markets beyond our traditional strongholds', explains Shaun Pearce, Managing Director.
'A regional, cost-effective trade show such as PLASA Focus allowed us to take advantage of a well-attended networking event at the heart of the Northern marketplace,' he continues. 'Our aim was to raise our company profile and demonstrate the breadth of the services and expertise that Pearce Hire offers, above and beyond what we are usually recognised for in lighting and power distribution. The best way to do this is to meet existing and potential new customers on their doorstep and to talk to them face-to-face about their upcoming projects, what their needs are and how we can help. PLASA Focus certainly allowed us to achieve all of these objectives'.
Supporting Shaun Pearce at the show were two of Pearce Hire's management team - Dan Shelton (Project and Operations Manager), and Richard 'Occy' Oxley (Project and Audio Manager). Shelton remarks 'One of the major benefits of PLASA Focus was the ample networking opportunities it presented us in terms of meeting customers as well as spending time with our own suppliers. This was all helped by the proximity of the main hotel to the show venue and the exhibitor party on the middle night of the show'.
Oxley agrees 'Not only did we see many existing customers, we also re-established lost acquaintances from around the North, and definitely met some potential new clients who we would not have met had we not been at the show'.
Pearce concludes 'Before we went to PLASA Focus we were clear on what our key objectives were. Already a number of sales orders have come through which are directly attributable to the people we saw in Leeds. Our expectations were matched, if not exceeded and we have already re-booked our stand space for next year.
'We are looking forward to developing our client base in the North and PLASA Focus is clearly going to help us achieve our strategic objectives in this region'.
Pearce Hire have announced that they will be exhibiting for the first time at PLASA Focus: Leeds 2013. This regional two-day event taking place on 30th April and 1st May is the premier entertainment technology trade show in the North of England and is run by the industry trade body PLASA.
‘We have watched the impressive development of PLASA Focus as it has established itself as a strong and effective regional event, and we felt that 2013 was the right time to get involved’, states Shaun Pearce, MD of Pearce Hire.
The past year has seen significant expansion for Pearce Hire in a number of areas, with an increased warehouse footprint at their HQ in Peterborough. The company has also made significant investments in their product inventory and expanded the team to meet the challenges and demands of a diverse and growing range of customers. All in all this should ensure that the excellent service standards Pearce Hire has built it’s reputation on are maintained for their loyal and new customers.
‘These expansion plans have been part of a broader company strategy,’ observes Pearce. ‘And part of that strategy is to expand our rental operation more into the northern market. In the past we did a fair bit of business in the north and we hope that our presence at PLASA Focus will help us to re-establish these contacts.’
Pearce Hire has recently secured the renewal of 3 major contracts ranging between 3 and 5 years with Warner’s Motor Home Shows, the Forestry Commission and the Cambridge Folk Festival. These contracts will see Pearce Hire work around the country for these important clients. Simultaneously engaging with new customers in the North is a natural progression for the company.
‘Exhibiting at PLASA Focus: Leeds 2013 is the ideal way to re-acquaint ourselves with the northern market and the events taking place in the region. There is no other regional exhibition servicing the live touring and outdoor event industry in the North. We have made significant investments in new equipment over the past year, and our plan is to augment this over the coming months. Now is the time for us to increase our brand awareness nationwide and engage proactively with the marketplace about the broad array of services that we offer. PLASA Focus will help Pearce Hire to achieve this’.
Pearce Hire services range from sales, installation, dry hire and rental, servicing and in-house electrical testing, to turnkey production management and project consultancy.
See Pearce Hire at PLASA Focus: Leeds 2013, 30 April – 1 May 2013 on stand RA-A5.