It is about time we say hello to our old friends and share a welcome to our new customers. BlackOak Technical Productions is a nationally recognized technical production company specializing in lighting, audio, video, staging, producing, streaming, and emerging technologies.
This technical production powerhouse came from humble beginnings. In 2007, Tom Kehoe, founder, and CEO of KEHOE DESIGNS, identified a need for lighting to highlight the team’s and client’s exquisite event design and décor.
2012 — LIGHTING TAKES THE LEAD
Tom hires Adam McCarthy as the first KEHOE DESIGNS‘ Lighting Department employee, starting with only 6 Lekos and a pile of batteries.
2013 — BRANCHING OUT
KEHOE DESIGNS Lighting Department formally named as the Event Technology Department.
2014 — HIT THE GROUND RUNNING | 2015 — SALES TEAM EXPANDS
KEHOE DESIGNS Event Technology Department expands its offerings and invests in audio and video equipment. Growth allows the team to produce events as significant as a 14,000-person corporate block party with 6 stages at McCormick Place.
Over the next several years, the department grew organically, continuing to expand its team and capabilities. Tom’s dedication to creativity and a Midwestern sense of hospitality set the department above companies with a “just get it done” mentality. It was clear to clients that this was something special. The more events they mastered, the more clients trusted the team with their highest-profile events. In the subsequent years, they continued to add new equipment, talent, and skills.
With the rapid growth, in 2015, the tech team evolves and produces the first out-of-state event. The KEHOE DESIGNS’ brand portfolio continues to expand, and the event technology team designs the technical infrastructure of The Geraghty — an event space in Chicago.
2016 & 2017 — INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION
The technical production team developed a custom virtual reality video game with a working gas pedal and steering wheel for a Mad Max-themed corporate event. And in the same year, they installed a ‘disappearing LED wall’ overlooking Lake Michigan for an airline route launch. The team nearly doubled in size, adding more new capabilities, and produced its first international event in Toronto for a global market research firm. The year of exceptional growth planted the seeds for a new vision: a separate technology company under the KEHOE DESIGNS brand portfolio. The goal was not only to provide the lighting department with its own identity due to the demand within the industry — Tom wanted to keep seamless services for our clients within technical production. A place where “our clients could choose the bold take on design and service they know and expect from KEHOE DESIGNS when they needed technical production services,” shared Tom Kehoe.
2018 — THE VISION BROUGHT TO LIFE | 2019 — THE LIGHTS ARE ON
BlackOak Technical Productions made its internal company debut. 2019 was the year to make an official public announcement, as BlackOak Technical Productions, a KEHOE DESIGNS company. Design Focused — Human First. How was the new company going to define itself? They examined their existing work and guiding principles, distilling years of growth and development down to three cornerstones:
We are KIND.
What does it mean for a company to be kind? From their earliest days, BlackOak Technical Productions has always lived the human-centric approach. They believe that each project represents the interests of dedicated and passionate individuals. And commit themselves to serve those individuals as humans, not faceless entities. But is that all that kindness means? Of course not! Not only does the team strive to be kind to clients, but they work to be kind to each other and respect themselves. BlackOak believes that kindness begins and ends with everyday interactions.
We are BOLD.
There is no question about it. The BlackOak portfolio is bold. The use of clear, decisive design choices gives each event its flavor of eye-catching boldness. The fearless mentality extends beyond how their work is perceived. BlackOak believes that encouraging all team members to make bold choices is a clear path to new and exciting opportunities. From producers to project managers to the onsite technicians, this means encouraging employees to always think first about the aesthetic impacts of the production installation.
We are RELENTLESS.
Relentlessness is built into the very fabric of what it means to work with BlackOak Technical Productions. It took a relentless drive to improve the client experience for Tom and Adam to create this new division. It took unwavering commitment and care for a brand launched in 2019 to survive through 2020 into 2021.
Being relentless is not just about these big overarching acts. It is also about consistency. Being relentless in communication means making sure that the message is understood. It is about constantly seeking to improve in all forms. Producers are unceasing in their communication with clients and with the internal team. Project Managers work diligently to check and recheck every detail before an event even leaves their shop. And staffing is unwavering in its commitment to provide the absolute best-suited individuals for each unique project.
BlackOak is incredibly grateful for our clients’ trust and partnership as we move forward towards future events. We’ve learned to embrace the opportunity for innovation, new experiences, new specialties, and a refreshed sense of purpose and direction.
Don’t Be A Stranger
To keep the brand portfolio on the cutting edge of technical production, BlackOak Technical Productions works relentlessly to be bold in our design and kind in our approach. This team of talented individuals is within your reach. Don’t be a stranger. If you’re working to create an event, seek help with a virtual/hybrid event, or want to learn more, contact us and join our email list!Audio Visual, BlackOak Technical Productions, Chicago, Company Values and Mission, Event Production, Event Professionals, Events, History, Lighting, Technical Producer