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Robe Stages Successful Lir Open House Event + Expands Irish Operation

Gavin Mooney on the left is Robe Ireland's new sales and business development representative, and Will Blackie on the right has joined Robe UK's technical sales support team. Photo: Courtesy Robe UK

Robe lighting staged a recent busy and successful Open House event in partnership with The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Arts at Trinity College Dublin. The Lir Academy offers conservatory training for the theatre, film, and television industries.

The Open House platform proved ideal for showcasing some of the manufacturer's latest products and technologies -- including its PAINTE, iFORTE, and LEDBeam 350 moving lights, the T11 static luminaire range, the T11 Profile manual follow spot and the popular RoboSpot system.

These were showcased to a range of lighting professionals plus students on the Lir's renowned Stage Management and Technical Theatre course.

The Lir's main studio provided a fantastic venue space and backdrop for the event which built on a similar one last year, the first since COVID. It is the intention to once again make it an annual benchmark and networking experience, focused on new products and ideas and connecting people from assorted industry fields and disciplines.

Visitors travelled from all across Ireland -- northern and southern -- a lively mix of lighting designers, rental companies, venue managers and others from educational and commercial worlds, reflecting the general current industry buzz and interest in live music and entertainment in Ireland.

The set-up day further facilitated an opportunity for students from other local schools to look more closely into the world of entertainment lighting and train on some of the kit.

Robe's very flexible RoboSpot remote follow system was highlighted again this year, together with the many advantages it brings to theatre / performance installations including quietness, accessibility and adaptability in terms of which fixtures can be used, when and where. This attracted a lot of interest as people could see the benefits of the system first hand.

It also proved a great opportunity to showcase the first production unit of Robe's Manual Follow Spot (MFS) which attracted some keen interest.

The Lir / Robe relationship now spans seven years, and one of its cornerstones has been to enable Lir students access to training on Robe equipment. "It's important for our students to learn on some of the best kit, and equipment they are likely to encounter when working professionals," explains Eve D'Alton, Lir's head of lighting.

She believes events like the Open House are also a great chance for students and future industry professionals to meet and integrate and swap experiences and expectations. Obviously, there was a big emphasis on LED technology this year, with the fundamental role it plays in any lit environment.

With business currently expanding in Ireland, now is seen as the right time to develop the strong ties with the UK's closest European neighbor.

Robe UK's sales director Ian W Brown was a key presenter at the Open House, together with Gavin Mooney, Robe Ireland's new sales and business development representative.

Mooney himself is one of the Lir's Stage Management and Technical Theatre course alumni and a great example of how a career can launch and grow from this dynamic academic space. While at the Lir, he become involved in the NRG (Next Robe Generation) program which led to the opportunity of working as sales support on Robe's PLASA stand, among other events. He's now delighted to have this opportunity of working directly for the brand in a very special market he already knows well and loves so much. The scope of his work will include facilitating Robe users / customers in Ireland as well as developing Robe's business in exciting, new and different areas.

To Mooney, "Robe is a leading manufacturer in moving light technology. Our products are very sustainable, well known for their robustness and longevity and uniquely they are wholly made in Europe at our factory in the Czech Republic which makes quality control much easier.

"I'm looking forward to working with such an amazing team and with many people around Ireland in this exciting new venture!" he declares.

Will Blackie, who also recently joined Robe UK in a technical sales support capacity, was heavily involved in the Open House delivering onsite training and product demonstrations, and will also provide pivotal technical support to the sales team at large.

Theresa Gibson, head of marketing for Robe UK concludes, "We are delighted to continue to strengthen our long-standing partnership with the Lir Dublin and build on the success of our Open House events.

"The opportunity to spend time with students on the Stage Management and Technical Theatre course was hugely beneficial as it gave them the chance to get hands-on with the new kit and up to speed with some of Robe's latest products and innovations. Returning so soon into the New Year and using the event as a platform to welcome Gavin Mooney to the team as the new face of Robe Ireland -- and key contact on the ground -- is a hugely exciting flying start to 2023, underlining our commitment to the market and our business in Robe Ireland."


(21 March 2023)

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