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Backstage path to success

A LOVE of the backstage side of productions during school days has led to twenty-seven years in Perth’s audio visual industry.

Perth Audio Visual managing director Peter Blewett said he started his career as a disc jockey with a ballroom dancing school.

He then worked for Ross Sound before going out on his own as a DJ.

“I ended up having sixteen DJs working for me,” Mr Blewett said.

He held the contract to provide DJs for the Sheraton Hotel’s night club for nine years.

The DJ enterprise afforded him the capital to start Perth Audio Visual, which now employs twenty-five full-time staff.

Mr Blewett said the emergence of multimedia had brought huge change to the industry.

“We started with VGA systems, moved to Super VGA systems and now we’re using XVGA,” he said.

“Machines that would normally last for five years are now obsolete within a year.

“Even so, the mainstream stuff we use has remained pretty much the same. A microphone is still a microphone.”

Mr Blewett said, while change had initially posed a concern, it was no longer a worry.

“We just have to see what people want and have it ready for them,” he said.

The company sends its staff to Entech, a major audio visual show in Sydney.

“The Internet is reducing the need to travel to these trade shows,” Mr Blewett said.

“Most of the new products can be researched quite well online.

“From my side it is still a great chance to chat with other people in the industry and discuss common problems and there is still a need for the technical guys to go and ‘kick the tyres’.”

Mr Blewett said competition in his industry was fierce but fair.

“There are three other companies that we consider competitors but we don’t go out day-to-day trying to fight them,” he said.

“We don’t actively chase each other’s clients.

“The only form of marketing we usually undertake is through the Yellow Pages and the work we do for our clients.”

Their work includes Rally Australia, the World Triathalon Championships, a major part of AV work for the recent World Swimming Championships, Mienex, the Volkswagen Beetle launch and the latest Toshiba laptop release.

The company also does a lot of work for Perth hotels such as the Duxton, the Mercure and the Novotel Langley Hotels and venues including the WACA ground and Gloucester Park.

The company also handles most of the major expos in Perth such as the recent Every Woman show and the forthcoming Business Oppor-tunities and Franchising Expo.

It is also heavily involved with Variety Club.

Mr Blewett said his company had worked out long ago what its market was.

“We don’t do bands. We don’t do concerts. We don’t want the whole industry. We just want our little piece,” he said.

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