Throw yourself back to 1999. Paul Lawrie was completing his own great escape with his Open Championship win, Shakespeare in Love was casting a spell at the 71st Academy Awards and plans for the Millennium celebrations were being conjured up by revellers looking ahead to the New Year.
Closer to home, a group of north-east magicians were pursuing a special business idea that combined presentation and training with magic. After a series of successful workshops, the dream became a reality and Fifth Dimension was formed.
Now, 15 years on, the company continues to go from strength-to-strength, using entertainment to deliver training, team building workshops and presentations to a range of clients all across the world, from throughout Europe and Asia, to the Middle East and USA.
This international growth has been fostered further with the entertainment aspect of the business continuing to flourish. Ivor Smith and Jeff Burns, who both make up Fifth Dimension, have recently returned to the north-east after performing 18 shows at the famous Magic Castle venue in Los Angeles, joining an illustrious list of some of the greatest magicians of all time in playing the venue.
At the forefront of the company’s success is engagement and it is this aspect that partner Ivor Smith believes has been key to the company’s growth over the last decade and a half.
He said: “While working in my previous job, I started using magic to pep-up presentations in an effort to help keep people interested. After some positive feedback and encouragement from my fellow colleagues, I approached Jeff Burns, current partner and my friend Bill Duncan, who is now retired, with the idea of setting up a company. They liked the idea and the rest, as they say, is history.
“At Fifth Dimension, we take great pride in being able to engage an audience with topics and messages that are often perceived as dull or dry. The magical pieces that we use to illustrate key points make people sit up and take notice and they really do help add another dimension to topics that can often wash over people such as health and safety. Another key aspect is of course laughter. Although we are imparting serious messages, it’s also great fun, for both us and our clients.”
Like any other business which has been around for a considerable length of time, Fifth Dimension has had to adapt over the last 15 years to continue being successful. From learning new techniques, to keeping abreast with current issues and thinking within the areas they work in, the company is constantly evolving to meet their client’s ever-varying needs.
Partner Jeff Burns added: “Although we work across a number of sectors, a large proportion of our work comes from the oil and gas sector. Word of mouth in Aberdeen is worth its weight in gold so it’s key that companies who want to be successful in the sector genuinely care about developing good relationships with clients. You have to be incredibly passionate about ensuring that you deliver the highest quality service and if you can, do not simply offer an off the shelf package. Going the extra mile really can help.”