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8 HOW TO TAKE YOUR BUSINESS WORLDWIDE 8 ISE 2020 PREVIEW 8 THE LOWDOWN ON GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES 8 industry insiders 20 The Way They See It

MODE Studios’ Bob Bonniol discusses how augmented reality and artificial intelligence will impact integration.

22 Executive Q&A

Sonance’s Michael Bridwell talks living a highquality life with high-quality audio.

50 Viewpoint

20

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Jay B. Myers argues that professional selling is an art that deserves to be recognized.

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20 THE WAY THEY SEE IT MODE Studios’ Bob Bonniol discusses how augmented reality and artificial intelligence will impact integration. By Megan A. Dutta

22 EXECUTIVE Q&A

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Sonance’s Michael Bridwell talks living a high-quality life with high-quality audio. By Megan A. Dutta

SNAPSHOTS

REBECCA HALE/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

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CON TENTS

PEOPLE

42 AV TELLS JANE GOODALL’S STORY IN NAT GEO EXHIBIT Falcon’s Creative Group collaborated with the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., to provide six multimedia experiences for the Becoming Jane exhibition. By SCN Staff

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT 30 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ESPORTS Esports, the genre of multiplayer videogames played online or over a local area network, has quietly become part of mainstream Western culture over the last two decades. In recent years, the movement has graduated from the rec room to conventional sporting venues, where thousands of spectators have watched gamers compete. Find out what you need to know to be successful in this emerging market! By Jim Beaugez

TECHNOLOGY 44 THE EVOLVING ROLE OF AUDIO IN THE CLASSROOM Those who are good at teaching may be able to use technology to their advantage, or they may not—either way, that technology should never get in the way of presenting information to students. By Mary Bakija

FEATURES

24 | AV WORLDWIDE

Everything integration firms need to know about expanding their businesses outside the United States. By Carolyn Heinze

VIEWPOINT 50 THE LOST ART OF PROFESSIONAL SELLING

26 | AV TO SUPPORT A

MODERN WORKFORCE

How integration firms can keep up with the challenges of global corporate campuses. By Jennifer Guhl

These days, too many salespeople in the AV industry are good at answering their phones and becoming order takers. Is that really selling? By Jay B. Myers

DEPARTMENTS ASSOCIATION NEWS............................................. 19 PEOPLE NEWS......................................................... 23 PRODUCTS............................................................... 46

Are You Online? So Are We. 30 Vol. 27 No. 2 February 2020 Systems Contractor News (ISSN 1078-4993) is published monthly by Future US, Inc., 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002. Periodical postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: SYSTEMS CONTRACTOR NEWS, P.O. Box 1051, Lowell, MA 01853. Subscription rates are US: 1 yr $59, 2 yr $105; Canada: 1 yr $109, 2 yr $205, Foreign: 1 yr $169, 2 yr $325; Single copy price $10. Subscribe online at www.MySCNews.com. Please allow 6-8 weeks for address changes to take effect. ©Copyright 2020 by Future US, Inc. PRINTED IN U.S.A.

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FEBRUARY 2020 VOL . 27 NO. 2

Tradeshow Season Is Here Megan A. Dutta

Follow Me Online megan.dutta@futurenet.com facebook.com/ systemscontractor twitter.com/scnmag twitter.com/meganadutta @scnmagazine

We’ve hardly put a dent in the new year and tradeshow season has already begun. As I write this, we have exactly 23 days until Amsterdam’s RAI opens its doors to ISE attendees for the last time—starting in 2021, Barcelona becomes ISE’s annual tradeshow home. My inbox is full of press releases, Twitter is filled with preshow chatter, and everyone is busy planning their schedules. The annual start of show season leads to the inevitable conversation: do we have to? It’s not only members of the media who dread the effort; some manufacturers are still on the fence about whether these events are the best use of their time and money. In fact, some manufacturers have created their own experience centers, essentially bringing in the customers they want when they want, and have completely left the world of tradeshows behind. And attendees still have to prove the return on opportunity to the bosses who are approving their attendance (and the expense of said attendance). Is attending these in-person events imperative today in the same way it was in the pre-internet/pre-videochat age? As someone who has attended shows in the past as both exhibitor and attendee, I can tell you that it is, in fact, worth it to have a presence at

tradeshows. From the exhibitor point of view, where else can you spend time with all of these integrators and consultants with your key products in full demo mode? Plus, you never know when you’ll snag that white whale with the billion-dollar project. It could be at the next event ... or the one after that. For attendees, it’s one big multitasking trip. Need to catch up on those CTS credits? You can do it ... and then some. ISE, for example, has over 200 experts speaking at this year’s event. We’ve detailed it all in our special ISE report, which starts on page 36. Want to see all of the latest innovations in one place so you don’t have to make 12 different trips to the manufacturers? Yep, that’s there, too. (Follow along online at www.avnetwork.com for real-time reports on the latest product releases.) Last, but certainly not least, shows like ISE give you the chance to network with your peers. You can brainstorm with your friends about your latest challenge because, odds are, someone else has faced a similar problem and figured out how to conquer it. Or you can make totally new connections and start your global network. Any way you look at it, the majority of us will be at a tradeshow (or five) sometime this spring. Wear comfortable shoes, drink lots of water, post some #AVSelfies, and have plenty of fun. I’ll see you on the show floor. *

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Lizzo Loves DigiCo, Too

san francisco, ca—The shows on Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You Too Tour were mixed via two DiGiCo SD12 96 consoles at the front-of-house and monitor positions. Consoles were provided by Clair Global, which is also the SR provider for the tour. Brandon Blackwell helmed Lizzo’s FOH console, while Loreen Bohannon (pictured) handled monitor duties.

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4. Opinion: The Farce of 5G 3. Mark Cuban Bullish on AI 2. SCN Hall of Fame: Sandi Stambaugh 1. Mohit Parasher Leaves Harman Pro

Blog bits Now on avnetwork.com By Robbie Kellman Baxter The life of a subscription business leader is marked by consistency and uniformity rather than the abrupt beginnings and endings of projects and campaigns. It can be easy to just keep moving on autopilot, but markets can shift beneath our feet, and client needs can change in the blink of an eye. There are always things we can do better, and the end of the year is a good time to reflect on what those might be.

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Now on residentialsystems.com By Peter Zawistowski There is a problem with to-do lists, and that is listing tasks that are worthwhile and productive but not necessarily what needs to be done. When judging what needs to be done, there are likely to be external forces such as deadlines set by a supervisor, as opposed to internal forces, which affect the tasks for which you have set the deadline for personal reasons.

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Now on Installation-International.com By Chirag Shah Attractive displays have long been important to retail. From painstakingly organized window arrangements to improve footfall, to simple yet effective price offer banners to boost conversions, catching customers’ attention has always been (and will always be) essential for retailers. With indoor and outdoor displays, video walls and stretched panels to choose from, business owners have many options to captivate their customers and passersby—all in stunningly high resolution.


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news Riedel, NEP Support Veterans-TV

Riedel Communications and NEP are among the broadcast technology providers that have made major contributions to Veterans-TV (VETV), a nonprofit initiative whose aim is to train veterans for careers in broadcast production. Riedel has donated a comprehensive communications solution based on its Artist digital matrix intercom system, and NEP donated an OB truck. The brand-new Riedel equipment—including an Artist-32 mainframe, a complement of SmartPanel control panels, and Performer wired digital partyline beltpacks—will be installed aboard the former Denali Gold, an OB truck donated to VETV by NEP. The OB truck will act as a mobile classroom as VETV provides hands-on production training to veterans of the U.S. armed forces and their families. “The moment we heard about the VETV project, we knew we needed to be involved,” said Joyce Bente, president and CEO of Riedel North America. “VETV is addressing two significant issues: a severe lack of well- The donated Riedel equipment will be installed in an OB truck donated by NEP to Veterans-TV. trained broadcast engineers, and a large group of veterans and their families who are in need. With this outstanding program, veterans can receive professional television production training and experience with the state-of-the-art tools and technologies they’re likely to encounter in the workplace. It’s an honor to do our part to help veterans join the next generation of broadcast professionals.” “Since we began the VETV project, we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many key players in the broadcast technology industry, both individuals and companies like Riedel,” said Bob QSC will host a Charity Golf Classic to raise money to support Lefcovich, president of VETV. “With equipment donations United Way in its efforts to end homelessness in Orange County, totaling over $3 million from as many as 35 different broadcast CA. The event will be held March 16 at Tustin Ranch Golf Club in providers, we’re building a production facility that will rival many Tustin, CA. QSC has set a fundraising goal of $25,000. in the professional world. It’s tremendously gratifying to be able to “At QSC, we are committed to giving back to our community and provide training on the best equipment in the world, with some of we welcome our friends in pro AV to join us,” said Cory Schaeffer, the industry’s best professionals, to individuals who have given so director of strategic industry relations at QSC. “Consider getting much to serve our country.” out of the snow. Come to Southern California for a long weekend and golf on Monday.” To register for the QSC Charity Golf Classic, visit www. golftournamentconsultant.com/QSC-LLC. 1_3p enclosure box.qxp_WIRE BUSHINGS 1 4 pg 7 09 12/10/19 11:35 AM Page 1 QSC is also seeking donations for a raffle to be held during the evening portion of the event. To donate or for more information, contact Cory Schaeffer at Cory.Schaeffer@qsc.com. ARLINGTON’S INDOOR / OUTDOOR

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LECTROSONICS

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news York-based Gotham Sound was brought aboard the second season of the Netflix series Lost in Space to solve an audio problem stemming from the show’s costumes. The series concerns the members of the Robinson family, who have crash-landed on an alien planet teeming with hidden dangers. The Gotham team’s primary job was to design a communications and IFB system that would allow the space suit-clad actors to hear everything. The setup had to be integrated into production sound mixer Graham Timmer’s rig quickly—in time for the start of season 2—and inconspicuously so as not to add to the already elaborate costumes. Gotham’s Peter Schneider chose a Lectrosonics Duet system with two M2T transmitters and eight M2R receivers.

LG Business Solutions USA Recognized As Ingram Micro’s Vendor of the Year Ingram Micro has named LG Business Solutions USA its 2019 ProAV/DS Vendor of the Year. This marks the third consecutive year that LG has been presented with this award. “Together, LG and Ingram Micro are expanding the market demand for innovative digital signage solutions that make customer engagement more compelling than ever before,” said Clark Brown, vice president, digital signage, LG Business Solutions USA. “We’re honored to receive this prestigious recognition three years in a row, and I proudly accept this award on behalf of an LG team that works tirelessly every day with their Ingram Micro counterparts on the kind of forward-looking, customerfacing sales and marketing programs that meet the needs of end customers across various vertical markets.” Ingram Micro’s Vendor of the Year awards celebrate the growing success of the company’s top-performing emerging and established channel-focused vendor

organizations across categories including technology, markets, and communities. This year’s winners were recognized for exemplifying a new level of excellence when it comes to working with Ingram Micro, and for their efforts in enabling channel partners to imagine what is next and do more with more. Additionally, Ingram Micro’s team applauded its Vendor of the Year honorees for helping channel partners successfully market, sell, and support technology solutions and services that solve for today’s most common and most challenging business outcomes. “It’s an honor to present LG with an Ingram Micro Vendor of the Year award and recognize the team for its willingness to work together to better engage and enable the right channel partners with the right resources so together we can achieve extraordinary results,” said Kirk Robinson, Ingram Micro’s U.S. chief country executive.

L to R: Matt Waidley, distribution director, LG; Kevin Prewett, ProAV general manager, Ingram Micro; Mike Stachura, senior distribution manager, LG; April Allen, senior category manager, Ingram Micro

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Riedel Communications Acquires Embrionix Riedel Communications has acquired Canada-based IP video processing company Embrionix. With the addition of Embrionix’ proficiency in signal transport and processing for the media and entertainment markets, Riedel strengthens its expertise in IP-enabled hardware and software and further broadens its portfolio of video solutions. “Sometimes, things just fit,” said Thomas Riedel, CEO, Riedel Communications. “Just like Riedel, Embrionix started out as a garage company and has managed to preserve its innovation-driven startup spirit on its way to global success. Our company philosophies are an ideal match, and our product portfolios and competencies complement each other perfectly. Riedel is an international player, and we can offer Embrionix all of the benefits of a comprehensive global sales and support infrastructure. Embrionix, on the other hand, has access to unique technologies and proprietary knowledge that will be instrumental in our quest for innovation leadership in the field of video infrastructures.” With this partnership, Riedel gains access to considerable engineering talent in the Embrionix workforce—the majority of which comprises engineers specializing in leading-edge IP and video technologies. Headquartered in Montreal, QC, Embrionix employs a growing team of engineers and experts and maintains design, R&D, and sales offices around the world. With the Embrionix team joining the Riedel family, Riedel Communications will grow to over 700 employees. “As a hybrid IP environment, Riedel’s MediorNet is trusted by customers around the globe as an ideal bridge to the IP world,” said Renaud Lavoie, CEO, Embrionix. “Our high-density IP gateway and processing solutions will greatly enhance the MediorNet ecosystem

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elk grove, ca—The Elk Grove California Police Department has a novel crimefighting weapon: its new Information Center. The facility’s centerpiece is a large, real-time video wall powered by RGB Spectrum’s Galileo 4K video wall processor. The video wall centralizes an extensive volume of visuals and data to enhance situational awareness. Operators collaboratively view this information for incident assessment and resource deployment.

and expand its application areas, making it more powerful than ever. In recent years, our young company has experienced phenomenal growth. Now, the partnership with Riedel will further accelerate demand for our technologies and pave the way to an even brighter future. We are thrilled to continue the Embrionix success story as a member of the Riedel family, and I am happy to be part of this journey.”

