Professional Lighting & Production - Winter 2017 - Page 24

1 2 3 4 5 as Audio Analysts’ U.S. operations in mid-2011, Solotech continued to grow internationally. Also in 2011, they established a new Montreal headquarters – a 265,000-sq.-ft. facility in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve area, within sight of Olympic Stadium, which serves as a constant reminder of the opportunity that sparked their inception. Ultimately, the company was sold in 2013 to a trio of stakeholders: Claridge Inc., Capital régional and coopératif Desjardins, and Investissement Québec (IQ). That said, Solotech’s approach and core values remain, as ever, on an inno- vative, inspiration-fuelled, client-based approach to growth. “Our main goal is to be able to execute our customer’s end vision and what they want the experience to be,” Giffard says. “Through innovation and inspiration, we’re able to provide the best technology, and by training our staff in new technologies and investing in our people, we ensure our ability to realize the customer’s vision within their budget.” Giffard joined Solotech in 2016 but is well acquainted with the company’s trajectory and the steps they’ve taken, both domestically and internation- ally, to expand. Among them is the purchase of Toronto-based lighting and video firm Midnite Hour in 2015, which became Solotech’s Toronto office. That office is bound to grow rapidly as it represents the biggest Canadian growth opportunity for Solotech. In March 2016, Solotech opened an office in Nashville, marking the begin- ning of additional U.S. expansion – an effort on which they doubled down in October 2016 with the establishment of their DeKalb, IL office. Although, for now, those two locations are used mainly by the Rental Division, in the near future, Solotech plans on using the expertise of the teams in place to accelerate its growth in the U.S. market. Giffard’s main focus, integration, has also grown apace. “We recently finished the Park Theatre in Las Vegas at the Monte Carlo. We’ve also done most of the work at Montreal’s Bell Centre and Quebec City’s Videotron Centre, and at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace, where Celine performed.” Other major integration projects include various sports venues, educational institu- tions, hospitals, and airports, including the provision of digital signage for applications including public, retail and residential spaces. “So everything from an AV perspective, that’s where we play now,” Giffard says. Solotech is now a one-stop shop for virtually any application that involves lighting, sound, video, and related infrastructure and, additionally, the provision of security systems for clients across the board. Integration has always been part of Solotech’s offerings, Giffard says, “But in the last 10 years, as more sports venues are built, more AV components are in- cluded in shopping centres, hotels, and residential developments, we’ve grown our integration division.” At this point, integration accounts for approximately 40 per cent of Solotech’s overall revenue, but sales and rentals – given their expertise and purchasing power – are also integral to Solotech’s growth overall, and to the integration division’s ongoing success. In every case, Solotech “evaluates and un- derstands the customer’s need, finds the right product, network, application, and ensures we’re able to use it to the end of its capabilities to fulfill our client’s needs on the integration side.” So, too, do the company’s complementing divisions. Now, Solotech offers 360-degree services: lighting, AV, videoconferencing, video encoding, digital signage, paging, intelligent transportation systems, and more, plus integration, installation, custom fabrication, maintenance, and service for applications in the broadcast, corporate, cultural, educational, govern- ment, health, hospitality, retail, sporting, and transport sectors. “We’ve moved into the growing 1. Brian Setzer Orchestra on the main stage of the Montreal International Jazz Festival 2. Celine Dion Live in Paris 3. Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic World Tour hits Las Vegas 4. The Weeknd’s Starboy: Legend of the Fall Tour 5. Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience Tour