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The Stimson Report Feb '08 - AvNetwork.com

The Stimson Report Feb '08

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News and Thoughts:
This month's Stimson Report brings you a mixed bag of news and revelations. There is a brief profile of a new AV company that I think you will admire. I present a new website for sharing corporate events war stories that should appeal to most of you old-timers. And I share some thoughts on online networking including my favorite business tool. In addition there's a selection of news items that have recently caught my eye.

Don't forget to put Feb 20th on your calendar. That's when I hope to see you in Orlando for the Rental & Staging Roadshow. If you reside anywhere from Nashville to Miami, this is your Roadshow. Come spend the day and learn something new, meet old and new friends, and discover new products and services from our sponsors and exhibitors. Learn more at http://www.rentalandstaging.com/roadshow/

A Perfect Niche Strategy
There are little gems of companies out there that I feel have the right strategic focus to really take off. One of those is a young wholesale rental company in Orlando aptly named, AV Strategy. Owner Ron Davey is an industry veteran who spotted a growing gap in service in the wholesale AV rental market. His customers are the AV operations and branches that regularly need to sub-rent products, but don't have the extra infrastructure needed to transfer that gear themselves. Ron says that in-house AV suppliers are tight on space, manpower, and time. He can help them in all three areas and still be competitive on rental price. AV Strategy delivers (and picks up) direct to the storeroom - at the right time. They will even act as the middleman and sub-rent from other AV companies to meet his customer's needs. Being a one-stop problem-solver is a refreshing solution in such a busy marketplace. Find their contact information at: http://www.avstrategy.com/

Share Your Stories
I recently received an email from an old friend in the corporate events industry who was feeling a bit nostalgic one night. Through the inspiration of road warriors everywhere, Mike Trovalli has started a website called ShowStories.net. It's exactly what it sounds like: a place to share your tales of accomplishment, survival, or suffering from the world of corporate AV events. This is a viral campaign, so the more you share the link, the more contributions ShowStories will get. It has only been a couple of weeks and already the site has received thousands of hits and has several wonderfully written tales already posted. Join the ranks of Internet immortality and submit your most memorable experience.

Networking Made Easy
As much as I rely on my computer and cell phone, I have not always kept up with all the online tools available. However, a year and a half ago I was introduced to business networking online. The social website we all hear about is MySpace.com. I know most kids today including my own have a page there, but it just doesn't do anything for me. It is not what I would call the place to present oneself professionally or meet potential customers. Then I learned about LinkedIn and found a world full of people I actually know professionally. Here's my LinkedIn page: http://www.linkedin.com/in/trstimson. There is also www.FaceBook.com - probably the most popular professional networking site (perhaps more so for the under-forty crowd).

What do you do at these sites? It's pretty simple - keep up with folks. For instance my LinkedIn account is connected to my Plaxo account (http://www.plaxo.com), which helps me keep my address book on my computer up to date. I use my LinkedIn profile to share changes in my professional status, promote my interests and qualifications, and reconnect with old colleagues who may have changed jobs. I also use it to learn more about my clients and prospects. If you want to really mine the power of LinkedIn, search by industry (like "Events Services") and you will be amazed at how many potential customers (or old friends) you will find there.

If you have a profile on LinkedIn or Facebook and you are an InfoComm Member you can now join InfoComm Groups! This is yet another way to extend your network and connect with people who matter to you.

News & Events
Barco and JVC to announce cooperation on LCoS display technology
http://www.barco.com/presentation/en/pressreleases/show.asp?index=2025
This was one of those announcements that I almost passed over, but my brain kept processing after I read the headline. Barco is a huge innovator and the fact that they have a working LCoS projector (LX-5) (albeit for the simulation market) should start us all thinking. The LX-5 uses ten-megapixel (4096 x 2400) D-ILA technology in a 4000 lumen, 10,000:1 contrast ratio projector. Granted, Barco doesn't expect this to make its way into the Rental & Staging market, but given their penchant for R&D you would expect that someone at Barco is figuring out just what it is that Stagers would buy in an LCoS product.

ETCP ANNOUNCES EXAM ADMINISTRATIONS AT USITT 2008
The ETCP Council is pleased to announce another opportunity for technicians to take the electrical, arena rigging, and theatre rigging examinations in a paper and pencil administration. All three ETCP examinations will be offered at the USITT Conference and Stage Expo on March 21 & 22, 2008 in Houston, TX.