Arista Corp., Blockhouse Studios Partner on Projection Mapping Initiative Examples of Blockhouse Studios’ projection mapping work include projecting flames onto the floor at Indiana University Hoosier basketball games and projecting landscapes and other visuals onto walls and other surfaces at Las Vegas’ Red Rock Casino. The process involves pairing multiple video projectors and related control equipment with a creative vision that results in larger-than-life visuals that enhance a range of events. The Arista-Blockhouse partnership addresses both the creative and technological aspects of the process, enabling others to achieve the best possible results. Kevin Winkler is the owner of Blockhouse Studios, which he co-founded with Andrew Beargie. As a cinematographer and content creator, Winkler’s focus is on providing turnkey solutions for projection mapping. He was an early evangelist of projection mapping and now works with Arista’s hardware solutions. Together, the companies offer

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a complete solution for event venue installation sales, service, and support. “I have always had a passion for video creation, and the possibilities offered by projection mapping technology are astounding,” Winkler said. “Until the advent of Arista’s Video Projection Mapping Turnkey System, however, the technological challenges of such an undertaking were a major stumbling block. Arista’s system takes the guesswork out of the equation and enables content producers like me to focus on the creative task—knowing that Arista’s technology has my back. I have every confidence that as more AV integrators and creative professionals gain exposure to the possibilities projection mapping offers, the market will experience a dramatic uptick, and that benefits everyone.” “Projection mapping has the ability to turn an ordinary room—a common hotel meeting space or external building façade—into a positively mesmerizing environment,” said Martin Fishman, vice president of Arista Corp. “The collapsible walls used to adjust the size of the space can now serve as a creative canvas onto which landscapes, digital signage, video, and more can be projected. The result is an environment that fosters creativity, encourages people to be more engaged, and completely rewrites the book on what is possible for any given space. Our partnership with Blockhouse Media serves as a platform for Kevin to show AV professionals the creative potential while we provide a turnkey technological solution to the process.” Arista’s Video Projection Mapping Turnkey System—which incorporates a 4U rackmount computer powered by an Intel Xeon 10-core processor combined with the company’s ARD-5816 HDBaseT transmitter—brings a compact, all-in-one solution to the video projection mapping market. Complementing the technology is the creative expertise of Blockhouse Studios, a creative services company recognized for its expertise in this area.


CRACK SHACK

trends

news Crack Shack, a San Diego-based casual restaurant chain that offers organic, locally-sourced chicken and egg dishes, recently opened its first location outside of California, taking its place among the fierce competition on the Las Vegas Strip. With the intention to dazzle Las Vegasstyle, The Crack Shack invested in AV solutions controlled by Xantech’s video over IP platform and ELAN. The main dining area features the large-scale video wall, while a smaller four-panel video wall is mounted in the restaurant’s outdoor patio area. Both video walls use the Xantech VoIP platform to deliver content streams from multiple DirecTV and cable boxes located in an equipment room.

Biamp Launches Charitable Leadership Committee and Grant Program Biamp is helping strengthen communities where people work, play, and live by maximizing the company’s giving and volunteer opportunities. Through Biamp’s charitable leadership committee, the company will align and broaden its support of global organizations that share Biamp’s vision of encouraging the discovery of audiovisual technology and engineering and enhancing the lives of those in need. The committee will be responsible for managing Biamp’s new grant program, volunteer programming, and employee matching. “Our mission is to connect people through extraordinary experiences, not only in the AV industry but in the community as well,” said Rashid Skaf, Biamp president, CEO, and co-chairman. “By strengthening our charitable leadership committee, which oversees our new grant and employee matching programs, we are pursuing a mission to ignite even more positive change. I’m incredibly proud of the initiative and generosity of our team members. It’s because of them that Biamp has been able to truly make a difference.”

LinkedIn’s Loni Olazaba (left) with CTA’s Jennifer Taylor

At CES, LinkedIn’s Olazaba Talks Fostering Cultures of Belonging B Y M A T T PR U Z NI C K

Biamp supports several causes with its charitable giving program including Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls.

Biamp’s charitable leadership committee will oversee the grant program. Organizations within the underserved community and the AV industry can apply for a grant from this program and, based on their qualifications, receive between $500 and $10,000. The committee will also help promote volunteer opportunities for internal employees and streamline employee matching. In the past, Biamp has supported causes including Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls, Biamp PDX Jazz Festival, Theater in the Grove, Young Audiences, Shared_Studios, and Habitat for Humanity. The grant application is available online at www.biamp.com/ company/community-involvement.

Recent studies have shown that diverse companies tend to be more innovative and profitable than their more homogenous counterparts. How can businesses work to establish a culture that not only attracts diversity, but enables its employees with different backgrounds to flourish? Loni Olazaba, director of inclusion and recruiting at LinkedIn, sat down with Jennifer Taylor, vice president of industry affairs at the CTA, to address this question and more in a discussion titled “Moving from Inclusion to Belonging,” on the CTA Center Stage at CES 2020. “This is something that we all as humans look for in our lives,” Taylor said. “It’s especially true at work, because in order to do your best work, you want to feel like you belong in the environment.” For Olazaba, the difference between inclusion and belonging is a matter of embracing the things that make us unique as people, not just as professionals. “[Inclusion means] you bring something to the table, you have an idea, you have a skill set or a strength; you’re going to be acknowledged and you’re going to have a seat at the table,” she said. Belonging is much more personal: “What is your background, what is your life journey? What are your personality traits? Who you are as a human being? That is where belonging comes in.” Olazaba said that one of the reasons LinkedIn has been so successful in establishing a diverse culture is because the initiative started from the top down with CEO Jeff Weiner. She said that the company seeks out all manner of diversity and cited the success of its Reach program, which recruits employees with nontraditional backgrounds such as those without a college education. Olazaba suggested that companies looking to increase the diversity of their workforce should begin by outlining their mission and vision. “Now is the time, because the movement is here,” she said. “We see it, we feel it, and with this generation, it’s becoming so much more important.”

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FCC Chair Pai Says Net Neutrality Rules Are Working BY ST EWART W O LP IN

After famously ducking out of appearances at previous CES conventions, a result of the uproar from the industry and the public over his controversial net neutrality rule changes, Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, sat down with CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro at CTA’s annual FCC/FTC session at CES in January. Pai’s conversation with Shapiro followed one with the FTC’s Joe Simons, who discussed privacy and security issues, as well as antitrust proposals aimed at potentially breaking up tech giants. Shapiro immediately addressed both Pai’s appearance and the policy elephants in the room, lightheartedly feigning uncertainty regarding whether Pai was indeed backstage. Once seated, Pai claimed that despite dire predictions that the internet as we knew it would end under his new carrier-centric rules, the opposite has instead resulted. “The indicators are in the other direction,” Pai proudly asserted. “Since we made the decision in December 2017, broadband speeds are up 60 percent, according to Ookla, infrastructure investment is up, more Americans are getting connected to the internet than ever before, and more fiber was laid in 2019 to homes and businesses in the United States than in any year since they’ve been keeping records, breaking the record we set in 2018. And I would like to say that thanks to our efforts, more Americans than ever before, faster than ever before, are able to hate-tweet their favorite FCC chairman.” Pai and Shapiro spent most of their 30-plus minutes together discussing the pros and cons of 5G deployment. Issues included spectrum allocation and auctions, the lack of American 5G infrastructure suppliers, fiber deployment, and wider broadband access to more rural and tribal areas. Pai noted one of the real-world roadblocks to wide deployment isn’t a matter of technology, but manpower. “In many parts of the country, it’s difficult to find people able to do this work,” he said, describing rural 5G sites he has visited in Mississippi and New Hampshire. “You quickly recognize that this is not a job that is easy to do. I know it’s not the sexiest thing to talk about how demanding it is to get up a tower and install infrastructure, but that really is one of the core jobs of building these networks. You’re outside, in many cases the conditions aren’t great, it’s raining or cold. It’s a young person’s job, and a lot of young people have better opportunities, especially indoor opportunities, that aren’t as physically demanding. That’s one of the challenges we’re going to have to think about: how to develop the workforce of the future to build these wireless networks.” Pai also discussed his passion project: establishing 988 as the short dialing code for the United States’ suicide prevention hotline. “This is

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (left) sat down with CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro for a panel discussion at CES 2020.

something that matters to me a lot,” he said. “It’s affected my family and me personally, and [the] one thing I would like to be able to deliver on in the memory of those who’ve been suffering and those who’ve unfortunately died by suicide is making sure that anybody who’s out there struggling in this country will one day be able to access an easyto-remember three-digit number so they don’t take that step.” In his session, the more soft-spoken and slower-talking Simons stressed a bipartisan approach to state versus federal privacy laws, amending the century-old Federal Trade Commission Act to deal with problems in the modern world, and using emerging health technologies to deal with rising health costs. He also discussed the idea of potentially breaking up the big tech companies. Simons emphasized how the FCC vigorously audits and pursues companies who break the law. Simply breaking them up because they’re too big is, according to Simons, a bad policy. “We don’t go after companies just because they are big and successful,” Simons said. “They actually have to commit an antitrust violation; they have to do something anti-competitive. We encourage firms to compete. If they do that and become successful—maybe to the extreme of monopolizing a market if they’ve done it legally—we shouldn’t then turn around and penalize them. We want companies to be competitive and to produce better products at cheaper prices.”

Almo Acquires NewComm Distributing Almo Professional A/V has acquired certain assets of NewComm Distributing, the distribution arm of manufacturing representative NewComm Technologies. As a result of the acquisition, Almo Pro A/V is now sourcing all of NewComm’s ClearOne inventory, while giving former NewComm customers access to Almo Pro A/V’s more than 60 AV brands, nine warehouse locations, the Sound Options audio sourcing and technical engineering group, and revenue-generating managed services. “This acquisition offers benefits for both our existing partners and former NewComm customers,” said Rob Ziv, director of business development for Almo Professional A/V. “Our existing partners now have a larger quantity of inventory to access in different locations throughout the nation. At the same time, former

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NewComm customers can now take advantage of all Almo Pro A/V has to offer to increase profits and margins, such as products from the top AV brands, and business-expanding services like content creation for digital signage, sourcing labor, control systems, ClearOne DSP mixer programming, and bandwidth service.” “When we made the business decision to exit distribution, we wanted to make sure our customers would be taken care of by a reliable, well-stocked and technically-astute distributor,” added Alex Schouten, sales and dealer communication for NewComm Distributing. “Almo Pro A/V has a proven, secure path for these resellers and integrators, with the benefit of ongoing opportunities for growth and profitability in the future.”


trends

news

Publicis Sapient, the digital transformation hub of Publicis Groupe, has been named a leader in “The Forrester Wave: Global Digital Experience Agencies, Q4 2019,” a report that evaluated 14 service providers identified by Forrester as the most significant in the industry today. Forrester evaluated each of the 14 service providers against 24 criteria, which were grouped into three categories: Current Offering, Strategy and Market Presence. The report highlights Publicis Sapient as the top-ranked service provider in the Current Offering category. According to Forrester, “Publicis Sapient tackles transformation with strategy, design, and engineering,” and “compared with other service providers evaluated, Publicis Sapient has higher customer adoption and ratings of its customer experience strategy and insights, experience design, product engineering, and technology services.” “We are honored to be recognized by Forrester as a leader. We believe this recognition reflects the digital experiences we create that enable our clients to exceed their customers’ expectations,” said John Maeda, chief experience officer at Publicis Sapient. “For just as long as Apple has dominated in design, we’ve been quietly crafting ‘dataful’ experiences for our clients that combine consumer insights with new technologies to create transformative business value.” The report, authored by Ted Schadler, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, stated, “Reference customers like Publicis Sapient’s ability to tie initiatives to broader digital transformation and to foster deep partnerships. One customer said, ‘They really look at things from a business value and customer value perspective to drive impact for our business.’” The report also stated, “Publicis Sapient is a good fit for companies that need consulting services and experience transformation.” Each service provider included in the evaluation has a portfolio of digital experience services and the capacity to deliver, global presence and delivery capability, and market leadership and visibility. To view the full report, visit www. publicissapient.com.

ClearOne Asserts Shure’s Redesigned MXA910 Infringes on Its Beamforming Patent ClearOne is claiming that Shure’s redesigned MXA910 ceiling tile microphone, the MXA910W-A released in December 2019, infringes ClearOne’s U.S. Patent No. 9,813,806 and has been added as an accused product to its currently pending lawsuit against Shure in Illinois. Shure began shipping the MXA910W-A just over four months after Judge Edmond E. Chang of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois granted ClearOne’s request for a preliminary injunction preventing Shure from “manufacturing, marketing, and selling” the original MXA910 for use “in its drop-ceiling mounting configuration.” “In our view, Shure did not put in the time or effort necessary to ensure that its new product respects ClearOne’s intellectual property rights,” said Zee Hakimoglu, ClearOne chair and CEO. “ClearOne is disappointed in Shure’s ongoing infringement and its refusal to compete fairly in the market.” Shure responded with the following statement: “The court has explicitly stated the preliminary injunction of the MXA910 issued in August 2019 does not address the newly designed MXA910W-A. Shure specifically designed the new MXA910W-A to comply with the court’s orders, and we remain confident that this new product does not violate the ’806 patent. The MXA910W-A remains available in the U.S. and our top priority continues to be providing an uninterrupted supply of innovative products to our customers. We continue to believe the ’806 patent is invalid and look forward to presenting our case in court. Today’s announcement is another example of ClearOne competing in the courtroom because it cannot effectively compete in the marketplace.” The case number in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois is 17-cv-3078.

Severtson Screens Moves to Larger Facility Severtson Screens has moved its headquarters to a larger facility in nearby San Tan Valley, AZ. “It was time,” said Toby Severtson, president and CEO of Severtson Corp. “With our continued growth, we were bursting at the seams at our three Mesa, AZ, facilities, and we needed to find a location where we could expand our headquarters and manufacturing capabilities. Our new San Tan Valley campus has allowed us to grow our footprints for greater production and efficiency by allowing us to design and build a multi-facility campus that fulfills all of our office, manufacturing, and warehousing needs.” “We could not have asked for a better location,” added Dan Maxwell, Severtson Corp. vice president and COO. “Not only does the new facility fulfill our needs, it also benefits our suppliers as they now have one primary location to go to and from for us, instead of multiple locations. It is a time- and money-saver for everyone.” “Severtson Screens has been around for more than three decades, and we are continuing to grow across multiple markets,” concluded Kirk Severtson, Severtson Corp. vice president and CTO. “This move is by no means a short-term fix. With our new multi-facility campus, we have additional land to expand our operations if we should need to in the near or distant future.”

