By Josh Srago
I can say with one hundred percent certainty that you are reading this on or after October 2nd, 2014. I’m willing to place better than even odds that you’re probably reading this in the month of October, which means that you are smack dab in what InfoComm has declared to be AV Month.
AV Month, formerly AV Week, is a time I very much look forward to each year because it’s time when the creativity of the AV industry professionals really starts to shine. This is the month where we are encouraged to start reaching beyond our general means and draw the public into the fold of what we do. InfoComm suggests that we take the time to teach a course on AV principles to those that might be interested, speak to young people and encourage them to pursue our chosen technological industry, or any other activity that brings notoriety to the industry we love.
There were many times throughout my career that I had questioned where it was I was going and when I might find people whom I could say were like-minded. We all have different goals when it comes to our career ambitions. Some love the technology and want to work with it regularly while others might see an opportunity to understand a unique industry and make a profit with their skills. There is no wrong answer to what you want to accomplish in your career. When I first started my goal was to be an audio engineer in any capacity that would allow me to help others create music. As my opportunities expanded I found that my goals got simpler and more difficult at the same time. Ultimately, when asked in July of 2013 what it was I wanted to do with my career my answer became “I want to be an active participant in change in the industry.”
In October 2013 I chose my AV Month activity to be launching my website SoundReason.org where I have written many articles about the AV industry and its practices, along with a few pieces about music, marketing, or the occasional nerdy subject that strikes my fancy. This was perhaps one of the best decisions I have ever made.
It was shortly after the launch of that site that I have had the privilege of working with some of the most wonderful people in the industry that I may never have been able to associate with in the past. I was given the opportunity to work with InfoComm Standards Committee, the InfoComm All Voices Blog, a few different commercial AV publications across the globe, and, obviously, AVNation and the REDBAND Collective.
This is my story as to how as simple an act as starting a website and writing down my views from years of conversations and experiences throughout my time in AV has surrounded me with people that don’t just agree with me, but actively debate me, challenge me, and push me to do the very thing that I want to accomplish.
I couldn’t ask for a better professional family to be associated with than those that have welcomed me in the last year, and that is what AV Month is all about. They reached out to me last year and I am now reaching out to you, dear reader. What is it you want to accomplish in this industry? And as a follow up question, how do you think you can get there? State it in the comments below and let’s see what we can do together.
This is the month the industry is actually calling you to start something new. To examine something that has ‘always has been done that way’ and see if there isn’t another option. Demonstrate your creativity by reaching out to someone with a technical mind and show them that there’s a great deal of artistry in the tech world. Push your expertise to the limit and teach a course; you never really know how well you know something until you have to teach it.
I had been in the pro audio/AV industry for some time before finding the amazing people that I get to associate with today. I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t pushed a little harder and expanded beyond the everyday and explored what else was out there. But because I did I have found my tribe.
By Josh Srago