Archives

Martin Tremblay CEO of Solotech standing in front of led screens into the solotech studio montreal

La Presse Interview with Martin Tremblay

(FREE TRANSLATION)

In-depth interview with Solotech CEO Martin Tremblay

While waiting for Céline and The Rolling Stones, a beneficial tech shift.

 

Montreal, April 7, 2021 –  Groupe Solotech, which has handled sound and stage equipment for the tours of many artists, including the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga and Céline Dion, took a hard hit when the entire events sector worldwide was suspended. Despite this setback, the sound and stage equipment supplier has made the most of the hiatus by setting up two new divisions in broadcasting and e-commerce. CEO Martin Tremblay outlines the company’s journey and transformation.

Like all companies in the live performance and touring realm, you’ve had to stop your event-related activities for over a year now. How did you absorb the shock?

Solotech is a very resilient company. It’s true that the suspension of live shows meant that we had to repatriate all our teams that were on tour around the world. It also meant the suspension of all the event activities, such as conventions, trade shows and conferences, where we provided lighting, sound and stage dressing.

These activities accounted for 45% of our revenues, so we fell back on our most significant sector of activity: audiovisual system integration. We continued to work in stadiums, arenas, hospitals and anywhere audiovisual equipment is installed. This activity has started up again alongside new construction in Quebec but never stopped in the United States, where we are very active.

Our revenues, which were 450 million in 2019, fell to 250 million in 2020, but we managed to stabilize the company. Before the pandemic, we had 1,500 employees worldwide, including 600 in Montreal. Today, our numbers are back to 1,200 employees, with 530 in Montreal, where we are starting to hire again.

What’s next? Do you expect performances and touring to start up again soon?

Yes, there will be a recovery, which will be dependent on Public Health advisories. We can already see that things are starting up again in the United States, particularly in Nashville, where we just made a major acquisition, and in Florida, where we are also well established.

In Great Britain, public health authorities have announced that all show activity could resume as of June 21 and, according to what our industry partners tell us, be twice as strong as before. Even though we have four offices in England, we’ve had to ship equipment from Quebec to meet the demand.

Your roots are in the video game industry; you helped develop Ubisoft’s Montreal studio and Warner’s Games Division before joining Solotech in 2017. What was the exact nature of your mandate?

Solotech’s shareholders – the Claridge Investment Fund, Investissement Québec and Desjardins Capital – who acquired the company from its founders in 2013, wanted us to develop the American market. My mandate was to take our know-how and operations to the world stage. We made our first acquisition in 2018 and continued on the same track, up to and including our acquisition of Morris Light &Sound two weeks ago in the US. We now have 18 offices in Canada, the US and the UK, and in 2019 our US business accounted for 47% of our revenues, compared to 38% in Canada and 15% in the UK.

Will the Covid-19 crisis slow down your expansion plans, or do you still plan to continue this consolidation initiative?

In fact, the crisis has generated new activities. We’ve created two new divisions besides equipment supply and audiovisual systems integration services.

Solotech has over 350 million pieces of equipment in stock and sells and installs these new and used. When the crisis hit, we set up a new e-business division, which generated close to 20 million dollars in sales. We “professionalized” this activity and plan on expanding it to each of our 18 offices worldwide.

As soon as the pandemic began, many of our clients needed help with online events. We set up a Media and Entertainment Technologies division to help clients host online events in virtual environments.

We put our production tools, like LED panels and recording studios, at our clients’ disposal. We understand that future events will be of a hybrid type, partly in-person, partly virtual. We also want to serve large online broadcasters such as Amazon, Netflix and film studios such as Mels, which will make greater use of virtual environments in their productions. Our online broadcasting and e-business activities will complement and strengthen our traditional activities.

How do you see Solotech evolving in the next five years?

With the resumption of shows and events activities, we expect our yearly revenues to reach the billion-dollar mark within three to five years. Our online broadcasting business is expected to yield $100 million in revenue; our e-business, $200 million; and our touring and systems integration business, $700 million.

We want to continue consolidating the industry in the United States, as well as in Europe, from our base of activities in the United Kingdom. Our business had been growing at a rate of 40% for the last three years. We want to get back on track, and the diversification of our activities means that we can eventually consider a stock market listing.

We were able to absorb the shock of the pandemic and stabilize the business through our systems integration activities and technology shift. Information technology now lies at the core of our operations.

 

Reference : Décarie, J.-P., (April 6, 2021). En attendant Céline et les Rolling Stones, un virage techno bénéfique [While waiting for Céline and The rolling Stones, A Beneficial tech shift]. La Presse.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

 

Contact

Héloïse Meunier

Advisor, Corporate Communications

[email protected]

Share

SOLOTECH ACQUIRES MORRIS LIGHT & SOUND

A strategic initiative from the AV and entertainment company to expand its reach for a powerful presence and offering in the United States.

