Year end review 2015 and into 2016:
With 2015 having been the busiest year to date, bringing strong sales growth, important new product launches and the appointment of key new export dealers, the only thing that the company didn't do was tell anybody about it! No better timing than the start of a New Year to look back and reflect on the old one.
Almost before the last echoes of Auld Lang's Syne had disappeared away, the Inspired team were back in the workshop building products destined for a brand new theatre in Mexico City and to fulfil the first sample order to our new Chinese distributor in preparation for the product launch into the Chinese market at the ProLight & Sound Show Guangzhou.
In February when N-Power chose Nottingham Arena for their conference, Sound Engineer Dave Pallot chose Inspired Audio for the sound. Two drops of nine Optima 5 covered the arena floor, bass was provided by three groundstacked B215 per side, with Axis 8's providing the infill.
Being so impressed after hearing and hiring Inspired Optima 5/B215 systems, March saw Audio Visual specialists Projected Image of Hampshire decide to purchase a system of their own. March also saw the UK premier Madness tribute act 'Badness' take delivery of the very first MQL/DR118 system. The system had not yet even been officially launched but we just couldn't resist getting one working into the clubland and corporate arena right away.
By the time April arrived it was time for Chris Scott Head of design and inspiration to pack his suitcase and bid a fond farewell to his own bed for a few weeks! In collaboration with our Chinese Distributor (Hiroshi Technologies/Audio-Technica Greater China Ltd) Inspired Audio was officially launched to the Chinese market at the ProLight & Sound Show in Guangzhou April 5-8. Following on from a great reception in China, Chris headed on to the Frankfurt Musikmesse/ProLight & Sound Show where along with the rest of the Inspired Audio team exhibited from the 14-18th April. The show was the official European launch of the mFlex MQL with DR118 bass, iQ installation range and eFlex Q20, setting a new benchmark for touring grade system amplifiers.
May saw 'Precision AV Solutions' add extra Optima5, B215, AX12 wedges and AX8 for fills to their existing Inspired system in time for rehearsals for the forthcoming 60-date Jasper Carrott 'Stand up & Rock tour' they were about to embark on. The tour also presented a great opportunity to beta test the new Q20 flagship touring system amplifier. Q20 audio quality exceeded expectations, there were no mechanical issues and the direct Dante inputs proved a great aid to integrating the amps into their existing infrastructure. The tour also provided the software engineers with a stream of feedback that has helped to further enhance the control systems.
June was definitely the Q month! The first batch of iQ installation speakers were completed and first orders shipped to Asia. Following on from an initial purchase of AX8 & B210's used at Sarah Beeny's Rise Hall corporate venue; Stoney Properties/Tech AV also took delivery of an MQ12 system for additional options at the venue.
By July, Chris was called on once again to pack his suitcase. This time to visit our distributor in Mexico City who needed technical support to help commission an Optima 8 system that had now been installed in the all-new prestigious 'Humberto Vidal Mendoza' theatre of Mexico City.
Much closer to home August saw Derby Quad Ltd purchase an Optima 5 system for their outdoor 'Summer Nights' projects performed at Stately homes and parks. This system was specifically chosen to deliver top end clarity with low end extension to enhance the audience experience. First outings at Kedleston Hall and Belvoir Castle were a great success.
Working in conjunction with Codex Audio at the Barrow Hill Roundhouse, September saw a six-a-side Optima 8 system used on back-to-back nights for Rick Wakeman and Paul Carrack concerts. Codex Audio's Dave 'Lofty' Lockhart is no stranger to Inspired Audio, regularly using a system of six Optima 5 per side for supported acts, The Blockheads, the Boomtown Rats and Wilko Johnson.
Not forgetting our dedicated guys back in the workshop meticulously building the Inspired Audio products, they had been working even harder throughout the summer (holidays, what holidays!?) to complete the biggest single order of the year. In conjunction with our Middle East distributor, October saw the installation of an entire sports stadium in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Once again Head of Design Chris Scott dug out his suitcase and headed to the Arabian sun for a week to commission the installation. The system was composed of 72 Optima 8 supported by 24 SB218, all driven from the new Q20 system racks. The Crown Prince wasn't forgotten either with two hangs of six Optima 5 combined with Optima B210 covering the Royal enclosure. The GCC games being the first event at the stadium went without a hitch (from the sound at least) and another feather was firmly placed in the Inspired cap!
Because we are thoughtful people, we took our dedicated team for a night out albeit with 6000 other people, ESS showhire and twelve Optima 8 flown with six SB218 bass for the Sherwood Forest firework extravangza in the heart of Clumber Park. Needless to say the night went off with a bang! (Sorry couldn't resist that one).
With December fast approaching one of our existing clients Genero Productions of Wales decided to add to their existing Inspired systems with another Optima 5 and AX8 system. Working with an enviable client list including the Welsh Assembly, Genero Productions has built an undeniable reputation as one of Wales' leaders in event production.
Just as we were thinking about taking some time out to enter into the festive spirit our friends in China contacted us needing more stock. This latest shipment will include the new reFlex SB121 and SB221 sub bass enclosures which will be launched at Guangzhou's ProLight & Sound Show in March 2016. So just like Santa's little helpers, our trusty manufacturing team continued beavering away ending the year just the same way it started, in the workshop building Inspired Audio!
This was just a brief overview of the many different applications and customers that Inspired Audio has worked with in 2015.
With new products planned and exhibitions already booked starting with the ProLight & Sound Show Guangzhou in March, Plasa Focus in May and London ABTT in June, 2016 looks like it is going to be another great journey.
We hope you can be Inspired to come along with us!