Sunday, 23 March 2014

OUT-SPOKEN: SECOND BIRTHDAY SPECIAL @ THE FORGE, CAMDEN - 11TH MARCH 2014

London, UK

11th March 2014

When it comes to spoken-word, there are few places in the UK which can rival the sheer abundance of events that take place in London every month. From the lyrically pugnacious ‘Tongue Fu’ and medicinal ‘Chill Pill’ to the explosive ‘Bang Said the Gun’ and gourmet ‘Come Rhyme with Me’, those with a passion for stand-up poetry are quite frankly spoilt for choice in the capital. It's among this linguistic family that Out-Spoken has emerged, building up considerable steam in its mission to unearth talented UK acts that, as its title suggests, are unafraid to speak their mind...

Review continued at The Speakers Corner by clicking on the red link...



Monday, 10 March 2014

BLAHBLAHBLAH W. MALCOLM HEAD: POETIC JUSTICE @ BRISTOL OLD VIC, 24TH FEBRUARY 2014

Bristol Old Vic

24th February 2014

Following a lengthy winter break in which the spoken-word team at the Bristol Old Vic was presumably nestled in hibernation mode, this late-February evening saw the welcome return of Blahblahblah. Drawing a smaller crowd than regulars are accustomed to, the modest gathering will surely grow in future months as news spreads that the South West’s leading lexical ambassadors are back (with a brand new rap).

Review continued at The Speakers Corner by clicking on the red link...

Blahblahblah: Malcolm Head 24/2/14


Friday, 13 December 2013

Access All Areas: Wagons East, West, South And North

5th November 2013

Mash Media, London

This is an article I've written on the UK event mobile exhibition market which appeared in Issue 175 of Access All Areas magazine. Access All Areas has been the UK event industry’s leading magazine for more than 19 years. It's read by more than 23,500 decision makers, the people that need to know about your products and services, and the print/digital circulation is continually updated to guarantee advertisers a targeted, quality audience. 



Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Access All Areas: At Your Convenience

5th November 2013

Mash Media, London

This is an article I've written on the UK event portable toilet industry which appeared in Issue 175 of Access All Areas magazine. Access All Areas has been the UK event industry’s leading magazine for more than 19 years. It's read by more than 23,500 decision makers, the people that need to know about your products and services, and the print/digital circulation is continually updated to guarantee advertisers a targeted, quality audience. 





Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Access All Areas: Round Table

22nd October 2013

Mash Media, London

This is an article I've written on the UK event furniture industry which appeared in Issue 174 of Access All Areas magazine. Access All Areas has been the UK event industry’s leading magazine for more than 19 years. It's read by more than 23,500 decision makers, the people that need to know about your products and services, and the print/digital circulation is continually updated to guarantee advertisers a targeted, quality audience. 


In recent years the event industry has become increasingly price sensitive with clients demanding high levels of creativity and efficient service all within tight budgets. Event planners across the board are feeling this pressure and the furniture supply industry is no different. In an increasingly competitive market, however, the ability to deliver innovation and short turnaround times promises prosperity and growth whether it’s in furnishing a conference hall or creating alluring decors for exhibition events.

“2013 has potentially been our best year ever,” says Steve Murphy, managing director of Europa International. “Whilst there haven’t been any specific “big wins” as such, we are delighted to have retained nearly all the business we had in 2012.  The initial six months of this year have been our biggest grossing ever and the back-end of the year is shaping up the same.”

“Business has been really good this year,” confirms Sorrel de la Hey, PR & marketing manager at GLD Productions. “Our turnover has been up 12% from last year which is great considering how busy we were around the Olympics. It’s gone beyond what we expected.” Established over 20 years ago, GLD originally started in the music industry, supplying hospitality furniture for backstage areas at rock concerts and multi-artist events. “In 2007, we diversified and went into the corporate hospitality market and that’s where we’ve grown as a business the most,” reflects de la Hey. Although GLD primarily supply furniture in the UK market, recent years have seen expansion into Europe with contracts as far reaching as Monte Carlo and Bulgaria appearing in their order book.

The company, now based in Somerset, recently increased its warehouse storage capacity to 33,000 sq ft and can supply individual items or whole packages depending on the scale and budget of an event. An efficient operations team is essential to growth in this area due to the erratic and last-minute nature of the business, de la Hey explains. “Sometimes we don’t find out about an order until the last minute, as was the case with this year’s Proms in the Park. Despite this, we’ve been able to meet last minute orders; flexibility and adaptability are essential in this business and we’ve built up a reputation for offering both.”

Cardiff-based Wow Event Hire has grown considerably since its establishment in 2004, developing a strong reputation for its decor and venue transformation services. Initially working within a regional framework with close links to Newport’s Celtic Manor Resort, the company has acknowledged the need for innovation. “Since introducing niche products like Blofield Air Design and Flux we have found they have a national appeal and have taken us all over the UK,” explains managing director, Ben Marrin. Both these brands apply unique design concepts to traditional event furniture to balance ergonomic functionality with aesthetic appeal. “Both Flux and Blofield items are easy to store and large quantities can be shipped economically for clients. For example, we can deliver over 80 sofas or 500 chairs in a medium sized van nationwide.”     

Concept Furniture International Ltd has set out to offer a wide range of contemporary and modern furniture that suits all tastes and budgets. Alongside its table, chair and stool hire which form the backbone of the business, Concept also supply bespoke items to suit individual specifications offering a tailored service for all their clients. “We are always looking to add value to our services and a number of years ago we made some strategic acquisitions, bringing into the group in-house manufacturing capabilities which are complimented by an in-house paint shop,” says European sales manager, Iain Love. “These facilities provide our clients with choice and flexibility in styles, materials and colours.” Most recently, this versatility secured a contract during September’s London Fashion Week. “We manufactured the seating in-house that surrounded the catwalk for one of the biggest design houses. It was a pleasure to be able to deliver to the designers exacting standards and to an extremely tight schedule. We look forward to seeing it on TV and in the press.”


