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We’re excited to announce the team Evoke have won the national award for Manufacturer of the Year (under £25m turnover). At an awards dinner last night attended by manufacturers from across the country, Evoke triumphed in our category for the second year running.

It was a great night for manufacturing for the whole of the North West, with two other regional companies winning in their respective categories.

Read more here

Evoke Creative has been appointed by leading cinema operator and big screen entertainment specialist, Vue, to provide state-of-the-art ticketing machines.
Following a successful trial at the Cribbs Causeway site in Bristol, Evoke is now set to install its kiosks at Vue’s iconic Leicester Square flagship, as part of a £6.6m investment in the landmark West End site.

The visually-striking ticketing kiosks feature 32” touchscreens set in either free-standing or wall mounted units. They allow customers to purchase or collect pre-booked tickets quickly, streamlining the customer journey and allowing them more time to browse the extensive food and beverage offering.

Head of retail at Vue, Paschalis Loucaides, said: “We’re committed to providing our customers with truly immersive big screen entertainment; and that starts from the moment they walk through the door. The redesigned foyer layout creates a slicker, more memorable customer journey. The digital kiosks are a key part of this and allow cinemagoers to spend more time enjoying the overall experience.”

Evoke Creative co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Neil Clark added: “We are delighted to be working with Vue to help deliver an engaging experience for its customers. We were commissioned to design and manufacture a bespoke kiosk that aptly utilises reflective surfaces and lighting to create a modern, top-end aesthetic. The feedback we’ve received has been incredibly positive and we’re looking forward to rolling out the kiosks to other sites in Vue’s estate.”

VUE ENTERTAINMENT
Vue Entertainment (Vue UK & Ireland) is a leader in out-of-home entertainment and the big screen experience.
Vue Entertainment has 85 state of the art cinemas throughout the UK and Ireland, with 813 screens projecting in Sony Digital Cinema 4K for ultra-high definition pictures. Vue offer stadium seating, VIP seats and luxurious recliners alongside a range of content, in addition to highly anticipated blockbusters. With event cinema titles including opera, ballet, musicals, national theatre, live streaming of sporting events and concerts through to hosting Gaming championships and dedicating multiple screens to eGaming arenas Vue is well known for providing the most innovative cinematic experience.
Vue UK and Ireland was founded following the acquisition of the Warner Village Cinemas in 2003 and is part of the leading cinema group Vue International. The group spans ten countries with 211 sites, 1,879 screens, over 8,500 staff and 90m customers where Vue is widely recognised as the most operationally efficient and technically advanced exhibitor in the industry.

On a wet and windy weekend in May, 12 of Evoke’s hardiest staff took on the adventure of a lifetime, tackling the UK’s 3 highest peaks in under 24 hours.

Raising funds for our nominated charity of the year (Clatterbridge Cancer Charity), our team set off on Saturday afternoon for Ben Nevis in Scotland, starting the clock at 5.30pm when they began the first ascent. Once at the peak, there was a minute to enjoy the view and then straight back down to travel to Scarfell Pike in the Lake District. Completing the summit there in the early hours of the morning, the team had to use all of their energy reserves to make their way up Snowdon on Sunday afternoon, beating the clock to return to the base of the mountain in a grand total of 23 hours and 52 minutes.

So far we’ve raised over £1,500 from friends, family, suppliers and customers and hope to keep the total increasing in recognition of this incredible feat. Lend your support here and check out our facebook page for more.

We’re proud to have won an Insider Media Made in the North West award for the second year running. Evoke scooped the award for Manufacturer of the year (under £25m) at a ceremony at Bolton’s Macron Stadium, beating strong competition from other manufacturers in the region.

Evoke’s Managing Director Dave Derby said that “winning an award that recognises our business as a whole is a great result, this is one for the whole team.”

