More nations were represented at the recent ETC International Workshop in Madison than at the World Cup of Football (soccer for you US fans).
An estimated 350 dealers, distributors and reps from 38 countries as far afield as South Korea and Kazakhstan got a taste of midwest hospitality at the four-day event that blended high tech seminars, keynote podcasts, kick-ass rock shows and silly selfies back at Town Square. We sat down with 15 of the overseas visitors to find out more about their businesses and themselves. The results are surprising and entertaining. Look out for these to pop up on our blog over the coming months.
We rewarded those who travelled the furthest by putting them at the head of the queue.
Jesse Dullabh of Electrosonic South Africa racked up an impressive 17,488 frequent flier miles on his first visit to the US for the ETC International Workshop. The 18 hour return trip to Johannesburg gave him plenty of time to look back on a packed 3-day schedule.
“It was so cool to meet the ETC family, feel the amazing camaraderie and see the factory workflow – this was the first visit for our company.” Adding ETC to the product lineup of this dynamic company has given them a dominant position in the South African theatre market. Primarily an A/V company, Electrosonic SA (no relation to the UK company of the same name) got its start in lighting by supplying smoke machines to the massive Sun City venue west of Johannesburg. They first looked to Europe for a source of theatrical fixtures and control – but then turned their sights stateside, becoming an ETC dealer and now a distributor. “Our first fixture job was for a local American School who needed 36 Source Fours, and from there it has just exploded,” says Dullabh.
His own career has taken a similarly dramatic turn from his student days studying theatre in Johannesburg, to post-grad documentary filmmaking in Helsinki, to “sweeping the floor at a lighting company” and now as Head of Technical Sales and Controller Support. This is hardly surprising when you consider that the company founders started out repairing TV sets in a garage 25 years ago.
The ability to identify underserved local markets continues to open many doors. With satellite offices in Cape Town and Durban, the company supplies gear for concert touring but has been experiencing growth in the architectural market. Recent projects include a full rehab of the HB Thom Theatre in Cape Town using an Ion console and 16 Gateways. Not to be outdone, the neighboring University ordered the same rig despite its much smaller stage. Put on the spot to provide a company message, after some thought Dullabh gave us:
“Electrosonic is a company that is driven to supplying solutions that listen to their customers’ needs and requirements and follows it up with continue service and support.”
To learn more go to: www.electrosonic.co.za