 

 

Nashville, TENN., March 22, 2021 – Following the February 23 release, Solotech announced today the completion of the acquisition of Nashville-based Morris Light & Sound. As expected, Solotech, expands its activities in the United States and solidifies its presence in the Nashville region by joining forces with the talented live production and systems integration team (InteRise) at Morris Light & Sound.

Martin Tremblay, President and CEO, Solotech, shares why this acquisition is highly strategic: “Our joint capabilities enable us to significantly strengthen our footprint in the US, and much more in Nashville, to the benefit of all our clients. It also provides assurance of our unrivaled readiness to our clients in the live productions industry, signals our enhanced ability to offer compelling innovative services and solutions when activities resume after the global crisis ends. We continue to grow based on long-term relationships and delivery excellence to propel our footprint locally, nationally and globally.”

Solotech will leverage its current systems integration experts and resources in the area and all over the United States, as they already design, develop and integrate some of the most advanced systems in a variety of venues, in numerous verticals.

Mickey Curbishley, President, Live Productions Division, US and UK, Solotech, and Philip Giffard, President, Global Sales and Systems Integration Division, Solotech, will oversee a strong leadership in place in Nashville to manage all operational aspects and ensure a smooth and efficient transition. “The Morris teams are dynamic, they hold an innovative vision and together we will successfully put forward our best practices, ideas and service offerings, namely with InteRise in the Houses of Worship market where they have extensive reach already”, mentions Rod Sintow, President, Sales and Systems Integration Division, US, Solotech.

Zack Morris, COO, Morris Enterprises adds: “Morris and InteRise have always focused on delivering quality service to our clients, and our team is excited to continue providing our expertise while growing as part of the Solotech family.”

Solotech is delighted to welcome the Morris and InteRise teams and looks forward to sharing common values toward commitment to employees and focus on clients. The acquired company will be operating under Solotech’s umbrella as “A Solotech Company” and continues to build on its excellent reputation with the industry-leading player.

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 15 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech employs 1,550 professionals in its offices located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay. Find out more at www.solotech.com.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

 

Contact

Héloïse Meunier

Advisor, Corporate Communications

[email protected]

 

 

About Morris Light & Sound

Morris’ approach is simple: every application is different, so the most effective lighting and sound solutions need to be customized to be truly impactful. From light and sound experiences for multi-stage festivals, conferences, sold-out stadiums, houses of worship and businesses, the Morris teams take the time to consult, strategize and thoroughly design audio-visual environments tailored to each client’s goals. With over 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry outfitting tours for world-renowned artists like Alabama, Kenny Chesney, and Old Dominion, as well as integration work in preeminent houses of worship and corporate campuses and healthcare facilities, Morris is a premier audio and lighting provider working with clients across the globe. For more information, visit www.experiencemorris.com.

 

Contact

Matt Zahn

Director of Marketing

[email protected]

 

Share

MORRIS LIGHT & SOUND TO BE ACQUIRED BY SOLOTECH

Premier production and systems integration companies owned by industry icon Dale Morris to be acquired by Solotech, the global leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology.

 

Nashville, Tennessee, February 23, 2021 – Martin Tremblay, President and CEO of Solotech, is pleased to announce that Solotech is expected to acquire Nashville-based Morris Light & Sound. This strategic initiative will strengthen Solotech’s live productions and systems integration divisions in the US, expand its already extensive inventory and add to its talented team of respected industry professionals. This synergy will maximize Morris Light & Sound customers’ access to a larger pool of expertise and state-of-the-art technology around the globe.

Morris Light & Sound was formed nearly 30 years ago by industry icon Dale Morris to outfit tours for the country music supergroup Alabama.’ With this step, Morris changed the landscape of touring by creating a unique business model that not only represented and managed artists but also provided full production services all under one roof. “The audiences that Alabama drew were unprecedented in Country Music at that time,” Morris stated. “We needed a sound system that would project their music over the sounds of the crowd, so I turned to an audio company in L.A. who configured sound systems for rock groups which was what we needed to start in production.”

The InteRise systems integration division, a more recent addition, also thrives under the Morris Light & Sound umbrella. This group was formed out of a recognition that so many houses of worship and corporate campuses were enhancing their audiovisual experiences.

“The Morris Light & Sound and InteRise brands will be strong additions to the Solotech family, perfectly complementing our corporate goals and expanding our capabilities as well as our footprint in the United States. With this acquisition, the increased reach of Solotech as a leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology will reinforce our positioning as an industry innovator” says Martin Tremblay, President and CEO of Solotech.

