Anna Valley and Matrix UK Solutions launch online event studio

LONDON — June 11, 2020 – Anna Valley and Matrix UK Solutions have teamed up to launch a new studio solution, designed to host online events for agencies and corporate clients. The online event venue was unveiled earlier this week, in a live stream that included a full demonstration of the solution’s capabilities to an audience of over 200 event professionals.

With high-res LED backdrops and flooring, broadcast-standard production quality and a range of interactive elements, the solution is ideal for product launches, conferences, training sessions and internal communications. Clients can host their online events from Anna Valley’s 42,000 square-foot facility in West London which includes a fully functional and socially distant gallery as well as additional capacity for extended reality and chroma key sets, or have a customised solution built at a venue of their choice.

Some of the capabilities that the online event studio provides include:
• Changing set backdrops at the click of a button.
• Adapting configurations to present keynotes, host panel discussions and more.
• Incorporating broadcast-quality live feeds.
• Presenting dynamic graphics and charts as part of the set design.
• Keying in backgrounds to make it look like remote participants are in the same space as your presenter.
• Creating vast sets in small spaces with extended reality.
• Introducing interactivity through polls, Q&A and audience votes.

“We put this solution and the live demo together in response to client requests for high-end, online event experiences,” says Anna Valley MD, Peter Jones. “With our heritage in broadcast and reputation for providing live event and entertainment technology, we’re ideally suited to helping event professionals reinvent their physical shows as digital experiences.”

View the online demo.

Anna Valley Group creates centre for audio excellence

LONDON — April 8, 2020 – Audio-visual and entertainment technology company, Anna Valley, is building a centre for audio excellence across the group by purchasing new audio equipment to supplement their existing stock. Consolidating their inventory with that of their subsidiary, Matrix UK Solutions, and assembling a team of dedicated audio specialists.

The new stock purchased by Anna Valley complements both their existing d&b, Shure and Yamaha kit as well as the equipment recently moved from Matrix to the group’s head office in Feltham to create a comprehensive hire stock of digital audio equipment that all speaks the same language. To this end, they’ve expanded their range of d&b speakers by adding both Y-Series and E-series to their existing stock and have replaced their wireless microphone systems with digital options. The company’s purchase of an additional forty channels of Shure QLX-D with DPA microphones and new, Dante-enabled, Shure Axient Digital systems brings their total stock of Shure digital systems to just under 100 channels. Additional Yamaha consoles and interfaces tie these systems together and provide the flexibility to scale according to events’ needs.

In addition, Anna Valley also brought in Lucy Jenkins as head of audio. With extensive experience as a freelance audio engineer and project manager, and previous positions at Orbital Sound and SSE Audio Group, she was instrumental in specifying Anna Valley’s new purchase list and will also be responsible for building and leading the new audio team.

“Anna Valley is recognised as a leader in video displays and, while we’ve always offered high-quality audio support, sound has never been our primary focus,” says Anna Valley MD, Peter Jones. “The aim now is to develop our audio capability (and capacity) and to use audio as a creative tool in its own right to help our clients deliver great experiences. We committed to this investment before the current crisis, but we’re confident that our industry will bounce back and that, after social isolation, there will be an even bigger appetite to come together for live events and digital shows. By developing our audio capability (and capacity) Anna Valley will be in a stronger position to support the industry in delivering these life-affirming experiences.”

Launch of #ForTheDigitalShow live video streaming packages

There has never been more pressure on the events industry to leverage digital tools to support and enhance their shows. As a trusted entertainment technology company. The Anna Valley Group is the ideal partner for event professionals looking to boost attendees, incorporate global speakers and reinvent their events through live video streaming.

There are a number of off-the-shelf digital event solutions available, please get in touch with one of the team at Matrix to discuss your requirements.

Click here to see more

our latest recruit

Brodie Povey is our newest team member, some of our clients and suppliers may already be familiar with him. Brodie previously worked full-time for Matrix and has remained a familiar face as one of our freelance contractors. Having left his full-time position at Matrix in 2015, Brodie wanted to have greater flexibility working in the ice rink industry – he started a new business running an ice karting company.

