Evoke | News
Keep up to date with our latest news, projects and innovations
Technology, Design, Retail, Innovation, Kiosk, News
paged,page-template,page-template-blog-large-image-whole-post,page-template-blog-large-image-whole-post-php,page,page-id-15348,paged-4,page-paged-4,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode-theme-ver-10.1.1,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.0.1,vc_responsive

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.


We are investing in a new head office on the back of growing international demand for our interactive digital products and continuing expansion of our team. Here’s our recent press release which explains more about the move:

Multi-award winning Evoke Creative, 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 CTO 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 CCO 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.

Read full post

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.

Team evoke are taking on their biggest challenge yet, tackling the ‘three peaks’ in May 2017 to raise funds for Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.

A team of 20 evoke staff have signed up to undertake the challenge which involves scaling Britain’s highest three peaks in 24 hours or less. The team need to ascend Snowdon, Scarfell Pike and Ben Nevis, including travel time, in one day; a feat which will require preparation, training and a huge level of endurance.

We are raising sponsorship for the team’s endeavours, with all proceeds going to our nominated local charity Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, who make a huge difference to their patients and families through their work.

Please sponsor our team and make a difference, for more details visit our justgiving page

We’re looking for a Technology Evangelist to join our growing software development team. This is an opportunity to join Evoke at an exciting time and help to shape the team and work towards our goals.

If you have a solid lead development background and a passion for technology, get in touch.

More details on our Careers page

Back in September we asked our staff to nominate a good cause to support for the year and over the past few months we’ve been running, baking, raffling and moustache growing for Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.

We’re very pleased to report that so far we’ve raised almost £1000 for this great cause – half way to our goal after just four months.

A huge well done to all our brilliant staff for their efforts, congratulations #teamevoke

Our Autumn teambuilding day took place on Friday 14 October at Manley Mere Sail Sports near to our HQ in Cheshire.
Four teams of staff spent the afternoon designing and building rafts to sail out onto the lake – with varying degrees of success.

We were impressed with the creativity and problem solving skills from staff from all areas of the company and consider it time well spent to consolidate our team working and staff morale.

Our very own Dean Ward has been recognised by Insider magazine in their prestigious 42 under 42 list for 2016 – a collection of stand-out business leaders and entrepreneurs from across the north west region. Evoke’s Technical Director Dean impressed the judges with his design led approach and passion about what he does.

Evoke’s growth and manufacturing success was highlighted in the report which you can read in full here.

We want working at evoke to be rewarding, exciting and challenging. We care about our local community and it’s important to us as a business to ensure we give something back.

In 2016 our staff have nominated a company charity to support. Many of our staff have been directly or indirectly touched by the work that Clatterbridge Cancer Charity do and we’re excited to be engaging with such a worthwhile cause, based just 5 miles from our HQ.

Evoke have pledged to match all funds raised by employees, supporting with allocated time during working hours and a commitment to undertake a minimum of 4 events per year.

Our first event took place on Sunday 18 September in Liverpool city centre. Eleven of our staff completed the 5k Scouse Run in times varying for 25 minutes to 45 minutes. So far we’ve raised over £250 and counting!

To add your support and find out more information about this fantastic cause please follow the links below: