By Alesia Hendley

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower“ – one of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs.

This quote is a prime example of what Draper, Inc. does as a company. They innovate.

Early this week, the company invited industry media representatives and others to their headquarters in Spiceland, Indiana, a village of over 800 people just 40 miles out east from Indianapolis. Founded in 1902 by Luther O. Draper, (Mr. Draper was joined in 1918 by his son-in-law, Elmer Pidgeon), with their primary manufactured product being window shades for schools, Draper Inc. is known today as a leading industry manufacturer of projection screens, window shades, projector lifts and more. Last year, Draper was inducted into the newly created Indiana Manufacturers Hall of Fame.

The invitation was for a one-day, behind the scenes tour at Draper to highlight their upcoming product and branding launches taking place at InfoComm 2017. During the visit, I was able to really grasp what the Draper family brand is all about. Yes, Draper is a household name in the industry celebrating 115 years with generations of ownership passing the torch to almost 5 generations, however the rebranding that’s taking place is strategic, and will present a new product offering to the audio visual market as we come into Infocomm.

Draper brought out all the big guns of the company to spend time with us – from President John Pidgeon to their newest addition Kevin C. Barlow, Director of Business Development. Being able to engage one-on-one with all the key players at their facilities exposed the strength within their company culture. Harold Seib, Director of Engineering and Bob Mathes, Director of Audiovisual Markets led us on a comprehensive tour of the factory where we were able to get an in-depth feel for how things are run and handled on a day to day base.

Being able to do everything in-house in their Spiceland facility now has taken Draper to new heights.

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A valuable piece to the puzzle that is taking place under this rebrand is Draper leveraging all their resources for their clients to create greater opportunities by designing and customizing products in-house. The Draper family is engaging with clients now more than ever, and it’s ultimately driving new fresh innovative solutions. A great display here is Draper’s ISF-certified TecVision screen technology, TecVision is providing different solutions catered to each individual client. The flexibility of this technology is proven success of how Draper is working with clients to drive dynamic innovative solutions.

As I was walking through the facilities, I saw other parts of the Draper family being heavily integrated into their workspace like Evoko, a company based in Stockholm, Sweden. The Evoko Room Manager was distributed in many of the workspaces in the office.

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Rick Castro, Head of US Operations was there to give us some background on Evoko and showcase their products. One of my favorite products was the Evoko Minto. You can find Evoko and SMS Smart Media Solutions, members of the Draper family, at Infocomm booth #4555.

The unveiling of Draper’s new logo will be Wednesday, June 14th. Visit their website and join in the countdown to their unique innovative shift.

Be sure to visit Draper on the show floor at booth #3342. Draper is a sponsor of the newly added park at Infocomm as well. Rumor has it there will be a very pleasant surprise that you won’t be able to miss.

All of this is why I believe Draper will continue to push the envelope, and remain a leader in our industry.

Thank you, Draper family for such wonderful hospitality!

 

Alesia Hendley is an Audiovisual professional that found her passion at a young age as a sound engineer with her Father’s church. In the early stages of the church’s foundation they couldn’t afford musicians. By utilizing audio and technology she and her Father found creative ways to go higher both musically and spiritually, taking the congregation with them. Now you can find her operating/installing audiovisual systems or executing creative ventures. As a young professional she’s finding ways to bring AV, creatives, and creative visions together in the effort to leave her mark by making an impact, and not just an impression. She writes for soundgirls.org as well as being Editor at Convergent AV. 

Find out more about Alesia at thesmoothfactor.com, on LinkedIn, as well as on Twitter @thesmoothfactor.