News and Thoughts:
Networking, networking, networking...this was a big month for visiting with stagers from all across North America. Between the Orlando Roadshow and Barco's Annual Rental Partner Meeting - I have been privileged to attend two major networking events in as many weeks. There were lots of lively discussions on the economy, insights into where business is headed, and great times with old friends. Read about this and more in this month's Stimson Report.
Lessons from the Orlando Roadshow
Orlando is a fun place to visit with the Rental & Staging industry. Central Florida is a friendly place, the AV family there is large and well networked, and everyone has worked with everyone else at one company or another. I especially enjoyed the Technilux facility and the hospitality our hosts showed attendees and exhibitors. The location was easy to find - especially since Harmon located one of their impressive trailer exhibits right in front of the building. I heard much praise for the impressive parking job of the driver to get the rig into that very tight spot!
Travel issues kept my colleague Joel Rollins from delivering his seminar, so we converted his class time into a lively roundtable discussion on the industry. In fact we got so caught up we ran into the lunch hour. Both of my sessions seem well attended and I appreciate all the comments, questions, and thanks that were shared with me.
Book Your Travel to Chicago!
Don't forget to put May 7th on your calendar. That's when I hope to see you in Chicago for the Rental & Staging Roadshow. If you reside anywhere from Houston to Toronto, this is your Roadshow. Come spend the day and learn something new, meet old and new friends, and discover products and services from our sponsors and exhibitors. Learn more at http://www.rentalandstaging.com/roadshow/
The Best Networking Event in the Business
As much as I am proud of the Rental & Staging Systems Roadshow, the Barco Rental Partner Meeting has been going on for a few more years and I consider the RPM (as we regulars call it) to be the best networking event in the business. I can trace many of my most valued relationships in the industry back to my first RPM! While I am no longer a Barco customer, my role in the industry earned me an invite as the keynote speaker for the second year in a row. This year's event was in Miami and as is usual, all the major industry players were there. I don't know exactly what it takes to get invited, but I am guessing that buying some gear would be a good start.
The generally optimistic outlook of the audience surprised me. The vibe about the economy was mostly positive, and a lot of folks were curious to know if ANY one was seeing a downturn yet. Most folks believe it's coming, but who can be sure how soon or how big? Even with these uncertainties, I spoke to several companies that are expanding offices, some who are opening new offices, and many more that are hiring key positions. There were also a lot of attendees looking to expand their inventories with new technologies. The general sentiment was that companies are better prepared to ride out an eventual downturn than they were in 2001.
InfoComm's AV Setup Guide is just what you need to get new hires started off right. "InfoComm has now documented the most common steps involved in setting up AV for many events, classrooms, and conferences. In logical, easy to understand, step-by-step procedures, employers can give guidance to their new employees without relying on someone to pass along best practices of AV setup. In addition, the book provides answers to some frequently asked troubleshooting questions, and contains a comprehensive graphic appendix of connectors for quick reference." Learn more at http://www.infocomm.org/cps/rde/xchg/infocomm/hs.xsl/avindustry_5377.htm
Screen Lifter -You want a Panasonic 103" LCD for your rental inventory, but you just haven't figured out how to move the behemoth around? Check out the video of this combination roadcase and screenlift. I had to watch the it twice to figure out that the horizontal piece behind the stand was part of the room's wall and not the structure of the lift. This may be the only safe means to handle a display like this.
InfoComm Staged Events Awards Call for Entries: April 7 Deadline
I have been involved in the Staged Event Awards for a number of years. First as a contestant and two-time winner, and subsequently as a judge. I can tell you as a recipient that it is great to win an award for something you love to do. My customers were also quite pleased when their events were recognized. As a judge, let me say that there is a lot of good competition - but don't be deterred by what other people might do. Each of us does at least one extraordinary event each year and oftentimes more. The hardest part is picking one. Go to http://www.lightingandsoundamerica.com/infocomm/ to learn more about how to submit your event,
Whether you enter the contest or not, do plan on coming to the awards ceremony on the InfoComm Booth Stage, Thursday, June 19th - 3:30 pm, Las Vegas Convention Center Lobby (between the North and Central Halls). See you there!
InfoComm's CTS, CTS-I Credentials Earn ISO/IEC 17024 Accreditation
What's this mean? Simple, it means international recognition for CTS and CTS-I. There are now 9500 CTS holders worldwide and the number is growing. I know that Rental and Staging has not fully recognized the benefit of accreditation, but as it becomes easier to be an "expert" at just about anything having to do with technology, we really need something to prove we have knowledge AND experience. Learn more at this link: