If there’s one purpose that the AV/IT Summit serves, it’s educating AV professionals on how to work more effectively and considerately. The 2020 AV/IT Summit brought end users, integrators, and others together—virtually, of course—to understand each other’s pet peeves, so that all in all, we make our customers happier. That’s pretty special.
The panel “The Modern AV UX” was the perfect culmination of the AV/IT Summit's purpose. Industry leaders Michael Judeh of Convene, Sean Reid of Astroman AV, Dana Schneider of Edwards Lifesciences, and Charmaine Torruella of Verrex gathered to discuss improvements they have implemented in their work, grievances, and tidbits of wisdom. The panel was fearlessly led by Mark Coxon, CTS-D, CTS-I of Tangram Interiors.
Editor's Note: All of the 2020 AV/IT Summit content—including the exhibit hall—is available on demand for the next month. To learn more, visit avitsummit.com.
At the core of everything, technology managers and integrators want technology that works well and serves a purpose. Oftentimes end users are located in different states or even countries. So, how do we best create a consistent experience across our locations? This question sparked insightful discussion.
This panel and all the others that took place during the AV/IT Summit are available online. Visit avitsummit.vfairs.com and log in to watch recorded discussions.
While you're there, don't forget to visit the exhibit hall to see what technologies our sponsors have on display.
The AV/IT Summit Virtual Exhibition will be live until Sept. 7.
Schneider responded plain and simple: “Getting that end-user feedback is essential. What’s out there and how can we incorporate that into our technology?” Feedback is how you learn to grow. It’s not always positive, but the negatives are oftimes exactly what you need to know in order to create more success.
Judeh remarked: “You don’t know until you know.” So, the challenge remains when you receive that feedback. What do you do with it?
Reid then spoke of a bad experience with a local university where communication was little to none—the university decided to purchase technology without consulting with the individuals who actually used it. “Everyone in the university wanted something different. There was no mutual understanding,” lamented Reid.
Moral of the story as an integrator? It’s important to look at each situation and really see what they want and need from you. At the end of the day, you want those users to be satisfied every time they walk into the room and use the technology. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Another important lesson discussed during the panel was education and patience. Technology is growing and changing every single day, and those in the pro AV industry know this better than anyone. Judeh gave a perfect example: “Adopting new technologies takes time. If I were to buy an Android after using an iPhone for years, it would take some time for me to get used to the technology even though the user experience on the Android is great.”
According to Judeh, this serves as a gentle reminder to the integrators who may feel frustrated when their end users are slow to understand the newly implemented technology. It’s like getting back on the ski hill after a few seasons or learning a new language. Good things take time and as integrators, it’s important that you slow down and educate.
Lori Bajorek, president of the National eSports Association, gave the keynote address at the 2020 AV/IT Summit on Aug. 6. A video of her presentation is available online.
Torruella, on the other hand, stands by her own theory time and time again. “It’s [AV] not a ‘one size fits all.’ Some people think AV is one thing—copy, paste, and we’re good. It’s not. The way we manage it at Verrex is we are constantly being consistent with our engagement. It’s not enough to just implement the solution and fix it when it breaks. We have to consistently engage with the customer to do a review. We revisit the client every quarter. It’s important to understand what they’re doing differently in each region.” The process may be tedious but the rewards are great. Torruella noted that she prides herself on interpersonal relationships with her clients and truly understanding their needs.
“We have to be willing to teach people. I know more about the technology than the customer because I live and breathe it everyday,” she continued. “I have to make sure if I’m recommending something based on what I believe that if we don’t sync, I educate them and show them what I know. It’s ok to be on the path to be teachable. They like and respect that. They rely on it. You have to be willing to teach.”
This unusual year has taught many of us to slow down and it seems as though that’s what our integrators are learning in their work as well. On the flip side, end users are urged to continue communicating clearly on what they need from their integrators. Let’s keep this technological ecosystem thriving and growing in the right direction—upward!
All of the 2020 AV/IT Summit content—including the exhibit hall—is available on demand for the next month. To learn more, visit avitsummit.com.