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AVEC 2018 Day 1

Wrapping up the AV Executive Conference (AVEC) 2018 Day 1

Kicking off with sales and statistics in Tampa Bay

On the shores of Tampa Bay approximately 300 audiovisual executives gathered at the Grand Hyatt for AVEC 2018. This was the 5th such event AVIXA has put on in an effort to equip top managers with the economic, sales, and forecasting tools they need to succeed.
Matt Dixon, Chief product and research officer at Tethr, started off the day talking about the customer experience.
“Thirty years ago there wasn’t any other way for customers to learn about you other than through a salesperson,” Dixon said. “Today they can learn all they need to know from your website.”
This means the way you sell to them has fundamentally changed as well.
Dixon’s main thesis is that sales, and salespeople, need to change their time-weathered approach. Instead of asking “what keeps you up at night” tell your customer what should be keeping them awake; become a trusted source for insight and information. In this way, you are included in decisions and consulted as your client works their way through the buying process. Even if you don’t get the deal in the end, you will continue to be a resource and will gain more sales as a result.
A ROPE calculator, return on pain eliminated, Dixon suggests should replace the ROI, return on investment. By restructuring the conversation beyond what a client may add to the bottom line by installing a huddle space figure out what pain point is dealt with and what that is worth. There is certainly monetary value to employees not waiting for a meeting space, being more productive, and generally happier workers.
Sean Wargo from AVIXA’s research arm wrapped up the morning session with some facts and figures, forecasting where the audiovisual industry looks to be headed in the next five to ten years.

AVEC18 global economic
Global economic outlook forecast at AVEC 2018

According to Wargo’s research, the top verticals will be healthcare, education, retail, and food service. From a regional perspective, AVIXA is still predicting the AsiaPAC (Asia Pacific) region will grow the fastest throughout the world and will surpass the North American AV market in the next 3 to 5 years.
The afternoon of AVEC (AV Executive Conference) 2018’s first day was a series of panel discussions looking at sports venues, architecture, education, and retail. There were two panels simultaneously so it was not possible to see them all.
The sports venue panel discussed focused on the timeline of getting involved in a project like stadiums and arenas. The collective wisdom from this group was to develop relationships with architect firms who specialize in large venues, become their trusted ally and consultant.
In the retail panel, most of the talk was split between data-driven display and ad delivery technology. With the passage of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the European Union and general mistrust of too specialized ads elsewhere, manufacturers are developing ways to deliver relevant ads to consumers without keeping their information. Some are choosing not to save the scans while others are taking pains to emphasize their systems are delivering demographic analytics, not facial recognition.
The panel discussion was an interesting departure from previous AVECs where the days were generally loaded with keynote speeches from high-profile speakers. It gave attendees some practical information to take back to their offices and start discussions with their people.
 

By Tim Albright

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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