The Industry, it is a-Changing

Hot Button Issues AV Professionals are Facing

The only constant in life is change. That statement rings true and loudly in the business world.  As our industry continues to evolve, what are some main issues we are currently facing? InfoComm took their show on the road to find out, stopping in sunny Tampa to conduct a roundtable discussion to get the conversation going between industry professionals.

Everyone agreed that declining margins for products and services is a big concern. Industry professionals are often confronted with having to either compromise price margins or lose a job when going up for a competitive bid. So, how can we remedy this issue while still delivering top notch work?

Setting industry standards just like in any other field of work is imperative. InfoComm has developed and is continuing to build upon AV industry performance standards – fundamental design criteria and engineering principles used as the basis to create quality AV systems.  Industry standards set up performance criteria so customers know what expect to from their AV integrator and not to accept anything less.  To read further information on InfoComm’s Standards & Best Practices, click here.

We’ve seen the IT and AV worlds converge recently which has changed the landscape for professionals in both fields.  AV companies must quickly become educated in IT or risk falling behind their competitors.  At the roundtable, several companies mentioned that they had already hired an IT person in order to be able to “talk the talk” when going up for bids. For certain, IT and AV professionals need to be well- versed in both areas. In addition, InfoComm is working with other organizations to build crossover educational programs.

Roundtable participants agreed that additional industry training is needed – most importantly for end-users, for recruiting new talent and ensuring all employees have their CTS. A few AV professionals said there’s a need for a how-to guide to place in boardrooms for client use. To assist with requests like this, InfoComm has developed an AV Setup Guide, which can be a great tool to share with clients. The 90-page book is a comprehensive guide showing step-by-step how to set up an AV system in a classroom or conference room, including frequently asked troubleshooting questions.

Additionally, InfoComm announced the addition of three end-user-focused sessions to its 2011 training schedule. The events are designed for integrators to bring their customers so they can get better acclimated with using AV technology. The events will include an AV-101 course, hot button technology issues, how to get started with AV, a speaker on the future of AV and much more.  The key message of the events will be how an AV pro is needed in order to get the job done right.

AV professionals also agreed on the need for help with finding new talent. The industry is an emerging field so it’s important that young talent is heavily recruited and given training opportunities early on. InfoComm is actively working with universities in order to incorporate AV courses into their curriculum. Additionally, InfoComm is publishing a textbook which will be available mid-2011. Also, in order to make earning your CTS more convenient, InfoComm will  offer virtual classes via webinar this coming year.

For more information on InfoComm and to get involved with specific industry initiatives, visit www.infocomm.org.

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