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AV Week Gathering Momentum Worldwide, InfoComm Says

Aug 10, 2006 8:00 AM, By John McKeon

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In Washington, D.C., regional AV integrators, staging companies, and other employers will attend a job fair at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, together with

In Little Rock and other Arkansas locales, a team of higher education institutions led by the University of Arkansas for Medical Services will offer classes on planning successful multi-presenter conferences, getting the most out of presentations, using audience response systems, and other topics.

In Britain, an AV integrator is renting a rugby stadium for a mini-convention to showcase products and services.

These are some of the activities already being planned for the first AV Week, being organized by InfoComm International and scheduled for Oct. 22-28, 2006.

“We are putting a full court press on for this event,” says Jay Rogina, CEO of Spinitar in La Mirada, Calif., one of a growing number of integrators planning to participate. “I believe this is a great initiative and am looking forward to providing education and awareness of the AV industry. We will be targeting several markets for AV awareness.”

Since its announcement last February, AV Week has been embraced enthusiastically by the industry worldwide, says InfoComm Director of Public Relations Betsy Jaffe. “We’re hoping this will be a good initial year and that AV Week will grow in the future,” she says.

The week’s goals are to raise awareness of the AV industry, the role of AV professionals, and the value that AV products add to people’s lives. Corporate users and the integrators who support them will play central roles in the observance, Jaffe says.

For example, often in corporations and other business settings, AV responsibilities fall on the shoulders of a chief information officer or other IT professional who could benefit from a better understanding of AV, Jaffe says. “We’re definitely trying to reach the corporate market,” she adds.

As a start, the AV Week website offers downloadable brochures on:

  • Making your AV Project Work: An AV Guide for Architects
  • Setting the Stage for a Successful Event: An AV Guide for Events, Conferences & Meetings
  • Creating a Lasting Impression: Hiring an AV Professional to Produce Effective Presentations and
  • The Role of AV Solutions Providers.

There’s also a slide presentation on the AV industry, describing the scope of the business and its role in various key vertical markets.

Jaffe says AV Week activities have been scheduled or are being planned “on every continent,” and notes that AV integrators are taking lead roles in making these events happen. Integrators and manufacturers are urged to stage open houses and other outreach events.

Workforce development is a particular concern of the initiative, Jaffe notes. “The number one obstacle cited by AV companies is the lack of qualified workers,” she observes.

That explains the job fair approach in Washington, D.C., as well as other cities, along with extensive activities in university, community college, and high school settings.

The activities at the University of Arkansas follow closely on the proclamation of AV Week in Arkansas by Governor Mike Huckabee. In the proclamation, Huckabee cited the AV industry’s contributions to such lifesaving technology as command centers that promote national security, along with education tools that enhance learning and training.

Arkansas is the first state to recognize AV Week, Jaffe says, but others are expected to follow.

InfoComm has published a 20-page AV Week Planning Guide, which can be downloaded from InfoComm’s website. The guide provides templates, suggestions, and other aides to help program participants plan and publicize their own AV Week events.

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