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Staying Ahead Of The Curve - AvNetwork.com

Staying Ahead Of The Curve

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OSA International was proud to provide audio for the World Music Awards and has since become a full production company for several other award events.Started in Chicago, IL by Mario Educate in 1985, OSA International, Inc. began as an audio company (On Stage Audio) with about eight employees. OSA upholds the same philosophy today that it did when the doors opened over twenty years ago, to provide the best service and engineers with the skill to put it all together and achieve the best show possible for its clients. This mindset has established OSA as an industry leading Production Company.

Paul Driggs, VP of international sales for OSA explained, "We started out as an audio company, but through client contacts and requests to provide additional services we have grown into a full service sound reinforcement and technical management company that specializes in corporate industrial shows, special events, live TV broadcasts and entertainment. Now we also provide project management, technical direction, payroll and CAD services, as well as video and projection services. We also opened a permanent installation division called Integrated Solutions. This provides design, engineering and installation of residential and commercial entertainment systems. The expansion has been very successful for us." By expanding its services, OSA grew quickly. Now the company has additional offices in Detroit, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and are currently opening an office in Branson, MO. The crew has grown to over fifty full time employees with about 22 full time engineers. Driggs said, "One of the things about our company is we are fortunate enough to employ one of the largest full time engineering staffs around. This has allowed us to steadily increase sales about 20 percent each year."

OSA focuses on the corporate side of the staging business, as Driggs explains, "We're in the high end of the corporate market. We do some entertainment touring, but we are also one of the top tier leaders in the corporate market. In terms of markets, we're in a number of cities and each has its own flavor to it. Our Chicago office serves a lot of theater and corporate clients and our Vegas office caters to corporate meetings and events in the hotels and casinos. The Detroit office opened in the 90's to service our clients in the automotive industry, and Orlando opened in 1992 originally to support the theme park market, but we soon found it to be a popular destination for corporate meetings both from the east coast and from Europe. Our new Branson office will function as the in-house technical services provider for the new convention center.

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Working with several automobile companies, OSA International provided audio engineering and equipment at the North American International Auto Show. This stage held a press events at the show.
One of the aspects of OSA that sets it apart from other staging companies is its desire to lead the way in implementation of new technology, which also is a priority when it purchases new gear. Driggs expanded, "New technology drives us to stay ahead of the game. Everything's going digital, that is the future and in order to stay competitive you need to stay up to date. That's really one of our driving needs, what will bring down costs for our clients, and what will give us more horsepower, flexibility, and technical tools built into a smaller package. And that results in lower freight costs, which is huge nowadays. That type of gear gives us a smaller footprint in our operating areas like FOH and backstage." Driggs also noted the importance of listening to his clients when deciding what gear to purchase each year. "What also drives us is what people ask for. Within all our corporate work there's a lot of entertainment aspects, and after looking at a year worth of rider requirements or specs from design houses, you see what the trend is. If you're savvy enough to see it early on you'll know you need to update your equipment in order to remain competitive."

OSA has a massive inventory between all its branches, including one of the largest JBL supplies in the world. OSA works with manufacturers in long lead design and engineering to ensure state-of-the-art inventory. To keep everything in order between branches, OSA makes sure to track its inventory accordingly. Driggs explained, "We have such a large inventory that we never really have to cross rent. We rotate it between our branches. I think anyone in this market can tell you that there are cycles. We used to have quiet times in December and mid July, but those are gone now; we run 12 months a year full tilt."

Looking toward the future, Driggs wants to pursue more technical services for OSA's clients. "We do engineering design, as well as audio and production services. We are growing our full-production technical services because it's more market driven. A lot of companies in the small to medium sized shows like to do a one-stop shop style of business. That's one reason why we've diversified, and we'll pursue growing our technical services with more clients." For more information visit www.osacorp.com

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