Events firm rocked by pandemic invests to secure its future

Leeds-based AYRE Event Solutions is reacting to the ongoing challenges posed to the events industry with the support of the Culture Recovery Fund, which has been distributed through Arts Council England.

The firm, which specialises in event production, saw 95% of its revenue wiped out as a result of the pandemic following the cancellation of conferences, award ceremonies and live events.

In response, it adapted its premises in Hunslet to create a broadcasting studio to enable organisations to communicate better with their target audience.

The studio boasts an 8m x 3m stage with separation screens to allow for social distancing.

With multiple cameras, lighting and an audio system, organisations can create TV-quality productions which can be broadcast to audiences using numerous platforms.

Organisations to have taken advantage of the space so far include The Female Hospitality Network, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust and Disability Sport Yorkshire Awards.

Additionally, as a result of the development of its live-streaming capabilities, AYRE has helped organisations including Bradford Pride, The Kirkwood and St Gemma’s Hospice to host a range of virtual events to engage with their audiences.

The firm has used additional financial support to invest in re-developing its website and invested in PR services to support its bounceback in 2021.

AYRE managing director, Chris Ayre, said: “While the proliferation of using tools such as Zoom and Facebook Live has been vital to enable organisations to engage with their target audiences, an increase in ‘Zoom fatigue’ is leading to audiences becoming disengaged.

“Poor lighting, audio quality and bandwidth are often to blame for audiences switching off.

“As the pandemic continues, we must evolve the way we communicate virtually to ensure audience interest is captured, and they are left feeling inspired.

“It’s been a pleasure to support organisations who have already taken advantage of our studio space to help them deliver such events.”

The Kirkwood event organiser, Kathryn Box, added: “Ayre Events helped us to turn our vision into a reality.

“The Kirkwood Light up a Life event means so much to our supporters, and so we knew, this year more than ever, we needed to bring people together to pay tribute to those they love, one way or another.

“Working with AYRE Events, we were able to stream the event live into people’s homes so they could still take part and come together with others in our community safely and comfortably.

“Comments from our supporters have been wonderful, and we had over 425 devices watching the event, making it our best-attended Light up a Life event yet.”