Brodie has remained very focused on the world of events too. In amongst his new business venture and freelancing for a number of AV companies and venues as a Video Engineer and Technical Manager. Brodie toured for four years as a Lighting Designer and Production Manager for a well-respected tribute act.

We are really pleased to welcome Brodie back to Matrix in his new role as a Project Manager.

ANNA VALLEY GROUP GRADUATE SCHEME

Following the success of the 2019 Graduate Scheme, Anna Valley Group are building on their relationships with higher education facilities around the country, to launch the 2020 scheme.

2019 saw the Anna Valley group formally launch their Graduate Scheme following a number of months of buildup that included programme design, mentor training and a hugely successful nationwide campaign of presentation to students. The 2019 intake is now 6 months into the scheme and the calibre of the successfully employed post-graduates, their knowledge and their desire to learn is phenomenal.

The scheme is a two-year paid placement. During this time there is full and thorough training in most departments of Anna Valley and a small rotation within group company Matrix UK Solutions in Hook. Upon completion of the scheme the candidate will be provided with the opportunity to continue their employment within the group, in a department best suited to their interest and capabilities.

Peter Jones, Anna Valley Managing Director comments “Anna Valley strongly believe in recruiting students as soon they graduate and enter the workplace, some of our most respected team members have started straight from university. To have a specific program that channels their knowledge and education, allowing the individual to develop and learn the Anna Valley equipment, processes and ethos is a resounding success for not only the company but most importantly our clients”.

Due to the success of the 2019 intake, the Graduate Scheme is now a permanent offering on the Anna Valley group training program. The 2020 scheme is looking to build on the success of last year and is again open to all graduates that are currently studying (due to complete their course summer 2020) or have already completed an industry relevant degree. The application process for summer 2020 intake is now available, and another extensive tour of recruitment events at higher education institutions has now begun, with more locations being planned. Full details of the scheme, along with how to apply can be found on line (https://annavalley.co.uk/about-us/careers/) or by contacting [email protected]

Graham Whitehouse

Graham has recently taken on a role that will see him work across both Matrix and Anna Valley as the Group Asset Manager. Let’s see what Graham had to say about his new role…

Where you trained/studied
Studied for a BTEC HND in video production and media studies at the highly prestigious Dewsbury College of art and design

Where you previously worked
Blitz – Hire Co-ordinator
Bit of freelancing/Chalet Hosting/Mountain Bike Motorhome bum
PSAV/AVC

What your previous roles were
Blitz – Hire Co-ordinator – Assigning equipment, Booking crew etc.
PSAV/AVC – I was working at PSAV when the two companies merged. Eventually I took the lead on a project, to merge the two companies rental software and warehouse operations.

What you started doing at Matrix
Matrix brought me in as their Hire Manager. Day to day, I managed the warehouse staff as well as kit movements.

What you particularly like doing at Matrix and now Anna Valley also
I really enjoy getting to work with my fantastic colleagues at both bases, who help to create an environment which offers new challenges every day. I find this very fulfilling as I really enjoy coming up with solutions which are both creative and logical. It’s very satisfying to be able to work closely with the software we use to help us meet the needs of our clients, and to be heavily involved with improving our internal processes which enable us to do that.

As a bit of a nomad I also enjoy working between the two locations and adjusting my outlook to suit the particular quirks of each one.

How the role developed/changed to the new one
In my previous role I was solely based at Matrix, enabling their jobs to run as smoothly as possible. It has always been the long-term plan for me to progress into a role which encompasses both companies so that our individual processes and software can be aligned more closely. This will mean that we can continue to streamline how we work together.

What you would like to achieve in this new role
In a professional capacity, I would like to further review the software and the processes we use so that we can maximise our efficiency, therefore having even more time to devote to maintaining the wonderful customer service which we are known for.

In a personal capacity, I can’t wait to improve my coding skills! I’ve been reading an incredibly big book on this topic so after slogging through all of that, it will be great to apply my newfound knowledge!