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news Pro AV Grows as New Decade Dawns and Brexit Looms The decade ended on a high note for the pro AV industry. With AVIXA’s Pro-AV Business Index staying well above the no-growth mark of 50 in both 2018 and 2019, it’s a good time to take a moment and be grateful for the business environment the pro AV world has experienced in recent times. December marked the fourth straight month of increasing sales growth, with the AV Sales Index clocking in at 62.3 in December. The slowest month in 2019 was September, at 59.5, and the fastest was August, at 63.9. The average for the year worked out to 61.6, which was lower than the 63.5 average in 2018. However, the previous year was less consistent, as it had a lower minimum month than 2019 and a higher maximum month. “The prognosis for 2020 is looking sunny,” said Peter Hansen, economic analyst, AVIXA. “At this time last year, the stock market had just endured a double-digit dive by percentage and recession fears were top of mind. And yet the AV world grew as steadily as ever! The past two years have set a high bar, but we project business conditions to stay just as strong through this year.” Trade uncertainty eases as Brexit negotiations have finally progressed in the UK Parliament. Brexit ambiguity has proven to be a pain point for AV buyers over the past several years, making businesses hesitant to make capital investments. The saga is not fully over as vital trade negotiations will continue through the year, but for now, the Brexit outlook is as positive as it has been since the initial referendum. On the jobs front, 2019 ended with a U.S. unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, compared to 3.9 in 2018. Though unemployment was lower, wage growth was actually slower. This is a clear disappointment from most economic perspectives and a persistent puzzle for those who study the labor market. As AVIXA’s Macroeconomic Trends Analysis

(META) shows, this apparent contradiction is present in AV, too, where businesses have preferred to relax hiring standards and spend more time searching rather than giving out substantial raises. Meanwhile, our AV Employment Index showed continued growth in December with a score of 60.7. This pace was essentially level with November’s mark of 61.7, and up from the December 2018 score of 55.6. The Pro-AV Business Index report is derived from a monthly survey of the AVIXA Insights Community, a research community of industry members that tracks business trends in commercial AV. The report actually comprises two diffusion indexes: the AV Sales Index (AVI-S) and the AV Employment Index (AVI-E). In each case, an index above 50 indicates an increase in sales or employment activity. Visit www.avixa.org/AVindex to access the free monthly Pro-AV Business Index reports and learn more about the methodology. For more information about joining the AVIXA Insights Community, visit www.avixa.org/AVIP.

Cory’s Audio Visual Receives Praise Cory’s Audio Visual was recently recognized with accolades—one for the company and two for individual staff members—from Oklahoma City publications. This year’s distinction marks the third year Cory’s Audio Visual has been recognized as one of Oklahoma’s Best Places to Work by the Journal Record, a leading business publication in Oklahoma City. To qualify for the recognition, Cory’s Audio Visual employees filled out anonymous surveys via a thirdparty company that looked for leadership strength, culture indicators, communication processes, The staff at Cory’s Audio Visual employee satisfaction, and supervisor qualities, among other criteria. This year the company received a 91 percent overall rating and a 100 percent in employee satisfaction. “We believe the secret recipe for building a strong company culture starts with treating your employees like family,” said CEO Brad Poarch. “Your company culture is your brand, and it will always trickle down into interactions with clients and quality of work.” Abby Wolfe, the company’s director of marketing and communications, was named in Oklahoma’s Forty Under 40 by the Oklahoma Gazette. The Gazette cited Wolfe’s involvement in the nonprofit community as well as the culture-cultivating work at Cory’s Audio Visual as key achievements. Finally, Cory’s Audio Visual account manager Amanda Robinson was recognized by OKnStyle Publications in the Next Gen Under 30 Awards, which focus on the next generation of leaders and achievers in Oklahoma.

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association news

news

NSCA Announces Keynote Lineup for BLC 2020 NSCA has confirmed speakers for the 22nd Annual Business & Leadership Conference (BLC), to be held Feb. 26–28 at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Irving, TX. The NSCA’s BLC has become one of the industry’s most popular platforms for executive-level education and networking. The event brings hundreds of executives together annually to share stories, learn from other leaders, and hear about new ways to embrace technology and motivate employees. BLC 2020 keynotes include: * The Future of Work: How Will Humans Fit In? by Geoff Colvin * What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do, by Laura Stack * Helping Your People Bring Great Ideas to Life, by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg * Build a Culture of Good, by Ryan McCarty * Outrageous Empowerment: Giving Employees Their Brains Back, by Ron Lovett * Leadership Isn’t for Cowards, by Mike Staver * Economic Outlook 2020 and Beyond, by Chris Kuehl “The experts we’re bringing in this year have the potential to change our members’ businesses for the better,” said NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson. “They’re giving integrators something new and different to think about from every perspective— whether it’s finding and retaining talent or managing never-ending workloads.” Attendees are encouraged to register for the annual NSCA Education Foundation Industry Charity Golf Outing at the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas on Feb. 26. This outing helps the NSCA Education Foundation raise money for programs such as Ignite and PASS K-12. BLC 2020 sponsors include AtlasIED, Audinate, Barco, Biamp, Bosch, Kramer, Legrand AV, NEC, QSC, Shure, Synnex, and more. The registration fee for NSCA members is $899; non-members can attend for $1,499. To register, visit www.nsca.org/blc.

AVIXA has added two categories to its annual awards program: the Emerging Talent Award and Event Design Professional of the Year Award. The winners will be recognized during a ceremony at InfoComm 2020 in Las Vegas on June 17. “The annual AVIXA Awards program honors pro AV professionals making significant impacts in all corners of the industry,” said Amanda Eberle Boyer, senior director of member services. “We’re seeing more and more young people excited about pro AV and getting a jump on starting their career. Our Emerging Talent Award is going to shine a light on these go-getters. In addition, our Event Design Professionals of the Year Award will celebrate people who create memorable events through creative design and technology applications.” The Emerging Talent Award will honor a young adult from anywhere in the world who demonstrates a passion and desire to start a career in the pro AV industry. This individual will contribute positively to their school and/or community using audiovisual technologies, while maintaining good academic standing. They also will embody the attributes of an emerging professional who understands that audiovisual technology changes how we communicate and experience the world. The Event Design Professional of the Year Award will recognize an individual who is making outstanding contributions to the live events pro AV market. This award highlights an individual’s innovative design and use of technology to bring a client’s message to life for an event. These new categories join AVIXA’s Awards program, which includes: * Adele De Berri Pioneers of AV Award * CTS Holder of the Year Award * Educator of the Year Award * Fred Dixon Service in Education Award * Mackey Barron Distinguished Achievement Award * Volunteer of the Year Award * Women in AV Award * Young AV Professionals Award Nominations for the awards are now open and will close on March 27. To learn more and submit a nomination, visit www.avixa.org/awards.

Digital Signage Federation Announces 2020 Board of Directors and Officers The Digital Signage Federation (DSF) has announced the members of its 2020 board of directors. Spencer Graham of Real Digital Media will continue to serve as chairman. Len Dudis of Grupo Vidanta will Newly-elected DSF board members Chris Freeman, Dominic Desieno, and Beth Warren. continue in the role of vice chairman, and Paul Fleuranges of Pearl Media continues as treasurer. Laura Davis-Taylor of HighStreet will continue to serve in her executive committee role as director of marketing. Ryan Cahoy of Rise Display has been elected by the board to serve as secretary. Continuing on the board of directors to serve a second two-year term are Dave Hayes of Sixteen:Nine and Stephanie Gutnik of Outfront Media. Newly elected at-large board members beginning their first two-year term are Chris Freeman of United Airlines, Dominic Desieno of Wells Fargo, and Beth Warren of Creative Realities. “Our election turnout was fantastic this year,” said Graham. “As in the past, the nominating committee did an excellent job at recruiting and selecting candidates. Our entire sector is well represented by end users, operators, integrators, and vendors. I look forward to growing emerging leaders in the DSF through our various committees and volunteer opportunities.” All other current directors will continue to serve on the board of directors through 2020.

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the way they see it

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Everyday Immersion MODE STUDIOS’ BOB BONNIOL DISCUSSES HOW AR AND AI WILL IMPACT INTEGRATION SCN: Tell us about why you launched MODE Studios. BOB BONNIOL: I and Colleen, my wife and partner, were working in other parts of the entertainment industry. Colleen was working as a best boy on feature films, and I was a lighting supervisor for Disney Theatrical. We both decided we were interested in learning about CGI—this was back in 1997, and films like Jurassic Park had just blown everybody’s minds. So we took a 14-week class in Softimage 3D, which was the software used for visual effects on Jurassic Park. We finished the course and decided to form the company, at that point with the idea of making animated children’s television series. We were pursuing that and had made three pilots when we got a call from a friend—the late, great lighting designer Rick Belzer [whose credits include Broadway shows including Cats and touring exhibits such as Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition]—who was designing a tribute tour for the Tejana singer Selena. He said that they had a big video system, lots of projectors and playback, but there was no content … no design. And he said he heard we were now “video designers.” Ha! We were willing to try. This was in 1998, so the show was using 5,000-lumen LCD projectors, Doremi playback decks, all controlled with Dataton Trax. We went ahead and figured that out. It was familiar from a system point of view to our combined knowledge of lighting systems. And we now knew how to make content, so we started creating the scenic song backdrops. That show led to another, and another. Eventually, by around 2005, we were creating big, video-driven shows for concert tours, opera, theater, and broadcast. Around 2010, we also started getting heavily involved in designing media-driven architectural projects. At this point, most of our work is with large-scale entertainment, brand activations, and interactive architectural projects. SCN: What is the biggest difference in terms of the audience today versus the audience of the past? BB: The biggest difference between expectations of the contemporary audience and previous ones is the idea of having no barriers, either of form or of experience. It used to be that you had a stage and theater full of seats, or a thing to be observed and a separate observer. Now, those walls are removed. Today’s audience wants very much to be in the show. They want to be part of the picture, and they also want your picture to be part of theirs. Everybody craves to create impressions of their life on a social canvas. So now we are providing backdrops for their lives as much as we are creating for our own purposes. Also, today’s audience expects to have agency. They want to affect their environments, their experience. To meet these expectations, you need to create immersion and interaction. SCN: Tell us your definition of merged reality. BB: The idea of merged reality [MR] goes all the way back to Robert Edmond Jones saying in 1919 that in the combination of the live actor and the motion picture, a whole new art form existed. When we started to combine cinema with on-stage actions, we were dipping our toe into merged realities. We had what was real, and we also had this awesome “mind’s eye” that could impart dreams, emotions, or just more information. Today we are witnessing technologies like augmented reality [AR] and virtual reality [VR] creating amazing new channels for experience. Now take these things, like we did cinema, and combine them with the

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live context. Boom. Now we are really delving into merged realities, and they become powerfully compelling. This is now starting to be experimented with by artists, by brand creatives, by filmmakers, and by architects.

Quick Bio Name: Bob Bonniol Position: Partner/Chief Creative Officer Company: MODE Studios Overtime: Bonniol has an active practice as a coach and advisor to creative leaders. In addition, he is an avid sailor, and cannot be separated from the ocean for long. He loves interesting, deep questions of all kinds, which fosters his obsession with learning new things.

SCN: Where does merged reality have the greatest potential in the professional audiovisual world? BB: It is important to understand how ubiquitous it will be. The biggest thing that will drive the development of merged reality will be when augmented reality reduces its emphasis on mobile devices and instead moves into wearables. I think in 24 to 36 months we will see stylish, subtle glasses that will add the AR layer directly to your line of sight. In 10 years there will be an augmented reality layer alongside and on everything: public spaces, retail spaces, entertainment productions, installations, museums, everything. If we just apply the lens of needing to play back and coordinate all that content alongside what is happening in the “real” world, it means a whole new layer of show control, playback, routing, and also what will ultimately be AI-powered personalization and articulation of programming.

SCN: How do you integrate merged reality into things like brand activations? BB: From a technical standpoint, MR is great at making experiences feel and appear bigger and deeper. AR can work to extend what lighting can do, what scenery can do, what the sense of space is. The best merged reality experiences in brand activations are going to lean in to making those activations really personal. With several simple queries to a user, the individual experiences can really be refined and tailored by this potential for AR to add on to live experience, fill gaps, and extend things. SCN: How can clients use big data to measure the effectiveness of their activations, especially those using merged reality? BB: Because we can measure things like where people are looking and what they engage with more deeply when we use merged reality toolsets, we can start to give brands a view into the same metrics they enjoy in digital marketing. Merged reality is empowered by tools like spatial scanning with LIDAR, depth sensing for interactivity, and participant interconnection. All of this serves to measure the experience at the same time it empowers it. I am fond of saying that when you can measure things, you can move them. Brands will start using this ability to measure to iterate and improve experiences in real time, determine what is really compelling to


the way they see it

people BB: The three big takeaways from this lovely chat are AR, AI, and scanning/sensing. For manufacturers, this means a huge new market for devices that utilize these things to create immersive environments everywhere. For service providers, it means grabbing these tools and meeting the expectations of clients who are going to demand all of this. For creatives, it means that we have incredible new tools to create really deep experiences with audiences. This is a big responsibility—it’s a very powerful new channel. Despite the overt technicality of it, it should be used to create deeper human connection. *

SCN: How do you use artificial intelligence for content management? BB: We are currently using AI in two ways. We have built proprietary systems that let machine learning help us metatag content. This allows us to find useful content very quickly from a big brand client’s own deep reserves, organizing it seamlessly for us to then deploy. The other way we are using AI is in content sequencing. In 2010, we created software called the MODE Matrix for an installation at Microsoft that would sequence and effect content in real TVBu810 LVMB .qxp_Layout 1 1/10/20 1:21 PM Page 1 time based on interactive inputs. That was the seed of development that later manifested as VERTICAL OR HORIZONTAL RETROFIT & NEW WORK our Interactive Content Engine that we recently TM deployed at GM World to create a steady stream of new sequences for the 17 P E R F E C T F O R H O M E T H E AT E R S Y S T E M S screens in that space. We are using this AI-driven Arlington’s TVBU810 TV Box™ delivers technology to offer clithe ultimate in versatility for installing ents the ability to ensure flat screen TVs in new and retrofit projects. There's more room in the that installations are box for wires and it installs horizontally constantly evolving and or vertically to properly position low changing autonomously. voltage connections behind the TV.

