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We’re proud of our roots as a Wirral-based company so are delighted to have won the Wirral Chamber of Commerce award for Business of the Year (50+ employees). Our Directors and staff enjoyed the celebratory dinner and awards ceremony at Thornton Manor on Friday 16 September which was attended by over 500 people from businesses across the region.

Evoke beat competition from household names Typhoo Tea and Liverpool Airport, as well as fellow Bromborough-based tech firm Webtise, to receive the award which recognises our commitment to the region and continued growth over the past 12 months.

See full coverage of the awards and ceremony here.

Evoke’s technical director Dean Ward’s reflections following Grant Thornton’s Internet of Things (IoT) panel discussion

In June and July 2016 we enjoyed numerous blue-sky talks and exhibitions as part of the International Festival Business 2016, with commercial director Neil Clark claiming his five-minutes-of-fame, discussing the new business opportunities and information available to growing exporters such as ourselves on North West Tonight!

But a highlight for me was Grant Thornton’s Internet of Things (IoT) discussion, hosted at the firm’s Liverpool office in the Royal Liver Building as part of The Edge, a fringe festival running alongside the main IFB programme.

I was invited to sit on a panel which included Tim Griggs of multi-national consultancy firm Arup and Steven Revill of Urban Tide – a business specialising in planning and delivering smart cities. Our brief was to discuss the opportunities and benefits of the IoT, along with the potential pitfalls.

Cisco – the world’s largest networking company – has recently increased its forecast for the economic value created by the “Internet of Everything” in the year 2020 to $19 trillion. With retail and manufacturing two of the industries expected to benefit from this, it’s a topic I’m genuinely excited by.

Retail implications

The implications for retailers are numerous. Our clients ask us design the end to end customer experience, and increasing connectivity between devices – from smartphones, to tablets, to wearables – is set to revolutionise this.

Technology is already in available to allow in-store displays and kiosks to change to show a product that may appeal to a customer, depending on their smartphone browsing history, or to monitor the amount of time spent looking at a product and follow that up with emails and social media adverts targeted specifically to that customer’s interests.

By analysing the collective data, retailers can track footfall, both in terms of volume and actual routes taken around the store, and see which elements of store design are working and which need changing.

The potential stumbling block to all of this innovation taking root is: are customers happy give up their personal data in this way?

Arguably, as much as it may improve the high street shopping experience, data and connectivity used primarily benefits sellers and the uptake and continued development will be undoubtedly be commercially driven.

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Reduced burden on the health service

But the ways in which the IoT looks set to aid the health sector promises far more obvious social value and has the potential to relieve pressure on strained healthcare provision in the UK.

We talked about early adopters of the technology and a company making a smart plug called 3rings to send alerts to a mobile phone if an elderly or vulnerable person hasn’t switched on an appliance such as a light, kettle or TV, that they habitually would do and prodive an early alert that something might be wrong.

Such a simple, but brilliant, idea.

In a very real way, that technology has the potential to allow older generations to retain a sense of independence in their own homes – benefitting them and reducing the need for hospital or care-home admissions.

Evoke’s own health-check kiosks are greatly enhanced by new IoT devices. The connectivity and sharing of data improves diagnosis accuracy and patient outcomes. While still in its relative infancy, it’s clear the technology has a huge role to play in the ongoing personalisation of medicine.

Smart cities

The panel also touched on the concept of smart cities and, in particular, the reduction in traffic congestion that could be achieved by the IoT. Technology can be installed to monitor traffic flow, provide real-time information to drivers provide information to drivers and ease congestion through variable speed limits and instruction to use the hard shoulder.

The reduction in pollution and the economic benefits resulting from more efficient commuting will be brilliant – not to mention that it will just be nice to sit in fewer traffic jams!

Security and drawbacks

Of course it would have been easy to get caught up in all of the potential benefits, but a lively and engaging audience posed some interesting questions.

The issue of security – what should and what shouldn’t be connected – and the importance of keeping personal data secure is perhaps the major caveat in what is otherwise an incredibly promising concept.

Whether the existing infrastructure is capable of supporting this connectivity is another hurdle, but one which I feel will be overcome. There is so much to be gained, both financially and in terms of social value, that public and private interest will ensure this doesn’t hold the IoT back.

In terms of allaying fears around security and encouraging people to buy in: that’s on us.

One of Tim’s closing comments, which I particularly liked, was that the best digital technologies are like a good waiter; there when required and seamlessly enhancing your experience, without you even realising.

Designers and manufacturers of innovative technology will have to ensure that the devices of the future are simply too useful and too appealing not to use.

I’d like to thank Grant Thornton for a thoroughly well organised discussion and a great evening. The promise of the IoT will continue to factor in all of our thinking at Evoke and we’re excited to be part of its development.

Evoke Creative triumphed at the prestigious Made in the UK awards on Friday 17 June. Fending off strong competition from companies such as Airbus and Chargemaster, Evoke were awarded the UK Advanced Manufacturer/Technology award in recognition of their design ethos coupled with quality products and innovation.

