Meeting Arran Coole, CEO of ASP Solutions, for the first time, he takes me on a tour of the company’s office accommodation at AMP House. It is not what I expect.
The accommodation has been decorated in a funky manner making it more like a tropical forest than an office in Croydon. And, just like a jungle, the busy open-plan office which ASP took occupation of during 2019 is buzzing!
“So what is ASP Solutions all about?” I ask.
“Since 1997, we have developed and produced specialist websites for exhibitions, conferences, events and festivals across the globe,” explains Arran.
The firm provides a bespoke service to major event organisers, using its own content management system (CMS). The company is responsible for building and hosting around 350 events annually around the world. While some are very niche exhibitions’ with a narrow target audience, some are well known around the world and include the likes of 100% Design and Chris Evans’ hit festival CarFest.
“As you can imagine, with over 100,000 people attending CarFest each year, when the ticket sales go live the website gets very busy. In fact, it gets around 6,000 people per second” says Arran.
“This is not uncommon for the more popular events, which means that our websites need to be very robust and very secure,” he adds.
ASP is 22 years old (think back to when websites had to be coded by hand!) and having started, like many businesses, from the kitchen table it has grown dramatically over the last two decades. When I ask him about the expansion of the business over the years he confesses that it has not always been easy.
“In 2009, we had to ride out the recession which saw many businesses go under. It was a tricky time but we quickly realised that we needed to get smarter and more automated to survive. Since then, we have enjoyed steady growth, while also evolving ourselves as a company to be more socially aware and environmentally friendly.”
“This is why serviced offices work for us so well and how we have come to end up at AMP House. It is perfect for us. It gives both flexibility, in terms of both space and tenure, and at the same time it provides us with great efficiency with the friendly team here taking care of all our facilities management needs.”
“Business is not always a smooth ride. You need to be flexible and have the perfect space to work in,” he concludes.