SSE Audio Group: Review of 2011

A look back over the past 12 months for the PA hire company
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The past 12 months have seen SSE Audio Group continue to expand and develop, in spite of the increasingly unstable global economy, while also celebrating a key landmark in the company’s history. API hereby takes a look back over the key moments for SSE in 2011.

In 2011 SSE Audio Group celebrated its 35th anniversary. The company was founded as a PA hire company by John and Heather Penn in 1976, and has since developed to become one of Europe’s leading pro audio companies, including hire, sales and installations divisions.

Despite the current economic downtown, SSE continued to expand in 2011. In January it formally opened its new consolidated London premises in Park Royal. This move meant the company could offer the full range of its services in the capital, as well as from its midlands headquarters. The opening coincided with the TPi Awards, where SSE won the ‘Favourite Sound Rental Company’ accolade for 2011.

In September, SSE opened the doors of its new Northern base in Bradford, a move that meant that all of the company’s services are now available in the North of England. Increased coverage is particularly relevant to SSE’s installations business, where a local presence and full on-call services are called for. This was illustrated in December, when the London office secured an AV installation for Liverpool Football Club at its new ‘Boot Room Sports Café’ at Cheshire Oaks; work that was carried out by the Northern Office.

In addition to geographical growth, SSE has expanded by developing its rental inventory. In addition to offering L-Acoustics, Nexo and Meyer Sound systems, SSE Hire has the largest digital console hire stock in the country. As well as servicing its well-established summer festival calendar, tours and concerts ranged from the Arctic Monkeys to 60s favourites the Monkees.

Diversity was the order of the day for the Installations division, with contracts completed during the year ranging from a small audio system for a retirement home in London to a massive PA installation at the Stade de France in Paris, carried out by SSE Melpomen.

“We’re very pleased with the company’s continual development in 2011” said Group managing director, John Penn. “In a difficult trading environment, we believe there are three vital ingredients to continuing success.

“Diversification is necessary to protect against the volatility within individual markets; specialism is necessary to ensure we can meet the increasingly technical demands of the industry. So, for example, we have console specialists, in-ear monitoring specialists, etc. and this can only be achieved through developing a company of a certain size. The third ingredient is service and getting close to the customer, which is why we have opened new offices and warehouses around the country. Our focus in 2012 is to work as closely with customers as possible, making sure we understand their requirements and earn their ongoing trust.”

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