One of the questions that i always struggle to answer, in terms of my career, is how I can still remain relevant in this industry as I pile up experiences. Technology is changing at a rapid pace and we have to either evolve constantly or be left behind. At a stage like this, it really helps to learn about a few simple steps that some insiders, who have been in this industry for over a decade, take to remain relevant. Perhaps, we can incorporate their steps and remain useful in the industry.
David Danto has worked in the Audiovisual industry for over three decades. He is currently the Director for Emerging Technology for the IMCCA and an industry consultant and analyst.
· I stay relevant by shunning any preconceived notions about what this industry is all about.
· I attend many conferences and events – like CES in January, NAB in April and InfoComm in June – and find-out how emerging technologies are cross-applicable to what I do.
· I work with legitimate, end-user supporting organizations like the non-profit IMCCA (https://www.imcca.org/) authoring session materials, presenting sessions at conferences and writing articles and blogs. (Teaching is one of the very best methods of learning.)
· I use social media of all types to stay in touch with other professionals and users and enjoy collaborating with a large network of individuals. I go out of my way to assist and support people where ever I can, because that’s how I’d want them to support me if I ever needed it.
· I work with manufacturer clients to help them develop go-to-market strategies and create advisory boards, identifying true gaps in the space and helping them develop solutions that meet the needs. This not only helps my manufacturer clients achieve success in their marketing, but also helps me help my end-user clients stay aware of what trends in technologies are around the corner.
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Richard Sasson has worked in the Audiovisual industry for over 20 years. He is currently global director of technical services at Crestron.
In an industry and company that is constantly evolving this is a challenge. It requires a desire to play, to research and to explore different technology in the industry. Going to shows helps, listening to customers is one of the best ways to find out about technology, and ultimately working with the technology is the best way to stay relevant.
Please connect with Richard on LinkedIn.
Peter Coman is award-winning designer whose career spans 25+ years in the technology industry. With a background in owning and managing IT companies and installing and programming advanced technology systems, Pete knows what it’s like on both sides of the fence.
Our role as consultants and designers is to inform and educate our clients not only about the current technology, but about future technologies that could possibly be incorporated into future projects 6, 12, 18 months down the track. We do this through regular industry and vendor training as well as attending the international exhibitions such as ISE, InfoComm and CES. It’s very cyclic – learn, design, implement, learn, design, implement… You always have to stay informed otherwise you get left behind.
Rich Pierro has worked in the Audiovisual industry for over 15 years. He is currently co-CEO Premier Mounts, and also run their Engineering business unit as President, Premier Dedicated Solutions.
I think my relevance is measured by the relevance of our people, our customers, our partners. I give 2 books to our people “The Ultimate Selling Machine” and “How To Win Friends and Influence People” – In a nutshell, understanding buying criteria, and getting what you want by helping others get what they want. It’s that easy.
People: I want our people to be relevant and stay relevant. To do that, they have to be able to win at 3 things…..innovation, relationships, and marketing. If our people can be successful at these 3 things, they grow their value, opportunity finds them, and that’s good for company, customer, employee, and their family. These 3 things apply to every person in every department, not just sales.
Innovation: In the words of my good friend Alan Brawn, “you have to do something your customer will remember”….In order to do that, you have to solve a problem, improve a condition, or lower total cost, that’s innovation. From the process of equipment maintenance, to the process of invoicing and delivery, everybody plays a role in innovation.
Relationships: If you are successful at #1, then #2 becomes somewhat easy, or easier, and in today’s market, relationships are hard to earn, and harder to keep. Let’s face it, there are a lot of expert relationship people out there and this becomes some of the hardest stuff we do as professionals.
Marketing: You have to tell your story. Too many times have I heard….”Oh I didn’t know you did that”. Let me repeat…. Tell your story, and there has never been more tools available than we have today to get the story out there. For the janitor, show your manager the amazing work you did. For the sales person, show your customer what you’ve done that solves their problem. Market your results no matter where you are in the organization.
Customers: Simply stated, apply 1, 2, and 3 above for your customers and they become more relevant (and valuable) to their clients. That builds synergy and in return, future opportunity is a result. They come back to you if you are helping them succeed.
