Widgets Magazine

Small AV World

One of the biggest take away from our time at ISE 2016 is the idea that the AV world is getting much smaller. I was asked by Adrian Cotterill of Daily DOOH if I would suggest that our audience attend this show. My answer was absolutely. It still is.
ISE is not only a good cross section of residential and commercial AV. It is a melting pot of non-US manufacturers and integrators who come together for four days to see and experience the latest in AV technology and trends. Attending this show gives you a new perspective on the business and the world in general. However, you don’t need to wait until next year’s show to begin learning from each other. There are some concrete ways to reach out and connect with your counterparts in other parts of the globe.
The simplest and easiest way is social media. Don’t roll your eyes at that. Social media has become a significant tool for communication across borders. No doubt you watched in 2011 and 2012 the Arab Spring demonstrations that were first broadcast on social media. It gives us an inroad into parts of the world that we may never actually travel to. Through social media you can connect with others in the AV industry to talk strategy, technology, and shared experience. Think of it like a global networking event where your avatar or Twitter handle is a business card.
On Twitter there are the various hashtags you can follow; #AVTweeps, #LiveSound, #ProAV, #AVNews, and #LiveInstall. Facebook has a number of groups where AV professionals go to share ideas and horror stories. One of the best I have found is AV Install Nightmares. As the name implies, there are posts about horrible installation jobs, but it is also an area where you can ask for help if you’re having a difficult time with some aspect of the business. LinkedIn is a good tool to use to connect with those in our industry. You can join groups like AV Industry Professionals, CEDIA, InfoComm International, and others.
Another way to connect and learn from those outside your country is reading different publications. Take a look at the media partners for ISE. The list is made up of some of the best groups covering this industry from all over the globe. It is a great resource to start your search for news, information, and perspective from somewhere other than your own back yard. We were fortunate enough to meet press from Africa, Italy, South Korea, and the UK.
Finally, learn from the manufacturers themselves. I had the opportunity to tour Extron’s Netherlands office in Amersfoort the week we were at ISE. When you walk in it could be any Extron regional office. As I toured the facility it became clear how this was different. Their customer support was separated by region and language spoken. They had a team dedicated to translating the English version of Extron’s site to Russian, Spanish, and others. If you do business with a company that has a global distribution arm, ask them how they manage that, who are their key people, and have them connect you with others in your vertical that can share knowledge.
This world is getting smaller and I think it’s a great thing. We all have so much to learn from each other. Reach out and find someone who isn’t in your neighborhood and start a conversation. You both will be better for it.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great day.

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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