Team Nomadic Numpties on the Mongol Rally

Fondly referred to as “our dynamic duo”, Henri and Turbo have returned from their epic fundraising mission. Henri is one of the freelance Project Managers at Matrix and Turbo is a well-known and well-respected Lighting Designer at TSL Lighting. Both of them agreed that they wanted to support an amazing charity, one that supports people in the events industry: BackupThe Technical Entertainment Charity was the perfect choice. This organisation provides financial support to industry technical professionals working in live events, theatre, TV and film.

Henri and Turbo chose to embark upon a challenge that would provide fantastic awareness for the charity and raise essential funds to support our event colleagues. The challenge itself is called the Mongol Rally, which would essentially see our dynamic duo renamed as “The Nomadic Numpties” and travel to Mongolia, in their very own Ferrari…also known as Poppy the Perodua.

We caught up with Henri and Turbo upon their return, this is their adventure…

Welcome back to UK soil – happy to be back?
Yes, we more than achieved what we wanted. We surprisingly managed to get Poppy and ourselves back in one piece and most importantly, we raised more than we ever thought possible for the BackUp charity. We had an absolutely epic time doing it!

Talk us through the planning process
It took us 6 months in total to plan everything, visas, vehicle import / export, carnets, equipment and second passports. Our Mongol Rally organisation spreadsheet is quite a sight to behold!

Prior to setting off, you managed to raise a lot of money, how did you do this?
We approached a number of clients and suppliers and told them of our adventure, we offered them an opportunity to support us and BackUp. This also provided a bit of advertising for each company – win win for both parties really. Each “headline sponsor” was a company or individual that had donated a chunk of cash, in return they had their logo emblazoned on Poppy.

With the headline sponsors and all the unbelievably generous donations prior to and during our adventure, we raised £500 for Cool Earth (the official Mongol Rally Charity) and £6,435 for BackUp, our chosen charity. If you didn’t think we’d make it back, and were hoping you’d never see us again…. bad luck!

The donation link is still active and you can continue to sponsor us here: https://backupchallengefundraiser.raisely.com/nomadicnumpties

So, talk us through the actual adventure
The Mongol Rally challenge starts in Kent, England and you end up at the Finish Line in Ulan Ude, Russia via any route you choose. Our route saw us travel through 24 different countries and cover more than 18,000miles. We travelled through: France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

How long did this take you?
We were on the road for 72 days. 55 of those, we camped out under the stars, satellites and occasionally rain. 

What was your favourite location and why?
Mongolia for the beautiful view and unbelievable wild life. Eagles swooping overhead, camels, horses and yaks in the roads. No roads (where there should be roads) meant we had a wonderful opportunity to choose our own destiny, every time you play the “where does this track go” game.

Any mishaps that happened along the way?
We were very lucky overall with Poppy (the car), no punctures or mechanical failures thank goodness. We invested in decent rally tyres prior to the start, a decision that definitely paid off in the long run, considering the 4000kms total of off-roading we did. I think two suspension replacements and three roof rack bodges/welds, were probably to be expected.

We also very nearly had all our documents and most importantly my treasured teddy bear stolen at the Russian/Mongolian border. This would’ve been a disaster, thankfully we managed to escape this, and our rally experience was able to continue.

Favourite part of the experience?
The privilege of meeting such a variety of people, we experienced so many different countries and cultures. Overland travel allows you to see a country and its scenery, at a completely different pace. I think the thing that surprised us the most, was the camaraderie between all the teams, the feeling of being supported by a network of strangers, all with the same crazy goal.

Least favourite part of the experience?
Nothing! Even when we were tired, stressed, filthy and lost, it was all part of the adventure and fun. We thought the border crossings would be the worst, but even our longest 8 hours from Iran to Turkmenistan was fine. You just find some shade, put your feet up, have a picnic of whatever random food you happen to have on board and listen to the Archers omnibus!

What you enjoyed the most when the experience finished?
It’s funny really, we both travel so much with work and never really miss much. However, after the Mongol Rally experience we definitely enjoyed cheese and tomato sandwiches, pork pies, fresh veg and salad. We also realised how complacent we are living in UK; we now appreciate the simple things most of us take for granted. Such as showers, running water and being able to walk around in socks without getting wet feet.