As furniture hire specialists, Concept are constantly reviewing new products and staying abreast of new fashionable trends. The intimate nature of the business also means that clients are involved in the whole production process. “We are furniture specialists and our portfolio is constantly updated ensuring that we offer ranges which are current and fresh,” explains Love. “Fortunately for us, the industry is always looking for something new and a little different. We can produce something unique, and clients can visit us to see the product being manufactured to ensure it's as they envisaged.”

Monday, 21 October 2013

Access All Areas: Union City Hues

21st October 2013

Mash Media, London

This is an article I've written on the UK flags & banners industry which appeared in Issue 174 of Access All Areas magazine. Access All Areas has been the UK event industry’s leading magazine for more than 19 years. It's read by more than 23,500 decision makers, the people that need to know about your products and services, and the print/digital circulation is continually updated to guarantee advertisers a targeted, quality audience. 


Last year saw a great boom in the UK flags, banners and event branding market with both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Summer Olympics triggering huge demand. With such international recognition, event sponsors sought innovative and efficient ways of displaying their brands while the world’s spotlight was fixed on London.

“Like many in the industry we had a spectacular 2012 and so were rather cautious about 2013, luckily however, our caution has been ill-founded as this year has seen us grow significantly,” Joanne Morley, marketing manager at Northern Flags, tells Access. “Last year was marked by almost every client requiring a rapid turnaround so we increased our production capacity by 40% to ensure that we could deliver what was required.”

This increase in production efficiency is due in no small part to the company’s close links with Dutch giant Faber Vlaggen who supply banners and flags on a global scale. Faber recently increased its stake in the group meaning Northern Flags has now become an integrated part of Europe’s largest marketing fabrics supplier. “This scale has meant that we now produce for many international sporting events and multinational brands,” says Morley. “We now have the colour management expertise and the infrastructure to manage everything from one off small events to multinational product launches.” Most recently, Northern Flags launched a new range of shaped flags and pop out banners which were used by Coca-Cola as their main point of sale during the recent ‘Share a Coke’ names campaign roadshow.

First established in Suffolk over 25 years ago, family-run event & festival branding specialists Sunbaba have built up a wealth of experience that helps them provide a tailored service for each of their clients. “We’ve grown substantially over the years, including expansion to a London office, but we’re always researching new ideas and concepts to use outdoors or internally depending on what a client needs.” Jan Booth, managing director, tells Access. “We don’t just brand festivals; we do sporting events, award ceremonies and also work during the exhibition season. This year, for example, we’ll be involved with Showman's Show again and the Event Production Show.” In July, Sunbaba were also involved with the Get Reading Festival which took place in Trafalgar Square. Working closely with event organisers, Sunbaba helped transform the iconic space into a book lover’s paradise. Providing everything from the fence covers on the event’s perimeter to providing flags and other branding inside, the event was a huge success creating a vibrancy that attracted thousands to Nelson’s Column.

Focusing on the product itself, advances in technology have led in the last four years to a shift from traditional PVC materials to soft fabrics being used in the printing process. “The quality of the printers and the inks is constantly evolving, so the quality of the product is becoming bigger and better the whole time.” says Trevor Booth, technical director for Sunbaba. “Going back 6-7 years there were only about half a dozen materials that people could print on. But we’re seeing a real growth in dye-sub printing on all the soft fabrics meaning that there are now 40-50 fabrics and materials that we can print on.” This wide selection ensures that Sunbaba can cater for all tastes and budgets.

Lincoln-based YourPrintPartner.co.uk specialise in fabric printing, producing customer-made feather flags that can be utilised for a wide range of events. After only 18 months in business, the company has recently moved into a new 7,000 sq ft warehouse. “We’ve moved into bigger premises to deal with the greater demand we’re seeing for the product, the main reason being that we’ve added even more capacity as we’re one of the very few companies in the UK that actually print flags and banners in house,” says managing director, Stuart Maclaren.

This ability to print all their flags in-house as opposed to importing from Europe enables ‘YourPrintPartner.co.uk’ to offer quality assurance and quick turnaround on all orders which has led to some impressive contracts. Last October, for example, ‘YourPrintPartner.co.uk’ supplied and installed branded flags and banners for the official launch of St. George’s Park, the new England training facility at Burton-upon-Trent which saw Prince William attend. The success of this event has led onto new contracts being acquired. “Another big one we’ve just got is for Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life,’ continues Maclaren. “That was in the region of 800 flags and four miles of street branding and we’re printing stage two of that contract now. More and more people are seeing this as the perfect type of marketing tool. It’s shooting up!” 


Thursday, 17 October 2013

PHANTOM LAUNDRY W. DIZRAELI & DOWNLOW + PREMROCK @ THE ATTIC BAR, BRISTOL – 10TH OCTOBER 2013

10th October 2013

The Attic Bar, Bristol

       Having burst onto the spoken-word scene earlier this year with some very special guests in the form of Howard ‘Mr Nice’ Marks and Kate Tempest, Phantom Laundry returned with a hip-hop infused evening following a lengthy summer hiatus. Drawing upon the skills of Bristol's home-grown wordsmith Dizraeli and New York-based rapper Premrock, the evening was a chance for both performers to showcase material from their latest releases.

Review continued at The Speakers Corner by clicking on the red link...


Image courtesy of George Dallimore 

Image courtesy of George Dallimore 

Image courtesy of George Dallimore