And Then There Were Seven...
Sharp's Audio Visual of Calgary, Alberta, is sending a small army of seven employees to the AV Executive Conference this month. We asked company President and CEO Jeff Faber what he and his colleagues hope to come away with.
InfoComm: Who from Sharp's AV will be attending AVEC this month?
Faber: There's a big sales and marketing focus at the AVEC conference, so we're going to bring the people who are directly involved in sales, marketing, branch management and those types of functions.
InfoComm: What do you and your staff hope to gain from the conference?
Faber: First of all, we want to gain better contacts within the industry. Plus some insight and knowledge of what other companies are doing and how we can take some of those things and apply them in our own company. There's a lot to learn from the AVEC presenters themselves — and those things are important — but equally important is what you gain outside the agenda. The relationships you make and the people you meet, asking each other 'Hey what are you doing in this part of your business?' and 'What's working for you or not working for you?' — those conversations are really valuable.
InfoComm: Are there areas you're looking to improve upon to stay competitive?
Faber: Sure, there are things we can improve on — how we run our business, how we go to market. Running a business is a constant work in progress.
InfoComm: Your email signature says, "Inspect Don't Expect." What does that mean to Sharp's AV and its customers?
Faber: To our company, it means don't just expect things to happen the way you think they will. You need to make sure you're following up and following through. To our customers, it means a better experience. For example, if we expect our customers to prepare the infrastructure we need for an installation and don't check beforehand and it's not correct, that would not be a good experience for us or our customers.
InfoComm: How has Sharp's AV business changed in recent years?
Faber: Our business has evolved in that we've divested our rental and staging business [to Freeman Audio Visual]. We're strictly a systems integration company. And our focus now is heavily on providing aftermarket services and support, as opposed to just providing equipment. Frankly, more and more our business is less about the equipment we sell and more about using that equipment as a means to an end for selling services.
All Voices: Document Everything
How can you know if an AV system performs the way it's supposed to unless you document everything about that system prior to flipping the switch? Documentation — whether for an AV system or a business process — need not mean a mountain of paperwork. But done right (and thoroughly), documentation pays dividends.
Share your thoughts in the All Voices Blog.
Fore a Good Cause
Before you and your company create your own "business growth canvas" at this year's AV Executive Conference, register for the International Communications Industries Foundation (ICIF) charitable golf tournament. The ICIF awards scholarships in an effort to promote a high-quality AV workforce. Foursomes are selling out. Sign up to play when you register for AVEC. Learn more at infocomm.org/AVEC.
The AVEC Master's Program
The AVEC Master's Program begins with the AV Executive Conference in September and runs for the next nine months. Expert leaders will guide you in implementing new concepts specific to your business and team. Through a series of online and in-person sessions, your company will transform itself and lap the competition. Here's what you get for joining the program:
Attendance at AVEC, Sept. 17-19, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
- In-person Master's Program sessions held in November, February 2015 and April 2015
- Webinars held in October, January 2015, March 2015 and May 2015
- A private online community for participants and session leaders to discuss their progress, ask questions and learn from AVEC peers
- Individualized coaching from content leaders to discuss sensitive matters and receive constructive feedback
What's more, all sessions are worth CTS renewal units (RUs). And completion of the program will count for five points toward your company's AV Provider of Excellence (APEx) status. Learn more about the AVEC Master's Program at infocomm.org/AVEC.
Almo E4 AV Tour Makes First-Ever Stop in Boston
Attention East Coast AV professionals! October is your month to catch the Almo Professional A/V E4 AV Tour. The tour lands in Boston for the very first time on Oct. 3. Then it winds through our nation's capital, Washington, D.C., Oct. 17. "We are bringing back some of our most highly-rated courses," says Melody Craigmyle, vice president of marketing for Almo Professional A/V. "But have also added new ones from manufacturers like Listen Technologies and Barco."
Both are free to Almo Pro A/V's reseller, integrator and consultant partners. To register, go to www.e4avtour.com.
Are You Meeting Your Design Potential?
AV design is both an art and a science. Without a keen understanding of each, a design may not reach its potential. Learn the tools and techniques needed to elevate yours and collaborate with peers at InfoComm University™'s AV Design Boot Camp, Oct. 20-28 in Fairfax, Va.
"In the AV design courses, our instructor was able to answer complex questions that plague our industry including HDCP and grounding issues," says Donald Taylor, CTS, of Signature-AV. "It is also a great environment to meet other designers and program managers and make industry contacts." Enroll today.
CTS Has Its Benefits
Richard Ellis, CTS
"The CTS has paid back dividends both in salary, knowledge, job satisfaction and confidence — both personal and toward clients and colleagues alike. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get ahead in the AV industry." — Richard Ellis, CTS, City AVS
See what the CTS designation could mean for you. Plus, gain confidence for the exam with three-day CTS Prep sessions in Florida and Chicago.
AV on a Global Scale
Order your copy of the only worldwide report aimed at sizing the commercial audiovisual industry. The 2014 Market Definition and Strategy Study, conducted on behalf of InfoComm, projects that AV products and services will be a $114 billion global industry by 2016. The study includes a global overview and data by region, including North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa-Middle East, as well as country-specific information from Brazil and China. InfoComm will release a total of 17 reports at shows and events around the world. You can purchase the study in its entirety or by regional or country report at www.infocomm.org/store.
Connect With a Mentor
Are you new to the AV industry? Are you trying to get ahead but you're finding challenges along the way? InfoComm offers a mentor program for AV pros to help give them the needed guidance to further their careers. There are plenty of dedicated industry veterans who are eager and willing to help you. Find a mentor today.
One Way to Give Back to the Industry
Are you the kind of person who gets excited about technology, the kind of person who likes to help others experience the best of AV? If so, why not share your enthusiasm by presenting at InfoComm 2015? Apply soon. The Call for Presenters closes on Sept. 15.
Paula Herman, co-founder of Herman Associates and Herman & Almonte Public Relations, whose clients include Christie, passed away Aug. 20 following a battle with cancer. A fund in her name has been established at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Donations can be made online.
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