Is there anything you miss now it is over?
The freedom of life on the road, living hour to hour and knowing you have everything you need in Poppy.

 So, what is next for our dynamic duo…
I’m not sure anything will compare or beat the “motoring stupidity on a global scale’ that is the Mongol Rally. Once we’re settled back in to our normal lives, we may start work converting a Russian UAZ into a campervan, to continue our Nomadic Numpties adventures – watch this space 😉

Matrix UK Solutions provide video support on The Sri Lankan music show

Sunday 8 September 2019 –– 1600 fans eagerly descended on the Indigo at the O2 to enjoy theSri Lankan ‘pop’ music show. This amazing event, designed to provide an essence of Sri Lankan music was headed up by Palinda Samarasinghe from Lankan Imaginative & Foremost Events Ltd.

Ruary Macphie, Touring Project Manager from Matrix UK Solutions (Matrix) ensured the correct equipment was supplied to fully enhance and deliver the content on the show. Overseen by Ruary, the team performed a thorough pre-show check of all the show equipment, an opportunity to modify, prep and test the video equipment – this took place in the warehouse of parent company Anna Valley. At this stage, the team ingested the Sri Lankan filmed footage and programmed it to 55 tracks

Ruary comments “It is essential to pre-rig and thoroughly test show equipment – this takes place as a given for all our events. However, for this particular event the accuracy of the load and kit was paramount, we had an unbelievably tight load in schedule with very early sound checks taking place on the show day. There was no room for error, everything needed to rig perfectly. Thankfully everything went to plan, we were perfectly on-time for the sound boys.”

For the actual show Matrix supplied AV3 LED fed with a Green Hippo and video capture card allowing Indigo camera pictures to be put on the screen. The LED consisted of alarge 6m x 3m backscreen, hanging off trusses further downstage, equally spaced to provide a great visual effect were 6 pods (4 x 1m x 3m and 2 x .5m x 3m) using 3 x 4k Nova star processors.

Mike Flood, Matrix Leading LED Technician comments “This was an amazing event to work on. Thanks to the team all went to plan and the vibrancy of the Sri Lankan content looked unbelievably amazing on our LED screens”.

Latest Update from the science museum

The newly refurbished Smith Centre at the Science Museum has opened!
The recently refurbished Smith Centre at the Science Museum makes up four unique spaces, available for both daytime and evening hire. Among the original features is an open-plan courtyard area which can be enjoyed in conjunction with daytime hire of the Salon. The space is also enhanced with a range of hand-picked historical objects from the Science Museum collection, including a replica pressure suit from the last mission to the Moon and the stunning Electrical Engineering Workshop painting by Terence Cuneo.
Click here to find out more

5 new Medicine Galleries coming soon to the Science Museum!
Based on the collections of Sir Henry Wellcome and the Science Museum, the Medicine Galleries will celebrate one of the largest medical collections in the world. Opening November 2019, the Medicine Galleries will make up 5 uniquely themed spaces covering more than 3000m2. With over 3,000 extraordinary medical artefacts, spanning more than 500 years of history, guests can embark on a discovery of how all our lives have been transformed by medical research and practice!

Soyuz Return Exploring Space
On 28 May 2019, the Science Museum welcomed Tim Peake to officially unveil his Soyuz Capsule in a new permanent display in the Exploring Space gallery, launching the museum-wide Summer of Space programme to mark 50 years since the Apollo Moon missions.
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Tomorrow’s World: New temporary exhibition ‘Driverless: Who is in control? has launches
The Science Museum have said goodbye to Superbugs: The fight for our lives. The Science Museum have a new exhibition, Driverless: Who is in control? It offers a unique glimpse into the AI-driven tech that could shape the habits, behaviour and society of tomorrow. Highlights include self-driving cars, autonomous flying drones and smart underwater vehicles.

Discount
Just so you are aware, we are offering a venue hire discount of 20% on IMAX Theatre bookings for all charities from now until January 2020.
Click here to find out more