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Protec: A beacon of growth

Protec, the Dubai-based event solutions provider, has reported big contract wins from a busy season this year. The company made the announcement as it celebrates 18th year in business.

The company has been at the core of some “truly exceptional events” that has taken them all across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The year was kicked off by the multiple award-winning IDEX opening ceremony in Abu Dhabi, one of the season’s highlights.

This is a show Protec has produced since 2013 and seen live by almost 75,000 people, and broadcast to millions of television viewers not to mention the enormous social media engagement across multiple platforms.

The next few months saw the company’s involvement in events of every kind from conferences to concerts and everything in between.

Highlight of the end of season was “a spectacular success in the form of the Dubai edition of Unite with Tomorrowland (featured picture) for which Protec delivered the entire scenic and staging, lighting, audio, video, rigging and backline”, the company said.

Undoubtedly, this year has been quite special for Protec. The company hasn’t experienced what normally is a quiet summer, but instead, has turned out to be a very busy one with Protec delivering events non-stop across the Middle East, Africa and the Far East.

Everything for the event

Protec already owns one of the world’s largest event rental stocks and yet it has invested heavily in new technology and equipment over a busy season in 2017.

Items in the stock list include the latest equipment in lighting, video, audio, rigging and trussing, scenic and staging, automation and SFX, conference equipment, robotics and motion tracking.

Protec CEO Stephen Lakin has said he is positive that the new investments will encourage the events designed in the region to take it up a notch or three.

Lakin is positive that the new investments will encourage the events designed in the region to take it up a notch or three.

“We’ve recently invested in Notch, an exciting video graphics tool that has been designed to ease the process for interactive content and live visual effects,” Peter Jones, Protec’s special projects HOD, explained.

Jones continued: “It’s a great visual effects engine for live events and what I also like about it is the fact that it integrates into all our existing systems like BlackTrax and our d3 servers for instance. From the way the events are being designed these days in the Middle East, I’m fairly sure we are going to be using this system a lot.”

IDEX 2017 by Protec

IDEX 2017 by Protec

Other system that has been added to the stock list are:

  • Bottoms Up. A clever robot-based system which measures drinks portions with superb accuracy. What also helps is that it is very quick and there is no spillage.
  • 96 Robe Pointe and 48 Robe Spikie fixtures expected to be delivered in October.
  • The Spikie, a new release from Robe. It features powerful LED light source with colour mixing, which is something a lot of beam fixtures lack.
  • 48 Clay Paky Scenius Unico. These take all the good bits of the Mythos, Scenius Spot and Scenius Profile and squash them all into one tidy package.
  • Six new MDG Atmosphere hazers that would eventually replace the company’s DF50 / MVS hazers.
  • New Syva Colinear audio system from L-Acoustics. A slick and corporate friendly ground stack system (which can also be flown), that looks much better than your average speakers on sticks. It is also rather slim, so good for sightlines especially when it comes to corporate events and exhibitions where elegance and discretion are important.

Management team

Protec CEO Stephen Lakin has always maintained throughout the company’s 18 year history that his biggest asset is his people.

Speaking about what makes Protec so special, Lakin said: “We are not just the typical audio visual equipment rental company. Anyone can throw some gear into a box, but it takes real creative vision and skill sets to transform that box into an environment that people want to inhabit. At the end of the day, gear is gear, it’s the people behind the gear that make a show worth remembering.”

The Protec team, led by a group of individual experts who have an average experience of over 14 years in the UAE alone, is divided into the various disciplines required for its productions.

“This streamlines our work efficiency, allowing us to achieve greater success”, justified Lakin. With this at the core of his plans, he has recently strengthened the team with some notable industry professionals, some of whom in fact have worked for him in the past.

“Richard Bellia, our new managing director used to work for me in South Africa and Brunei and his vast experience and knowledge has already begun to reflect on our management systems,” Lakin said.

Protec has also taken on ten experienced professionals to reinforce its project management team as well as video, robotics and design departments. With these new additions the company has grown to 147 staff.

In addition to Bellia, Protec has also further strengthened its senior management team by taking on Craig Wilson, Stefan Cebula, Matt Cashmore.

Martin Read has taken on the role of operations director. He has a strong background in technical production, held the position of managing director of Blank Canvas Events in the UK before moving to Dubai in 2012.

Protec has also appointed Ed Jarman to the role of new business development director and head of broadcast. He brings 26 years of global work experience to Protec having worked in Capital Radio, Creative Technology as well as freelancing as a studio engineer, production manager, video engineer and multi camera director.

Protec HQ

Protec HQ

The company has also gained official accreditation for ISO 14001-2015, ISO 9001-2015, BS OHSAS-18001-2007 and as such, its commitment includes an overarching understanding of sustainability.

“Protec now intends to maximise the positive environmental, social and economic legacies of its activities and to minimize any negative impacts. To achieve this, it will give sustainability considerations equal importance to logistical, creative and financial aspects of its planning and business practices,” the company says in a statement.

Looking ahead, Lakin said: “There’s always something new to look forward to but let’s wait for tomorrow to arrive in its own time and I’m sure we’ll have more to share.”