AV Alliance offers Gearhouse staff international experience
SOUTH AFRICA: As the South African member of the AV Alliance network of event technology services providers, Gearhouse South Africa recently selected two of its technicians to take part in the network’s inaugural Skills Swap programme.
Ezekiel Mashimbye, senior audio technician at Gearhouse Johannesburg and Ryan Shepherd, project manager at Gearhouse’s Cape Town branch, each spent a month working as part of the team at one of the other international companies on a one-to-one swap basis. Mr Mashimbye spent September at Neumann&Müller Veranstaltungstechnik in Stuttgart, Munich and working at the IAA in Frankfurt on a prestigious motor show while Mr Shepherd travelled from Karben and Werne, Germany to Hilversum, Netherlands during October.
‘In Karben, I worked on large scale corporate and in Hilversum the focus changed slightly to a more scenic/custom graphics focus for exhibition stands and displays,’ recalled Mr Shepherd. He was given the opportunity to work in all departments on a rotational basis under the guidance of Satis&Fy project managers, Oliver Heyde, John Van Gaal and Thanos Souliotis. Mr Mashimbye also worked in a hands-on capacity as part of the audio team under the guidance of Neumann&Müller project managers, Moritz Späth and Felix Möhrle.
According to Mr Shepherd, experience and competence levels across the board ‘from freelancer to technicians to office staff’ were quite similar to South African norms. ‘Realising that Gearhouse South Africa is already delivering to global standards – albeit with smaller budgets – fills me with pride,’ he stated. ‘I spent a lot of time abroad comparing systems and procedures and understanding that although the end goal is a common one, there are many different ways to achieve it. I have a long list of ideas and suggestions to propose for our own operation and hopefully was able to offer food for thought in return.’
‘It was an eye opener in terms of seeing where we are going and where the world is going in terms of technology. In this case I am glad to confirm that we are moving in the same direction as the rest of the world,’ agreed Mr Mashimbye. ‘Our techniques are not very different, but we could learn more from Neumann&Müller’s very structured approach to pre-prep. Every piece of equipment was labelled, with boxes sealed before dispatch.’
‘It was a very worthwhile exercise,’ added Mr Shepherd. ‘I have learnt a lot from my peers, made some good contacts and a few good friends along the way. For me this exchange has made the AVA partnership real. I am confident we will generate more business through the Alliance and that it offers our own clients a much greater scope to explore with confidence.’
‘I cannot thank everyone who contributed in the formation of the programme, enough,’ said Mr Mashimbye. ‘Lastly, I would like to thank my company Gearhouse for choosing me. It is an honour for me and will be forever grateful for that.’
A representative from each of Satis&Fy and Neumann&Müller will join the Gearhouse team for a month in November and February respectively.