When Sarah Joyce (opens in new tab) joined AVIXA in April 2019 after nearly 12 years at Electrosonic, she had decades of global experience in a multinational company, with clients, vendors, colleagues and projects all over the world. Within a single year, everything changed in so many unanticipated ways, and is now changing again as the world gradually comes back from a global pandemic.
How is the idea of “global” reflected in your mission?
Our global mission is physically represented by teams across EMEA, APAC, LATAM, and the U.S. These teams engage with our membership and the AV community through events, webinars, education, certification and standards delivery, and in-region advisory committees and councils, as well as at our regional trade shows such as InfoComm, InfoComm China in Beijing, InfoComm India in Mumbai, InfoComm Southeast Asia in Bangkok, our partnership with Integrate in Sydney, as well as ISE, and Integrated Systems Russia. Where we have not been able to deliver in-person events, we provided virtual tradeshows; GoVirtual was created by the InfoComm Asia teams in Asia, RISE by the ISE team, and of course InfoComm Connected in 2020.
The shows are the manifestation of AVIXA’s mission to be a catalyst for market growth and a hub for the professional AV community. They’re our greatest representation of business exchange, community and belonging. In these past two years we also accelerated our own investments in digital education. We opened up free access to education for all our members in March 2020, and launched nearly 50 new lessons implemented online. In the first three months, we saw a 400 percent increase in access to our LMS [learning management system] for education provision.
How have you kept your global community together?
Everyone has benefited from the UC [unified communications] revolution during this time. For me personally, my team is based in EMEA, APAC, LATAM and the United States. UC has allowed us to continue to meet and build the relationships we value so much. I’ve seen children grow up, and new pets arrive and get bigger!
More broadly, expanding our regional education and content offering has enabled us to innovate and bring on new services more quickly for our members. Another example of this is the expansion of our AVIP research community with representation from all regions, which feeds into the market research we are able to deliver with our Market Opportunity Analysis Report (MOAR) and Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis (IOTA) reports. We’ve created new products in regions to respond to certain geographic needs; the Congreso program in Latin America is a good example of this.
Tell me about the efforts of AVIXA’s Diversity Council.
With Charmaine Torruella having served as chair for its first three years, the Diversity Council became AVIXA’s second largest council after the Women’s Council. Now under the leadership of Frank Padikkala (opens in new tab), it has continued to grow and expand internationally. The council was instrumental in the creation of the Mosaic Scholarship through the AVIXA Foundation; it shines a light on young adults whose experience, background and thinking will positively influence the future of the AV community. The Diversity Council has also undertaken a program of outreach and webinars with an AV perspective on mental fitness, inclusive language and neurodiversity, among other topics.
The Diversity Council event at InfoComm at 11 a.m. on Thursday is sold out. I will be delighted to host that event and look forward to hearing from our keynote speaker, Shelby Hill, Ph.D., the founder and president of Next Leadership. Shelby is a speaker, facilitator, DEI advocate and leadership expert. He works with some of the world’s largest hospitality and healthcare brands to identify talent and succession development.
Any other councils you want to draw attention to?
The AVIXA Women’s Council is AVIXA’s largest council, with 53 groups around the world—the most recent being established in Indonesia and Singapore. We are excited to welcome back author Sara Potecha as our keynote speaker at this year’s AVIXA Women’s Council event on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 a.m. The Women’s Council has been expertly chaired for the last three years by Brandy Alvarado-Miranda (opens in new tab), and this will be her last InfoComm as chair. I will be delighted to thank her for her incredible dedication and success in the growth of the AVIXA Women’s Council and we will continue to honor her legacy.
This story originally appeared in the Friday, Oct. 29, edition of the InfoComm 2021 Show Daily. Read more from the InfoComm Day Three Show Daily online.