Growing in line with requirements and creating a memorable show

Growing in line with requirements and creating a memorable show

Brok Decor handles the set and stage design for the largest national and international events and festivals. The company is booming at the moment. “Clients always come back to us because we honor our agreements and take care of everything for them.”

Brok Decor is a set design company in the broadest sense of the word. The organisation takes care of the entire process from design to realisation. From both their large workspace in Zaandam, where everything can be prefabricated and stored, and their office and workshop in the United States, Brok Decor serves the international festival and events market. Steven Grevenstuk, the company’s chief executive officer, has acquired a wealth of experience over the course of his career. “I worked at ID&T for fifteen years, the last few of which I spent in the set design department. It was responsible for the sets of all ID&T and Q-Dance events. In that capacity, I travelled the world and built up an extensive network. When we founded Brok Decor, we immediately had a long list of clients with whom we had already collaborated in the past. We still handle all foreign productions, such as Sensation and Corona Sunsets. These past two years, we also started working for more and more other clients. Clients always come back to us because we honour our agreements and take care of everything for them.”

Growing in line with clients’ requirements

As a full-service set design company, Brok Decor provides sets and stages as well as designers, producers and crew. Because the organisation has its own workshop, it is able to create something for every budget. On top of that, the company does not simply accept all jobs. Grevenstuk: “In order to maintain a certain quality standard, we do not accept all requests. We do not want to do a sloppy job. Instead, we always strive to achieve the best possible result within the available budget. That is why our clients keep coming back to us. These days, the budgets our clients have available allow us to create enormous productions.” Grevenstuk says it is important to stay sharp regardless: “You are only as good as your latest production and you are judged by what you deliver. Furthermore, it is important to us to grow in line with our clients’ requirements.” Brok Decor does just that with e.g. Q-Dance, an organiser for which the company handles virtually everything. The Defqon.1 Festival has become one of the major events of the year. “This festival is so enormous that we can go crazy on a creative level and come up with a spectacular new theme every year,” Grevenstuk says. “We truly grew in line with Q-Dance. That is the only way to achieve something like this. This year, we are thinking bigger than ever before. We are honoured to get this opportunity and we love working with them. It is easy to become jaded when you have been in this line of work for a while, but festivals like this never cease to be amazing.”

Impressive main stage

Like in previous years, Brok Design once again has a busy schedule ahead. The company will work with several new clients and it is in talks with the organisers of several festivals in the United States. “I hope that goes well, so we get the opportunity to deliver more products there,” Grevenstuk says. “We are also doing more and more business events and we have started working with amusement parks.” Brok Decor’s list of clients is highly varied, as are the available budgets and the audiences. Nevertheless, Grevenstuk does not believe there are many differences between designing a set for e.g. a pop or a dance festival. “The difference mainly lies in the music and the acts. Take the Zwarte Cross festival, for example. Last year, we designed its main stage. It was a fantastic design that included motorbike parts and fire elements. It was a perfect fit for the festival, but at the same time, you might as well have put a DJ playing techno music on that stage. It doesn’t make much difference to us. Ultimately, all we care about is that the client gets what they want.”

‘You are only as good as your latest production and you are judged by what you deliver’

Dancing in the Andes

The people at Brok Decor have no time to stand still and catch their breath. The company is always critically evaluating its own methods and it never stops developing its products. Grevenstuk: “We are constantly hard at work to further professionalise our organisation in every sense. For example, our website offers a complete back-office system that serves as a platform for the crew. We keep a close eye on the latest developments in the world of design and we strive to pass on the knowledge of our veteran crew members, who have been with us since the very beginning, to the new generation of employees. Furthermore, we are always looking for ways to improve our existing products. For example, we used to mount our sets onto beams. Now, we use custom blocks with scaff clamps, of which we already have three versions available. We try to be optimally efficient in everything we do.” Brok Decor also puts its newly acquired knowledge to good use abroad. Grevenstuk and his colleagues regularly face cultural differences. “Things are done quite differently in the US. The people there cannot believe their eyes when they watch us work. The size of their egos can be a problem. Everything has to go exactly according to plan and there is no room for even the slightest deviation. We, on the other hand, are used to working together with the rigger and the light technician. And they’ll help out with hanging parts of the set. The Americans were surprised by our approach.” Luckily, there is a solution for everything – even in the most remote corners of the world. It is always a rush when a project is successfully completed, Grevenstuk says. “In 2014, a Mysteryland festival was held in the Chilean Andes. It never rains there – except when we showed up. In the Netherlands, we would solve that problem by spreading wood chips on the site. We always have an ample supply of those. However, there was no contingency plan in Chile, so we drove to a local farm, bought all their straw and spread that around in front of the main stage. Before long, the crowd could get back to dancing!”

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