Chuck Wilson is the executive director of the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA), and he’ll be debating the future of commercial integration with Gary Kayye live on ProAV Day of LAVNCH WEEK 2.0. I wanted to hear what Chuck had planned for this LAVNCH & Learn session/debate, so I reached out to get a teaser before the big event. Chuck’s insights below only scratch the surface of what you’ll see in full during LAVNCH WEEK 2.0. For your (free) ticket to the big show, all you have to do is register.
Enjoy the interview!
This is an interview with Chuck Wilson, as written by Leah McCann. It has been edited for clarity.
LM: Hello, Chuck! Thanks for speaking with me. First, I’d love to hear more about your background in AV and your experience as executive director of the National Systems Contractors Association. How did you get involved?
CW: I’ve really been involved in the NSCA my entire career, dating back to the early ’80s when the organization was formed. I’ve had two jobs my entire life, both in the integration business — one was right out of college at CEC, where I learned about the AV and security industries from doing the installations, service, system configurations, sales, project management and about every other job function in a systems integration firm. Somehow, I was fortunate to be elected to the NSCA board along the way and then, in 1996, transitioned to the association staff as the executive director. So, I’ve been in the industry for more than 40 years and continue to learn something new every day.
I learned that Chuck was the first full-time employee of the NSCA. Also, very important information — he’s still the promoter, manager and mascot of industry favorite the Drunk Unkles. (Cue memories from InfoComm 2018 and multiple shows before that.)
LM: What will you be speaking about on ProAV Day of LAVNCH WEEK 2.0?
CW: We will be talking about the future: the future of vertical markets, emerging technologies and other relevant concerns and opportunities our members will be dealing with moving forward.
LM: Talking about the future of the commercial-integration channel specifically (grab your crystal ball if it’s close by), what do you see as the AV integrator’s role in it?
CW: Our role is constantly evolving and will change rapidly. In fact, I can see us clearly becoming far more relevant as a technology provider to help our clients deploy technology that keeps them in business and driving their success.
LM: What are the major concerns and opportunities for your members?
CW: The primary concern is getting revenue flowing again. The year 2020 will likely be one where we had nine months of revenue against 12 months of expenses. I believe our members can survive this, but in doing so, they need to prepare for what follows. In my opinion, if we are strategic about this, we can reboot our organizations to become of far greater value and relevance based on our solutions becoming a must-have asset for their companies. We are an essential workforce that provides solutions and services that have rapidly become mission-critical.
LM: As the audience of ProAV Day will largely be AV integrators (along with education-technology managers and some end users), what’s the main thing you want them to take away after your session?
CW: I think to be optimistic about our future and to know that we shouldn’t underestimate the important role we play in business optimization and creating a safe and healthy environment for people. I’d also like to point out where attention should be focused and how to deal with all the change that’s been thrown our way. It’s as if we accelerated five years of change in three months. We need to adapt and embrace this change to survive and thrive.
LM: What resources have you been using to learn, pivot and stay abreast of the critical changes in AV and ProAV right now?
CW: We have the finest economist I’ve ever met working alongside our team and partnering with our research firm and other experts to provide guidance to our community. We also have some of the very best systems integrators serving on our board of directors and on committees and councils to provide data points and information that we share with the members. If you’re curious to learn more or get more information, reach out to me on LinkedIn.
Don’t miss Chuck Wilson at LAVNCH WEEK 2.0 on Tuesday, June 23; his LAVNCH & Learn session with Gary Kayye on ProAV Day will offer a full version of the topics we discussed today. Register here, and visit rave.pub/LAVNCHweek2 to learn all about LAVNCH WEEK.