|Members of the AHG team and guests took in the company’s new product showroom during the grand opening of the Experience Center.|
|Adam Hall Group
New facilities at home and abroad bring
award-winning products to a global stage
When the category is premium light, sound systems, and stage equipment, nothing tells the story like a big-bang party. It was that kind of night at the Adam Hall Group headquarters when the company celebrated the opening of its new “Experience Center” this June, putting on a display of live music, light shows and pyrotechnics to inaugurate the venue in style. Artists and partners from around the world turned out for the grand opening, appropriately themed: “Come Together.” In the long run, though, AHG expects the Experience Center to deliver much more than spectacle. Located at the company’s home base in Neu-Anspach, Germany (near Frankfurt), the venue was created as a new kind of nerve center for AHG and its increasingly global network. Within the past two years, the company has also established major hubs in the United States and Singapore, plus a state-of-the-art “Logistics Park” in Neu-Anspach. Combined, these efforts reflect the view that as a company becomes more global, it should only become more hands-on, giving partners new ways to connect with the product lines and with each other.
“The way businesses conduct sales and marketing has changed radically just within the last decade,” says Adam Hall Group CEO Alexander Pietschmann. “No doubt having an established strong brand means you’ve won half the battle, but the more the world continues to connect digitally, the more we value the power of making and maintaining authentic personal relationships and connections. This has been one of our key cornerstones since day one in 1975, and even in the fury of digital evolution, we are happy to know it’s the human touch that will always stay on trend.”
An event technology specialist, the Adam Hall Group manufactures or distributes more than 30 brands, including several in-house brands: LD Systems pro audio, Cameo Lighting, Gravity Stands, Palmer and Defender cable protectors, Adam Hall Stage Equipment, and Adam Hall Hardware. AHG reported an across-the-board sales gain of 12% this past year and expects to build on that this year through its series of expansions in Germany, North America, Asia, and elsewhere. Among the most significant has been the Group’s 2018 acquisition of the former Musical Distributors Group (MDG), the New Jersey-based enterprise that served as its U.S. distributor. Now operating as Adam Hall North America, Inc., this new branch is expected to strengthen AHG brands on this side of the Atlantic while continuing to represent MDG-distributed brands including Höfner, Ultrasone, EBS, Lock-It Straps, and Mad Professor. Steven Savvides, the onetime CEO of MDG, has taken on the job of president, Adam Hall North America. He was recently joined by Adam Hall veteran Gabriel Medrano, now COO of the North American branch.
“We are joining forces in order to further drive this growth for all the Adam Hall Group brands and for our other exclusively distributed brands,” Savvides says. “Combining our strategic New Jersey-based location, 32 years of industry experience, substantial resources, expert staff, and a well-established network of customers, the partnership will further improve business growth for our existing customers as well as for new ones.”
Company management describes its recent investments as a stepped-up commitment to supporting AHG brands wherever they are sold. Besides Adam Hall North America, the Group has established an Asia-Pacific branch with a showroom in Singapore, recently hosting around 60 partners there for its second annual APAC Distributor Summit. At home in Germany, a two-part expansion to the company’s Neu-Anspach campus began with the October 2017 opening of the new Logistics Park, which added 150,000 square feet of warehouse capacity. Capping off the new construction was the Experience Center, with its array of resources for onsite employees as well as visitors. Among the amenities are a fully equipped product showroom and a large theater/auditorium for live shows and demonstrations. An integrated R&D and Engineering department houses an anechoic sound measuring room, various endurance and climatic test rigs, a photometric laboratory, and space for modeling and 3D testing. There’s even a company restaurant, plus accommodations for the newly founded Adam Hall Academy. As Pietschmann said at the grand opening: “The dynamic markets of our time require courage, mobility, innovation, and high customer orientation.”
According to AHG figures, the company now ships more than 7,000 products from its complex in Germany to its worldwide distribution network—also including partners in South America, South Africa, Russia, Australia, and nearly every country in Asia. AHG brands led by LD Systems have earned multiple design awards over recent years, taking home honors from RedDot, iF, and the German Design Awards, among others. Arguably its most talked-about product since its “concept launch” at the 2017 Musikmesse has been the MAUI P900 column speaker, a technologically advanced, visually striking model co-developed by the Porsche Design Studio. The product made its market launch at this year’s Winter NAMM show. Other recent standouts for AHG include LD Systems’ ultra-portable MAUI 5 GO PA systems, as well as the W600 Wash Light Series and ZENIT B60 battery-powered lamps from Cameo. The Gravity brand, considered an innovator in essential stands for the stage and studio, has also recorded strong results.
Meanwhile, AHG remains the European leader in its original product category: flight case hardware. Its roots in that segment go back to namesake founder Adam Hall, who established the company in the U.K. in 1975. The operation moved to Germany in 1980 under British musician David Kirby, now executive chairman. He’s been joined at the company’s helm by Pietschmann and COO Markus Jahnel, both a part of the Adam Hall family since their early years. Jahnel first joined the Adam Hall sales team in 1989 and played a key role in product development. Pietschmann officially came aboard in 2006 and immersed himself in the areas of R&D, product management, and marketing before rising to CEO. The three still head up the Adam Hall Group today. “Innovations exist everywhere,” says Pietschmann. “You just have to look for them.”