AV1 is one of the top corporate event firms in Australia, but it’s not because they have the most gear — although they do have 15,000 items in inventory — or because they put on over 900 events a year. It’s because they’re committed to their clients, their employees, their community and their environment.In fact, just last year they were awarded B Corporation certification — awarded to companies who have shown their business benefits not only their shareholders, but also the wider community.
“It’s a very stringent process where you have to show you can operate in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible. It also looks at how you hire and maintain staff,” said Keith Wootton, Managing Director of AV1.
“These are businesses that not only want to be the best in the world but also the best for the world. We recognized that these key values that drive us were already in place.”
Apart from the corporate events they do every year, they also lend their equipment and expertise to many charities and nonprofit organizations they care about.
AV1 has received many industry awards at both state and national level. Currently they’re sitting in Meeting and Events Australia’s (MEA) Hall of Fame for Creative and Technical Production till 2018 for being the national winners three years running. They were also recognized by SPICE Magazine in Australia as one of the Top Five Suppliers in AV and Staging, Media Production and Event Technology.
Keith says it comes from a commitment to his customers and a commitment to build on successful events year after year, never becoming complacent.
“We’re really proud of every event we’ve done. We try to break the mold of previous events, never rest on our laurels, and always try to add a fresh element so our clients are engaged and we’re pushing our own boundaries,” said Keith.
AV1 services clients within Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. The company started in 2004 — at that moment it was only Keith and his laptop. Twelve years later the company has grown from a team of one, to 30 full-time staff and 70 casual staff members.
They handle corporate events including conferences, internal training sessions, gala dinners, awards nights and roadshows for clients, many of which are in the financial services and professional services sectors.
AV1 was one of the first companies to sign up with Flex in 2011 and the first customer from Australia.
“Initially we used Microsoft Excel and we would shout inventory numbers across the desk,” said Keith. “When Flex came along, it worked for us because it was web-based and worked on every machine, along with having great features and benefits.”
They also hosted Flex and other Flex users, some direct competitors with AV1, at a two-day user conference in Australia.
“We had competitors and all kinds of people come in and see our space and learn how to use Flex. We’re great advocates for our industry and we really want to do what’s best for everyone. We’re not corner cutters, we want the AV industry to be recognized as consultants rather than order takers,” said Keith.