Widgets Magazine

Where Have All the Mid-Sized Jobs Gone?

I,Aeove noticed a disturbing trend over the past few years that coincided with the tepid economic recovery of the past 6+ years. The majority of jobs that have come through the door have fallen into two distinct categories: either the projects have been those best described as begrudgingly seeking out an AV integrator to update a broken down system or to add a bare bones display system, or the over the top, bell and whistle-laden ,Aeufun,Aeu projects.
In the Washington D.C./Baltimore area-* the well-funded projects are usually government-based or connected. Want a floor to ceiling video wall with touch activation? How about multiple video signals passing over a network between buildings on opposite sides of the state? A system that exceeds the capacity of a 32×32 video switcher? Chances are it,Aeos a government agency or a company that does a ton of government work. -*It,Aeos great work if you can get it, but the procurement process can be a deep maze to get to that cheese at the end.
On the other end of the spectrum is the everyday type jobs. The best way to describe them is reluctant. These are the jobs where your submission will get shopped around on the internet. Often the story behind these opportunities is that they either had a system installed a few years ago that has fallen into disrepair or they have a need to collaborate and are now installing the minimum to get that done. Huddle rooms are their friend and if it can,Aeot be controlled by an iPad, they don,Aeot want it.
So what can we in the industry do about this? This is where sales/design engineering is the key. Whether it,Aeos for the big job like those prime government contractors or for setting up the most economical system to get the most bang for the buck, engineering is how it will get done. Previously we might have put an HDBaseT matrix in place for a conference room, and in some cases that,Aeos still the go-to decision. However, in other cases, like one I,Aeom working on right now, the video transmission is done via a network based system that ends up being a much less expensive solution giving much of the same functionality. There are trade-offs, as with any equipment choices, but the design engineer should be able to work with the sales person to make the right decisions on what the priority of the end user will be in their new room.
These can be trying times for audio visual integrators. Converting sales from someone that wants to just shine a projector on a white painted wall to a more well-rounded system that they will get much more use out of in the long run is a tough job, but with a support staff of engineering helping get the job designed correctly, it can be done.

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