This article was originally published in Inavate magazine.
AVIXA refers to the TIDE conference as ‘AV’s campfire’ and the moniker is apt. At InfoComm 2019, held in Orlando, USA, the AV community gathered to discuss how the industry as a whole could shift gears and elevate itself.
Speaking the same language
Ryan Howard from Storied Systems kicked of proceedings with a talk that focused on frameworks and language. As the AV industry moves towards and puts experience at the centre of its value proposition projects and solutions are becoming more bespoke and customised. In such a climate, Howard emphasised the need for a shared ‘language’ that AV can use to contextualise its offerings in a manner accessible to all. While AVIXA, with its standards and efforts, is aiming to make this possible, the global AV community as a whole needs to become a part of the conversation.
Mary Frank from ESI Design made an extremely pertinent point, media is now an integral part of commercial spaces. ‘Media’ is unique in that is inherently social, it brings people to the same space, and one that requires a unique approach. During the course of her talk, she walked the audience through specific installations handled by ESI Design where the media and content played a central role in how the spaces performed. The talk also explored the opportunities for AV in generative art which evolves based on data collected from user interaction or surroundings.
Heidi Cooley from the University of Texas further expanded on the theme of media in public spaces with a focus on interactivity. She presented three premises, namely situatedness of mediated experiences, mediated experiences as sites of possibility for new awareness and new awareness as point of departure for different kinds of social engagement. Food for thought for those who want to bring together content, media, art, technology and more into one seamless experience for users.
Killing the competition
A common problem faced by AV professionals across job functions is differentiation. How do we set ourselves apart from competitors? Srinivas Rao from Unmistakeable Media delved into how everyone can create ‘art that doesn’t require a signature to be recognised’. Interestingly, his message was to stray away from best practices because they represent a set of actions that produced a favourable outcome for someone at a particular juncture. Following best practices leaves no room for differentiation. Instead, his message was to focus on honing your skills and perfecting your craft to a point where duplication of your efforts becomes impossible.
Finding your tribe
Miral Kotb, founder of iLuminate, has found immense success marrying her passion for dance and technology together. She shared how she managed to accomplish marrying art and technology together. Her recommendation for those looking to follow in her footsteps was twofold. First, she said that having a clear mission statement that you understand completely is essential. Next, you need to build a team that understands your vision. Finally, you need to allow the team the freedom to operate without constant supervision.