Supporting Depop’s AV for Quality Communication
Installing a new AV system for the sustainable fashion app’s meetings and showcases
"Our clients and associates can see that everything works perfectly with our new installation and it really helps Depop present itself to people in a much clearer way for the long term"
As the world of clothing has seen a definite shift in sustainability, a high demand for vintage items on the social marketplace with the cult Gen Z following, Depop, and in turn, users are now attempting to build a following and run their own online shops.
For any start-up company, building a repour with clients is of the utmost importance and being able to provide the right meeting space or showcase set-up is crucial. Based in Shoreditch with a typically modern, industrial, stripped back office aesthetic, Depop’s recently designed workplace completely reflects its edgy but functional brand identity.
Using raw, clean materials and an electric design scheme, Depop’s office consists of open-plan workspaces that inspire collaborating with a communal kitchen and a spacious front-of-house area – perfect for holding team meetings and showcasing products.
This space was initially supported by a single box of AV equipment and a couple of speakers for meetings of up to 50-150 employees, a lot of them being streamed from the US. While the global pandemic has seen a halt to these events for the foreseeable future, the company called upon Flipside Soundsystem to help meet its audio visual needs.
The goal was simple: to have a smooth-looking system that was easy to use and did not have cables lying around on the floor. “We were looking around at various companies for this project and a lot of them just didn’t have the right vision we were looking for,” IT Support Engineering Lead, Hayden Duffy explained. “We eventually went with Flipside as they were very personable and just knew what they were talking about.”
James Cooper, Managing Director of Flipside, worked with Depop to help overcome its technical issues and eventually Duffy and the team were more than willing to invest in a system that was more resilient and that could support the company in the long term.
“James was a really great collaborator,” Duffy adds. “He just knew the exact solutions we needed and how we could utilise each system as effectively as possible. On one of the installation days, the team and I popped in and we got the full explanation of how everything worked which was great and I think once we’re back in the office, they will promote us and support us further which is exactly what we want to hear.”
Requiring a comprehensive system that was in-keeping with the brand’s niche aesthetic, the Flipside team were on-hand to deliver a solution that could disappear into the background. In terms of sound, the speakers included two Yamaha VXL1W16 column speakers, one VXL1B8 and a final VXS10SW in white and black to match the walls they were installed on. The amplification and processing called upon a Yamaha MTX5D and an XMV4280 located in a hidden rack. Audio-Technica were the brand of choice for the wireless mics with two ATW-3211/892x and four ATW-3212/C510s, allowing presenters the freedom to roam without cables.
For the visual side, two white NEC P525UL 5,000 lumen native WUXGA projectors have been flown from the ceiling and fire onto a pair of motorised Sahara Pro Electric Hall Screens. Visual processing is handled by a Wyrestorm MX 0404 HDBT 4K, while conveniently located Single Gang 2XD and 4xD wall boxes complete the project.
“There was quite a lot to do, but it ended up being a fun problem to have – being able to design a system that allows the team to use each aspect dynamically but present them with a user interface that’s incredibly simple. So, you solve that problem and they get a really high-end, high quality solution,” recalls Cooper.
Depop was also faced with the challenge of its IT team and technical crew spending a lot of time setting up each system - often requiring someone to sit at the back of each event with an analogue mixer during department Zoom calls.
To counter this, Flipside were able to offer a much simpler process that the technical team could get onboard with. “They were really happy because they don’t have to do anything,” Cooper explains. “With this installation, you don’t have to change any batteries on microphones, they all have charging stations, so you can simply choose what you want, and the wall panel turn it up and it sounds great every time.”
Depop’s presentations naturally require a dynamic element and this can all depend on the amount of people in attendance. “You’re not talking about a meeting room that might have around a dozen executives in it,” Cooper adds, “you’re talking about an all-hands-on-deck meeting and that ultimately determines how much tech we need – like wireless mics, for example. How we present it and how the sound levels are adjusted – the audience needed to be at the forefront and that was always our aim for this installation.”
For a fashion marketplace, it is imperative to have a professional, sleek look – even when it comes to the technical side of things. As part of the installation, the two projector screens were upgraded to three metres in length and were then hung on tension steel cables on the left and right sides of the speaking position – giving a very impressive look.
“There was a really nice moment when we dropped everything down during the testing and when you stand back, you can barely notice that the infrastructure is there until you turn these projectors on and then the screen comes down and we were all just standing there looking at it like, ‘oh wow!’,” he adds. “It was even more impressive considering we were hanging screens that big on tension steel cables off of what turned out to be a false ceiling.”
A start-up business often means sharing the control and having the flexibility to combine more than one solution with another, which could not be more relevant with a technical installation. As Cooper summarises: “The philosophy of start-up companies and the requirements for their AV (especially online and tech-based start-ups) ultimately results in a hybrid between traditional, meeting room-style presentation systems with live and more dynamic elements of things, as in the amount of wireless mics, how you need to present it as well as the sound level – at the end of it all, the audience needs to be at the forefront.”
“Various recording events in London are always trying to win people over with the best experience and presenting yourself with trading cables everywhere and a clearly botched together solution just isn’t’ going to fit,” reflects Duffy. “Thanks to Flipside, our clients and associates can see that everything works perfectly with our new installation and it really helps Depop present itself to people in a much clearer way for the long term.”
For more information about Flipside Soundsystem, visit: flipside-soundsystem.co.uk
- Yamaha VXL1W16 column speakers
- Yamaha VXL1B8 column speaker
- Yamaha VXS10ST subwoofer
- Yamaha MTX5D digital matrix
- Yamaha XMV4280 amplifier
- Audio Technica System 300 wireless system
- NEC P525UL laser projectors
- Wyrestorm MX 0404 UHD visual matrix
- 3m electric screens
- Wall panel controls