Highlite International BV is one of the leading distributors and developers of entertainment lighting and show equipment in Europe. We talked to Romina Baguini, Sales Spain in Highlite, who explained the company’s background and its products and brands.
What is the story of Highlite International?
Well, it all started in 1994 when the company was founded by Hub and Connie de la Haije in Kerkrade, in the south of the Netherlands. They imported a first sea-container with show equipment; all affordable products intended for the local entertainment market. This proved to be a very successful move and the company has since grown to become Europe’s leading distributor and developer of light, audio and stage equipment.
Today, the headquarters of Highlite International are still located in Kerkrade and we employ more than 150 people. Next to the offices, the premise also holds a 15,000m2 fully automated warehouse for storage and transhipment of goods. Here all goods are sorted, stored, automatically picked and packed for shipment.
In which counties and markets do you sell your products?
Today we supply our full product portfolio, which is over 7000 separate items, to more than 5000 customers in 70 countries worldwide. Although our customers come from all over the world as far away as Australia and Asia, our main market is still in Europe. And when looking at the markets we sell our products to, this basically covers all verticals in the entertainment industry. Ranging from home users and non-professional users, delivered via local distributors all the way up to production companies and large-scale rental firms via direct sales.
What is your targeted customer base and how do they use your products?
Like already mentioned, we do provide our full product range in multiple verticals. One thing they have in common though, is that our products are all being used for entertainment and specialty lighting purposes. Which means that you can see, or hear, our products at your neighbors’ birthday party, in a city park, but also at a 25.000 person dance or concert venue, all depending on the specific requirements.
Do you have multiple divisions or brands to distinguish between customer groups?
We do indeed. Although not all our different brands are specifically targeted on a single customer group, like professionals or non-professionals, but they do focus on different applications. However, it might be good to explain a bit more about our brands first.
This is our best known brand and what we like to call the ‘Swiss-army-knife’ for all show equipment needs. It ranges from professional lighting fixtures to fogging machines and from confetti-shooters to complete truss systems. It is a range of products that is always aligning to the latest innovations and developments in the field of show and lighting technology. Great examples are the Phantom Moving Head series or the Showtec Spectral fixtures of which we introduced the latest upgraded versions during ProLight & Sound fair in Frankfurt last April.
These products are all about sound. DAP Audio was the first Highlite brand and has now been around for more than 20 years. This brand contains everything from Amplifiers, speaker systems, mixing consoles and protective casing. In 2016 we released the Odin Audio Systems line-array, which now certainly is the flagship for DAP Audio.
DMT (Dutch Media Tools)
LED video screens have become a true game-changer in the entertainment industry and it is hard to imagine a show or festival without it. We now offer a range of pixel screens for inside- as well as outside use, operating on the latest technology. Additionally we provide the video processing tools as well as a lot of in-house expertise about this technology.
Infinity Intelligent Light
this is our flagship series of moving lighting fixtures and light controllers. With this brand, we specifically target the professional user groups as these lighting fixtures are intended for use on stages and festivals. You might have seen fixtures like the iB-16R or the iM-2515 on several occasions already!
Last year we extended the range of Infinity lighting fixtures with the Chimp light controllers. These consoles are truly revolutionary products within the world of light contriollers, having all professional features and capabilities on board but at an unprecedented price level!
As our main business has evolved to offer lighting solutions, we also saw an increasing demand for high-quality, innovative and artfully designed lighting options. With the Artecta brand, we embraced the crossover principle of combining entertainment lighting techniques with architectural lighting.
This is the latest brand addition to our portfolio, focussing mainly on the home users of sound and light equipment for entertainment purposes. Highly affordable items that will complete every party, being it for your kid’s graduation, halloween or Christmas, so real great fun products!
What advantages do these brands offer when compared to your competitors?
Our company’s statement has always been that Highlite wants to be a trusted partner for our customers delivering innovative products that clearly stand out in price-quality comparison to our competition. We strongly feel that this technology should be aivalable to a broad group of users. “Entertainment”, in its broadest sense, is expressed in numerous ways, ranging from music events to garden parties or dance contests to façade lighting. Our aim is to offer quality products for every event or application at affordable prices combined with a high level of service.
Do you offer ‘after sales’ service?
Oh yes, we certainly do. And not just ‘after sales’ service! Nowadays it is very easy to compare and buy products online, but what about warranty and replacement of products in case something goes wrong? We pride ourselves in having great After Sales and Technical Service departments in place. Combined with ample products as warehouse stock, our customers will have a lot less to worry about.
Oh, and let us not forget that for the Spanish market we also have our Technical Service department in Jaen in Anadalusia, Spain! Indeed, because also here ‘the show must go on!’
What is the price range in your catalog?
Because our product range is so broad, so is our price range. Our latest catalogue, combined with the 2017 update catalogue, contains more than 800 pages of available products; from cables and connectors all the way to high-end moving heads and line-array systems. What we can say though is, that we guarantee that our price/quality ratio is the best you can find out there! We have been in this business over twenty years now, and long standing relationships with various suppliers combined with our company’s size, enables us to deliver quality products at great prices.
Where can we purchase your products?
Next to our hardcopy catalogue, you can find all products and product details in our website. And next to the webshop there are various other options to purchase our products. Generally, we operate in a B2B environment, which means that for once off purchases you can order via local dealers or online retailers. Businesses though, can purchase directly from Highlite International and they are more than welcome to contact our international sales department for more information.
Looking at Spain, do you have local distributors here?
Oh yes, Spain and Portugal are important markets for us and here we have distributors and sales representatives available as well. You will find dealerships in pretty much every major citiy in Spain and of course, you can always contact our sales department or local representatives who will be glad to answer your questions and help with any requests in Spanish of course!
Are there any noteworthy topics you would like to share?
Two things I would like to add. Firstly, I think it is worth mentioning that Highlite International will organize multiple “Experience Days” in Europe. Especially for professional users we think it is important that they not just can see our products, but actually experience them. So, instead of only putting products on display, we make sure that the users of these products can work with them too. This is done via workshops or in-depth training sessions organized by the Highlite Academy.