Associations Focus: AV Industry Evolution

Associations provide improved certification and educational options for today’s professionals.
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Associations Focus: AV Industry Evolution

Dec 1, 2006 12:00 PM

Associations provide improved certification and educational options for today’s professionals.


InfoComm International




NSCA joined forces with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) to form the Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA), to serve as the foundation of a career-ready workforce for the electronic systems contracting industry.

“There is strength in numbers,” says Chuck Wilson, chairman of ESPA and executive director of NSCA. “By coming together and offering a single entry-level education and certification platform for all industry organizations, ESPA will be universally recognized as the gateway to a career in electronic systems contracting.”

The demand for electronic systems in homes and businesses has steadily increased, causing a need for additional qualified technicians. ESPA plans to meet this need by providing the industry's workforce with job-ready professionals who carry credible certification.

The leaders of CEA, CEDIA, and NSCA recognize the confusion of having various competing entry-level education and certification products in the marketplace. ESPA will provide one set of fundamental best practices common among all industry organizations. After achieving ESPA certification, technicians then have the option to pursue advancement through existing specialized programs offered by individual trade groups. Because the new alliance is open to all electronics organizations, ESPA may become the common denominator for millions of workers seeking higher-wage technical careers.

ESPA anticipates rolling out its education/certification programs in late 2007.


At the Ninth Annual NSCA Fall Business Conference held in October, Sandy Schroeder, director of strategic planning and integration for Shure's U.S. business unit, announced that Shure will again commit $25,000 to a fundraising campaign for the NSCA Education Foundation. As an added bonus, Atlas Sound announced it will also commit $25,000 toward this campaign, bringing the total to $50,000 in matching funds.

“Once again, we will be supporting the NSCA Education Foundation with a matching contribution campaign in 2007,” says Al Hershner, vice president and general manager of Shure U.S. “The exciting news is that Atlas Sound has agreed to join us in this year's matching campaign. We hope that other manufacturers will join us in our effort to support the continued education and training of tomorrow's audio professionals.”

As part of this year's campaign, Shure and Atlas will each match up to 50 percent of contributions made to the NSCA Education Foundation through July 31, 2007, with a maximum from each company of $25,000. For more information about the campaign, visit


NSCA has announced that The Commitments will bring the sounds of “Dublin Soul” to the next NSCA ExpoJam. The event is scheduled for March 14, 2007, at the Rosen Centre Hotel, located adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center. ExpoJam, sponsored by L-Acoustics U.S., will continue the tradition of great music and superior sound that it brings to droves of NSCA attendees each year.

The event is free for Expo attendees and will take place from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., immediately following the Opening Night Contractor Caper, also slated to be held in the Rosen Centre from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. on March 14.

NSCA Expo 2007 is set for March 15-17, 2007, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. For more information on NSCA Expo 2007, visit

NSCA Calendar of Events

Dec. 22
C-SI Online Review Begins for Atlanta Exam

Jan. 6
EST Level Training Winter Session Enrollment Deadline

Jan. 12
C-EST Online Review Begins for Expo Exam

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Associations Focus: AV Industry Evolution

Dec 1, 2006 12:00 PM

Associations provide improved certification and educational options for today’s professionals.


InfoComm International




Classroom visits, employee contests, product giveaways, proclamations, news coverage, road rallies, job fairs, student tours, and presentations — all were elements of the enormously successful debut of the annual AV Week this past October. During the week, InfoComm and members across the United States reached out to communities to raise awareness for the AV industry. Members used the opportunity to encourage students to consider AV careers, promote the technology to schools and businesses, and enable broader understanding of the technology among IT professionals and others.

Details on the exciting activities are available at InfoComm will again recognize AV Week Oct. 21-27, 2007.

Many deserve recognition for playing a role. Manufacturers traveled to Little Rock, Ark., to be part of a kick-off event for AV Week. Executives from AMX, Biamp, MediaPointe, and Shure joined InfoComm's Randal Lemke, Ph.D., to discuss the value of AV in education during a panel discussion that was streamed on the Web. InfoComm and members also organized and led student tours of the Shedd Aquarium and the American Airlines Sports Arena, staged an event to recognize the importance of AV in telemedicine, and staffed a job fair booth in Washington, D.C.

Following are a few descriptions of the more than 30 events and activities.

The Sextant Group kicked the week off with its annual road rally traversing Pittsburgh's potholes in a test of endurance, intelligence, and speed. The company also covered the most states to celebrate the week through consultant meetings with students in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Congratulations to California members who rallied in many ways. Of special note, Spinitar was successful in gaining the most proclamations in one state with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger expressing gratitude to California's “audiovisual professionals who devote their careers to this vitally important industry.”

Spinitar led presentations at local high schools to generate awareness about AV-related fields, technologies, and career opportunities. The company also hosted on-site events at client locations including a realtor's office in Northern California demonstrating AV technologies used for training to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of business communication.

