Well, here we are at the end of another year, and keeping up with tradition, I’d like to recap the year at Creative Conners. If you’re a regular follower of the CCI blog, or follow us through our Facebook page or Twitter feed, some of this may be old news, but there were definitely some things that happened that didn’t make it into the feed, so here goes…
Way back in the summer of 2011, Creative Conners got a new shop space and hired some new staff. Not to be outdone, in 2012 we got a new shop space and hired some new staff. We moved out of our 3300 sf shop (Unit #3) and moved two doors down into a well-lit 6800 sf shop (Unit #7). With a ton more office space, fabrication space and storage space, we’re able to continue our growth without getting pinned in by the walls. If you’d like to see all of our equipment get moved into the new shop in a short time-lapse video, click here.
The other big company news was the addition of Tom Battista, who actually builds most of the gear, freeing up Gareth to write code, Royal to design new machines and me to spend more time spreading the word of our great products. Tom is our token Rhode Islander and he’s been a great addition to the crew here.
The larger shop also provided the room we need for a 4-axis CNC milling machine, which we purchased from Tormach in October. It’s in production now, and as the months go on, the Tormach will be doing more and more of the milling work that goes into our machines.
In product news, we introduced the Curtain Call, our 1hp friction drive traveler track machine. The Curtain Call was very popular, in both sales and rentals. We also redesigned the Showstopper Hub as a rack mount unit, and we added Dataton Watchout integration to Spikemark, which is currently being used by La Jolla Playhouse in their 21-axis show “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots.”
In February, we officially became a certified ETL shop, so now our electronics carry the listing of one of the most trusted listing companies in the world.
This year, we decided the company should exhibit at LDI in Las Vegas. With the help of our marketing friends at Tribal Vision, we had some great graphics made up, and built an awesome booth to showcase our products. While Royal and Tom took care of moving the shop, Gareth and I made the trip out west and spent 3 days showing off our excellent gear to everyone who wanted to hear about it. We met some great new people, met some current customers face-to-face for the first time, and got a lot of great feedback about our product line. Since we spend most of our time describing our products over the phone, it was really great to get out there with the machines and the software and just show people how cool it all is.
Just as important for any business trying to stay afloat, we had a strong year in sales, and we added a lot of new people to our list of customers. New members of the CCI family include Cleveland Playhouse, The Tuacahn Ampitheatre, The New Theatre Restaurant, New York Theatre Workshop, Zach Theatre, All Access Staging, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Brandeis University, Cigar Box Studios, Valencia College, Tom Carroll Scenery, University of Virginia and Proof Productions. We also rented our gear to dozens of theaters and schools around the country and, of course, shipped a lot of gear to our existing customers who are always looking to expand their automation inventories.
So what’s in store for 2013? Glad you asked. In January we’ll be releasing Spikemark 3, which now has an integrated simulator mode! Keep an eye out for a major product announcement for all of the details. By April we’ll be introducing our Spot Hoist for all of your overhead lifting needs. We’ll also be working on a full product catalog, so keep an eye out for that too.
Anyway, thanks for hanging out with us in 2012 and here’s to a happy and fruitful 2013!