Solotech has collaborated with top artists such as Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, and prestigious venues like The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, The Park Theater and Bridgestone Arena, to name a few. Both companies are renowned for their excellence, know-how and passionate specialists, where clients will benefit from this key alliance providing a wider range of professional AV services and capabilities.

“The Morris name has a strong reputation throughout the music industry, and we respect the brand and quality of services that Dale has built,” says, Mickey Curbishley, President, Live Productions, USA and UK, Solotech. “Solotech will be proud to join our two companies with the common philosophy of delivering outstanding services and solutions to our clients.”

Zack Morris, COO of Morris Enterprises states, “We are excited to have the Morris brands acquired by Solotech, a highly respected company in the industry. Our company cultures and values such as collaboration and performance complement each other, and we’re confident our clients will continue to receive an elevated experience.”

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 15 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech employs 1,550 professionals in its offices located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay. Find out more at www.solotech.com.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

 

Contact

Héloïse Meunier

Advisor, Corporate Communications

[email protected]

 

About Morris Light & Sound

Morris’ approach is simple: every application is different, so the most effective lighting and sound solutions need to be customized to be truly impactful. From light and sound experiences for multi-stage festivals, conferences, sold-out stadiums, houses of worship and businesses, the Morris teams take the time to consult, strategize and thoroughly design audio-visual environments tailored to each client’s goals. With over 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry outfitting tours for world-renowned artists like Alabama, Kenny Chesney, and Old Dominion, as well as integration work in preeminent houses of worship and corporate campuses and healthcare facilities, Morris is a premier audio and lighting provider working with clients across the globe. For more information, visit www.experiencemorris.com.

 

Contact

Matt Zahn

Director of Marketing

[email protected]

 

Share

Solotech acquires Miami StageCraft

Montreal, October 15, 2020 – Philip Giffard, President, Sales and Systems Integration Division of Groupe Solotech Inc. (Solotech) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Miami StageCraft, a lighting sales and integration company located in Miami, Florida. After acquiring Pro Sound & Video, SEAL and Show Systems in January 2020, and now well established in Florida, Solotech is once again expanding its service offering and inventory to better support local clients and ensure growth.

Under the leadership of Solotech’s Rod Sintow, Vice-President, Systems Integration USA–who also oversees all Florida brands–and Philip Giffard, President, Sales and Systems Integration, this acquisition shows that despite the COVID-19 situation, the AV Sales and Integration market is full of opportunities and still active in various sectors outside of the entertainment world: Education, Corporate, Worship, Government and so on. “Solotech was able to manage the crisis and focus on opportunities for consolidation, with the goal of not only surpassing a difficult period but also becoming stronger and well positioned for when the business gets back and peaks again”, says Giffard.

“Solotech and its U.S. Divisions (Pro Sound & Video, SEAL, Show Systems and now Miami StageCraft) have a strong reputation in the North American marketplace”, says Rod Sintow. Operating under the newly unified branding “A Solotech Company”, all Florida-based brands will now showcase the companies’ common philosophy of delivering outstanding service and solutions to clients.

Joining the location of Pro Sound/SEAL Miami, Andrew Martin and Steve Welsh will pursue their respective roles as Senior Vice-President (SEAL and Miami StageCraft) and Executive Vice-President (SEAL and Miami StageCraft), while supporting national growth in lighting services. “By combining of our two service-oriented companies, Solotech is responding to clients’ desires to have a single source solution with knowledgeable experts across market sectors.”

-30-

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 15 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech employs 1,550 professionals in its offices located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

Contact

Christine Latour

Vice-president, Marketing, Communications and E-Commerce

[email protected]

+1 514-370-5225

Share

Omar Prashad appointed Sales Director, Ontario

Toronto, October 9, 2020 – Philip Giffard, President, Sales and Systems Integration Division, is pleased to announce the appointment of Omar Prashad as Sales Director, Ontario, effective today.

A passionate and results-driven leader, Prashad will be responsible of the leadership of the sales teams (Toronto and Ottawa offices), with the objective of establishing Solotech’s business position and growing revenue and market share in the province. He will oversee the development of key existing accounts in the live performance and entertainment sectors, while ensuring a strong diversification strategy to penetrate high-promising market segments such as Corporate and Education.

With over 15 years of experience in the systems integration business, namely at Westbury National, Advanced Presentation Solutions and DuoCom Canada, Omar Prashad has a very strong background in managing and motivating sales teams, delivering results above expectations while holding responsibility for budget, financial management and strategic planning initiatives. Prashad holds an MBA from Queen’s University and was awarded by Commercial Integrator’s Top 40 under 40, in 2015.