Read more here

Evoke are excited to have been shortlisted in two categories in the 2017 Made in the North West Awards: Advanced Manufacturing/Technology and Manufacturer of the Year (under £25m). Following our success both at a local and national level in these awards in 2016, we have high hopes for  this year’s ceremony.

Founder and Chief Technical Director, Dean Ward, said “recognition as one of the region’s leading manufacturers means a great deal to us – our bespoke designs and control of the manufacturing process are part of our USP and we are pleased to have built on our success last year with two nominations this year.”

For the full story see here

We’re delighted to feature on the first ever Northern Tech 100 league table – a list of the top 100 fastest growing tech companies in the North. Evoke’s Technical Director Dean Ward attended the launch and awards ceremony  in Newcastle last night.

Tech North partnered with GP Bullhound to create the Northern Tech 100 to celebrate the growing number of tech success stories in the North. Evoke held strong at #48 in the table with average growth of almost 40% in the past four years.

For the full league table visit the Northern Tech 100 web page on Tech North’s website.

#NorthernTech100

Evoke Creative is investing in a new head office on the back of growing international demand for its interactive digital products and continuing expansion of its team.

The multi-award winning company, which designs and manufactures interactive products for leading retail, leisure, hospitality businesses, including JD Sports Fashion, Google, McDonald’s and Tesco will move to a new 45,000sq ft base on the Wirral, Merseyside, in late 2017.

Evoke Creative, which exports its products to more than 60 countries worldwide and has delivered dramatic revenue growth over the last four years of 42%, has signed a deal with Redsun Developments to take two units at its £5.5m Power Station development at Wirral International Business Park, Bromborough, close to its current location on the business park.

In preparation for the move, the company has conducted a number of sessions with staff using virtual reality technology to gain their input. Its design team is working closely with the building contractor and architect to deliver a collaborative and creative working environment, incorporating state of the art warehousing and factory facilities, which are some four times the size of the present head office.

Dean Ward, co-founder and Technical Director of Evoke said: “We are delighted to be committing our future to the Wirral and will take this opportunity to create a fantastic environment for further innovation and business growth. Attracting and retaining talent is key to our future success and so a vibrant and inspiring workplace is vital. The growth of our team has really driven this move. We have recently grown our software team as we continue to evolve our end to end offer and work with our clients to create immersive and engaging solutions for their customers.”

Co-founder and Commercial Director Neil Clark added: “It’s a really exciting time for Evoke and it’s going to be fantastic to move into the new office later this year where we can continue to grow the business.  As directors we wanted to involve everyone in the move, so we’ve committed to listening to colleagues in all departments of the business, and this has generated some great ideas.”

Evoke’s annual pilgrimage to the Integrated Systems Europe exhibition in Amsterdam has, as ever, delivered some exciting ideas in technology innovation.

Our design team investigated some of the most impressive developments in digital technology, at the largest AV systems integration show in the world, to build new partnerships and bring the latest tech back to our UK and international customers.

Take a look at some of the highlights from ISE 2017, including large format LED walls, projection mapping and interactive screens – already a big focus for our existing retail clients. We’re looking forward to developing some of these technologies over the coming months and incorporating them into our interactive digital solutions.

Evoke’s technical director, Dean Ward, shares this thoughts on the team’s trip to the Big Apple for the National Retail Federation: Big Show 2017

It’s fair to say that uncertainty is the prevailing mood in the USA at the moment. But while the new President’s Tweets –are impossible to predict, there’s one thing you can be certain of: retailers’ love for digital technology shows no signs of waning.

Held every year in New York, the National Retail Federation’s ‘Big Show’ is a staple trip in the Evoke calendar.  Playing host to more 33,000 people and 550 exhibitors, the four day event is a veritable who’s who of the retail industry. It gives us a great chance to meet with our existing customers in the States – with Nike, Adidas and McDonald’s all well represented – and there’s also the chance to make new connections with potential distribution partners and agents.

But it also gives us invaluable insight into what the emerging trends in the sector are: what’s worrying retailers, and what are they focused on.

