Last reviewed 24 July 2012

A profile of a new company making a name for itself at home and abroad, by Martin Posner.

Company overview

For a company only formed in 2003, to win the Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2012 is a real achievement. It is also remarkable that this company, which only employs seven people, is still increasing sales month by month.

Tecna Displays designs and produces advanced modular display systems used in exhibition stands, trade show stands, graphic displays and in retail, ie counters, towers and shop interiors. The system structures take a fraction of the time it would take to build similar units using conventional methods.

The company won the Award for the first time for its outstanding achievement in export activity, after recording an overall growth of 92% over the last three years. Despite significant challenges in the exhibition and display market, the company has created a growing family of global partners distributing their T3 product range to more than 30 countries.

Jonathan Evitt, the founder and creator of the T3 system, said that it was because of his 38 years of experience in the exhibition and display industries that he saw that there was a need for a product to capitalise on the amazing technological advances that had taken place in the graphic industry. The “twist lock” concept happened by accident, though, as he wanted to have a very simple “no tool” locking mechanism: the design followed the need. After 12 years of development, Jonathan believes that the T3 is now the most effective and versatile display system available anywhere in the world.

Marketing overseas

I asked Jonathan which were his biggest markets. At the moment, he said, they were France, Scandinavia, Denmark and Holland. However, his company is now in the process of licensing the T3 for the Chinese and Asian markets.

I wondered how he found his buyers and distributors and global partners. His answer was simple — “word of mouth and their website”. Jonathan only goes to one trade show, the Euroshop in Dusseldorf, every three years. It is the main trade exhibition and has been incredibly successful for Tecna. They also run their own “Global Event” every year, when he invites all their distributors for a two-day event. This is a very successful way of creating a “family” feel to the network. Last year they met in Spain.

Production of components and future developments

Most of the main plastic parts are manufactured in the UK, with the smaller plastic accessories and profiles made in China.

Tecna uses the finest quality materials to make the best possible system. In fact, they back this up by giving a lifetime guarantee on all the main systems. Another reason for using this system is that as it is so compact, transportation and storage are easy and low-cost. The robustness of the components means that the T3 system can be used time and time again.

Jonathan has designed two new products, and is planning the continued growth of Tecna’s overseas distributor network. Two new distributors have recently been appointed in Sweden and Turkey, and shortly he will be going to Russia to increase sales in that market.

He is adding distributors at the rate of about one a month, although he is extremely cautious about whom he appoints as representative in a particular country.