For the past eight years, InfoComm has promoted AV Week in late October as a way of raising the profile of our great industry, providing a forum for the audiovisual industry to reach out to the public and celebrate our craft. In our 75th year as an association, we decided that, as our industry has grown and matured, our goals would be better served by dedicating an entire month to AV.
I hope you will dedicate yourself to celebrating AV Month in October by
• creating positive recognition of our industry
• raising awareness for the breadth of AV applications in business, live events, education, entertainment, hospitality, healthcare and more
• creating recognition for AV as a technology industry with exciting growth prospects while attracting the next generation into the industry, and transforming the public’s misguided perception of the AV profession from cart pushers to high-tech magicians
• addressing the issues we face, such as hiring qualified workers, maintaining high standards through ongoing training and certification, educating customers about exceptional AV experiences and competing in today’s environment with tighter profit margins on equipment sales.
There are simple ways to participate in AV Month, as well as more elaborate choices. Leverage your resources and choose which are right for your organization. AV Month provides a prime opportunity to not only generate awareness of the industry, but to get involved within the community and reach out to your workforce.
Here are my top ways to celebrate AV Month:
• Speak at your local business group meeting. Are you a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, the local chapter of Meeting Professionals International or another business organization? Have you ever thought of sharing your knowledge about the AV industry? AV Month provides a great platform if you can be the featured speaker at their regularly scheduled meetings.
• Be a mentor. If you can’t commit to larger efforts, like adopting a school or hosting a job fair, start smaller by reaching out to a local high school or technical college and offering to be a mentor. Working with teachers, you can identify students who can benefit from this extra attention. It’s a simple way to introduce someone to a fulfilling career.
• Reach out to your local TSA chapter. The Technology Student Association is a national nonprofit organization for middle and high school students with a strong interest in technology, as well as their teachers who serve as advisors. Search the TSA website at www.tsaweb.org to see if there is a chapter in your state. They might want to tour your AV facility or have you as a speaker during AV Month.
• Show appreciation for your staff. AV Month is about reaching out to clients, students, business and the community, but don’t forget about your employees. Some InfoComm members take the opportunity to recognize staff by hosting a lunch or doing a special reception for CTS holders. Others promote the free online InfoComm training that is available to all employees of InfoComm members. Don’t forget fun contests like chili cook-offs or AV Jeopardy!
• Pick a charity. AV Month is an ideal opportunity to launch a charitable giving program for your office. There are numerous charities that benefit sight and sound, the senses we stimulate through AV technology. Pick one and make a donation of time and resources. It’s a great way to network and create good will.
There are endless possibilities, and all it takes is a little planning. Let’s raise our collective voices by reaching out to students, businesses and our communities. Dust off those elevator speeches and get ready to explain the wonder of AV…in airports and churches, boardrooms and classrooms, and at sports arenas, concerts and more. The future of the industry depends on it.
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