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SCN: What is the largest challenge you face when working with AV integration firms and how do you solve it? BB: We treasure our relationships with integrators. We place a large value on these partners being able to stretch the idea of “the box” and be comfortable with innovation. Often we are taking very familiar systems designs and adding or embedding very new layers on it. It requires patience, good humor, flexibility, and more than a little courage. We promote this kind of atmosphere by making sure our integration partners clearly understand what success looks like before we begin, and then involving them and communicating with them abundantly as decisions are made and plans formulated. We find that when we create the alignment before we jump off the proverbial cliff, the experience can be much saner—and even fun. SCN: Anything you’d like to add?

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their audience, and derive direct connections between experience and transaction.

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Patented


executive q&a

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High-Quality Goals SONANCE’S MICHAEL BRIDWELL TALKS LIVING A HIGH-QUALITY LIFE WITH HIGH-QUALITY AUDIO SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities? MICHAEL BRIDWELL: My title is vice president, commercial sales. My top-level responsibilities include setting the structure, strategy, tone, and measurables for the Sonance commercial channel. Day-today, I guide our team to success through precise direction, clearlystated expectations, and open exchange. I also spend a fair amount of time developing ways to introduce those who don’t yet know Sonance to our culture and people. Sonance changes lives, and I want as many people as possible to experience that firsthand. SCN: How long have you been in this position? MB: I’ve been at Sonance for nearly two and a half years, and I’m looking forward to many more. SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role? MB: My father was an entrepreneur who owned his own business, and I saw at a young age the respect he extended to the people around him. Seeing how he treated others had a profound effect on who I am today. Later in my life, I started my own marketing and business consulting company and had to navigate both the best and worst of times. Very humbling, to say the least, and a very important part of my professional education. I discovered the AV industry “In both personal and by accident, as Digital Projection happened to be located nearby professional roles, I am and had posted a job description at my best when I’m that I found intriguing. I helping others. That helps immediately took to the team keep me grounded and and the opportunity, and they focused.” took a chance on me, as I had no significant hardware or AV experience. We were the underdog against much larger competitors, and waking up each day knowing I had to work harder than my peers was a great fit for my somewhat hyperactive energy. It was a real “us against the world” mentality, and together we achieved some inspiring milestones. The mentorship, freedom, and trust I received there was absolutely critical to who I am today, and I will forever be thankful for that. In general, I like to take care of others. In both personal and professional roles, I am at my best when I’m helping others. That helps keep me grounded and focused. SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals? MB: My short-term goals are focused on my people: Every day we carry the water, and by that I mean we work the plan every day. I want my people to have a sustainable, high-quality, fulfilling life. Our team will both embrace and model the Sonance humble/hungry/emotionallyintelligent ethos, and serve as role models for others. Our team members will have opportunities for professional advancement. The penultimate long-term goal is to create a sustainable, repeatable channel of business that will dramatically diversify Sonance as a company. Everything we do should point toward that goal, or at least make sense when looking through that single lens. SCN: What is the greatest challenge you face? MB: It’s my job to worry, to remove my team’s hurdles by taking the

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hardest situations on my own back. As long as I’m taking care of myself physically and mentally, I’m able to attack those challenges each day. So, prioritizing my own needs within the wall of external requirements is my own personal challenge.

Quick Bio Name: Michael Bridwell Position: Vice President, Commercial Sales Company: Sonance Overtime: The moment I’m able, I try to get outside. Between building up mileage for my second marathon this year and hiking whenever and wherever possible when on the road, outside is almost always my down-time focus.

SCN: Where do you see the pro audio market heading? MB: What’s more immersive than sound? Our industry’s overdue prioritization of delivering experiences aligns incredibly well with the benefits of a well-designed audio application. Sound experiences that can be curated around the individual, even when in a populated environment, seem inevitable, whether it be consciously prohibiting sound in some instances, or immersing and changing a sound experience in real time for others. There are presently so many spaces we visit daily where the audio is either a barely-present afterthought or, much worse, a detractor from the space itself. There is a huge opportunity to revisit these spaces and redesign them with the user experience in mind. That opportunity alone is compelling enough. SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Sonance? MB: Product-wise, Sonance lives by the premise that hardware should blend into the space where it’s installed, letting the design of the space take center stage instead of detracting from it. You’ll see us innovate around that idea for many years to come. Additionally, we tend to lean in and get excited when we can make major improvements to existing options. As early as ISE 2020 in Amsterdam, watch for Sonance to radically redefine and set a new performance standard for some specific long-established audio solutions. SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer? MB: First of all, if you aren’t an authorized Sonance commercial dealer and want to learn more, send an email to michaelb@sonance.com. The integrator channel is our preferred path to market, and we focus on integrators with our shipping, sales, and support programs. On that note, our design services group and application support are hugely beneficial to consultants, end users, and integrators alike, so make sure you’re taking advantage of those. We have a vast and experienced manufacturer’s rep network, proactive technical support, and so much more that allows an integrator to win business, design a compelling space, and retain revenue throughout the lifetime of the job. I don’t know of another company that is more customer-focused than Sonance today.  *


newsmakers

people ga —DVIGEAR has appointed PAUL BECKELHEINER business development manager for the western U.S. for the company’s full range of digital signage distriPaul Beckelheiner bution products. Beckelheiner has more than 30 years of industry solutions selling experience. He previously served as regional sales director for ZeeVee and director of operations development for DirecTV’s customer care operations.

PFILE and ANDREA ESHLEMAN have joined Herman ProAV as regional sales managers. Based in Indianapolis, Pfile comes to Herman with more than 10 Kylie Pfile years of AV experience on the manufacturer side. Eshleman, based in Phoenix, has nearly a decade of industry experience, having worked for both an integrator and a major distributor. Andrea Eshleman Both women say they are eager to leverage their knowledge and experience to support and grow Herman’s relationshipfocused sales and service. miami , fl—KYLIE

TALBOT has been promoted to director of technical services at Involve Visual Collaboration. Talbot, who was featured in SCN ’s The Nine in May 2019, Kev Talbot has served in a variety of roles at the company since joining in 2006. warrington ,

Blair Johnson

uk—KEV

rio rancho, nm —LECTROSONICS has hired two U.S. regional representatives: BLAIR JOHNSON in the Northeast and NICHOLAS MARIANO in the Southeast. Johnson will serve customers and develop new business in ME, NH, VT, CT, RI, NY, ME, NJ, eastern PA, MD, VA, and Washington, DC. Mariano will do so in AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, OK, TN, and TX.

ager, MICHAEL YORK as central EMEA sales manager, and ANTHONY WILKINS as EMEA sales manager. ma —TERESA DE­L APPE has joined healthcare IT consultancy VERITECHIT as a senior consultant. DeLappe’s trademarked strategy “Beyond the Technology Teresa DeLappe Management” encompasses an approach that recognizes that while technology is often the catalyst for change, it is only one of the many tools and influences built into the human aspect of delivering healthcare. Michael Catrini MICHAEL CATRINI, former CTO for the University of Connecticut Medical Center and Rutland Vermont Regional Health Services, has joined the company as executive project officer; he is charged with leading engagements with large healthcare systems as the company expands operations.

holyoke ,

FETTO has been named vice president of lighting at OSA. He previously spent 16 years at VariLite and 14 years at Morpheus Lights. Fetto will oversee Mark Fetto OSA’s new lighting division, which will be based out of the company’s Las Vegas and Nashville offices. las vegas , nv —MARK

terrace , wa — SYMETRIX has promoted TYLENE “TY ” ROBINSON to international sales and operations manager, where will direct strategic accounts and Ty Robinson an international salesforce. She will also be responsible for driving global sales enablement programs and managing critical sales KPIs. mountlake

has added additional personnel to its client-facing Focusrite Pro team. The new hires include DAVE RIELEY as U.S. and Canada sales manager, PETER TILLEY as western U.S. sales man-

lake forest, ca —THEORY AUDIO DESIGN has named JOSHUA TRUJILLO as its director of sales. Since joining the company in Q3 2019, he has been working on buildJoshua Trujillo ing the company’s domestic and international sales force in preparation for worldwide availability of the company’s first seven products in January 2020. Trujillo previously worked in product marketing at Sonance and sales at Atlona.

L to R: Anthony Wilkins, Dave Rieley, Peter Tilley, and Michael York.

south bend, in —JOEY PALKOWITCH has been hired by LEA PROFESSIONAL as North America sales manager. In his new role, Palkowitch will manage North American sales Joey Palkowitch for LEA Professional, working closely with the company’s U.S. representa-

Nicholas Mariano

los angeles , ca —FOCUSRITE

tive team and Canadian distribution partner. Palkowitch will also lead product training sessions and serve as a liaison for technical service and support. park , ca —JASON CHESLA has taken over the role of national account manager at PLATINUM TOOLS, after having served three years as the company’s marketing manager. SCOTT LIPSETT will replace Chesla as marketing manager. Lipsett comes to Platinum Tools with a diverse background and more than 25 years of experience.

newbury

Jason Chesla

Scott Lipsett

alpharetta ,

ga —ASHLEY SPRENGNETHER has been promoted to associate show director of CEDIA Expo. Before joining Emerald Expositions in Ashley Sprengnether August 2017, Sprengnether spent eight years with CEDIA, where she served in the roles of tradeshow coordinator, account executive, and director of corporate accounts. salt lake city, ut—UTAH

SCIENTIFIC has appointed JOHN SCHILBERG to the position of director of product development and technical marketing. In this role, Schilberg will work John Schilberg with industry professionals, the in-house engineering team, and current and potential customers. cedar rapids , ia —TOM LEBLANC has joined the NSCA as director of industry outreach and media channels. In this newly created position, LeBlanc will be responsible for Tom LeBlanc leading the organization’s content creation initiatives to educate the lowvoltage community, communicating key issues surrounding legislation and NSCA positioning statement, developing and presenting content at NSCA events, and overseeing NSCA’s quarterly Building Connections publication. northridge , ca —HARMAN

has promoted BRIAN DIVINE to president of the Professional Solutions Division. In his new role, he will be responsible Brian Divine for overseeing the division’s worldwide operations, strategy, product roadmap, and performance across the company’s 11 brands. Divine has spent over 15 years at Harman, most recently serving as senior vice president for products and customer solutions in the Professional Solutions Division and vice president of product and program management.

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global business

AV Worldwide

EXPANDING YOUR BUSINESS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES

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BY C A RO LYN HEI N ZE

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business trends

As the World Turns Brexit, trade wars, conflict, civil unrest … is it wise to think about expanding abroad right now? “You really can’t worry too much about that, because otherwise nobody would make any progress, period,” said Joseph F. Paris, business consultant and author of State of Readiness: Operational Excellence as Precursor to Becoming a HighPerformance Organization. “If you’re a company and you’re investing in Europe [for example], you’re investing in building relationships, and distribution, and a service network—you’re not investing major tons of capital in fixed assets. You just have to manage your risk, is really what it comes down to.” That said, it is wise to assess whether a global expansion is in harmony with any pending legislation. Paris noted that if he were weighing the United Kingdom versus Europe as potential new markets right now, he would probably choose mainland Europe. “We don’t know what the final form of Brexit is going to be,” he said. “If [your customers] are only in the UK, then go to the UK, of course. But assuming that [they would be throughout] Europe, then I would definitely look at mainland Europe just because of the unpredictability of what’s going to happen.”

KTSDESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/GETTY IMAGES

F

or many AV firms, the prospect of expanding beyond the United States is often inspired by the conclusion of a successful project: a loyal domestic client requires design and integration services overseas and takes their favorite AV provider along for the ride. Once on site, the AV provider in question sees the potential for generating more business in this foreign locale and wonders, “What if we set up shop here?” “The first thing you have to do is make sure that there’s a need—not that you think there’s a need, but that you know there’s a need,” said Joseph F. Paris, chairman of the global business consulting firm Xonitek and author of State of Readiness: Operational Excellence as Precursor to Becoming a HighPerformance Organization. You may believe that your services are better than those currently offered in a given market, but how superior are you? “It’s very, very difficult to displace an incumbent with something that’s a lateral choice. It’s got to be something that’s substantively different.” In other words, if you open up shop abroad,

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will there be enough customers who will buy your services? “You really have to know your customer, and you have to know your product, and you have to know that the two are going to be married up wherever it is that you’re going,” Paris said. To conduct a thorough assessment,

“Certainly there’s process and structure that needs to be built … but you absolutely have to balance that with the human element, the community element where people are actually invested in each other’s success.” —Byron Tarry

company executives must spend time in the region—he recommends a month—to learn how things really work there. In determining the new market’s potential,

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Paris urges companies to be pragmatic. In many cases, he says, organizations will overestimate market potential while underestimating the necessary investment they’re going to have to make. “It’s going to cost two times more than you think, and that’s if your initial estimates are reasonably good—and you’re not going to make as much as you think you’re going to make on the top side,” he said. Anda Malescu, founding partner at Malescu Law in Miami, FL, works with both U.S.-based companies seeking to establish themselves abroad and foreign firms that wish to set up a U.S. presence. She noted that one of the elements executives fail to pay enough attention to when expanding to another country is culture. “Every country has its own culture and its culture of doing business—the way people speak, the way business is conducted, the values of doing business,” she said. She advises companies to take the time to research business culture, as well as general culture—and even the country’s history—before jumping in. “That’s one aspect that is often overlooked, and it determines,


global business

business trends

Anda Malescu

Byron Tarry

market, how do you know whom to trust? PSNI Global Alliance strives to assist U.S.based AV integrators in this exercise by giving them access to its network of AV providers scattered around the world. “For all of the reasons involved—currency, logistics, time considerations, processes—for all of those

to develop meaningful relationships on the ground stand to get better results than they would have if it had just been a matter of giving orders, he argues. “Certainly there’s process and structure that needs to be built … but you absolutely have to balance that with the human element, the community element where people are actually invested in each other’s success. And they’re invested not because they’re going to make a bigger commission or they’re going to get their paychecks, but because of the human relationships that they have with each other.”

“Every country has its own culture and its culture of doing business—the way people speak, the way business is conducted, the values of doing business.” —Anda Malescu things, they’re much better off selecting a partner,” said Chris Miller, executive director, PSNI. Tarry underlines that in any business venture—but especially when both projects and clients are far-flung—there is the core human element to consider first and foremost. “In communities, people do things for others because they want to, not because they have to,” he said. Those who take the time

Carolyn Heinze is a freelance writer/editor.

