Every week, I am highlighting on some of the incredible people who are in the audiovisual industry. As this blog is mostly about AV insiders, today we are profiling Michelle Ford.
Michelle Ford has worked in the audiovisual industry for over six years. She was recently the business development manager of Aquavision.
Please drop your questions in the comments below and i will make sure that she sees them.
1. Describe your journey in the AV industry. How did it start?
I grew up with a passion for photography and cinema after being mesmerised by my grandfather’s creativity producing family videos and audio files with the old 7mm reel to reel and large format images with the Bronica and Leica rangefinder cameras. I jumped at the opportunity to work for CEDIA – Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association to drive membership and education throughout Europe and beyond. The trade body was driven by the pioneers of the custom industry. I learned so much about AV and best practices from some of the true movers and shakers. After 5 years with CEDIA I relocated to another county and was approached to work for Aquavision – innovators of in wall and waterproof televisions. I feel so lucky to be working in an industry I feel passionate about. I believe this is key to individual success. Passion is infectious. It’s easy to feel passionate when your company is quality driven and not cost driven in today’s world of consumerization and commoditization!
2. What do you think is the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry?
Challenges today for anyone entering the industry is that it’s not enough to install AV equipment. Some custom installers have become lazier in the sense that they will look for the simplest solution for them as opposed to offering the best experience for the client. You need to be able to offer the client something that they cannot get via the pervasive world wide web. We are after all in the ‘experience economy.’
3. What are the positives of working in this industry?
With technology evolving at an exponential rate, it is the most dynamic of industries to work in. And for the custom installer who works ahead of the curve, it’s the most exciting place to be.
4. What in your opinion would you change in the industry? What are the negatives that are prevalent ?
Consumerism is detrimental as commodities are often confused with luxury.
5. Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you.
The ideal client would be someone who really ‘gets the product’ and can sell the experience.
6. If you were going to start over, what would you do differently?
I would probably have gone into photojournalism, focusing on nature.
7. Describe the apps and gear that you use daily which makes you more productive.
Our CRM is really sophisticated and such a powerful tool. It really helps hone in on your customer base and measure performance, projects and much more. Also, I am an Apple fan so I couldn’t imagine being without my iPhone 6s or iPads!
If you have missed any of the previous interviews, please click here.