“We do whatever it takes to get it done”, says Christopher Weatherford, Adamson’s New Head of Applications AMER, where he manages the technical and operational staff for Canada, the United States and South America.
What led to your first job at Adamson?
I was on tour with an A-List artist as a fly tech. I was finishing up that tour, and someone from Adamson reached out to me and said they were looking for someone with my skillset for the U.S. and offered me a position as applications engineer. I ended up doing that job for five years.
What about your background prior to that?
What’s interesting is, I have held just about every position in the industry from cleaning cables to managing audio departments at large rental houses. I started out working in hotel AV in DC, then I worked for several national rental houses, and later I ran the audio department for a full- service production company in Hawaii. I also did a few years of freelancing working on large tours with A-list artists.
What is your new job at Adamson?
I am now Head of Applications for the Americas region, where I handle technical and operational staff for Canada, the US and South America.
What does the new job entail?
Ultimately, my job is to continue the growth of the Adamson network via client relationships and processing feedback from end users. On the operational side, I am overseeing the logistics of demo gear and delivering support to our end users whenever they need it, via both education and on-site support.
That’s a pretty big scope, given you are serving all of the Americas.
Well, we’ve grown so much since I started, which means it’s no longer just Chris doing all this; I am leading a team now. I’m getting the team started and expect it to grow over the next few years. I’m creating a good group of people with a bunch of different skill sets. Every one of them is focussed on helping our clients. Every addition I make to this team is for nothing other than the sake of our clients. Building this team lets us be in more places at once to support them when they need it.
Why is the support and education Adamson provides so important?
At some point, the system is only as good as the deployment. Which is why is very important to educate people. When Adamson systems are deployed well and sound good, everybody wins. It makes our clients look good and it makes us look good.
What’s driving the increased demand for Adamson’s support?
The great news is, we’re deploying more systems. But it’s more nuanced than just our growth. Due to the changes in personnel throughout the industry over the past few years, it means there is a lot of fresh new talent coming in to our clients’ companies.
It is exciting, but the issue is, we have to educate their new work force and we have to do it quickly. They are stepping into some big shoes here, and they are expected to achieve great things in a limited amount of time. This where the education Adamson provides is really coming into play.
What challenges will your team be facing?
A lot of our clients are extremely busy. In fact, all our clients are doing very well. If you are a company in this industry that survived the past three years, you are pulling in the money right now! For me, that creates the challenge of scheduling since we need to find time to support all our clients when and where they need it. I am here on the West Coast, and we’ve just hired Adam Daube on the East Coast. Adamson has been known to provide word-class support, and we are working really hard to continue to provide it as things grow. By the end of this year or next, the team may broaden even more to meet the expectations of our clients.
What do you like most about your job?
Well, I really like speakers! Also, I really like sharing information and my experience with other people. I learn something every day for sure, and I love passing that on. It’s not about right and wrong; it’s about sharing what I’ve learned.
What else do you enjoy?
Another aspect I love about my work is doing system design. I find it very intriguing. I love being a small piece of a large puzzle. When that headliner comes on at a large festival, and they sound good and everything is going well, knowing that I helped create a small part of that success feels really good. It feels really good to see that kind of teamwork put into action.
What makes Adamson approach to applications unique?
Adamson really does feel like a small family of a company. It feels like a group of people working together to produce some very cool technology and bring it to the world. Our clients have said how much they appreciate the support we give them, whether that is design assistance or on-site support.
How far have you taken that commitment to support your clients?
Well, I am no stranger to filling in for our clients on tour, and the same goes for others at Adamson. There was a tour last year where the engineer went down with COVID, and they couldn’t find anybody quickly, so I flew down to Texas and took over their job for three days of that tour. That’s pretty amazing support.
Even though I create these orders of operations in my job, honestly, I love working in an “anything goes” way. 98% of all our US clients have my cell phone number. I love having the mentality that we do whatever it takes to get it done. If that means, “Chris, you are going to pack your bags and hop on a bus and go for six days to help out”, then that’s what it takes. That’s the kind of support we are committed to keep on giving.
What is a memorable experience that inspired you?
There have been some amazing performances that I’ve been blessed to witness on Adamson systems. One of the best sounding performances I’ve ever seen or heard was Death Cab for Cutie at the Firefly music festival in 2019. I was there for Adamson supporting one of our largest clients.
Another cool story working for Adamson, was at one large event, the headliner came in and didn’t have a FOH engineer, and I was able to take over. That was the first time I have been able to mix on a very large Adamson system and experience it myself from those shoes. We have a presence and a brand which people assume a certain level of performance and the product makes me look good all the time.