Worldwide Expansion Takes Work When expanding your business on a global scale, you’ll need to take many more variables into account than if you were expanding stateside. Here are some things you should consider: 1. The Human Factor In addition to different hiring and firing practices, workplace culture varies from country to country. Get to know the local values—from cultural norms to employer-provided benefits, and everything in between. 2. Financials You’ll need to abide by tax systems across the globe. Research the impact local tax laws will have on your business, both stateside and overseas. Research local pricing and take into account any currency exchanges you’ll have to make. 3. Marketing Cultures vary greatly from country to country. Your marketing efforts should reflect that. Hire a local expert to consult on your marketing to ensure your campaign will be effective for your target market.

Chris Miller

Joseph F. Paris

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really, the success of that U.S. company going abroad.” The Global Presence Alliance (GPA) works with AV solutions providers worldwide in the interest of providing global enterprises with a single source for all of their audiovisual requirements. Byron Tarry, executive director at GPA, noted that the acknowledgement of these cultural differences is crucial in successful global expansions. “When a U.S. company has a global footprint and starts to push down a centralized standard to their teams around the globe with little perspective on how those different regions work, you’ll get resistance,” he said. When one considers all of the other potential pain points that surface during the course of any normal project—dissent among the client’s own stakeholders, or even among trades—a lack of cultural understanding serves to intensify these already significant challenges. For Paris, two of the biggest challenges that expanding U.S. firms face abroad are taxes and regulations—especially labor laws. He cites the state of New York as an example, describing it as “pretty much an at-will employment state: I want to hire you, I’m going to hire you; if I want to fire you, I’m going to fire you.” While it’s better business to recruit well in the interest of not having to dismiss an employee, “if I have to, I have that opportunity [in the United States]. You don’t have that opportunity too easily in Europe. You have to be prepared for that. It can be a very, very rude awakening.” This is one of the main reasons that Paris advises U.S.-based companies to partner with firms that are already on the ground. “There’s no need for you to create a company [in another country] and then have to create the HR—and, by the way, every country has got its own little HR nuances,” he said. “Whoever’s already [in that country] already has that experience under their belt. You don’t have to learn it—it’s not your core, it’s not a value-add.” But finding a partner is a challenge in and of itself. If you are unfamiliar with the


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AV to Support a Modern Workforce KEEPING UP WITH THE CHALLENGES OF A GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUS

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ntegrators are always on the lookout for technology that will help companies deliver a cohesive working environment for their employees, whether they are local or stationed in offices all over the world. Today, AV systems are the tool that allows companies to expand their reach on a global scale. In a survey conducted by PSNI Global Alliance, end users currently rate their AV integrators a 3 on a 5-point scale, and only 29 percent felt “very satisfied” with their AV technology solutions. “End users are not dissatisfied with their current technology solutions, but there is an opportunity for integrators to set themselves apart by demonstrating a better understanding of clients’ business needs and developing solutions that really wow their clients,” said Chris Miller, executive director of PSNI Global Alliance. The survey also found that end users are relying on integrators for knowledge and support rather than labor only. This finding suggests a great opportunity for integrators to focus on their client’s needs, especially within global corporate campuses, and tailor AV technology specifically for those needs. When incorporating AV technology in a corporate environment, AVI-SPL follows what it calls the four S’s: simplification, standardization, scalability, and serviceability. “A consistent user experience is crucial to success as it relates to AV technologies in a corporate environment, and employing the four S’s in design and implementation has proven effective,” said Joe Laezza, senior vice president of global accounts with AVI-SPL. With recent studies showing that 70 percent of people globally are working remotely at least one day a week, AV with a focus on mobile and remote workforces, including cloud-based applications, is becoming more of a focus with AV integration on global corporate campuses. Laezza said, “AV will need to accommodate different users, personas, and technologies in an agnostic manner. Cloud-based applications will also need to function in any space across the corporate landscape.” While many say cloud-based systems are the way forward in corporate environments, others say the future for AV in these environments is in IP-based routing. Kev

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IMAGE COURTESY JABRA

BY J EN N I FER G UHL

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business trends

Huddle rooms are often the heart of corporate campuses, and that is no different for Indeed, the global website for job seekers. With 21 offices around the world, remote collaboration tools are a key part of the organization’s technology infrastructure. Today, Indeed’s employees make daily use of the company’s 685 installed Jabra PanaCast 180-degree cameras, which are standard in all of its new or retrofitted huddle rooms.

Kev Talbot

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Talbot, head of technical sales at UK-based Involve Visual Collaboration, believes the latter, predicting IP-based routing will be “the norm in the not-too-distant future. We’ll all be looking at that shiny 4K fixed matrix and laughing at how old it is.” Talbot added, “The true emergence of IP routing could streamline deployments and enable more rooms at a lower cost by using centralized equipment to drive multiple rooms.” The way employees are using on-site rooms on campus is changing the way AV is incorporated. “Huddle/collaboration spaces have taken over, which has resulted in more rooms for more users to get work done. I’ve said for ages that the boardroom was for the board to congratulate themselves on being masters of the universe, and the smaller huddle and collaboration rooms are where the


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global corporate campuses

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business trends

Gina Sansivero

7-Eleven aimed to provide AV technology that would inspire users to say, “Wow. They’re providing us the right tools to do our job.” AVI-SPL’s designers standardized around 100 rooms so employees could easily use any of them.

Joe Laezza

real work gets done,” said Talbot. This focus on smaller collaboration and huddle rooms is a more cost-effective option for end users as well. This focus on AV to address emerging needs does not go unnoticed by employees and is an easy way for corporations to stand out from their competition. “AV and other technologies have become a key differentiator among corporations,” said Gina Sansivero, vice president of marketing and corporate communications, AtlasIED. “AV enables corporations to create functional, comfortable, productive work spaces and environments that attract and retain talent. We’ve seen global campuses redesign their floorplans to include open, collaborative settings combined with cubicles, lounge areas, huddle spaces, conference rooms, remote offices, and even small, telephone booth-like rooms for complete seclusion and privacy. Although these work spaces are distinctly different, AV systems enable collaboration, communication, and connectivity among them. The more

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sophisticated the AV technology, the more flexibility in work styles a campus is able to offer.” Things only become more complicated when looking at developing these campuses in another country. With some products having limited availability globally, expectations have to be adjusted and additional options presented to address the needs of the client. There is also the concern of fully understanding protocols for proper certifications and performance standards in another region—like international or country equivalents of UL and power ratings. Sansivero said, “It’s a process that can be extremely timeconsuming, arduous, and costly for many AV manufacturers. Implementing standard procedures for appropriate certification may also require additional manpower and resources, and a clear understanding of differences in corporate cultures of campuses in other countries.”

“A consistent user experience is crucial to success as it relates to AV technologies in a corporate environment.” —Joe Laezza

Many integrators find the best way to address these issues is to establish a global partner. Laezza agreed: “The best approach for projects supporting local spaces is to rely on a global partner to maintain standards and deliver the way of your business needs.” Another option for AV companies looking to expand their operations globally is to partner with local integrators. “Local,

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regional, and country laws, currency, taxes, terms and conditions, cultures, languages and even AV terminology can create challenges for integrators and end users. The adage ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ can certainly apply to country-to-country partnerships from both the end user and the integrator’s point of view,” said Miller. Talbot and Involve felt this was the best path for them when they chose to expand their business globally—they joined the PSNI Global Alliance network of integrators. “The biggest challenge is the size of the globe. Do you expand the business or do you partner with other like-minded businesses? We took the latter option and became a PSNI affiliate. This gave us global reach utilizing a group of experienced integrators who partner with the same vendors as we do and have a similar process to achieve our project goals. We know we can use their skills at any time, as they can with us, and we will all deliver the same excellent service.” AV within global corporate campuses is constantly changing, with a variety of trends on the horizon including virtual presence, on-demand global collaboration, automatic personal recognition, and workspace adjustment for hoteling. “Imagine walking up to a video wall and initiating a huddle-up or group discussion with individuals located in different physical locations by just finding them and asking them to join the discussion. Imagine walking up to your small huddle room or space for the next couple hours, and when you do, it recognizes you and organizes the space virtually for your persona,” said Laezza. Some of this technology exists in varying forms, but the industry hasn’t seen it used in standard installs yet. With this technology taking shape, the future of how we work will continue to evolve.  *


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A supplement to

SPONSORED BY Aurora Multimedia Vaddio VITEC

KIMBERLY YEE AND ESPORTS STADIUM ARLINGTON

What You Need to Know About Esports BY JIM BEAUGEZ The biggest new opportunity for audiovisual integrators, according to interactive live media producer Marc Scarpa, is the fastest-growing sports market most people have never heard of. Esports, the genre of multiplayer videogames played online or over a local area network, have quietly become part of mainstream Western culture over the last two decades. In recent years, the movement has graduated from the rec room to conventional sporting venues like London’s O2 Arena and New York’s Madison Square Garden, where thousands of spectators have watched gamers compete. U.S. viewership of esports is expected to eclipse all major televised team sports except the National Football League in 2020, with an estimated 84 million

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viewers. It’s even bigger overseas, where the concept first gained a foothold. Globally, esports have a fanbase of half a billion people. Teams play popular games like Fortnite and World of Warcraft against each other in leagues representing cities around the world. The Overwatch League, owned by game developer Blizzard, broadcasts matchups on ESPN, Disney XD, and ABC. They even have a Michael Jordan-level crossover star in Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, a gamer and streaming media personality who began his competitive career with Halo 3 but achieved even greater renown when he began playing Fortnite Battle Royale. “With any form of entertainment or new technology, there is always one key property or device that pushes the entire segment into the mainstream,”

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said Victor Borachuk, owner of live production firm JupiterReturn. “For esports, most would agree the genre was always expanding and growing, but the unexpected success of Fortnite really pushed it into the spotlight.” To some, the notion of esports may seem like a misnomer: How could playing videogames be considered a sport? But the competitive aspects of esports, combined with over-the-top production and set design, is as enticing to gamers as NFL matchups are to football fans. “There’s a big misconception that gaming is not a social experience,” said Marc Scarpa. “It’s a tremendously social experience. It’s the modern-day video arcade meets the mall meets a sporting event— all together.”


VICTOR BORACHUK, JUPITERRETURN

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ESPORTS

U.S. viewership of esports is expected to eclipse all major televised team sports except the National Football League in 2020, with an estimated 84 million viewers.

Scarpa and his company, simplynew, have been involved with esports since the beginning, and their work with live broadcasts goes back even further. Simplynew had a hand in producing the Tibetan Freedom Concert in 1996, the first large-scale internet broadcasting event, and was involved in one of the first online esports broadcasts, the 1999 Professional Gamers League Finals, which drew 3,000 spectators over three days. “We had to figure out, for this 10 hours of competition each day, how do you make gaming interesting from a broadcast standpoint?” Scarpa said. “We were all figuring it out together. How do you shoot the games? How do you take the feed from the games? How do you do all these things in order to create a live experience for not only the kids in the venue, but for those gaming enthusiasts online, at home?” Borachuk, who was involved with early League of Legends productions and has won awards for his company’s work with the Brasil Game Cup, a Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournament, says his experience in live events translated handily into the world of esports. Even in the more recent fixed installations, he says, being flexible is important.

“As esports have become increasingly mainstream, the creative opportunities will continue to increase.” —Victor Borachuk

“Esports events are unique in their unpredictability and overall demand for flexibility,” said Borachuk. “For us, this is not unlike live events in general, only amplified. We can put together a plan A, and the B, C, and D contingencies in the event that plan A changes—which it can and will do.” The opportunities for AV integrators in esports are in the building of permanent installations and broadcast systems as the esports market transitions from holding experiential one-off events to a fixed-location model akin to professional sporting leagues like the NFL and Major League Baseball. The market is currently wide open. Only a handful of venues exist in the U.S., but many more will be built. “The esports and gaming venue market right now primarily consists of a lot of mom-and-pop LAN

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AT ISSUE What is the biggest area of opportunity in esports for AV professionals? Matt McKee, Vice President of Broadcast Sales, VITEC Delivering broadcast-quality game feeds is the cornerstone of a successful esports event. AV professionals can ensure that facilities are well equipped for the rigorous AV demands of esports by choosing solutions aligned with broadcast standards. Only ultra-lowlatency contribution solutions with the highest video quality to encode the graphically intensive action in tournament play and capable of distributing feeds as traditional broadcast and groomed for delivery over public internet via Zixi and SRT stream protection will be well matched for this market.

Paul Harris, CEO/CTO, Aurora Multimedia The biggest area of opportunity would be zero frame latency—perfect image quality distribution. This is done with 10G AV over IP, which can allow 4K60 4:4:4 to be passed over Cat cable from the source to destination. The best part is the scalability, as it is limited only by the network switch, and 10G network switches have come down a lot in price over the past few years. With 8K and 4K120 on the horizon, 10G infrastructure is a great future-proof method to take it to the next level when the time arises.