“Omar’s proven vision and sales development curriculum make him an exceptional asset for our company. We are all looking forward to benefiting from his in-depth knowledge of the business and his vast expertise in systems integration. We are confident that he will help bring a new dynamic to our business and generate growth across Ontario”, said Giffard.

The entire Solotech team wishes him a warm welcome and much success in his new position.

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 15 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech has offices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay.

Find out more at: solotech.com

 

Contact

Christine Latour

Vice-president, Marketing, Communications and E-Commerce

[email protected]

+1-514-370-5225

Share

 

Brad Nelms appointed Sales Director of the Las Vegas office

Brad Nelms appointed Sales Director of the Las Vegas office

Las Vegas, October 5, 2020 –Rod Sintow, Vice-President, Sales and Systems Integration Division, is pleased to announce the appointment of Brad Nelms as Sales Director of Solotech’s Las Vegas office.

A proven and experienced leader in the entertainment industry, Nelms will be responsible for the leadership of the Las Vegas sales team, with the objective of establishing Solotech’s business position and growing revenue and market share in the region. He will oversee the development of key existing accounts in the live performance and entertainment sectors, while ensuring a strong diversification strategy to penetrate other high-promising market segments.

With over 15 years’ experience in sales management and operations, namely at ACT Lighting, VER and 4 Wall Entertainment, Brad Nelms has excellent customer service skills and a very strong background in personnel management, training and organizational development. He holds a B.A. degree from University of Northern Colorado, as well as continuing education certificate from Harvard School of Business.

“Brad’s certifications and qualifications make him an excellent asset for our company. We are all looking forward to benefiting from his knowledge of the business and strong background in the entertainment technology industry”, said Sintow.

The entire Solotech team wishes him a warm welcome and much success in his new position.

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 15 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech has offices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay.

Find out more at: solotech.com

 

Contact

Christine Latour

Vice-president, Marketing, Communications and E-Commerce

[email protected]

+1-514-370-5225

Share:

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Solotech concludes a partnership with Yoop for interactive virtual events

Montreal, July 24, 2020 – Solotech is proud to announce that it has added another string to its bow as a trusted partner of Yoop eSpace, a virtual and multifunctional production environment that enables content providers to create and stream high-quality events in an immersive and interactive way. Benoît Fredette, businessman and Yoop founder, recently launched the new two-way Yoop platform, which offers a real-time visual and audio interaction between artists and spectators.

This partnership with Yoop was ideal: the two companies are immersed in the entertainment industry and always aim higher by proposing modern technologies to meet customer needs. It represents an opportunity to innovate and to go beyond the barriers of distance by bringing content providers and their audiences closer together.

Solotech supports Yoop by providing its production expertise, its equipment and technical teams to ensure the audio, video capture and the broadcasting of events. She is also offering studios where the events can be held. Recognized for its state-of-the-art equipment and well-established global footprint, Solotech will support Yoop in its desire to serve customers around the world. The Yoop eSpace is already planning to open locations in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville and the UK, adding to its first site in Montreal.

The combination of expertise will greatly benefit clients by offering a new interactive, simple and secure way to attend virtual events. Keeping our culture alive and its related industries while promoting it around the world. It is the beginning of a new era where real exchanges between fans and artists (or even between companies and their employees!) are at the forefront thanks to a direct superior connection, a possibility of a two-way interaction and a production quality worthy of television studios.

Martin Chouinard, President of the Live Productions Division at Solotech, is enthusiastic about this partnership: “Yoop and Solotech have the same objective, to allow spectators to reconnect with their favorite artists through real contact where the energy can be felt on both sides. We are excited to bridge two worlds which have been distant for so long, it will help infuse a lot of passion into the great cultural community. Thanks to cutting-edge technologies, we can build a future beyond physical constraints, without sacrificing the quality of production and offer an ultimate experience. We see real potential for corporate events, musical performances, product launches, training sessions, to name a few.”

In parallel, Solotech has broadened its service offering by adding webcasting expertise, the inauguration of studios and new equipment targeted for artists and workers in times of pandemic. Find out more here.

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 15 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech’s offices are located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay.

Find out more at www.solotech.com.

 

About Yoop

Yoop is an entertainment company, specialized in creating, developing and operating products and services to help creators distribute their content directly to their fans and improve their experience. The Yoop platform offers in-person and virtual events and is available to download via the Yoop app, on the App Store and Google Play, or Yoop website at yoop.app.

 

Contact

Christine Latour

Vice-President, Marketing and Communications

[email protected]

514-370-5225

Share