Showtime! The big benefits of going to shows - Adrian YoungThere are two key reasons why it’s beneficial for Presteigne to go to shows. The first is a great number of our customers are there – they're in a mindset to meet and talk about their plans. You might think it’s daft to go to America, Asia or Europe to meet somebody who’s based just down the road, but actually finding time in their diary in the UK can be a lot more challenging than saying, ‘I’ll catch you on the floor at NAB’ or ‘let’s go and grab dinner one night’. There’s often a good opportunity to get them in a more social environment, and to start to form closer relationships, going beyond the pure structured business meeting that might take place in the UK. That’s very significant for us.
The second factor is we go to have a look at the equipment, to understand what’s coming, what’s real and what’s still kind of ‘vapour-ware’. We can see what the busiest stands are – this is an indicator of genuine interest from our customers as to where they’re likely to be driving their technology agenda. We can then assess whether that’s something that’s going to make a good rental product or if it's always going to be something they’ll buy.
Manufacturers will talk to us about product… but particularly if it’s a manufacturer that’s not well established, who is looking to breakthrough. They’ll often need to ensure they’ve got a good rental partner to support the sale of the product. For most new products a customer will want to test it by renting it first, evaluating it and then deciding if it would make sense to buy it. But, typically, they’ll want some kind of rental support too, so that they can expand their inventory at short notice if jobs demand it. We get that feedback from manufacturers and we have an opportunity to talk to them about partnerships to help to get those products launched.
A meeting with a manufacturer at NAB or IBC is part of a stream of discussions – when they're bringing the product to market, price negotiations, quantity negotiations, timing… all those sorts of things. If something very specific comes out of those discussions then, typically, there’s a very structured follow-up that would involve our relevant key account manager back in the UK. This follow-up ensures that we jump on that opportunity.
Going to shows gives our customers an opportunity to influence our equipment choices. We’re often one of the first people to hear about what customers want and we’re in a good position to feed that back to the manufacturers and support the introduction of those things.
For instance, when we got on the plane to NAB 2019 we didn't have in mind that we’d buy any Grass Valley LDX cameras. Then, a combination of really interesting discussions with two key customers, who were big Grass Valley users, and a very good meeting with Grass Valley, meant that, within two weeks of having those meetings, we’d bought 25 cameras.
The manufacturers were keen to support their end-user customers in terms of their CapEx plan and a part of that was to try and facilitate a UK rental company buying their inventory. Manufacturers win because they’ve sold more inventory, but the customer ultimately won as well because they could have the confidence there’d be deep availability of inventory in the UK market to support their incremental needs.
*Adrian Young is the CEO of Presteigne Broadcast Hire, a leading dry hire and total multi-location production equipment provider.