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UPDATE: Watch Video here
Integrate Expo hosts the AV Industry Awards each year at closing time on day one. This year’s awards took on a gloomy tone as AV Asia-Pacific Magazine publisher Chris Holder portrayed an industry he believes is in crisis.
Pacing the platform impatiently, Chris let fly with his introduction.
“I don’t wish to take the gloss off, but we live in changing times, turbulent times, these could be dark times. Margins (are being) squeezed. AMX and Crestron replaced by the Jaycar catalogue. Customers have better control systems in their pockets on their iPhones. Skype, Apple and others have made video conferencing free.”
“Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Dodo are taking customers away and giving us third world broadband. These are dark, dark times.”
“Gone are the days of reliable passive income.”
“Everyone is wondering, ‘what next’? We’re urged to look to the IT industry with their lucrative service contracts, training and support. Support? Can you imagine what kind of car you’d be driving now if you were paid $150 to tell a client to turn a piece of equipment off and then on again. It’s a racket.”
“Can we really be paid for offering advice? How like IT can we be paid for not doing very much?”
At this stage many in the audience were looking at each other, wondering where this was headed. They didn’t have a long wait.
“The answer is amongst us. I’m not talking about big players like Pro AV and Rutledge AV. (I’m) not sure if Michael Rutledge is here tonight. He might have the look of a man whose figured it all out, But I can assure you he hasn’t. There are those here who have.”
By now the presumption was that Chris had struck on a mother load of an idea, had a revelation, or found salvation on the road to Ballarat.
“We need to ask an AV consultant. The question is, how do they get away with it?”
Silence as the drinks paused, and mouthfuls of canapés were quickly swallowed. No one knew where to look.
“The truth is, we love and respect our AV consultants. CHW Consulting – (you) want to flip me a bird? Parity Consulting won an AVIA last year. Avdec of course is helmed by the Godfather, Peter Blackmore.”
So now we had a target. Just like the reviled I.T. Industry, the consultants are bad, Chris implied. Was there no real appreciation that the I.T. industry and the A.V. industry have converged into the I.C.T. space?
Perhaps realizing things were not going too well, Chris turned his attention to his sponsors, and thanked the new Syntec for their contribution to the awards. He then made some speculative comments and put in a big sledge against Hills Limited which drew loud jeers from the audience.
“I shouldn’t have said that”, he correctly observed. Syntec and Hills cannot have been impressed. At all.
Then came the actual awards, judged by a well chosen panel of industry experts. The second award was the non award, where one nominee (Auditoria) were correctly praised and then damned by the commentary that no award in that category would be made.
“Swa”, (Scott Willsallen, head of Auditoria), “you can leave now”, Chris added, throwing petrol onto his pyre.
It was a shambles, with angry judges, sponsors and exhibitors.
Best Application of AV in Education with a budget over $500,000: University of Technology Sydney, for its Superlab
Best Application of AV in a Commercial or Government Installation with a budget in excess of $500,000: Rutledge AV, for the AGL office at 699 Bourke Street Melbourne
Best Application of AV in Education with budget between $100K & $500K: AVDEC, for the University of New England’s VITAL STEMMEd Space
Best Application of AV in a Commercial or Government Installation with a budget up to $100,000: PowerComs, for its AV upgrade of the Purewa, NZ cemetery
Prendi, for its work on the The Wonder Room at All Saints Anglican School
ResolutionX for its work on the Prime Minister’s Olympic Dinner event
TDC, for its projection mapping and technical direction at the Vivid festival Sydney
UPDATE: Watch Video here
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