Your A/V Design Consultant
Tip #2. Look for Real World Installation and Integration Experience.
However, there are always a few bad apples who ruin it for the rest of them, and you can’t always assume that a consultant has experience just because he is certified. Certification just proves a basic knowledge of A/V theory and ‘best practices’ as set down in manuals and guidebooks. Granted, some certifications, particularly the manufacturer ones, do have a “practical,” or hands-on portion to their exams. Still, it is possible to earn certification without ever pulling a cable, building a rack or hooking up so much as a VCR!
When choosing an A/V Design Consultant, make sure that real, actual experience ‘in the trenches’ is part of their background. Having spent time there themselves, these consultants are often more aware of the challenges and capabilities of any given set-up and will design accordingly. This will result in fewer ‘unforeseen problems’ and forgotten details on specs they draw up, not to mention earning the love and affection of whatever company you eventually hire to actually perform the installation work! (And, if possible, make sure their A/V experience is fairly recent… or that they keep a toe in the integration world. Our industry does move fast and knowledge can become outdated rather quickly! You want someone who knows A/V NOW!)