PRODUCT BRIEFS Vaddio RoboSHOT 40 UHD RoboSHOT 40 UHD is a broadcast-quality PTZ camera with 40x zoom, genlock capabilities, silky smooth pan-tilt-zoom motion, and outstanding 4K image quality—all at a competitive price for the entry-level broadcast PTZ camera market. Whether it’s esports, campus news, government meetings, or wedding ceremonies, RoboSHOT 40 UHD delivers brilliant video footage even under high-intensity spotlights, plus simultaneous IP streaming (RTSP or RTMP format with H.264 compression) up to 1080p/30. VITEC MGW Ace VITEC’s MGW Ace broadcast-quality encoder is built for captivating modern esports tournaments, going beyond what’s possible with traditional prosumer streaming gear. The MGW Ace leverages next-generation HEVC/H.265 compression support (powered by VITEC’s HEVC GEN2+ codec) and Zixi or SRT stream protection technology. It streams game feeds with virtually no delay— down to 16 milliseconds glass-to-glass—while reducing network bandwidth load by up to 50 percent. Aurora Multimedia IPX Series The IPX Series box and wall plates are 10 Gbps 4K60 4:4:4 AV over IP transceivers with zero-frame latency and visually perfect image quality. Advanced features consist of seamless switching, video wall, windowing, and scaling. Dante/AES67, Extreme USB 2.0, and ReAX IP control further enhance this powerful distribution solution, making it the most advanced SDVoE solution on the market for esports, according to the company. gaming centers,” said Scarpa. “These are facilities where you have anywhere from 24 to maybe 100 PCs and console games.” That is already changing, according to Scarpa. Esports Stadium Arlington in the Dallas–Fort Worth metro area is an archetype venue for these leagues and a case study for integrators who enter the esports market. It’s a typical sporting venue in many ways, with food and beverage, merchandise POS locations and more for up to 2,500 seated spectators. Technologically, though, it’s a bit more advanced. “The arena experience itself, with all the technology, is as if you were going to Madison Square Garden,” said Scarpa. The project was handled by Populous, the

architectural design firm that has conceived dozens of sporting stadiums and arena builds around the world, including venues for the Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, and NFL Super Bowl. For Esports Stadium Arlington, the Populous team turned an existing convention hall into a massive soundstage centered around a 65-foot installed stage and an 85-foot LED wall with a 3.9 mm pixel pitch. Simplynew wired the facility to handle a variety of AV feeds, such as POV cameras aimed at the players, commentator locations, audience shots, and feeds of the games themselves. The production suite manages these sources for on-site and out-of-house broadcasts. “There’s a lot of technology in that place, which

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means that anybody who wants to come in and do an event there, on any large scale, doesn’t need to fly all their crew in, per se, and doesn’t need to rent a bunch of [gear]. It’s all plug-and-play, ready to go, with higher quality than most companies travel with.” Arlington’s capacity is right at the sweet spot of audience size, he says. Most new builds will be larger, seating between 1,000 and 5,000 spectators, like the new facility coming to Philadelphia that has twice Arlington’s capacity. Building off the professional sports model of franchise stadiums, leagues require a level of investment for teams that often includes playing venues with a set capacity and production buildout. “You’re looking at the first baseball parks, if you will, that will turn into professional [venues] for those teams,” explained Scarpa. “You’ll see more and more ballparks emerge, to the point where there’s really a baseball field, whether it’s for Little League kids or professional players, in almost every city and town in the United States. You may not have Yankee Stadium in your city, but you’re certainly going to have a lot of baseball fields in your town simply by having a middle school, a high school, an elementary school or a college. It’s that analogy. We’re right at the very beginning of it.” And the opportunities will grow along with the popularity of esports, noted Borachuk. “As esports have become increasingly mainstream, the creative opportunities will continue to increase,” he said. “As the creative bar is raised, so are the opportunities for talented AV integrators to bring those visions to life. With technologies such as NDI [NewTek’s Network Device Interface] opening up entirely new possibilities in terms of creative vision that simply did not exist before, AV integrators are no longer in the position of having to tell the client that something is simply not technically possible.”  *


ise 2020

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business trends

What North American Attendees Need to Know About ISE 2020 I

ntegrated Systems Europe (ISE) is now the largest professional audiovisual tradeshow in the entire world. Held annually in Amsterdam (but moving to Barcelona in 2021), the show marks the first opportunity manufacturers have to announce new pro AV products each year. Whether it’s your first time attending or your 15th, there’s always more to learn. SCN sat down with AVIXA chief global officer Sarah Joyce to talk about the show, trends, and what sessions you can’t miss this year.

SCN: Why should people attend ISE 2020? SARAH JOYCE: ISE is a fantastic place to kickstart your year—to make connections, learn about the latest technologies, and immerse yourself in the AV world. It’s a massive show presenting more than 1,300 leading technology and solutions providers, as well as showcasing a unique set of special events, conferences, keynote speeches, networking receptions, education and training programs, and show floor features. ISE exposes people to applications of technology in a broad set of markets, such as smart buildings and stadiums. The AV industry is truly global, and as companies evolve to serve global customers, ISE is a great show to visit in complement with others later in the year, including InfoComm in the United States, and shows in China, India, Latin America, and more. There is great value in meeting people who operate in specific markets and understanding their unique needs and challenges, which positions companies to better serve those markets and grow their businesses. SCN: ISE will feature talks from hundreds of experts. Do you recommend any educational sessions? SJ: The Main Stage in Hall 14 (Stand 14-B190) will be a fantastic place to see free sessions throughout the week addressing technology and business trends, standards, best practices in key verticals, and topics around employee management, training, and diversity. As ever, we have our FlashTrack sessions running throughout the four days on stand 13-N110, providing bite-sized learning across a

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ISE 2020 will feature more than 1,300 leading technology and solutions providers.

broad range of topics. For a full overview of AVIXA at ISE 2020, visit our “Experience AVIXA at ISE 2020” page at www.avixa.org/ experience-avixa-at-ise-2020.

research conducted day-to-day by AVIXA’s market intelligence team and outside firm IHS Markit. This would be a great session for those interested in going into detail on this topic.

SCN: Are there any vertical-specific education sessions by AVIXA? SJ: If you’re interested in higher education or enterprise, there are two fantastic half-day conferences. Taking place on Tuesday, Feb. 11, the AVIXA Enterprise AV Conference will highlight the growing availability of data and the opportunity that data analytics provides to enable better business strategies and an improved workspace/system design. The AVIXA Higher Education AV Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 12, will highlight a range of perspectives about how to best enhance the learning and teaching experience through effective use of AV technologies.

SCN: As this is the show’s last year in Amsterdam, are you having a special sendoff? SJ: To mark the final edition of ISE at the RAI Amsterdam, a very special event on the last day of ISE 2020 will reflect on the show’s development over the years while also looking forward to the next chapter of its story in Barcelona. The event ¡Hola Barcelona! will feature appearances from major Catalan and Spanish dignitaries, including Àngels Chacón, the Catalan minister of enterprise and knowledge; representatives of the mayor of Barcelona; ACCIÓ, the Catalan Agency for Business Competitiveness; ICEX, the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade; and the Fira de Barcelona, which will be the show’s new home. They will talk about the opportunities that ISE’s move to Barcelona will bring for attendees, exhibitors, the city of Barcelona, and the AV industry as a whole. The event takes place Friday, Feb. 14, at noon at the RAI Forum. *

SCN: Where can attendees learn more about trends emerging at ISE 2020? SJ: AVIXA senior director of market intelligence Sean Wargo will step up to ISE’s Main Stage to reveal the products and services and wider trends driving the pro AV industry’s growth. This insight comes from in-depth

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ise 2020

Advice for ISE Newbies A

ttending tradeshows for the first time can be intimidating— but attending the world’s largest commercial AV show can be straight-up nerve-racking. That’s why we’ve asked ISE show veterans to share advice for first-time ISE attendees. Kev Talbot, Director of Technical Services, Involve Visual Collaboration Don’t expect to see everything—you could end up seeing nothing. Plan as much as possible and be sure you have an idea of where vendors are so as not to book back-to-back meetings at booths nowhere near each other. Wear comfortable shoes, take full advantage of water and coffee on booths, and wrap up outside.

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BY K A T I E MA K A L

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business trends

Sarah Joyce, Chief Global Officer, AVIXA It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the size of the show and limitless ways to traverse your week. Make a practical list of must-sees and must-dos—products and solutions, a few education sessions, and don’t forget to sprinkle in some fun social gatherings. It’s many times the best way to make memorable connections with people. Make sure to enjoy the city, too. Amsterdam is a beautiful place, the public transport is excellent, and it is safe to get around. There are many fantastic things to see and do, so after a day at the show, make the most of the opportunity! Jeremy Caldera, CTS-D, CTS-I, CEO, IAS Technology The best advice I can give any newbie—besides wearing comfortable shoes—is to be strategic and have a plan. With the combination of residential and commercial exhibitors, and the overall size of the show, it is important to know what you are looking for. Remember to save some time in your schedule to explore, especially the smaller, niche booths, as you never know what new technology you may find. Gina Sansivero, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications, AtlasIED Figure out your must-sees and map your route in advance of the show. As a result of construction and expansion, the RAI convention center hall numbering scheme is not intuitive and not always consecutive. When you plan ahead, you’ll discover efficient paths to make the most of your week at ISE. It’ll save you time and precious steps. (You’ll still get in plenty, trust me!)

Jeff Day, Founder, North of 10 Advisors To maximize my experience, I like to learn from the pros! I make sure to schedule the keynotes, topical main stage events, and education FlashTracks. You also want to check out a topical market summit event focused individually on the smart building, XR, digital signage, or hospitality and visitor attraction markets! I will be leading a panel on this year’s ISE main stage about brand experience, and another panel at the Smart Building Summit. I’m also teaching an education FlashTrack on the impact and trends of AV on wellness. Matt D. Scott, President, OMEGA Audio Video My key to ISE is to wander. Yeah, you heard that right. Wander! ISE is a wonderful mishmash of booths and halls. Don’t be afraid to get lost and wander in and out of halls and discover the next big thing that will help your business succeed! To help with all that wandering, make sure you’ve got confortable shoes. Alison Maxson, Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications, ScreenBeam With its many exhibitors, halls, and corridors, the RAI convention center can get overwhelming. The best release of frustration is found outside among Amsterdam’s museums, like the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum. We live and breathe the world of technology, so it’s a good mental break to get away and be inspired by history and art. Cory Schaeffer, Director, Strategic Industry Relations, QSC The exhibit hall numbers may not make sense to you. Review the map prior to scheduling appointments—your feet will thank you. Do not worry about your coffee fix because nearly every exhibitor’s stand will free have coffee for you. Lastly, they are not walking paths … they are bike paths, and the bike has the right away. Stay out of their way! Steve Greenblatt, President, Control Concepts Be sure to have a map handy when scheduling your day and navigating the halls, and plan on tackling one section of the show floor at a time. Also, have a plan for evening events. Unlike InfoComm, where you can follow the masses and find your tribe, the crowd and events for ISE are far more spread out.

“It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the size of the show and limitless ways to traverse your week. Make a practical list of must-sees and must-dos—products and solutions, a few education sessions, and don’t forget to sprinkle in some fun social gatherings.” —Sarah Joyce, Chief Global Officer, AVIXA

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ise 2020

BY SC N ST A FF

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ISE 2020 to Feature Education Sessions with More Than 200 Thought Leaders Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2020’s professional development program will feature more than 200 experts from a wide variety of disciplines and subject areas across five days of keynotes, conferences, master classes, workshops, and presentations. Presented under the umbrella title “Learn. Discover. Be Inspired,” the program has been produced by Integrated Systems Events working in close cooperation with AV industry bodies—in particular, its co-owning associations AVIXA and CEDIA—media partners and other independent organizations. The program includes an opening address, 13 conferences across five days in the Hotel Okura and RAI Amsterdam, a four-day training program from CEDIA, AVIXA FlashTracks (Stand 13-N110) and CEDIA Talks (Stand 1-E20), and a full program of free thought leadership sessions on the Main Stage in Hall 14.

or the commercial space. Business advisor, president of North of 10 Advisors, and AVIXA Board of Directors chairman Jeff Day will be speaking on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at an AVIXA FlashTrack session (Stand 13-N110) titled “AV Wellness Trends—MustKnow Applications and Their Impacts Create Real-World Opportunity for Integrators and End Users.” The following day, he will chair an AVIXA panel discussion, “The Experience Revolution—How Content and Experience Change Everything in a Brand-Activated World!” on the Main Stage.

ISE 2020 Special Guests The opening address on Monday, Feb. 10, will be presented by Duncan Wardle, a consultant to Disney who was previously head of innovation and creativity at the entertainment giant. His presentation, “Think Different,” will look at how companies can reawaken traits in their employees such as imagination, intuition, and curiosity to create an environment that fosters creativity and innovation. Integrated Systems Events says it is delighted to welcome the Hon. Àngels Duncan Wardle ISE 2020 Conference Speakers Chacón, minister of enterprise and knowledge On Monday, Feb 10, architect Aryanour in the Catalan government, to ISE 2020. She Djalali, founder and CEO of DNA Barcelona will be addressing the AVIXA Women’s Council Architects, will give a keynote at the Smart on Wednesday, Feb. 12, on the Main Stage. Building Conference called “Smart Nature, She will also take part in the ¡Hola Barcelona! Smarter Buildings.” event in the Forum on Friday, Feb. 14. Speaking at the inaugural Control Rooms Summit ISE on Tuesday, Feb. 11, will Experts from AVIXA and CEDIA to Speak at be Rossano Giachino, control center manager ISE 2020 at CERN. Giachino was in charge of control On Monday, Feb. 10, CEDIA’s Cybersecurity center operations for the Large Hadron Workshop will be led by Jeff Sonnleitner, a Collider during its operation, as well as for professional network and security instructor two other particle accelerators: the Super with over 35 years of experience. He is a Proton Synchrotron and the Large Electron network specialist and information security Positron. instructor at Moraine Park Technical College Giving the keynote address at the XR in Wisconsin. The workshop will cover all Summit ISE on Tuesday, Feb. 11, will aspects of network security and privacy for be Hilary McVicker, vice president of business professionals working in either the residential

development at The Elumenati, a leader in the field of immersive projection design in education, enterprise, and entertainment. Her keynote is titled “Immersive XR and Pushing Creative Boundaries.” New Features at ISE 2020 Two more show features have recently been added to the ISE 2020 content program. In Hall 14, the VR at ISE feature will contain two very different interactive virtual reality exhibits. Two digital projection Multiview VR systems will be demonstrated, each of which allows up to three people to view and interact with a stereoscopic 3D virtual model. Each person sees the object from their own viewpoint. The other part of the VR at ISE feature is an immersive VR theme park ride. Designed and run by Lightspeed Design, this DepthQ VR attraction will take attendees on an interactive fantasy ride through aquatic environments. A spectacular projection mapping display on the RAI’s Elicium building will delight ISE 2020 attendees and Amsterdam locals each evening of the show. The upper floors of the futuristic nine-story building at the front of the exhibition center will be transformed by the projection, specially created for this location. The projection will be produced by ISE and the RAI, supported by seven technology partners. “I’m very pleased to acknowledge the role of AVIXA, CEDIA, and our many content partners in producing such a compelling lineup for ISE 2020,” said Mike Blackman, managing director of Integrated Systems Events. “Added to this, the Elicium projection mapping and the VR at ISE feature are two more opportunities for our attendees to ‘Learn. Discover. Be Inspired.’” “‘Learn. Discover. Be Inspired.’ is more than a tagline. For an AV professional, it must be at least a career plan, if not a life commitment,” said AVIXA CEO Dave Labuskes, CTS. “We are proud to have been part of the organizing team that brings these brilliant leaders to the ISE stages and implore you to experience as much of them as you can while you’re there.” Details of ISE 2020’s professional development program can be found on the ISE website at www.iseurope.org.

