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No Pain, No Gain

About a year ago, the SCN team woke up to a surprise announcement: NewBay Media had been acquired by UK specialist media brand Future. Furious googling ensued to answer burning questions. Who is this Future? What other media brands do they own? Are our B2B brands a fit in their consumer tech world?

Very quickly we were in a meeting with Future’s CEO, Zillah Byng-Thorne. Frankly, a lot of our concerns were alleviated with her straightforward style of management. She told us the integration process wouldn’t be an easy one, but that we would survive and come out stronger. There’d be all-new systems to learn, coworkers to meet, and reports to create. Throughout all of our “turmoil,” two things were consistently provided: emotional support and training. Both of them were very much critical to our success in the transition.

One of the very first things we did combined the support and training. We had a session on managing change. We learned about change management—how it impacts emotions, job functions, and everything in between.

With the acquisition came a lot of new systems to master. Suddenly we were working with a team to update our website and the back end was completely different. How we send the magazine to the printer also changed; the entire former NewBay staff had to learn a new platform and figure out how that would impact our content production cycle.

The way we were successful with the transition to the new systems was simple: training, training, and more training. We had numerous training sessions and were even given dedicated resources to go to with our constant questions. Without this training and service, we would have failed … SCN might not even have made it into your mailbox in time.

Training—and the service that goes along with it—are a crucial part of every industry, but especially the AV industry, which is why we put out our annual Training & Service Guide. Integrators and consultants need to be trained by manufacturers on the latest and greatest pro AV gadgets. In turn, those integrators and consultants need to provide training to the customer and the ultimate end users—for example, those who actually use that state-of-the-art conference room—in order to ensure everyone is getting the biggest bang for their buck.

When we keep learning, we keep growing. So stick with those AVIXA courses and manufacturer training sessions. Your skill set will blossom, and when the industry is blossoming, it’s a beautiful thing.

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.