INTRODUCING…PETE HARDING

Title: GROUP CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Pete joined Hawthorn as a Director when Anagram, the technical production company he founded with fellow Director, Neil McGann became part of the Hawthorn group in 2013. Pete takes the lead on delivering blockbuster events like the Adobe Summit and BBC Showcase and is a passionate advocate for getting creative with technology to deliver amazing events. Let’s find out more…

How did you get into technical event production? 
I used to DJ in the wedding/corporate circuit with a bit of MC-ing/presenting thrown in; this is where I got the bug for buying the latest technical kit to support events. I ending up having four moving mirror lights with rotating gobos on our rig which was un-heard of on a corporate disco rig back then, better than any of the Cambridge nightclubs had!

What’s the best thing about what you do?
Watching guests come through the entrance of an event we have supplied technical production on and seeing their reaction and amazement at what we have created.

What’s the most challenging thing about what you do?
Timelines that we are all working to now mean that there's often have a very short lead in to complex ideas, with limited time onsite to install the creation. It can be challenging but we have an excellent team here who rise to the occasion to deliver exceptional events. 

What’s your favourite new gadget?
At the moment it’s the Amazon Alexa which I imported to get it before its UK release! It’s a voice activated control system so, for example, you could say “Alexa – play me Prince on Spotify” and ‘she’ plays the music on her speaker. It amazes everyone that comes to my house, she also controls Philips hue lights, my Sonos install etc.

How do you experience the link between technical production and creativity?
Often a designer has an idea they want to implement but no knowledge of if it’s even technically possible, or in the budget they have. It’s my job to realise their dream as closely as possible to their original idea – basically dream realisation for all things technical.

We bring a practical approach to transform ideas into a technically deliverable job.

How do you see the relationship between technical event production companies and agencies evolving in the future?
We have shown time and time again that early involvement from Hawthorn can create an amazing outcome. Being empowered to add our creativity at the start of a project we’re able to increase the impact of an idea or present ideas for achieving the vision in a more cost effective way.