Widgets Magazine

Getting to the Users of Audio Video

We are still getting our footing here at AVNation headquarters after a pretty incredible InfoComm 2017. We are adding booth tours, interviews, and pieces every day and will be doing so for at least another week or so. Keep checking back every day or so. One of the best conversations I had was during AVWeek 303. David Labuskes, Shaun Robinson, and Mike Blackman were on the panel, and I asked InfoComm Executive Director, David Labuskes, why end-users belong at the show.
In the lead up I mentioned several heated conversations with integrators around North America about this one topic. It isn’t just about tech managers and enterprise decision-makers being on the show floor; it is also a deeper mistrust of manufacturer’s training. My background in the audio video includes a stint as a technology manager for a college outside of St. Louis. It was the manufacturers who initially invited me to attend the InfoComm show. It was their training that allowed me to make well-informed choices. It is what drew me even deeper into this industry.
Yes, InfoComm is concerned about the attendance numbers. It is just one metric by which they measure the success of the show. So is the amount of technology advancement, the number of education hours being taken during the week, how many CTS certifications that are earned during the show, as well as how satisfied the manufacturers are with the show and the quality and quantity of people in their respective booths.
Some manufacturers have started enterprise sales teams. In education and government, these teams are nothing new. I had several call on me as a tech manager. They are manufacturers’ reps who call on key accounts to get the decision makers interested in their particular product and solution. Once those potential clients are interested, they are then passed along to the local integrators.
It isn’t that the manufacturers don’t trust you to forge those relationships it is simply that they may have a better network and roadway into those organizations. Take Harman for example. Now that they are a part of Samsung their network has grown exponentially. Crestron partners with Microsoft and has made in-roads with Fortune 500 companies because of their various associations.
Dave Labuskes quoted a men’s store when answering his question about why end-users belong at InfoComm; “an educated consumer is our best customer.” He’s right. And it is your best customer as well. You have an advantage over manufacturers here. You have the breadth of various solutions. If they don’t like Brand A, you can suggest solutions from Brand B through Z. Yes, end-users belong at the InfoComm Show. They do now, and they will even more so in the future.
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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