The new start-up company, Entertainment Technology Australia (ETA) provided a spectacular launch for the new-look SGM brand in its local territory at this year's ENTECH 2013 trade show in Sydney.
Reactions could not have been more positive, with ETA reporting a flood of enquiries about products such as the LB-100 and LT-100/ 200 — coupled with a continual stream of positive comments, many from Australia’s lighting industry leaders. One renowned LD, Rohan Thornton of Firelight, stated, “Seeing the new SGM range was refreshing. In a time when we are seeing more of the same, there were a number of SGM products which definitely caught my eye. I was most impressed by the quality and output of both the X-5 and the XC-5 [LED strobes]. They were an innovative approach to an age-old instrument giving high output with low power consumption. Both products would be a welcome workhorse in any rig.
“The LT-100/200 range I thought was the product of the show. 3D pixel mapping is the next innovation and SGM are at the forefront of this technology. Overall, it's great to see SGM’s rebirth as a lighting force with an excellent range of products.”
These are the same impulses that first attracted Dave Croxton, a hardened industry professional, with an impeccable pedigree in product distribution in Australia, to set up ETA — which began trading on July 1st.
It had been a chance meeting with SGM represent-atives in Jakarta, Indonesia, which originally set the ball rolling. Croxton was there working for another manufacturer. “Over lunch we discussed each other’s companies and how they were both driven by passionate industry icons. I love working with innovative technology, introducing something new and better to the market and the SGM guys were looking for a distributor in Australia.”
He was soon approaching business partners about the prospect of setting up a new distribution company, Entertainment Technology Australia, heavily focusing on SGM as the primary brand. “The beauty of a new start up is that the company can take a fresh approach to the market and its distribution structure. We have some plans for new marketing strategies with SGM and we will look at how other brands fit into that mould.”
Jamie Payet, who has previously worked with Croxton, was engaged in the role of National Sales Manager and with warehousing in Melbourne and just outside Sydney, ETA were able to hit the ground running. ENTECH became the perfect launch-pad as the show had a strong lighting focus and was tied to SMPTE. This gave them good exposure to the TV stations and film studios.
So what had been the big attraction with SGM? “Firstly, its international credibility,” considered Dave Croxton, “both through its leader Peter Johansen — who of course has a massive reputation in the lighting industry — and the fact that products had already been specified onto some major world tours and projects.
“Peter and his R&D team are world leaders," he continued. "The flood of low cost equipment coming in from China has made it even more relevant to look at the top end of the market and provide high quality, eco friendly, innovative solutions that stand out from the crowd.”
ETA’s MD also noted that while SGM was a recognised brand ‘down under’ it had not been supported for a number of years. “Our plan from the beginning was to launch SGM virtually as a new brand, focusing totally on the new Danish made products,” he said.
As a result of the successful launch, ETA now see endless opportunities for SGM. “Presently, the main interest seems to be in the LED effects, but there is plenty of interest in the strobes, washes and the amazing SixPacks,” continues Croxton. “It is just a matter of getting these products into the hands of operators and designers in this market. Like most countries around the world Australia is becoming very energy conscious and the power saving capabilities of these new fixtures and their robust, long life performance will be big selling points for customers here in Australia.”
ETA has wasted no time in getting shipments and demo rigs out to customers nationwide for evaluation. In fact LB-100s have already been picked up by TV blockbuster, X Factor — all within a month of ENTECH. ETA is quoting on new nightclubs, theatre applications, TV shows and lighting production.
Dave Croxton is also very impressed with the support SGM has given in getting the stock expediently shipped to the other side of the world. This will be further improved via a large stock holding in Asia Pacific that the APAC countries can draw on — a strategy that will be implemented in the near future. “This shows SGM’s commitment to the market here and its relationship with ETA is a true partnership focused on success,” he says.
Another firm believer is the widely experienced Jamie Payet. With a background in production, and equipment retail and distribution, he stated, "When Dave called me regarding SGM Lighting and explained the people behind it, I knew there was a real opportunity to be involved with something at a start up level that would grow to become an industry leader. I am confident that ETA will grow with the success of the brands it carries — and SGM will be a key element to that growth."
Summing up, Dave Croxton states, “While this is a new company there is a wealth of experience involved in the management that will ensure that it becomes a bright light on the Australian production industry horizon — no pun intended of course!”