The AV industry has existed a very long time now. Our trade association, Infocomm, itself celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2009. Yet, despite this long history, and despite the fact that products from our industry are integral to daily life around the world (mics, speakers, TVs, computer monitors, etc), we are still widely unknown and overlooked by many. It took until the release of MasterFormat2004 before we got a place of our own for AV specs in construction documents. There are still no AV Design Engineer or AV Installer degree programs in the United States, possibly the world, and only a few related degree programs out there that are similar – acoustical engineer, communications, broadcast degrees, etc. And, the public at large has no clue what we do, for the most part. Heck, I’m AVDawn for pity’s sake, yet my own mother thinks I “sell TVs or something like that.” (Bless her heart!)
The Economy, US Credit Downgrade and Little Fish
I was working on a new Little Fish Tales (on dealing with manufacturers as a Little Fish… stay tuned!) when news broke on Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade the US Credit Rating from AAA to AA+ for the first time ever. As the economy has been on everyone’s mind for the past, oh, 3 or 4 years anyways, I felt it important to postpone the other topic and address this one.
So, how has the economy been treating us Little Fish? Anecdotally, we’re taking a beating. Corporate installs have slowed to a trickle over the past two years and competition for the government and education projects has skyrocketed. Big Fish who never bothered with some of the smaller projects that kept Little Fish fed are suddenly circling them with a hungry gleam in their eyes, while new players join the battle from other ponds – residential AV, security, telecom, IT. One #AVTweep who participated in the February 2011 #AVChat on ‘The Economy’ said, “(We) started doing smaller jobs we normally wouldn’t have messed with.” It is becoming harder and harder for the Little Fish integrator to get a nibble.
- Infocomm (the show) is an entirely different world for exhibitors than it is for attendees! This was the first year I worked a booth, and it was crazy. Late nights setting up the booth, early mornings and long hours manning it, late afternoon tearing down. Not to mention, missing almost the entire rest of the show while focused on one tiny bit of real estate on the show floor. Seriously, I have sooooo much more respect for all of my manufacturer friends after this experience! Of course, I also hope to never have to go through that again! Me, I’ll take integration any day. *nods sagely*
I had planned a nice, long post-Infocomm wrap up for this space, but (as per usual) life intervened. So, that blog will be forthcoming (I hope). In the mean time, I am still hard at work on some Infocomm coursework I started last month and looking ahead to resuming my MBA classes this fall. I … Read more
The other day, I read a blog by Diana Adams (@adamsconsulting) called “Twitter’s Top 75 Badass Women.” This wonderful article – which can be read at http://tinyurl.com/Top75Women – detailed 75 great ladies on Twitter who have a passion for their jobs and share it well. As Ms. Adams wrote:
Welcome to Little Fish Tales.
It is with the greatest sadness that I report the death of a member of our A/V community. Mike Murphy of Musicorp passed away in the early morning hours yesterday, after a courageous 15-month battle with cancer. He was 30 years old.
To all my faithful readers… And in honor of Turkey Day, here’s a tasty AV treat from our friends at Shure Microphones: Cheers, all!