Building Information Modeling for A/V Folks, Listen up

By Melody Craigmyle
Vice President of Marketing, Almo Pro A/V

BIM-0214Before I started in the A/V industry, I was vice president of marketing for the largest AutoCAD reseller and integrator in the country. Our world was architects, engineers of all disciplines, interior designers and facilities managers. I remember the first time I heard the phrase “BIM” was from the CEO of Autodesk, Carol Bartz, at their national conference in 1998. At first I was thinking “of course they want everything to be about the software”. And then as she explained, layer by layer how the fragmented work of building design creates chaos for so many people down the building “food chain”, the light bulb went off. I clearly saw that BIM was going to be the future for anyone having anything to do with being a part of building design… including A/V. Bartz was famous for her spirited speeches and she actually said, “Even Ready Mix f*&%#@g Concrete will embrace collaboration with BIM model” (Maybe the rest of this quote is not completely accurate, but the first part I’ll NEVER forget!)

Fast forward many years later to 2012 and I’m speaking with Gary Kayye about ideas for his keynote for our E4 AV Tour and I brought up the topic of BIM. At that time InfoComm had just started its committee on BIM and manufactures were just starting to publish smart objects that can be imported into Autodesk Revit, the software engine that stores all the BIM smart data. Gary said to me, “Its too early Melody — this is just too cutting edge.” And so we waited another 18 months. 2013 I said to Gary that I think it’s time to do this. Integrators MUST get in on the ground level of these projects to show their value-add and they must speak the language of the architect/engineer. Most importantly, they have to embrace the concept of BIM and get on the band wagon.

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For 2014 our new keynote is: Being Smart with Smart Buildings. It covers advice on working with other contractors, such as architects, facility managers, interior designers and others. There will be a discussion of BIM (Building Information Management) and how AV fits into it. Where to get started with educating yourself and others in your company about BIM. How it fits into larger trends of sustainability and green buildings and business. And of course, how it can improve your profitability and expand your business!

Like Carol Bartz, our own Gary Kayye is known for his “spirited” keynotes and I for one cannot wait to hear the new presentation that’s been years in the making.