Widgets Magazine

Regionalizing AV

This past week I spent a few days at the InfoComm Connections event in San Jose. It was two days of education, networking events, and booths from a variety of vendors.
There was a time when it was fashionable to host regional shows at least once a year. It was a chance for manufacturers to show their latest technology to an audience who may not have come to NAB, CEDIA, or the InfoComm show. It may just be in St. Louis, but that seems to have gone away and I think that is a shame.
Rep firms and larger integrators certainly have regional shows. I am attending a number of them for AVI Systems this spring. AVI-SPL hosts shows as does Almo Pro AV. Think about doing one yourself, though. Whether you are a $1 million dollar or $50 million dollar company, here’s why.
Your Customers
Regional shows are a great way to get in front of your current client base as well as connecting with new ones. It not only shows your commitment to them as valuable contacts, it demonstrates an ability to coordinate with a large swath of AV companies. That’s important to technology managers, IT professionals, and other decision makers. Yes, they all have their favorite manufacturers. What happens when those products fail them? You need to be able to make some lateral moves to cover those failures. Having the relationships with similar companies is a huge asset.
One aspect of these regional shows should be some amount of education. You can offer CTS prep courses (regular or D or I), have manufactures offer one of their certification classes, or bring in an IT professional to help your clients increase their networking knowledge. Again, you are demonstrating the value you place on them as clients in pouring into them and your ability to work with a variety of disciplines.
Grow the Community
Anything that can grow and enhance the AV community is a good thing. There were about 40,000 attendees at last year’s InfoComm show and 65,000 at ISE 2016. That is not nearly the amount of AV professionals in the US or abroad respectively. As you look at your region, figure out where the need is. In the US there are needs in the plains states, Midwest, and parts of the northern states. In Europe, Africa, or Asia there are certainly areas that could use some AV attention.
If you don’t think you are big enough to host one on your own, partner with someone. Let’s make a coordinated effort to reach out, educate, and inform our fellow AV community. It’s well worth the effort.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.

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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