With over 25 years of experience, mclcreate are at the forefront of technical and creative solutions for events. We sat down with Simon Jelley, Sales Director of mclcreate to find out more.
Our continued investment in new technologies, equipment and services, along with expansions into digital, creative and delegate management ensures mclcreate at the forefront of the live events industry.
1. Please could you give us an overview of mclcreate
mclcreate has been rapidly expanding its services and the way we do business in the last couple of years to better provide for client events of the future. Though we have been in the events sector for over 25 years, it is important that we continue to evolve the business alongside our client’s needs delivering a more sophisticated and creative lead solution.
We've modelled our business around what our clients want. A one-stop shop offering clients a complete service from start to finish. From event planning and production to creative, digital and delegate management. Our roots in audio-visual technology mean we provide for all the technical requirements as well. Owning and supplying our equipment helps us to deliver exactly what our customers demand, on time and on price. We are a complete event solution.
2. We hear some interesting things are happening at mclcreate – so what’s new?
As mentioned, we've been expanding our portfolio of services and products in-line with our clients’ needs. One such solution has been our investment in an ROI measurement tool for events. This unique measurement and surveying product delivers audience engagement, learning and return on event objectives. The product allows you to strategically select questions to shape content, influence agendas and understand behaviour.
Through the use of this surveying product, you can shape and develop your event around you and your attendees needs. Building an engaging event tailored to your strategic message or goal. With the use of the product, you gain a deeper understanding of your events effectiveness while measuring and understanding its impact. You can then take this forward using the captured data to create more effective events and increase audience engagement.
3. What does mclcreate bring to events you work on?
We bring our years of experience in the events sector, as well as creative flair and a can-do attitude. We work with a variety of clients up and down the country, which gives us the opportunity to gain expertise in different sectors.
A recent example of this was when we were appointed by gaming and event services company Multiplay to deliver Minecon at ExCeL. This was a two-day celebration of the game Minecraft. The gathering attracted 10,000+ gaming enthusiasts from over 70 countries and was declared the ‘largest convention for a single video game’ by Guinness World Records. Online video streaming helped the proceedings reach a further 3 million viewers worldwide, with viewers tuning in via YouTube, Xbox Live, and Twitch.
Delivering such a massive event, we needed to mobilise our teams and inventory from across the country to design, source and install sound and lighting fit to impress the tech-savvy attendees. We also provided logistical support and supplier handling as part of our managed solution which included a 5-strong team of account and project managers alongside 55 onsite technical crew. The events technical success was a testament to the staff and ethos of mclcreate. We are again working with Multiplay on their Insomnia 56 gaming festival at the NEC.
4. What differentiates you from competitors?
Unlike many event companies or agencies, we don’t rely on third party companies to deliver our events. If you appoint mclcreate you will receive the benefit of our in-house project expertise, equipment, technical know-how and creative services.
As the company has grown over the years, we have been the benefactors of recruiting exceptional talent that have helped shape and grow the business to where it is today. Our continued investment in new technologies, equipment and services, along with expansions into digital, creative and delegate management ensures mclcreate at the forefront of the live events industry.
5. Tell us a little bit about your career and how you started in the events industry
I began my career in the events industry back in the early 1990’s when I started as a project manager with an exhibition management company. My role involved travelling all over the world, looking after all the stand build requirements for British companies exhibiting as part of the UK Pavilion at overseas trade shows. It was a fantastic learning experience for me and, despite the long hours and many challenges the role presented, was also a lot of fun. From there I progressed into roles with a number of event production companies where I worked on a much wider range of events, from conferences and awards ceremonies to product launches and exhibitions. I developed more of a focus on event production and helping clients achieve their aims in the live event arena, which I found incredibly varied, challenging and interesting. I had the opportunity to join mclcreate in 2006, and jumped at the chance to join one of the leading companies in the field. I have been happy to call mclcreate home ever since!
6. Tell us about the best event you’ve ever been to
There are too many to pick just one as I have attended and been involved in some amazing events and worked with many great people, but in terms of personal satisfaction I think mclcreate being the AV partner for all the events running up to London 2012 Olympics, including the official launch of the Olympic Stadium with the Prime Minister, probably stands out as a highlight.
7. In your opinion, what is the coolest bit of event tech you have seen recently?
In recent months we have been exploring iBeacon technology and how it could be utilised at venues, conferences and exhibitions. Still in its relative infancy, the idea of being able to directly target attendees as they explore an exhibition or live event with meaningful and personalised content is incredibly exciting.
With this Bluetooth low energy technology, any exhibitor or event organiser will be able to understand exactly where an attendee is in an exhibition space for example. This then provides an incredible opportunity to send highly contextual, hyper-local, meaningful messages and advertisements to their smartphones or tablets. Could this be the beginning of the end for marketing brochures and flyers on exhibitors’ stands? We will need to wait and see.
8. What does the future hold for event technology?
The live events industry is continuously evolving and adapting around client needs and expectations. It is, therefore, almost impossible to second guess the future of event technology but there are tantalising hints.
This year saw the widespread adoption of wearable technology, in particular, the Apple Watch with its myriad of apps and biometric tools. We are already seeing the development of interactive technologies such as iBeacons that can fully exploit this wearable tech. Haptics is the next major step in this evolution line. Imagine being directed around a venue or exhibition space by use of light sensory touches say in footwear or from your wrist watch. The extent to what can be done is only limited to our imagination.
9. What are you top 3 tips for customers when they are organising their event?
There a so many things to consider when planning an event and I am sure many people will have many different and totally valid points, but I can offer some tips that can be helpful from a production standpoint when looking to create a memorable and successful event.
Tip 1. Never try to do everything yourself. The best events are created when different people with different skill sets come together. Even in a small team, effectively dividing tasks ensures better quality and less potential for errors and oversights. Working with good providers and suppliers to bring your ideas to life is invaluable.
Tip 2. Establish your event presence early. Don’t underestimate the importance of an early start when it comes to creating your event website, contacting your delegates or raising awareness through social media. The longer you have to capture and retain attention, the better. An event should have presence way before and long after the actual live, on site meeting itself and digital interaction can help with this greatly. Put some thought into who your audience is and how to communicate with them, as contact with delegates and obtaining their views prior to an event can help you shape the content of your event.
Tip 3. More and more events will utilise interactive technology, so online access will be critical to the success of your event. We already have a heavy reliance on internet connectivity, and this doesn’t look likely to change anytime soon. Ensuring a speedy and smooth connection is essential. As a rule of thumb, aim for 10 Mbps for every 100 attendees and don't forget many attendees will bring more than one mobile device.
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