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business trends


ise 2020

Trends on the Horizon

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BY MEG A N A . D UT T A

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business trends

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ach year, Integrated Systems Europe (ISE)—held annually in early February in Amsterdam—sets the tone for the professional AV market for the year. This year’s show will be no different. We asked AV professionals to share the trends they believe will dominate the 2020 show. Sarah Joyce, Chief Global Officer, AVIXA For ISE 2020, I’m sure we’ll once again see a huge array of LED and digital signage products hitting the market. AVoIP distribution continues to be a growing factor in the industry, and I’m sure it will feature heavily at the show. Finally, we’ll see a focus on how integrated experiences deliver outcomes for end users. I think this is something we will see in force at ISE 2020, as exhibitors strive to show the real-life applications of their technologies, and how they provide effective solutions.

Nancy Knowlton, CEO, Nureva We expect to see a greater emphasis on deeper and tighter integration of various components to make a fully performing system. Customers want choice, and that means the best-performing components from a variety of manufacturers and developers. Essentially, we are all in one big ecosystem. Joe Andrulis, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, Biamp The most exciting trend will be the one that I haven’t even anticipated, but I do foresee a heavy focus in the collaboration space and on the UC giants Teams, Zoom, etc., as well as a lot of questions around the user experience of deploying and managing technology. The technology itself is mature, but there’s still a lot of road left to make it easy for AV professionals, technology buyers, IT managers, and users to consume.

Alex Parlour, Corporate and Education Marcomms Manager, Sony Professional Solutions Europe I expect a big focus will be on driving more efficient, productive, and sustainable learning and working environments. Which, in turn, will see a shift away from devices and standalone technologies and toward software solutions and services that integrate with and/or supercharge other technology investments.

Melinda Von Horvath, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, EMEA, Peerless-AV dvLED displays are decreasing in cost, and aside from becoming more common in general, they are also becoming more cutting-edge. dvLED displays are creating immersive experiences and are allowing for far more creative, custom implementation.

Kyle Greetham, Marketing and Communications Manager, Digital Projection As projectors get brighter, they’re becoming larger and heavier—factors that are creating challenges for many installations. A key trend will be a new approach: separating the light source and its associated power management to a remote location, thus enabling a small, compact projection “head” that contains only minimal optical and video processing.

Kim Spencer, Marketing Director, Listen Technologies We are connected digitally more than ever before. According to Pew Research, over 5 billion people own mobile devices. In advanced economies, 76 percent of people own smartphones, while in emerging economies, 45 percent own smartphones. Creating immersive AV experiences on a familiar device (BYOD) will be a common theme at ISE 2020. Consumers demand better experiences: Better audio, dynamic visuals, and connected interactions. *

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becoming jane

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AV Tells Jane Goodall’s Story in National Geographic Exhibit F

alcon’s Creative Group collaborated with the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., to provide six multimedia experiences for the transportative, hands-on exhibit Becoming Jane, which provides a window on the work of Dr. Jane Goodall. Inside the exhibition—which was produced with the support of the Jane Goodall Institute—visitors will become immersed in Goodall’s story of becoming the first person to live among and study wild chimpanzees, humankind’s closest living relatives. “Our mission with this legacy exhibition is to celebrate the extraordinary life and work of Jane Goodall, exploring her early years, her fascinating studies in Gombe, and her current environmental advocacy,” said Alan Parente, vice president of creative at National Geographic. “With Falcon’s Creative Group, we have created engaging multimedia and interactive, hands-on experiences that will enhance the storytelling. Jane used unorthodox approaches to study chimpanzees, yielding extraordinary results. In a way, we’ve done the same thing with this exhibition.” A variety of storytelling techniques and new technology is showcased throughout the exhibition. An introductory film that is part CG, part historical footage shares Goodall’s personal journey, beginning with her childhood desire for adventure. It eventually reveals how she made it to Gombe Stream National Park, the jungle in Tanzania where she pioneered methods for studying animals in their natural habitat. The 4K intro video is projected onto a flat wall, but the use of video mapping and effects lighting makes it appear as if there are three separate dimensional canvases. Goodall is joined in this space by a photorealistic and curious CG chimpanzee that playfully interacts with the audience. A stunning 3D, 10K theater experience aims to let audiences truly feel what it was like to be Goodall trekking through the forest searching for the elusive chimpanzees. The film superimposes CG chimps into footage of Gombe Stream National Park that was shot with a virtual reality 360-degree 3D camera. The floor and walls serve as additional projection surfaces, further drawing the guest into Goodall’s narrative. Gombe’s natural sounds, an original score, and Goodall’s voice mixed in 7.1 surround sound round out the environment. Another portion of the exhibition features a hologram of Goodall standing under twinkling starlight and sharing her most memorable recollections. Her image is projected onto a custom, life-size mold to make it appear as if she is just a few steps away, enhancing the intimacy of the experience. Behind her, footage from her time in Tanzania is projected onto pieces of stretched fabric. In one of two interactive experiences, guests can learn to talk like a chimpanzee, mimicking common vocalizations to elicit a positive or negative reaction from a CG chimp. For the other interactive experience, Falcon’s Creative Group unveiled Falcon’s Vision, an augmented reality device that empowers guests to interact and engage with a physical space in new ways. Becoming Jane visitors, the first members of the public to use this technology, will use a Falcon’s Vision headset as binoculars, locking their focus on a target to trigger CG animations of chimpanzees acting out findings from Goodall’s groundbreaking research. The animations are accompanied by the voice of Bill Wallauer, a filmmaker with the Jane Goodall Institute

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PHOTOS BY REBECCA HALE/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

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Visitors can immerse themselves in Goodall’s search for chimpanzees in a 3D, 10K theater experience.

Via Falcon’s Vision, guests use augmented reality to discover engaging animations simulating Goodall’s research.

who spent many years in Gombe Stream National Park recording the daily behavior of chimpanzees. The exhibition closes with a portrait-oriented monitor displaying a video of Goodall standing in front of visitors at actual scale. She shares messages of hope and asks for individuals to pledge to make a positive impact in their world. “The entire team at Falcon’s is honored to partner with National Geographic and the Jane Goodall Institute to bring Jane’s historic, significant, and impactful discoveries to brilliant life,” concluded Jason Ambler, vice president and executive producer of Falcon’s Digital Media. “Our creative intent is to invoke feelings of actually traveling with Jane in Gombe Stream National Park as she made history. Though several exciting forms of technology are used, the focus is on immersing visitors in Jane’s personal experiences and leaving them with a deeper appreciation and understanding of chimpanzees and their relationship to humans.” *


audio in the classroom

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BY MA RY BA K I J A

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Live and Learn THE EVOLVING ROLE OF AUDIO IN THE CLASSROOM

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he classroom experience has evolved quickly over the past decade, with technology playing an ever-growing role in how today’s students learn. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the importance of a good instructor. Those who are good at teaching may be able to use technology to their advantage, or they may not—either way, that technology should never get in the way of presenting information to students. “Instructors have enough to focus on,” said Ryan Baumann, AtlasIED product manager. “An overly complicated system will be underutilized or, even worse, resented by the faculty.” That’s a common sentiment audio manufacturers are hearing from those working in the education market these days. “It’s all about ease of use,” said Andrew Low, manager of global marketing, integrated systems, Shure. “They want professors to walk in and have a seamless experience, without encountering problems that stifle the flow of their lectures. They need less interaction with technology, which means a seamless, always-on experience.” The consensus, which hasn’t changed much since chalkboards were state-of-the-art technology, is that content and conversation are the most important parts of a classroom environment. The learning experience should be enhanced—not replaced or altered—by technology. “The desire is to maintain a high degree of clarity and intelligibility while minimizing physical interaction,” said Mark

AtlasIED IPX Series IP speakers

Donovan, applications engineering manager, professional markets, Audio-Technica. “In other words, they don’t want the technology to interfere with the experience.” Clear the Way Making this ideal scenario a reality is getting easier thanks in large part to classroom audio systems that address these concerns. For example, audio reinforcement options can help mitigate features that lead to sound quality issues in classrooms—hard surfaces like cement walls and large windows, for example—which can force soft-spoken instructors to speak louder than they’d like. “That can be exhausting and unhealthy to do every day,” said Joe Andrulis, executive vice president, corporate development, Biamp. “Acoustical treatments can combat reverberation that distorts audio, while a voice lift system can ensure educators save their voice

Audio-Technica 3000 Series

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and that everyone hears what was said clearly. And with our Parlé Beamtracking microphones, we have created a portfolio of microphone options that yield high-quality audio even if the presenter moves around the room.” The Parlé family of microphones features Beamtracking technology, which follows speakers no matter where they are in the room, ensuring the highest quality voice pickup—whether that’s from a teacher who’s standing or a student who’s sitting. Additionally, they require no microphone setup, reducing installation and programming time for integrators. Consistent coverage is necessary not just for those in the classroom but for those outside it as well, as distance learning and session recording become more the expectation than the exception. “We can arrange a system around the room, so wherever they move, everything is being picked up,” said Shure’s Andrew Low. “We’ll use an MXW lav mic on the teacher, then MXA910W-A lobes covering the students in the classroom, so they can eliminate that roving mic thing where you have to say, ‘Wait, hold on for the mic to come to you,’ which stifles the discussion. Plus, the recording quality is great.” Classrooms can arrange up to eight separate adjustable MXA910W-A ceiling array microphone lobes to capture audio anywhere in the room. Autofocus technology fine-tunes the position of each lobe in real time for consistent sound even if participants lean back or stand up, while onboard IntelliMix DSP provides signal processing. To serve a variety of classroom settings, mounting options are available for any ceiling type, including hard ceiling, VESA pole mount, or wire rope suspension.


audio in the classroom

technology

Going Beyond the Classroom Walls When it comes to distance learning, clarity and intelligibility become crucial to classroom audio considerations. “While this may be relatively simple when only the instructor is involved, it becomes increasingly complex as you add student interaction from different learning sites,” said Audio-Technica’s Mark Donovan. “Maintaining the highest sound quality at the capsule is absolutely critical.” Audio-Technica’s 3000 Series wireless systems address this requirement with the ATW-T3202, which comes with either an ATW-C510 dynamic or ATW-C710 condenser interchangeable cardioid capsule; the transmitter’s industry-standard thread allows for the use of four additional A-T capsules, plus other compatible capsules. The 3000 Series systems have an operating range of 300 feet and are available in two frequency bands—DE2 (470–530 MHz) and EE1 (530–590 MHz)—that provide a 60 MHz tuning range. Connecting multiple satellite locations for a distance learning environment can require a significant amount of coordination and monitoring to ensure the system is up and running correctly when it’s needed—since, unlike a business conference call, a class that students are traveling to and paying to attend is not something you can simply reschedule because of a hiccup on the network. The Bosch DICENTIS wireless conference system features Smart Wireless Management, which allows the system to constantly monitor the availability and load of channels. When traffic increases, it seamlessly and automatically switches to free channels without interruption or interference. Missouri-based Park University recently completed an installation of 41 distance learning spaces across the country featuring DICENTIS as the classroom miking system, which has helped improve the interactivity of the classes. “When students in Kansas City ask questions or make comments during class, their counterparts in California can hear them clearly and in real time, and vice versa,” reported Scott Ford, account manager

Shure MXA910W-A ceiling array microphone

Bosch DICENTIS wireless conference system

at AVI Systems, which provided the project’s integration. “Plus, there’s no need to have an AV tech for setup and operation.” “Uniformity of audio coverage is critical for most classroom audio systems,” said AtlasIED’s Ryan Baumann. “For example, consistent SPL is the whole point of voice lift applications. If the coverage isn’t even, you may still have students who are unable to hear as well as others, which defeats the intent of the system.” AtlasIED IPX Series IP-enabled speaker systems use existing IT infrastructure and offer auto provisioning once it’s on the network. “Talk to Me” interoperability ensures the IPX units can work within any VoIP system, as they are open-platform engineered to communicate and be controlled by providers of unified communications software platforms and standard SIP PBX systems. Push Forward When thinking about what’s next for classroom audio, Biamp’s Joe Andrulis suggests the AV industry take an approach that’s traditionally been associated with live events: Consider audience engagement. “As the classroom evolves, educators are challenged with accommodating all

the different needs and learning styles of students,” he said. “We’re seeing schools respond with completely new approaches. The classroom is no longer thought of as four walls with an instructor at the front. Instead, the learning environment needs to be more fluid and free of technological barriers that can impede a great learning experience. This makes intelligible audio not only more challenging, but also more critical for students to interact and retain information. There’s a growing opportunity for integrator and manufacturing partners to be a part of that conversation and present innovative AV solutions to boost student engagement.” And though we’ve come a long way, Baumann agrees that there’s still room to grow. “Modern AV systems have enriched the teaching experience and have the potential to increase the reach of the classroom to students who cannot otherwise participate. This is a wonderful advancement in the world of education,” Baumann said. “Those of us in this industry should be pushing the envelope and advocating for more use of these technologies, not simply because it is an industry that we love and that pays our bills, but because it can make a world of difference for so many.” *

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Biamp Parlé Beamtracking microphones


new products

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technology Barix IP Former

NEXO P8, P10 Loudspeakers

The What: Barix is helping systems integrators and OEM partners move toward an all-IP audio future with the launch of IP Former, a device that adds advanced IP decoding and encoding capabilities to any loudspeaker. Replacing the 70/100V transformer traditionally used with analog loudspeakers, the PoE-powered IP Former provides an IP network interface, audio stream decoder, and amplifier front end for any 2- to 8-ohm speaker. The What Else: Barix says IP Former offers a broad array of benefits for everyone from systems integrators and end users to third-party manufacturers. By using IP Former in place of standard transformers, systems integrators can continue using their preferred loudspeaker brands and models while easily bringing them into the IP domain. Existing installations can similarly be retrofitted with IP capabilities by simply replacing their transformers with IP Former units, saving the end customers considerable money by avoiding the need to purchase entirely new speakers. The Bottom Line: The initial model of IP Former, which offers 5W RMS output, is expected to ship in the spring, with additional configurations planned. Customers with different power requirements should contact sales@barix.com to discuss upcoming models to meet their needs, and can be notified of updates by subscribing on the Barix website.

