Widgets Magazine

Draper's Past Helps it Toward the Future

In business for 115 years, Draper sits in mid-Indiana as one of the best manufacturers in the state, and a stalwart in the audio video industry. Draper invited several AV press to their location in Spiceland to get a tour of the facility and talk a bit about the future. The tour and conversation were remarkable in this were the first time in their history they had conducted such a press junket.
As you turn off Eastbound Highway 70, Indianapolis to your rear, you could be turning into farm country in southern Illinois, central Jersey, or Georgia. I love towns like this. There is the obligatory “Welcome to Spiceland” sign. Our driver took a right into an all-American neighborhood. However, at the end of the three blocks there stood a grand manufacturing facility that produces basketball hoop mounting systems, shades, projection screens, and more.
As we were given our safety glasses for the day, the team gave a presentation on the history of Draper, where they are, and where they are going. In addition to the US screen and shade manufacturer we all see at InfoComm and other tradeshows, Draper owns Draper Europe, Draper Group LTD, and a company called SMS/Evoko.
Evoko makes an effective room scheduling and signage product called Room Manager. Evoko1Pictured is version 1.0. According to the Evoko team, 2.0 will be out shortly after InfoComm. Evoko has their separate booth at the InfoComm show (Booth 4555), and dealers must establish separate partnerships with the company to get pricing and product.
One of the behind the scenes processes we were able to witness was the production of Draper’s TechVision screen. I enjoy tours like this because you get to see the how of something is made. Draper has invested over three million dollars in the technology, and they aren’t done yet. They stop the production on a regular basis to test, adjust, and make the product better. Their testing lab is used for both TechVision as well as competing products in the market.
It was a great day in a company and farming town. Getting to know manufacturers, and manufacturing, like this was been pretty eye-opening. It was my second time in Spiceland, and I have learned something new each time. The family owned company is working with the third, fourth, and fifth generations. They have some new tricks up their sleeve for InfoComm 2017.  Their sales and business appear to be robust. The family-owned aspect and the strength of business mean Draper isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Editor’s note: Draper is an underwriter of AVNation TV

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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