Visual and Hall Research also celebrated AV Week. Visual invited the California AV community to an open house at its new 3,000-square-foot Visual Demonstration Center in Southern California.

Hall Research in California celebrated AV Week with daily events aimed at increasing employee knowledge of the AV Industry, continuing education opportunities and Hall Research product applications and capabilities. Concurrently, a weeklong online contest ran on Hall's new and websites for a drawing for free InfoComm EduBucks.

A meaningful contribution for AV Week came from Boxlight in the state of Washington, selecting 10 nominees to receive refurbished projectors via one of its partners.

“We wanted to be able to participate in the first annual event, both in supporting local communities around the globe, and in supporting our partners in business,” says Hank Nance, general manager of Boxlight. “During AV Week, our Elite Partners [were] able to nominate a local organization, school, or nonprofit that could benefit from the use of projectors.”

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences held a daylong program for K-12 teachers and administrators who attended sessions about PowerPoint, videoconferencing, webstreaming, and audience response systems.

Emory University passed out AV Week promotions at its EduCATE conference, highlighting some of the latest technologies in a TouchIT Showcase, sponsored in part by Steelcase. Temple University saved an AV presentation to the desktops of PCs in its classrooms to show “how saturated the mediated classrooms are with AV” and raise awareness for the university's certified AV staff.

Booz Allen Hamilton organized a series of educational sessions on its corporate campus for colleagues about its inhouse AV/VC teams.

Merck set up an information booth in its cafeteria and displayed its conference room website on a large projection screen, generating interest from all levels. According to Merck's Senior AV Specialist Christopher Neto, CTS, “AV week helped promote and expand our audience to other buildings and groups within Merck who did not know about the services we offered.”

Kudos also go to Ken Collura, director of communication and instructional technologies, Catholic Schools in Columbus, Ohio. He contacted The Columbus Dispatch and was featured in a story about the excitement that digital signage is creating as area schools replace “aging scoreboards with electronic panels that have become a multimedia canvas for sporting events, Mass, and student activities.”

Independent producer Rick Bloom addressed 30 members of the Northern California Chapter of Meeting Professionals International with a presentation titled, “Changing the Way the World Does Audiovisual,” which was well received. Bloom tailored the interactive presentation to meeting professionals at all experience levels. He asked the group to help him “build” AV and lighting systems. It was an opportunity for them to tell him what they know about AV while he filled in the rest.

Want to be a part of AV Week in 2007? Visit for details.

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Associations Focus: AV Industry Evolution

Dec 1, 2006 12:00 PM

Associations provide improved certification and educational options for today’s professionals.


InfoComm International




The CEDIA Management Conference takes place Feb. 7-10, 2007, in Jacksonville, Fla., at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. Early bird registration ends Jan. 5, 2007 so register today at

CEDIA Management Conference acts as an invaluable resource for CEOs, senior-level mangers, and decision makers in the custom electronics industry. Even with such a successful event last year, CEDIA Management Conference 2007 promises to be even more useful to industry professionals. CEDIA Management Conference is the only conference designed specifically for residential electronic systems professionals; therefore, every minute of the conference will be directly relevant to you and your business.

The 2007 Management Conference will bring in internationally recognized keynote speakers including: Pat Croce, author of 110% and former NBA team owner; Warren Greshes, author of The Best Damn Sales Book Ever; and Andy Andrews, author of The Traveler's Gift and the PBS special The Seven Decisions.

Attendees can also look forward to ground-breaking, cross-industry concept presentations from: Jay Goltz, author of The Street Smart Entrepreneur; Alan Fine, founder of InsideOut Coaching Development and consultant to the world's top athletes; and Leslie Shiner, construction-industry financial expert and CEDIA Top 10 Instructor Award recipient.

Strategic Management Forums include specific sessions customized to target your company's size and goals, as well as a panel discussion of industry leaders addressing the “Profit vs. Product” topic.

Countless valuable networking opportunities will help take your company to the next level, and place it among the best performing businesses in the residential electronic systems industry. For more information or to register online, please visit or call (800) 669-5329.


Join CEDIA in bridging the gap between design and technology. Some things to consider as our industry advances include the fact that soon, about half of all new homes constructed will include structured wire, serving as the foundation for all electronic systems, networking, and automation. In addition, an increasing number of consumers are willing to pay for Electronic Lifestyles technologies installed by CEDIA members.

With technology use in the home at an all-time high, these numbers have nowhere to go but up. The new 2007 Electronic Lifestyles Expo allows architects, builders, interior designers, and residential electronic systems contractors to come together in one place to build relationships, but more importantly, to build this evolving consumer demand.

Join us in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo and Convention Center and Venetian Hotel, and expand your company awareness to the residential design/build industry.

For more attendee information or to sign up for a free event catalog call (800) 669-5329. For the latest information, visit Registration officially opens online Jan. 22, 2007, so mark your calendars today.

Companies interested in exhibiting at the 2007 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Expo may contact Jennifer Roth at or visit for additional exhibitor information.

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