AVI Systems Hosts a New Breed of Integrator Events With AVI LIVE

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This March, I had the pleasure of presenting a keynote address at AVI LIVE in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati event was at the Great American Ball Park, and attendees were even treated to tours of the park. More importantly, I was very pleased to see AVI Systems taking a new approach to the typical integrator hosted mini-tradeshow. While many industry events pay lip service to the idea of providing educational content, the AVI Systems team actually came through in a number of ways.

First, and most obviously, the event offered actual certification credits, so attendees could knock out real requirements during the event. Perhaps just as significant was their selection of speakers for the sessions and keynotes. Many integrator hosted events are dominated by somewhat promotional vendor presentations, with a sprinkling of independent thought leaders. At AVI LIVE, the balance was heavily weighted towards education. Sessions were primarily about topics and trends, not about specific products or services.

Keynotes and Seminars

The sessions covered a range of hot topics in the AV industry. Some presentations were more about big picture trends, while others got into the the geekier details of today’s collaboration technologies. While it was impossible to attend every session, I did learn something from the following:

Brad Sousa AVI Systems
Keynote: Emerging Trends and Big Ideas
Brad Sousa: CTO, AVI Systems

While Brad covered a number of trends in this session, my big takeaway was that our integrators and designers must focus more and more on the workflow of today’s knowledge workers. A large integrator must still, of course, be an expert in the products and services it provides to its customers. However, today that product expertise is not enough to meet the needs of our end users. In addition, they must understand and support their customers’ workflows with a new level of customization. Brad also provided some much needed insight into the massive effect that Skype for Business is having on the workplace.

Gary Kayye AVI Systems Event
Keynote: The Future of Meeting Rooms and Classrooms Is The 4k Digital Canvas
Gary Kayye: Founder, rAVe Pubs

Anyone wondering why 4K matters in the meeting room, really needs to see this presentation. Gary went deep into the technology, explaining (for example) why it isn’t just a question of resolution, but of color correctness. I now can’t help but notice how the “white” on many monitors is actually blue! In addition to explaining how it all works, Gary went into several product examples and use cases, demonstrating new ways of managing content in a collaborative setting.

David Maldow With Guitar
Keynote: Smells Like Team Productivity: Find Your Workflow Nirvana
David Maldow: Founder and CEO, Let’s Do Video

I was asked to present this keynote, covering the importance of team workflow in today’s AV design and support. The days of forcing knowledge workers to use collaboration equipment to achieve ROI are coming to an end. In this new world, we start with the workflow. We then choose products that will support the team without asking workers to change their workflow. This way adoption will be much less of a struggle, workers will be happier, and you will see real productivity benefits.

Keynote: ROI or RO-Why?
Jason Roberts: Enterprise Architect, AVI Systems

I often think of the soft ROI of collaboration technology. The general feeling of increased productivity and worker satisfaction. However, there are real measureable ROI metrics and they can be extremely compelling. While flight savings may be a bit of an old school justification for business video, the measured results in shorter meetings is a big benefit for today’s overbooked workers.

Seminar: IoT: The Current State of Play
Tim Albright: President, AV Nation

This session had an incredible impact on its audience. At first, Tim went through some helpful information regarding the current state of connected devices. But he really got everyone’s attention when he showed how to search the internet for unsecured devices. It is scary how many AV/IT devices are sitting out there, just ready for anyone to log in and take control. Whether you install a room control system, video system, or any kind of device, be sure to change the default login from “Admin” and “Password”!

Seminar: Modern Trends That Will Impact Your Corporate Video Production
Craig Frankenstein: Director New Media Sales, AVI Systems

I particularly enjoyed this presentation. I think that the business video community can sometimes ignore consumer video trends to its own peril. It was great to see an AV integrator taking such a close look at trends ranging from drone video, to 360 video, to social media video streaming. The fact is, if people are using this stuff at home, they will want to enjoy its benefits in the workplace as well. Which means we need to be able to support it in an enterprise ready fashion.

Exhibit Hall

The exhibit hall hosted over 40 vendors in the space. While I didn’t have time to brief with everyone, I did manage to hit the following booths.

AVI Systems Solution Spotlight

In the center of the exhibit hall was a large booth with four sections demonstrating four different solutions/platforms available from AVI Systems. In one corner was an analytics/management console for the IT team. The next one displayed a Skype for Business huddle room set up. The one after that showcased an interactive collaborative space with large touch displays. The final one, a conferencing space, was particularly interesting as it featured voice activated meeting controls. I predict we’ll be seeing more of this very soon.

With a great mix of exhibitors and presenters the AVI LIVE series is off to a great start. Two more events will take place this May in Chicago and Minneapolis and others are yet to be announced. Please check the AVI LIVE Events page for more information on future events as it becomes available.

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About Author

David Maldow is the Founder & CEO of Let's Do Video and has been covering the visual collaboration industry, and related technologies, for over a decade. His background includes 5 years at Wainhouse Research, where he managed the Video Test Lab and evaluated many of the leading solutions at the time. David has authored hundreds of articles and thought pieces both at Telepresence Options, where he was managing partner for several years, as well as here at Let's Do Video. David often speaks at industry events and webinars as well as hosting the LDV Video Podcast.

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