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Associations Focus: AV Industry Evolution

Dec 1, 2006 12:00 PM

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InfoComm International



Classroom visits, employee contests, product giveaways, proclamations, news coverage, road rallies, job fairs, student tours, and presentations — all were elements of the enormously successful debut of the annual AV Week this past October. During the week, InfoComm and members across the United States reached out to communities to raise awareness for the AV industry. Members used the opportunity to encourage students to consider AV careers, promote the technology to schools and businesses, and enable broader understanding of the technology among IT professionals and others.

Details on the exciting activities are available at InfoComm will again recognize AV Week Oct. 21-27, 2007.

Many deserve recognition for playing a role. Manufacturers traveled to Little Rock, Ark., to be part of a kick-off event for AV Week. Executives from AMX, Biamp, MediaPointe, and Shure joined InfoComm's Randal Lemke, Ph.D., to discuss the value of AV in education during a panel discussion that was streamed on the Web. InfoComm and members also organized and led student tours of the Shedd Aquarium and the American Airlines Sports Arena, staged an event to recognize the importance of AV in telemedicine, and staffed a job fair booth in Washington, D.C.

Following are a few descriptions of the more than 30 events and activities.

The Sextant Group kicked the week off with its annual road rally traversing Pittsburgh's potholes in a test of endurance, intelligence, and speed. The company also covered the most states to celebrate the week through consultant meetings with students in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Congratulations to California members who rallied in many ways. Of special note, Spinitar was successful in gaining the most proclamations in one state with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger expressing gratitude to California's “audiovisual professionals who devote their careers to this vitally important industry.”

Spinitar led presentations at local high schools to generate awareness about AV-related fields, technologies, and career opportunities. The company also hosted on-site events at client locations including a realtor's office in Northern California demonstrating AV technologies used for training to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of business communication.

Visual and Hall Research also celebrated AV Week. Visual invited the California AV community to an open house at its new 3,000-square-foot Visual Demonstration Center in Southern California.

Hall Research in California celebrated AV Week with daily events aimed at increasing employee knowledge of the AV Industry, continuing education opportunities and Hall Research product applications and capabilities. Concurrently, a weeklong online contest ran on Hall's new and websites for a drawing for free InfoComm EduBucks.

A meaningful contribution for AV Week came from Boxlight in the state of Washington, selecting 10 nominees to receive refurbished projectors via one of its partners.

“We wanted to be able to participate in the first annual event, both in supporting local communities around the globe, and in supporting our partners in business,” says Hank Nance, general manager of Boxlight. “During AV Week, our Elite Partners [were] able to nominate a local organization, school, or nonprofit that could benefit from the use of projectors.”

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences held a daylong program for K-12 teachers and administrators who attended sessions about PowerPoint, videoconferencing, webstreaming, and audience response systems.

Emory University passed out AV Week promotions at its EduCATE conference, highlighting some of the latest technologies in a TouchIT Showcase, sponsored in part by Steelcase. Temple University saved an AV presentation to the desktops of PCs in its classrooms to show “how saturated the mediated classrooms are with AV” and raise awareness for the university's certified AV staff.

Booz Allen Hamilton organized a series of educational sessions on its corporate campus for colleagues about its inhouse AV/VC teams.

Merck set up an information booth in its cafeteria and displayed its conference room website on a large projection screen, generating interest from all levels. According to Merck's Senior AV Specialist Christopher Neto, CTS, “AV week helped promote and expand our audience to other buildings and groups within Merck who did not know about the services we offered.”

Kudos also go to Ken Collura, director of communication and instructional technologies, Catholic Schools in Columbus, Ohio. He contacted The Columbus Dispatch and was featured in a story about the excitement that digital signage is creating as area schools replace “aging scoreboards with electronic panels that have become a multimedia canvas for sporting events, Mass, and student activities.”

Independent producer Rick Bloom addressed 30 members of the Northern California Chapter of Meeting Professionals International with a presentation titled, “Changing the Way the World Does Audiovisual,” which was well received. Bloom tailored the interactive presentation to meeting professionals at all experience levels. He asked the group to help him “build” AV and lighting systems. It was an opportunity for them to tell him what they know about AV while he filled in the rest.

Want to be a part of AV Week in 2007? Visit for details.

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