Vernon Govender was only nine when he the notion entered his head that he could be great at fixing things - and he immediately began with a modification of his stereo to increase the output. Needless to say, this first project was not a resounding success, but despite his failure and his mum's dismay, Vernon steadfastly persevered.

Years later, he moved on to understanding speaker dynamics and box design, leaning towards car audio and visual installations which he did in his spare time. At age of fifteen, he learnt the art of audio mixing and, loving this first step into the live events industry, began entertaining guests at public and corporate events. Later that year, Vernon joined PA & L in Durban as a freelancer where he broadened his knowledge of audio equipment and engineering. He was so intrigued by the equipment that he felt he had to learn more and enrolled for an OMNITECH course on micro and digital electronics. In his third year he focused on understanding Industrial wiring realising that power was at the heart of any event.

In 1993, Vernon joined South African Airways in their Sales and Marketing division and jumped at the opportunity to get involved in events. Two years on, he was heading up an events division of thirteen staff which opened new doors for him as he got to meet the major players in the events industry.

As the years went by, there were many technological advances to keep him inspired, but for Vernon, the problem was that despite managing events, he was not involved in operating equipment and he grew desperate to get back into the technical side of things. In 2002, Vernon joined Shattered Glass AV, a young up and coming AV company with a range of technology. For the next four years Vernon made it his mission to master every aspect of the company's offering and to fully understand the equipment.

Despite his experience, he knew that there was still plenty that he needed to achieve and when Ofer Lapid afforded him the opportunity to join the Gearhouse family, Vernon was exposed to a whole new way of doing things in the live events industry. Three months as a Project Manager continued to feed Vernon's drive and he felt that Gearhouse had set the standard at which he could start his own business. The business grew steadily as he bought his own equipment and his strong relationship with Gearhouse enabled him to offer his clients an array of services well beyond what he had started out to do." In turn, Gearhouse handled all my major events and left my clients speechless", he comments. "That was the start of a long and prosperous relationship."

Five years down the line, INHOUSE Venue Technical Management's MD, Ashraf Omar persuaded Vernon to partner with him as Director, facilitating the JHB branch of IVTM, which services the small to medium event market from the Gearhouse premises in Bezuidenhout Valley. Vernon believes that this is the best way forward for him, to grow the business in Johannesburg with the full support of Gearhouse knowledge and resources. "The wealth of knowledge within the group has given rise to new opportunities and personal growth. " says Vernon. "It's been quite a journey!"

Aug 29, 2011

The Gearhouse Group of Companies