Partners: I never underestimate how important a partner who you “don’t sell” things to can be. Help them succeed, connect them to your relationships, and have their best interest at heart, and expect NOTHING in return…..that pays dividends.
For more information about Rich Pierro , please connect with him on LinkedIn.
Chuck Wilson has worked in the audiovisual industry for over 20 years. He is currently executive director of NSCA.
I’ve always been “over-employed,” and have worked on the fringe of my comfort zone. Our members force me to stay relevant. I have no choice. That has driven me to keep pushing harder to give our members more than they expect from NSCA. I enjoy working with integrators of all sizes and scopes. That daily member interaction helps me tremendously. I find that, no matter the company size, most of the business issues are similar.
In my role, I fight every day to ensure that the channel is strong, and that manufacturers and end-users see our members as the undisputed best choice for product and service delivery. I’ll always see myself at the bottom of the industry org chart. I’m here to empower and prop up the people who get the real work done.
Yasmin Grigaliunas has worked in the Audiovisual industry for over 20 years and is one of those people who lives life large! A passionate and energising professional, who is as at home in her corporate life as she is raising her young family with her husband. Yas is one of those people who can achieve what might seemingly feel impossible. If you think you can’t, Yas will find a way you can. In November 2015, Yas resigned from an industry role she loved, to fulfill a family dream of travelling Australia in a caravan on what she calls a ‘Family Gap Year’. Yas was working full-time and fully flexibly with avt (AV Technology), developing the Customer Experience, in what she calls ‘Australia’s most flexible role’.
I love to learn and ensure I’m a member of relevant industry groups. With Customer Experience being my ‘native genius’ and passion, I always seek to stay relevant with trends in this area. I tend to habitually make good use of the ‘loose time’, which means the time that typically escapes us when we’re not thinking about it mindfully. By being conscious of the loose time, I have inadvertently created a habit of using this time to read and educate myself in a broad range of topics influencing our industry. I also love to learn from others and often find myself lost in research, taking and making pages of notes in my journal to reflect upon. I carry my journal with me everywhere! I always look for the ‘good’ in others and have a natural tendency to admire the strengths of individuals I meet. The habit of looking for the ‘good and glad’ has me intrigued to learn as much as I can from everyone I meet in our industry. The people I meet and the time we spend together has truly shaped who I am today.
I think I’m somehow attracted to doing things differently, even though it sometimes gets me into trouble and doesn’t always make me popular :-). I’m not afraid to ask questions and seek to improve and evolve systems, processes and business functions.
Most people are ‘too busy’ (aren’t we all? :-)), but if we keep our heads are up and stay engaged, it’s amazing what can be achieved. It’s so easy to get lost in our own world, distracted by our tasks, email, social media and the dreaded iPhone/Android permanently stuck on our hips, but everyone’s doing this right? For me, I’m looking where it’s less populated. I believe it’s a place where you can stumble upon relevance before it’s relevant.
Ultimately, it’s much easier to stay relevant when the blinkers are off and you’re listening, sensing and feeling the landscape.
For more information about Yasmin Grigaliunas , please find a few links.
LinkedIn – welcoming new genuine connections
Facebook – a timeline of our Family Gap Year travels
Instagram – in pictures, some of the amazing adventures
Jason McGraw has worked in the audiovisual industry for over 20 years. He is currently working as senior vice president of expositions at InfoComm International.
I regularly read every rAVe publication! (Shameless plug for Gary, Sara and the entire rAVe team!) I spend time speaking with our members, exhibitors and industry partners on a daily basis. I read a lot each day online and in print (in addition to rAVe, I get nearly every trade industry pub and newsletter out there) to keep abreast of what’s happening in our industry, the economy and the world that may affect our events or will help us take things to the next level. I learned a long time ago that things change quickly and what you did last time is nice, but not necessarily what’s going to work next. You need to be flexible and keep pushing forward.
Do you think these simple steps are enough, particularly when you face competition from peers in the industry. Let me know in the comments below the steps that you are taking each day to remain updated on what the client and your industry needs from you.