As the dawn of a new technology-focused era began, on the 16th January 2002 HandyAV was born with the simple goal of developing a company that was at the forefront of this digital evolution. Two decades later and Handy AV is now a multi award-winning business with a global project portfolio, delivering solutions for a number of illustrious clients and international brands. Our passion for innovation and drive to provide impactful technology has been the catalyst for our success over the past 20 years. However, our desire to achieve is far from diminished as we tackle our largest and most ambitious project yet in the early months of this anniversary year.
From humble beginings operating out of CEO and founder Aubrey Wright’s spare room, the company’s rapid growth lead to an expansion and we now reside in a 4000 ft² office warehouse unit in Sidcup. The move to the new facility expedited the capacity to coordinate and conduct much larger-scale projects and bolster the existing workforce to facilitate the growing demands of the business.
Our specialty and the foundation of our early success, stems from our expertise in LED technology and its application in delivering impactful display solutions. This led to the creation of HandyLED™, our own range of professional LED technology, designed with reliability and durability at its core. Using LED pixel pitch, we have executed amazing digital experiences for a plethora of high-profile retail brands such as Adidas, Christian Dior, JD Sports, Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Selfridges, TSB and many more. Providing the ‘wow-factor’ for our clients has been our bread and butter for the past 20 years, winning a number of highly acclaimed awards for our work along the way.
The most notable project that really propelled Handy AV into the industry limelight came in 2010 when we were elected by Primark to install, manage, and maintain their audio-visual systems in their stores across Europe. After months of articulate planning, more than 11 countries worked in and hundreds of screens installed and configured to our content hosting platform, the Primark digital signage network was born. Every store was designed to immerse the consumer with a stand-out retail experience, using numerous high-quality displays in every store to captivate the customer and deliver a refreshing experience. The unique approach to this project meant Handy AV took full control of the Primark network and content management. Using our web-based content platform, later to become Blue River™, Handy AV provided seamless content deployment and screen management to all screens across Europe from our office via cloud servers.
The Birth of HandyAV’s proprietary Blue River™ platform was a result of our drive to provide a simple and user-intuitive content platform for our clients. We wanted to revolutionise the way in which content was deployed to screens, so we worked closely with Samsung and used their MagicINFO software to develop a full SaaS platform that would enable businesses to intelligently control their digital content around the globe. This placed Blue River above the crowd because for the first-time businesses have the opportunity to drive targeted content to their customers. Using intelligent datalinks with proactive real-time scheduling, the chance to optimise a brands in-store marketing in this way offered a full contemporary solution. Additionally, with audio-visual technologies becoming more creative and more advanced by the year, a solution that can support the integration of these innovative technologies, to maximise their output, needed to be assembled.
In 2020, the world ceased to a halt when the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the continent, subsequently having a detrimental effect on many of the sectors that will have traditionally looked to invest in audio-visual fit outs. We at Handy AV were not disheartened with this potential business set back and immediately turned our attention to how we can make a difference to help people and businesses during such unprecedented times. We continued to work relentlessly throughout the national lockdown to create and develop unique and innovative new ways in which AV technology could alleviate the societal issues presented by Covid and the ‘new normal’. From this came HandyCHECKPOINT™ and the HandyPOS™ Hand Sanitiser Station, both of which were multifunctional solutions designed to be adaptable and to overcome the problems people were facing with post lockdown restrictions. We’re very proud of our positive reaction to the pandemic and can take extreme gratification in knowing Handy AV solutions helped people feel safer and aided business in the post lockdown struggle.
Following on from the pandemic, as people returned to work, we at Handy AV understood that the way in which the traditional workspace operated had changed forever. Remote working had become an ever-present within business workflow, meaning the need for optimised workspaces had become very apparent. The genesis of the hybrid working model led to big companies looking to evolve their work environments with digital-led workspaces to streamline operational functionality and support their hybrid models. In 2021, we executed workspace evolution projects for leading activewear brand Gymshark and healthcare innovators, GAMA Healthcare. Both underwent digital transformations at their respective super hubs and embraced the addition of seamless technology into the foundation of their workspace design, commenting on the improved collaboration and productivity amongst the workforces. The surge in popularity of hybrid optimised workspaces will only continue to grow and Handy AV are now better positioned than anyone to revamp any environment with seamless technology.
The past two decades have been a rollercoaster of a ride and we’ve enjoyed every second. The unrelenting passion we have for AV is matched only by the drive to continue to design, install and maintain imaginative and eye-catching spaces with all types of integrated tech incorporated in. We’d like to express our profound gratitude to all of the amazing people that have helped make Handy AV what it is today over the last 20 years. Here’s to 20 more….!