The awards, which brought together the regional winners from the past 12 months, were held at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool. Compère Gyles Brandreth noted that “despite a slight dip in productivity in the first half of the year, UK manufacturing is in rude health”.

Managing Director Graham Boyd said “This is an award for the whole company, from design and manufacture right through to our administration, delivery and support staff”.

Read the full story at Insidermedia’s website here.

image: www.subconshow.co.uk

Our Procurement team are visting Subcon 2016 at the NEC on 9 June. This will be our first visit to the UK’s only trade show dedicated to manufacturing supply chains. We’ll be looking out for innovative and dynamic suppliers who can add value to our supply chain with a particular focus on fabrication as well as electronics and materials & composites.

We are looking forward to networking at the show and will be on social media during the event. Drop us a line in advance if you want to meet up.

Evoke Creative has scooped the Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Award at Business Insider’s Made the in North West awards which celebrate the best manufacturers that the region has to offer.

Miri Thomas, editorial director at Insider, described the overall standard of entries as: “Fantastic, a real showcase in innovation, ambition and vision.”

Evoke Creative stood out amongst their fellow nominees, with the judges recognising the company’s ability to meet the demands of supplying to blue-chip companies while retaining its bespoke, design-led ideology.

Judges said evoke displayed a “fantastic level of high tech” and praised its success in selling into large organisations.

The company also received a ‘highly commended’ in the Manufacturing Innovation Award.

Dean Ward, Technical Director, said: “These awards cap a great year for everyone at Evoke and are a sign of direction we’re headed in. Our headcount has grown 40% to 49 staff over the last year and the next few months promise to be an incredibly exciting time for all of us.

The level of demand from our customers shows no signs of slowing down. We’re being continually asked to innovate and to collaborate with global companies to provide the technology that can optimise their customers’ experiences.”

Driven by soaring demand from a number of blue-chip clients, including fast food group McDonald’s, Travelodge, JD Sports and Google, evoke’s turnover has rocketed 40% in the last two years to £8.9m and is forecast to jump to £15m in the year to March 31 2017.

The company is now exploring possible growth in overseas markets including the US and is also investigating opening a second office and showroom in the London area.

Evoke Creative has reported a milestone year of employee and turnover growth, and is expecting to hit even greater heights in the coming 12 months.

Driven by demand from a number of blue chip clients, including fast food group McDonald’s, Travelodge, JD Sports and Google, Evoke’s turnover has rocketed 40% in the last two years to £8.9m and is forecast to jump to £15m in its current financial year.
Staff numbers at the Wirral business have also risen to keep up with demand – by 40% to 49% in the last year.

Neil Clark, commercial director, said: “It is a very exciting time with strong levels of demand from our customers and some incredibly exciting opportunities on the short-term horizon.”

Evoke supplies a range of sectors, spanning retail, leisure, hospitality and libraries and has more than 15,000 products in use across more than 90 countries.

Over the last 12 months the business has invested significantly in its infrastructure and as well as creating jobs on the manufacturing side, there have been a number of hires at senior management level, with new recruits from businesses including Sainsbury’s, JD Sports Fashion and Tata Steel.

Red the full story here.

We’re very proud to have been shortlisted in two categories at this year’s Insider Media Made in the North West awards. Celebrating the region’s engineering and manufacturing prowess, we’re honoured to be amongst the contenders for these prestigious awards.

Read the full story here.

image: www.amsterdam.net

This year we held off the Atlantic crossing to CES & NRF to focus our attention on ISE 2016, the annual technology show in Amsterdam. The event is already shaping up to be a big occasion for evoke and our entire design department are making the trip over for the four days.

We’ve tasked ourselves with finding the best and most exciting innovations to bring to our clients so if you have something amazing to show and would like to meet up during the event please get in touch. We love new technology and so do our world leading clients, some of whom are making the crossing with us!

We’re really looking forward to the show and will be regularly reporting back on social media during the event; hopefully some great relationships will be made and existing partnerships strengthened.

Hopefully we’ll see you there!

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We’ve come a long way! The past 12 years have been a whirlwind and have seen us grow from a small team of product designers to the 50-strong, world leading, multi-discipline, development company that we are today.

Our experience has led to long lasting relationships with some of the world’s biggest and best brands; these valuable relationships have driven innovation and diversification, putting customer experience at the forefront of everything we do. We felt our identity didn’t reflect the forward-thinking and revolutionary brand that we are and the solution is to move forward, creating a unified brand and identity we can proudly stand behind as we continue on our journey.

‘Delivering Extraordinary’ is at the core of everything we do and is the message behind our new, unified brand. From conception, through to realisation, it’s this message that constantly drives the team to exceed expectations and perform at the top of our game.

This new identity retains the well-established evoke name, but exudes a simpler, more modern and lasting brand image. Use of the iconic tesseract symbolically represents the dynamic, and ever-changing technology landscape and our multi-faceted approach to shaping it.

Take the time to watch our new brand film and let us know what you think. We’re hoping you see another face to evoke.