The What: NEXO, a Yamaha company, recently added P8 and P10 compact point-source loudspeakers to its P+ Series. The new models are designed to deliver an exceptional performance-to-size ratio, precise polar control, and outstanding sonic quality. The What Else: Inside custom birch and poplar plywood shells, the P8 features a coaxial 8-inch LF driver with a 1.5-inch diaphragm HF driver. The P10 has a coaxial 10-inch neodymium LF driver and 1.7inch diaphragm HF driver. The horn driver can rotate in both cabinets. The steel grille on P+ Series models can be quickly removed, allowing the horn to be swapped out and changing the standard 100° x 100° dispersion to a 110° x 60° alternative. Custom-designed coaxial drivers are at the heart of these speakers, responsible for smooth, clean sound and impressive SPL output: 129 dB Peak for the P8 and 136 dB Peak for the P10. Frequency response is 66 Hz to 20 kHz for the P8, and 63 Hz to 20 kHz for the P10.

Nureva HDL200 Audio Conferencing System

The What: Nureva is debuting its HDL200 audio conferencing system at ISE 2020. The HDL200 is similar to the company’s HDL300 but configured for smaller rooms. With 4,096 virtual microphones for fullroom pickup, the HDL200 system is purpose-built for small rooms, from huddle rooms to meeting and flex spaces. The What Else: The HDL200 is powered by patented Microphone Mist technology, which fills the entire meeting space with thousands

The P8 and P10 models are available in touring and installation versions. In the touring version, two large handles on each side hold a 35mm pole stand adapter and Speakon connector for discrete connection when the cabinets are used on pole stands or in wedge monitor applications. Two other Speakon connectors are included on the back plate. In the installation version, a cable gland with a 2-core cable for audio input ensures IP54 protection during outdoor use. The Bottom Line: These compact, lightweight, multi-purpose cabinets join the P12 model in the P+ Series to broaden the audio possibilities for sound designers and engineers.

Extron DXP 42 HD 4K PLUS HDMI Matrix

of virtual microphones so that everybody is heard no matter how softly they talk, where they move in the space, or the direction they face. The HDL200 has an integrated full-color display that is right-sized for small rooms to give in-room participants helpful information such as time, volume, and mute on/off. Further enhancements are envisioned through future integrations with other products such as room control, building information management, and room booking systems. The Bottom Line: Specifically designed for the needs of meeting spaces up to 18 feet square, the HDL200 system delivers the same consistent and reliable audio pickup that Nureva’s HDL300 systems provide for larger spaces. The Nureva HDL200 audio conferencing system can be ordered now through a global network of value-added dealers and resellers and is expected to ship in March.

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The What: Extron has added the DXP 42 HD 4K PLUS to its DXP HD 4K PLUS Series of high-performance HDMI matrix switchers. This 4x2 model supports data rates up to 18 Gbps and video resolutions up to 4K60 with 4:4:4 chroma sampling. The What Else: To maintain signal integrity and reliability, it provides automatic cable equalization on each input and independent output reclocking to reshape and restore video signal timing on both HDMI outputs. Extron technologies such as EDID Minder and Key Minder improve system performance and compliance with HDCPencrypted content. The matrix switcher facilitates integration into a variety of professional AV applications, with audio de-embedding and audio breakaway capabilities.  The audio outputs on the DXP 42 HD 4K PLUS simplify integration with a local audio system. Embedded digital audio from a source can be switched along with its corresponding video signal to either or both selected HDMI outputs. Built-in audio de-embedders allow signals to be routed to analog audio outputs and made available as line level stereo audio on captive screw connectors. The internal de-embedders eliminate the need for external HDMI audio extraction products. The result of integrating the DXP 42 HD 4K PLUS matrix switcher is fewer boxes in the AV system for reduced system complexity and maintenance costs.


new products

technology

MuxLab 4K HDMI and Dante-over-IP Transmitter

The What: MuxLab is shipping the HDMI/Dante over IP PoE Transmitter, UHD-4K (model 500759-TX-Dante), which delivers HDMI at up to 4K at 30 Hz (4:4:4) together with Dante audio signals to create an independently distributed AV network. High dynamic range (HDR) imaging supports a wider range of luminosity to improve visuals. Content is delivered with a one-frame latency for a visually lossless performance. The What Else: Installation requires a connection to an Ethernet switch, so the entire system essentially rides on an IP infrastructure. MuxLab’s 4K Transmitter can connect to the switch using a standard REV Cat Plas_1pg 5e/6 cable from up to 330 feet 5/06 away. 4K Transmitter proTVBox SCN_RESI_2020.qxp_b 1pg Each IN BOX/BLDR 12/10/19 11:58 AM Page 1 vides a two-channel stereo audio input. HDMI AV and two-channel Dante Audio can be indepenF O R F LU S H -TO -T H E - WA L L M O U N T I N G O F L E D , H I - D E F T V s dently distributed to hundreds of AV devices and Dante-supported audio TM devices, respectively. The 4K Transmitter also supports PoE, eliminating power cords throughout the installation. Users have a few options for configuration and control of the 4K Transmitter and its Dante-compatible equipment. The MuxLab CED130 Network Controller (500811 and 500812) and MuxControl App for iOS and Android can simplify configuration and management of all for EW WORK or ETROFIT MuxLab AVoIP networks via any smart device. RS-232 and directional IR can also be used for the remote control of end devices. The system is also compatible with third-party control apps, and Dante audio can be LISTED POWER/LOW VOLTAGE BOX managed via Audinate software. CED130 with slotted cover TVBU505 with CED130 The Bottom Line: CED135 with brush cover REVERSED for RECESSED LOOK CABLE ENTRY DEVICE Based on network bandwidth, potentially hundreds of sources and Arlington’s PLASTIC TV BOX™ – recessed combination power/low voltage displays can be integrated boxes offer the secure, easy way to mount TVs flush against a wall. into the system, using The job looks great. Plugs and connectors stay inside these Listed one transmitter and boxes without extending past the wall. Available in 2-, 3- and 4-gang styles one receiver (such as for retrofit or new work. Each offers power and/or low voltage in one or more of the other openings. There’s a box to fit nearly any application! model 500759-RX) TVBU505 for each source and And a cable entry device with slotted or brush cover to organize display. Various video your low voltage cable bundle. wall and virtual matrix • NEW WORK Box screw-mounts to stud configurations can easily RETROFIT Mounting wing screws pull box against wall be set up and managed. • Non-metallic box with paintable white trim plate, Content can be delivered optional covers available in point-to-point, point4-GANG TVB613 to-multipoint, and multipoint-to-multipoint configurations.

PLASTIC TV BOX

R E C E S S E D P O W E R / L O W V O LTA G E C O M B O B O X E S

N

2-GANG TVBU505

FEBRUARY 2020 //// SCN

47

Patented. Other patents pending.

R

3-GANG TVBU507

CED135

Made in USA

www.aifittings.com Scranton, PA 18517 800/233-4717 © 2008-2014 Arlington Industries, Inc.

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The Bottom Line: The DXP 42 HD 4K PLUS’ robust feature set, combined with multiple control options, make it well suited for applications that require reliable, high-performance matrix switching of 4K60 HDMI video and audio signals.


ad index COMPANY PAGE Arlington Industries

12,21,47

CONTACT arlingtonlowvoltage.com

Aurora 31

aurora.com

AVIXA

37

infocommshow.org

Bose

3 pro.bose.com/installedsoundexpansion

COMPANY PAGE

CONTACT

Matrox 27 Meyer Sound

9

meyersound.com

NAB 43 NACE

23

nabshow.com

northamericancable.com

Peerless-AV 41 Connectrac 29

matrox.com

peerless-av.com

connectrac.com

Digital Projection

3

digitalprojection.com

DVI Gear

7

dvigear.com

Extron

52

extron.com

Rane

25

denonpro.com

RGB Spectrum

1,13

rgb.com

Stampede Global

11

stampedeglobal.com

Vangaurd

4,5

vanguardled.com

Harman 2

harman.com

Vaddio 33

vaddio.com

ISE

iseurope.org

VITEC 35

vitec.com

41

Product Index

Company Index

COLLABORATION

Almo…16; Arista Corp.…14; AtlasIED…28, 38, 45; Audio-

Nureva46

Technica…44, 45; AVI Systems…45; AVI-SPL…26, 28; AVIXA18, 19, 36, 38, 39, 40; Biamp…40, 44; Blockhouse

MICROPHONES

Studios…14; Bosch…45; CEDIA…39; ClearOne…16, 17;

Audio-Technica45 Biamp

44, 45

Bosch45

Consumer Technology Association…16; Control Concepts…38; Cory’s Audio Visual…18; DigiCo …10; Digital Projection…22, 40; Digital Signage Federation…19; Disney…39; Embrionix…14; Enlumen…12; Falcon Creative Group…42; Global Presence Alliance…25; Gotham Sound…12; Harman…12; IAS

Shure44

Technology…38; Indeed…26; Ingram Micro…12; Involve Visual Collaboration…26, 28, 38; Jabra…26; Jane Goodall

SIGNAL MANAGEMENT

Institute…42; Lectrosonics…12; Lightspeed Design…39;

Barix46 Extron46 MuxLab47

44, 45

NEXO46

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Studios…20; National Geographic Museum…42; NEP…12; NewComm Distributing…16; North of 10 Advisors…38, 39; NSCA…19; Nureva…40; OMEGA Audio Video…38; PeerlessAV…40; PSNI Global Alliance…25, 26, 28; Publicis Sapient…17;

SPEAKERS AtlasIED

Listen Technologies…40; LG…12; Malescu Law…24; MODE

QSC…12, 38; RGB Spectrum…14; Riedel Communications…12, 14; ScreenBeam…38; Severtson Screens…17; Shure…17, 44; Sonance…22; Sony…40; The Elumenati……39; Xonitek…24


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viewpoint The Lost Art of Professional Selling B Y J A Y B . M YER S

M

any of my fellow entrepreneurs who own AV integration firms got started in business by working in sales, just like I did. Before I started Interactive Solutions Inc. (ISI), I sold for both Hewlett-Packard and a regional telecom firm, where I was first introduced to videoconferencing. But before that I worked more than six years for Eastman Kodak, selling high-speed copier/ duplicators, and AM International, where I sold printing equipment. I have been in professional sales for over 40 years and have been fortunate to achieve sales success with each and every company I worked for. What were the keys to success for me? In addition to possessing a strong work ethic, there were some basic skills I learned early on that were instrumental in building a successful career. Being a young professional in the printing/ duplicator industry in the late ’70s , I was exposed to a sales training course created by Xerox—my biggest competitor at the time. The Professional Selling Skills Course, or PSS for short, was also known as Selling by Needs Satisfaction. Xerox spent $10 million to develop this methodology, which debuted in 1968, and later created the Xerox Learning Systems division just to sell this new selling technique. One of the fundamentals of the PSS course was being able to understand the “FAB process,” a system that outlined the features, advantages, and benefits of a product or service to the customer. And by thoroughly understanding the FAB process, a salesperson could then go through the four phases of PSS selling: needs identification, presentation, objection handling, and closing. And that’s when

“Many believe that technology is the answer to everything in sales. They have lost respect for the art of selling by shortcutting the process, which I think is a flawed strategy.”

it dawned on me—there really was a science behind professional sales, and I was learning techniques from the very best. Forty years later, I still say that the Xerox salespeople were the best in the world, and I have to admit that I was thrilled each and every time I beat them because I knew I had beaten the best of the best. Years later, I was introduced to “SPIN selling.” SPIN is all about asking questions, and it teaches you how to lead conversations with customers. A salesperson had to transition through four distinctly different types of questions: situation, problem, implication, and need/payoff. Using the SPIN strategy, a salesperson gets a keener understanding of the customer’s problems, needs, etc. and how to address them. PSS and SPIN training were part of the art of professional selling and taught me a skill

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set that I continue to use and value to this day. Sadly, many AV integration firms think training programs like PSS and SPIN are things of the past and not relevant in today’s marketplace. Many believe that technology is the answer to everything in sales. Just send a text or email; don’t worry about actually meeting with the customer and engaging them in person. They have lost respect for the art of selling by shortcutting the process, which I think is a flawed strategy. These days, too many salespeople in the AV industry are good at answering their phones and becoming order takers. Is that really selling? I don’t believe technology can do your selling for you. For the record, as a 30-plus-year veteran of the videoconferencing industry, I do value technology in the sales process, but I am reminded that videoconferencing allowed people to do everything face-to-face except shake hands. Technology is useful in the sales process, but it has limitations. I also understand that selling is vastly different these days—thanks to the internet, today’s buyer has completed 60 percent of the purchase pathway before any contact with sales is made. I also understand that social selling tools like LinkedIn provide ways to feed prospects and customers with valuable information that will help them with their purchase decision, make them aware of trends, and alert them about topics that might upset their industry. But people still buy from people, and technology should not be the primary means of communication with the customer. Technology should be like any other tool in the sales process and used judiciously. To that point, whether it is selling copiers back in the day or AV equipment today, there is still nothing that replaces face-to-face communication. How else are you going to really get to know your customers and their interests? How will you recognize buying signals? How will you build a relationship? These issues can only be understood by meeting in person with the customer. And I’ll say it again: all too often in the AV industry, salespeople want to hide behind technology and let emails, texts, or social media do their selling for them. And whether it’s 1978 or 2020, selling is a very personal business. Face-to-face meetings are a key ingredient in building strong, lasting business relationships. It’s also where professional salespeople can leverage their sales skills to win the business. It’s hard to do that with a text, tweet, or email!

Key Takeaways **

** **

**

Technology is an important tool in the sales process, but it shouldn’t be the primary method of communication with the customer or prospect. Meeting customers face-to-face is still vitally important in building a long-term business relationship. Recognize that there is a science behind sales and that training your salespeople is a good investment. Acknowledge that professional selling is truly an art that deserves respect and is important to grow any business.

Recommended Reading For more information about sales training, visit https://channelpartner. blogs.xerox.com/2016/01/07/fromprofessional-selling-skills-to-social-selling and https://www.yesware.com/blog/ spin-selling.


9000

Profile for Future PLC

Systems Contract News - February 2020  

Systems Contract News - February 2020

Systems Contract News - February 2020  

Systems Contract News - February 2020

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