Entertainment Electrical Exam: March 21, 2008 (2:00 pm)

Arena Rigging Exam: March 22, 2008 (9:00 am)

Theatre Rigging Exam: March 22, 2008 (2:00 pm)

Interested applicants must submit their application, along with supporting materials and fee, postmarked by February 15, 2008. Space is limited, so submit your application today! If you would like more information or would like eligibility requirements or applications sent to you, please contact Meredith Moseley-Bennett, ETCP Certification Coordinator, at certification@esta.org or 212-244-1505.

Complete information is also available on the ETCP website:
http://etcp.esta.org

If you are unable to attend USITT, you can apply to take an examination at a testing center near you. All three exams are available at over 190 locations in the U.S. and Canada on most business days.

HD At the Super Bowl
AV Concepts in Tempe, AZ was at ground zero for the Super Bowl. Among their projects was an HD distribution and i-mag package for two ESPN pre-Super Bowl events that revolved around some big-name entertainment and expansive party grounds. AV Concepts Account Executive Warren Tash sent me the AVC press release - just to remind me that HD has arrived! Knowing what a challenge these types of events can be, add on top of that the demands of advertisers and sports networks - and you can bet this was a logistical mind-scrambler. Read more about it at: http://www.rentalandstaging.com/articles/publish/article_1013.shtml

Related

The Stimson Report Oct '08

Who is not thinking about the economy? Probably no one. Are you talking about it with your customers and employees? I hope so. With everything going on, I am sure lots of folks have questions, concerns, and outright fears for their jobs, livelihoods, or mortgages. I want to share some thoughts how to face the crisis both in terms of helping yourself, your employees, and your customers. Read more in this month's The Stimson Report.

The Stimson Report Mar '08

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.

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The Stimson Report Feb 2009

The business mood of AV companies across North America has drifted from cautiously optimistic towards tentative. There are pockets of dire circumstances and glimmers of hope all across the map. Regardless of their outlook, the majority of folks I chat with are starting to feel the crisis in tangible and discouraging ways. This month I want to share thoughts about two different battlefronts. First there is the media rant against business events precipitated by some insensitive financial sector executives. The second perspective shares the unexpected optimism generated by a very successful ISE show in Amsterdam Feb 3-5. What both views have in common is the innate understanding that what we do does matter, but it is our job to keep our industry relevant in tough times.

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The Stimson Report July 08

Another successful InfoComm and for the first time I think the event was more important than the sum of its parts. There just seemed to be a different vibe on the floor. I found that the exhibit booths were better looking and communicated their purpose better than in years past. There was clearly some budget cutting in play, but I think the net result was less fluff and more products. There was also a LOT of new products - something I didn't expect to see. And folks in general were positive about the future (at least for the next quarter). Maybe all the hype about the economy is just so much noise? Read more about what was seen and heard at InfoComm in The Stimson Report.

The Stimson Report May 08

No matter how well a company is doing, the conversation turns to the economy and the uncertainty of the future. The discussion isn't doomsday; no one seems concerned that the downturn will last. What they are interested in is more creative ways to survive and come out on top. This month I explore the industry buzz about the economy and some thoughts about what it all means in The Stimson Report.

The Stimson Report Sep 08

Summer may be over, but business seems to be heating up across North America. Judging by the mood at InfoComm and the July Rental & Staging Roadshow, life is still good in the AV Events world. In this issue we'll share the word on the street and introduce some cool finds that are worth some of your brain time. Read more in The Stimson Report.

The Stimson Report Jan 08

AV Rental & Staging growth areas for 2008: Part of growing a rental company is making purchases for rental inventory in the "If we own it we will rent it" category. Here are a couple of items I think are now part of that group but will soon be must-haves. Audience Response technology was once too specialized and complicated to fit easily into the larger live event arena. But now most of these products are inexpensive and easy to use - but they do require some pre-production. Consider this another service you can provide your customers that falls under the graphics/slides production category.

The Stimson Report April 2008

This month I have been thinking a lot about labor and staffing. Coincidentally there has been a huge story developing with a management lockout of three labor unions responsible for AV at the St Louis Convention Center. All the best links are included, so please read on. Next, I want to share some web-based products where project managers (and we all manage projects, don't we?) can share information. Then while you are thinking about how stay ahead of your shows, let me present another AV Industry B2B with a brilliant strategy. Read on in this month's The Stimson Report.