Amazon is showing no signs of halting its march on the high street. The online behemoth is planning an aggressive incursion by opening bricks and mortar stores, leaving brands under no illusions that they need to come up with progressively innovative ways to combat this.

Online will always trump in-store when it comes to convenience, but the smart strategy is to focus on the battles which can be won.

Stores are becoming increasingly focused on delivering an extraordinary experience. One that’s personalised, utterly engaging and that can seamlessly blend a tangible hands-on offering with genuinely useful digital technology.

Alongside the exhibition itself, New York is home to flagship stores for some of the biggest brands in the world. I was particularly excited to visit this year, as Evoke customers Nike and Adidas are at the vanguard of delivering this new kind retail theatre, and both launched new technology-focused stores in 2016.

Nike has opened a 55,000 sq ft store in SoHo, replacing the tills with digital kiosks and mobile POS, while making brilliant use of the space. There’s less a sense of it being a classic transaction driven environment, and more a community hub, tailored to the company’s target demographic.

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The whole store buzzes with connectivity and interactivity. Shoppers get the chance to try running shoes on treadmills that take them on a virtual run in NYC’s iconic Central Park. Key staff are hired as dedicated on-one-one ‘athletes’ and are experts in their field. Sessions are booked with them in advance and these sessions typically yield are higher average spend.

Changing rooms are larger to facilitate stretching and lunging in the latest active wear, and replete with lighting that can be adjusted to mirror a yoga studio, or darkened further to reflect a night run. There’s even a full size basketball court!

A few blocks away is Adidas’ offering. The flagship store on the corner of 5th Avenue is the company’s largest high street unit and just as impressive.

The whole environment is designed to feel like a sports arena. Adidas launched its ‘stadium retail’ concept back in 2014 and this latest iterations is truly immersive.  Chain-link fencing, player tunnels and bleachers for shoppers to sit and watch televised game set the scene. Customers can have consultations with personal trainers or refuel with a healthy concoction from the store’s juice bar.

Digital kiosks and interactive signage flash up product information and present the ability to browse and order an entire back catalogue, while ‘customisation stations’ allow personalisation of clothes and footwear.

Indeed inviting customers to do more than just buy is an emerging trend. ‘Co-creation’ – from simple customisation of trainers using digital kiosks to actively participating in store organised events – encourages people to buy into the brand values, fostering a sense of loyalty and, ultimately, driving future sales.

The attention to detail and opportunity for interaction is staggering. Both stores are standout examples of retail theatre at its finest.

Back at the show we heard Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich announce that the company would be investing $100 million in retail technology R&D, and there were numerous examples of IBM’s Watson super computer powering technology that could analyse emotion through tone of voice and facial expressions. Access to data and increasingly intelligent artificial intelligence will continue to top retailers’ wish lists, and the big tech firms know it.

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology also shows incredible promise for retailers and featured heavily, with Macy’s announcement that it is adopting it throughout its stores still reverberating around the sector.

RFID entails tagging objects with tiny electromagnetic chips, and it’s hit the headlines recently thanks to Amazon’s ‘Go’ initiative, which proposes automated transactions, billing a shopper as they leave the store – but the underlying technology is nothing new.

Macy’s is using it to great effect to not only streamline stock checks and supply chain control, but to assess how long products have been on shelves, and also to analyse what has been picked up and what hasn’t.

At Evoke we have considerable expertise with RFID through our work with leading library self-service provider Bibliotheca, and our thoughts on its applications and implementation will be the subject of a future blog.

Boarding the plane back to the UK I felt that far from being overawed by the technology on display, we were somewhat ahead of the curve. They do some things brilliantly in the US – they certainly take retail theatre to a whole new level.

But the digital kiosks and signage we’re developing in the UK are still streets ahead of their USA-manufactured counterparts – both in terms of form, and function.

The market is primed for disruption and I’m excited to continue growing our business on the other side of the Atlantic.