On Wednesday afternoon, InfoComm hosted a panel of six live event professionals—those who specialize in organizing the meeting industry and the AV expertise that those events require. As such, it was an interesting exchange of ideas and wise suggestions regarding how emerging live event professionals can pursue work in this burgeoning corner of the AV industry.
“We’re not just looking for an AV provider,” noted Lori Pugh of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). “We’re often looking for a whole creative team. Many times media planners are not creative people; they are analytical, get-the-job-done, Excel-sheet management [types]. Sometimes they need someone to handle them. They may have a theme, but they want to give you a theme, and then you run with it.”
Another panelist, Latoya Lewis of EnventU, posed a question to the audience, asking, “How do you consider the contractor you hire? Do you hire based on a certain education, a level of traditional education with a degree or would you prefer on-the-job skills? Can we get a show of hands?”
In response, not one audience member raised their hand for a professional vetted via education, and nearly all audience members acknowledged that they would hire based on experience. Following the vote, Lewis offered, “It’s very encouraging to see this interest amongst contractors [in hiring non-degreed AV workers], and I want to bridge the gap and make sure that [our] youth are prepared to get the positions, and have those skill sets in order to have those opportunities with you.”
Alongside Pugh and Lewis, the panel also included Matt Emerson, moderator, of CEAVCO, Martin Bay of Kellen, Scott Craighead of IAEE and Deb Stark of Charles River Development.