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Show Imaging Sees Growth Due to Quick Pivot

Show Imaging Inc., a Vista-based events company, prides itself in being a one-stop shop for companies looking to create unique live experiences.

Founded in 2009, Show Imaging oversees project management, design and/or technology for the likes of San Diego Comic-Con International, Petco Park, the San Diego Convention Center and CRSSD Fest, the latter an annual two-day electronic music festival that takes place at the waterfront, among others.

For CRSSD, for example, Show Imaging operates the entire festival on its behalf, including security deployment and logistics like working with the park, city and county to get the right permits and provide safety. Petco Park has hired Show Imaging for all of the San Diego Padres events, as well as for smaller tasks like providing café lights for private parties and larger productions like the Feeding San Diego Feed the Need Drive-In Concert that took place at the Lexus Premier Parking Lot last June.

It’s the plethora of services it offers, as well as the addition of some COVID-friendly platforms in the last year, that has kept Show Imaging growing despite a global pandemic, said Steven Evans, president and CEO. As a result, the company, with 71 employees, is expected to grow its revenue from $12 million in 2020 to $15 million in 2021, he said, and $23 million in 2022.

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“We provide a whole gamut of technical services, including sound, lighting, video and staging,” said Evans, a political science graduate from the University of California San Diego and who self-funded the company. “We have a full creative development agency that offers services like motion art, graphics and video editing. We have a full web application development department and a project and event management department. Our goal is to be able to take a phone call and fill all of that client’s particular needs, whether that is manage the whole thing from start to finish, like we do with CRSSD, or focus more on the creative side by helping customers select the right equipment to help convey their message and their story.”

Quick Pivot

Part of the company’s growth is a direct testament to his team’s quick pivot amid the downturn, said Evans.

Last March, at the beginning of the crisis, Evans turned a 12,000 square foot space that was previously used for storage into a broadcast studio. There, he built a 40-foot-wide stage with a high-resolution digital wall behind it, a full writing grid, cameras on dollies and 12 computers that allow the addition of remote callers and integrates into the entire communication system.

In May of last year, Evans got his first job for the studio, and it’s been in high demand ever since.

Most recently, he hosted singer/songwriter Jason Mraz there as well as alternative rock band Switchfoot, although his favorite event so far continues to be the commencement ceremony for UC San Diego’s school of medicine almost a year ago. All of the school’s deans were socially distanced on the stage, he said, while all the graduates were brought in virtually via Zoom on the large LED screen, through which they recited the Hippocratic oath together.

In addition to its studio, Evans recently built 16 smaller webinar studios in the main, 80,000 square foot building. These days, at any given time, Show Imaging is running webinars for companies around the world, he said, as part of the 24-hour operation.

This, said Evans, has been instrumental in the company’s recent growth as well.

“Just because businesses might’ve taken a year off from gathering, brands still need to sell products, have meetings, have award shows,” he said. “In fact, we’ve focused a lot on interactive award shows lately.”

Strategic Growth

Show Imaging Inc. continues to expand its reach in the community.

Recently, it collaborated with the California Center for the Arts in Escondido on a new outdoor live concert series. Show Imaging provided the staging, the audio and sound, the lighting, including for the LED walls, and the rest of the tech components, according to Julianna Crespo, director of performing arts.

“They did not charge us for the stage,” Crespo said thankfully, “they just came up to us with a partnership plan through which we share profits, if any, to retain and pay all our employees. We literally couldn’t do this event without them.”

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