The Stimson Report Feb '08

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

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:

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 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 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: There is also - 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 (, 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
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.

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 or 212-244-1505.

Complete information is also available on the ETCP website:

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.