Live event producers faced some tough decisions last year when the pandemic began to take hold and work schedules evaporated into thin air. For some organizations, layoffs and staff redeployments were an inevitable consequence, whereas other companies sought to refocus and redefine their approach and operations. Tennessee-based CTS falls firmly into the latter category.
“Of course it was hard for us,” notes Michael Taylor, Vice President of CTS. “It was hard for everyone. But we had two simple choices – either sit around mourning what could have been or try to figure out how the pandemic might change the world and get ourselves into the best possible shape to meet the new landscape”. As a live events and system integration business born from a love of music – perhaps no surprise given the company’s proximity to Nashville – CTS made the brave decision to invest in new equipment, building out two studios in Brentwood, Tennessee. “The studios have given our clients the ability to keep on reaching their audiences, even if they couldn’t all be in the same room together. Both facilities were extremely popular last year and absolutely met a short-term need, but we always saw this development as the cornerstone of a wider strategy.” Ironically, the return of live events has done nothing to diminish the value of the investment. “Our touring and production arm is now back and working at a blistering pace, but we’ve also developed an additional set of new studios close to Nashville to produce events for our corporate customers. It’s all about choice and giving customers options so we can create and build the right event that meets their needs.” From live album launch parties to cancer charity events, Christmas concerts, new automobile unveilings and annual corporate sales meetings, CTS really have done it all over the last 18 months, and Ross solutions have been a key part of the story.
“We’ve been using Ross Carbonite production switchers, OpenGear solutions and the Ultrix routing platforms extensively,” comments Jeff Culmer, CTS’s Director of Operations. “We already knew the Ross brand, and we’d previously worked with them as a partner, so we knew we’d be in expert hands. As always, we were treated incredibly well – Ross really made us feel like a much bigger business than we are, and the customer service cannot be beat!” With additional purchases of Ross’s new TouchDrive switcher panels and Carbonite Ultra switcher frames, Culmer is very clear about the role Ross has played in supporting CTS. “Ross Video has been a huge part of our success last year, without the high-performance and reliable systems provided by Ross, 2020 could have been a very different story for us.”