Earlier this month I received a card here at R&B Group. “Congratulations” it said. “14 years. Just like that…” – that coupled with turning 40 recently, I thought “where has the time gone”?
Yes – I joined R&B back in October 2002 and this got me thinking about the many, many changes since. Our clients generally don’t observe all the changes and advances in technology. They do notice the excellence in our events though and part of what’s behind that is our continual investment in advancing technology. Some subtle, some more extreme.
I remember back in 2002 some people still used acetates on an OHP or slides – like physical slides that had to be loaded into a carousel – crazy to think that! How the advances in technology has changed our lives there! We’ve seen our stock of projectors get brighter and brighter. Our latest additions to stock are laser based, no lamps, no bulbs, just high quality laser technology. They look fantastic!
The humble LED has revolutionised this industry too! LEDs require so little power compared to their predecessors, cutting our power requirements by three-quarters at some events! They’re a lot brighter too! We used to have to rig fixture after fixture. Now it’s so much simpler (and lighter) with our stock of moving colour change LED fixtures.
But LEDs haven’t just improved lighting for us. Hands up who has an LED TV? Our install techs love those! So much brighter and a tenth of the weight of a power hungry plasma screen! Not so much of a work out for our tech guys!
Talking of TVs our video production team have seen huge changes in 14 years too! When I started in 2002 we shot on bulky, heavy cameras with professional Beta tape. Those tapes were huge and once you’d shot the video, it had to be played into the edit suite in real-time.
These days not only are the cameras a fraction of the size, but the tapes have been replaced with hard drives and memory cards. There’s not much waiting around in the suite either, so less time twiddling thumbs and making cups of tea! Actually the lack of tea is one drawback.
The move to HD has been huge for our video guys too and that technology just keeps improving – anyone bought a 4k TV yet?
With sound equipment the changes have been more subtle, moving from analogue to digital, but the changes are just as significant. Everything has become more efficient, compact and easier to control and set up. I do remember playing tracks on a MiniDisc though – remember them? Or CDs – when did you last buy one? Of course our latest stock additions sound better too and that’s one thing our clients often comment on.
The pace of how tech moves and improves is great for our industry! There have been some huge changes in my time here, no doubt there’ll be many more, but the one thing I’ve learned in 14 years at R&B Group is that we’re great at embracing the new technology and the change! Our clients don’t stand still and neither will we!