The Protec group ramped up its expansion in early 2018 and has certainly put its foot on the throttle since. Its growth into Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East region has been especially successful. Its European branch, based in the UK, has been impressing with award wins and shortlistings announcing its arrival as a major player capable of competing for large scale events and shaking up the industry. The group’s expansion and investments place them as one of the largest companies of their kind in the world and they are showing no signs of slowing down!

Protec have significantly added to an already enviable inventory of the biggest and best brands in the industry. Brands including L-Acoustics, Digico, Clay Paky, Robe, MA lighting, SGM, disguise, Christie, Barco, Blacktrax, Notch and Watchout are just some of their preferred regular suppliers, and they are always eager to pioneer the latest technologies. First in the region to get the full suite of the new MA3 lighting consoles, Protec aren’t afraid to take the leap when it comes to new technologies and in doing so, push the industry as a whole to evolve and offer exciting new solutions in the world of events. They have also introduced their advanced technologies which include robotics, drones and automation to all of their new locations.

Saudi Success Story as Protec Deliver High Profile Events

With additional purchases especially for their new warehouse in Riyadh, Protec KSA now offer the same preferred, trusted, reliable brands and service that they are revered for in Dubai. This professional service available from within Saudi Arabia has seen Protec land some very impressive events this past year. 

One such event was Formula E. Saudi Arabia is making giant leaps to diversify and progress its economy and its vision of the future. Formula E was a historic event being one of the first of its kind ever. Not only was it the first Formula E event held there, but also the first major international sports event ever in Saudi Arabia. On top of this the whole world was watching in real time. This required technical support that was second to none. Protec’s audio team chose a range of L-Acoustics pa to cover a very extensive area across 6 grandstand viewing areas, 2 hospitality areas, the podium, a gaming area and the e-village stage. Video turned to Barco’s S3 and Luminex networking to livestream to 140 screens across the venue which required 19km of fiber to ensure 4K video with less than 1 frame of delay. Lighting used their new SGM P-10 and Clay Paky lights for the E-Motion club and hospitality village.

Another mega event in Saudi Arabia that Protec provided a complete package for was the ground breaking of the new tourism destination, Al Qiddiya.It is planned to be 334 square kilometres in area, dwarfing Walt Disney World in Florida (110sq km) to become the world’s largest entertainment destination. Based in the desert with no infrastructure in place, Protec were invited to supply the temporary structure – their 36m x 88m Supa Dome with full technical support inside the auditorium including audio, lighting, 3D Video projection mapping, and rigging as well as scenic, staging and automation for this lavish, extraordinarily complex ceremony attended by royalty and VVIPs to celebrate the beginning of an estimated 2 year build project. 

Protec are currently shortlisted for 3 Middle East Event Awards in recognition of their contribution to the event industry across the region including ‘Best Technical Support’ for BAO Festival in Dubai and the Al Qiddiya Ground-Breaking Ceremony in Saudi Arabia, and ‘Best Event Technology’ for their robotics stand at GITEX 2018. 

Bao Festival was the biggest EDM music festival from a production standpoint in Dubai in the past year with many of the world’s top ranked DJs playing to an audience from one of the most elaborate sets. Protec got the opportunity to provide a fullsize MA3 and MA2 console along with over 200 moving Claypaky & Robe fixtures. This was complemented by L-Acoustics K1, V-Dosc and Kara PA operated via a Digico SD5. Video used their Barco E2 along with 12 30k projectors and a large amount of LED. It required some impressive processing power to supply the 4k feeds.

These high profile live events speak volumes of the trust Protec’s clients have in their service.

Instilling even more confidence in the upward trajectory of the Protec group is the return of several key staff members who have re-joined the company bringing a renewed energy and invigorating the team with their ambition and creativity. Well known in the events industry with decades of experience Protec welcome back Rick Wade, Nick Groves, Simon Travis, Abi Bates, Nina Badr, AndréOpperman and Jason Strange. Fulfilling roles from project management to business development these high calibre staff signify a strong confidence in the Protec brand and have people excited about what’s to come. Investment in these strong, experienced professionals tells us that founder & CEO Stephen Lakin has no plans on slowing down and if anything, bigger things are on the horizon.

Rapid UK Expansion Means New Premises and Exciting Job Opportunities

Following Saudi’s successful expansion, focus is moving to the UK based Protec European Events. With access to the group’s massive inventory of industry preferred equipment already at hand, Lakin has now acquired a new premises more than doubling the warehouse space and offering a huge 68,000sq ft of storage which he is planning on dedicating to a new, comprehensive staging and scenic department and storage for his growing inventory. This new department will be led by the best in the industry. New recruit André Opperman brings his impressive background in film, theatrical set building, and fabrication to the department joining Jason Strange – also with decades of experience in scenic and staging – to make Protec European Events a very desirable option capable of supplying large scale events with creative and state of the art options. Protec veteran and creative, Eddie Andradé will join the team from Dubai where he currently holds the position of marketing director, but goes beyond that role to offer clients the benefit of his diverse events background.

This expanded space also means job opportunities. Protec have brought in some new employees already to help the UK branch make the transition but are opening up some exciting opportunities for project managers, senior riggers and senior audio, lighting & video technicians. They will be looking for experienced and ambitious people who share the vision of the Protec group. 

Protec European Events have already made impressive strides in their first year having won an AV award for ‘AV Production, Staging & Rental Company of the Year’ and made the shortlist for ‘Event Tech of the Year’ at the EN Awards. They turned heads at this year’s Event Production Show with their stands showcasing advanced technologies. Offering drones and robots, they have their finger on the pulse of the current event trend which is leaning more towards the experiential. Their technology had the desired effect on attendees with many taking out their phones to share images and video of the robot playing darts or were delighted to be able to engage in a hands on way with the technology. It was also a great opportunity to find out about the many ways drones are gripping the event world immersing audiences and enabling brands and event professionals to tell their story in more creative and unique ways. These are exciting times for the Protec group. Already a trusted name in the Middle East, they are now ready to take the next step in the European market. Expect big things in the coming months as they increase their capabilities and bring on board new staff, they will certainly be one to watch.

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.