Cypher Media's 20th Anniversary

Cypher Media's 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago, Cypher Media was born. We celebrate two extraordinary decades of growth, change, and success. Come with us as we chat with Cypher Media's dedicated team, delving into their personal stories and highlights from their time with the company.

Adrian WorrallAdrian

What a strange path I travelled to get here. I have a degree in Applied Sciences, and my first job was as a writer and Technical Editor for some of the top UK home and business computer magazines at the time. Then, in the early 90s, I took a left turn into website design and construction, eventually working for a company that also produced events and videos. That company closed in October 2003. Brian Darnley and I decided to start a conference, video, and website production company after both of us were made redundant. We started with three of us in one small office in the shopping centre in Droitwich. I spent the first weekend painting it with my wife Louise while our first son slept in his pushchair. A month after starting, we were on-site at a large management conference, our first proper conference job. As they say, the rest is history.

I think the most challenging and exciting job we produced was a conference in Lisbon in October 2019. The challenge was quite simple; when we did the site visit months before, we discovered that the originally booked venue did not have enough meeting space. The only alternative space the venue had available was the underground car park, and the only response we could offer was, 'We can make that work.'

After months of planning, we returned and transformed the car park into eight breakout rooms, one plenary room, and spaces for networking and breaks. The transformation was simply amazing. We installed all the necessary infrastructure, including walls, electricity, internet distribution, fire points, carpets, tiered seating, and all the usual AV equipment. Three days later, after a successful event, we removed it all, and you would never have known we had been there at all.

Chris ReddallChris

I started at Cypher Media in 2007 after graduating from a Film & Television Studies degree at Aberystwyth University. A friend of mine, who had recently worked with the company on a project, heard that Adrian and Brian were considering hiring a graduate as a video editor. I emailed Adrian and had an interview in August 2007. By the time I got home from the interview, I received a phone call offering me the job and asking if I could start the next day. I was living in Shropshire at the time, so for the first few weeks, I stayed with a friend in Worcestershire before looking to rent my own place nearby. That was 16 years ago now, and time has really flown by. I started as an Editor, and since then, my job role has steadily expanded to take on more responsibilities. I’m now a Director at Cypher Media and participate in all aspects of production work within the business.

There have been many interesting projects over the years, from traveling to different countries all over the world to film interviews and produce events – unique places like Vietnam and Macau. But what stands out for me are some of the significant changes that have occurred over the last 2-3 years. We've shifted from in-person events and video production to a much more virtual or hybrid approach. The skills that the entire team and I have learned, at the pace we've learned them, really highlight how proud I am to work with a team that can adapt to the many challenges we've had to face. Technology is a huge part of what we do, and looking back over the last 16 years I've been with Cypher Media shows how far technology has changed and adapted. It's truly exciting!

Dharmesh PatelDharmesh

After graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Business and Information Technology from Birmingham City University, with a major in Web Development, I actively searched for an entry-level position as a Web Developer. In 2012, Cypher had an ongoing position for an Entry Level PHP developer, which I saw as the perfect opportunity to kickstart my career. I applied through the Gumtree job site, and that's how I secured my first job in my field of study.

Before joining Cypher, I worked in various regular part-time jobs while continuously improving my web development and programming skills. It has been 11 years since I joined the company, and I've had the privilege of meeting fantastic people. Cypher Media is an amazing place to work, and I've been involved in some incredible projects. It’s too difficult to pick just one of my favourite projects, so the QR code system developed using the CodeIgniter (PHP) framework, the Registration system, and the Programmable Onsite Display (POD) system stand out as my top favourites.

Jake Carless


I began my journey with Cypher Media at the age of 16, right after completing my GCSEs. Instead of following the traditional path of further education, I opted for an apprenticeship to gain practical experience in a completely new industry. This decision was partly due to my preference for hands-on learning over traditional classroom methods. I believed that practical knowledge could be immediately applied, unlike the process of reading from textbooks and then putting that knowledge into practice. Pursuing an apprenticeship opened doors to exciting opportunities, including the chance to travel and work on conferences. Quite the contrast to sitting in an exam hall just six months prior, taking an English Lit paper.

I still remember the day I received a call for an interview at Cypher. A company that organised conferences and frequently traveled across Europe sounded too good to be true! I was both nervous and thrilled by the opportunity. Chris and Adrian conducted my interview, and it must have gone well because I received a job offer on the very same day!

Some of my favourite experiences include mid-2019 when Adrian and I took the initiative to become fully PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) certified. This change allowed me to take on the responsibility of maintaining our equipment. Another memorable moment was in early 2020 when our team brainstormed ideas, theories, and solutions for creating successful virtual and hybrid events. With each virtual event we produced, our approach evolved significantly. Another valuable experience was learning how to prepare an ATA Carnet to adhere to the Brexit regulations concerning shipping equipment abroad. In the past, it was a more haphazard approach of packing everything we needed right up to the last minute. Now, it's a much more meticulous and carefully planned process that must be completed well in advance to secure approval for the ATA Carnet system.

Stuart Almond


After graduating with a degree in Media Production and winning two Royal Television Society awards for my final project, I knew I wanted to hit the ground running. Eager to learn all I could and gain experience, I advanced my career by taking on a number of roles over the next five years. These roles included managing the video requirements at a small production company, directing and producing programs for live TV, and a position at a major UK organisation as their in-house videographer.

I wanted to work in an environment where I could learn industry-standard practices. Cypher Media was, and still is, a standout company. I'd seen that they work with great clients and produce high-quality work. When I saw they were advertising for a video producer, I sent off my CV and latest showreel. After a short interview and meeting the team, I received a call from Brian, who promptly said, 'We've all been talking about you!' Fortunately, they had all been discussing offering me the job. I accepted, and ten years later, I've traveled the world, learned a lot, worked on a variety of projects, and as of this writing, I'm still producing videos!

One of the most memorable projects I worked on was producing a series of training videos for one of our clients. The brief was to create a set of videos that showed various scenarios in a business setting. The idea was that not everything would be done correctly, and viewers could then discuss what was done right and what was done wrong. We collaborated with a company called 'Actors in Industry,' who helped develop a rough script that would be improvised on the day by a group of actors. This experience took me back to my university days. My final project was a sketch show pilot that was devised and shot in a very similar way. It was a great challenge, involving thinking about the blocking of scenes on the fly as new ideas came through, taking input from all involved, and developing the narrative. It was a truly collaborative effort that produced a unique and outstanding piece of work.