Audio Visual Bend Blog
Earlier this year I found myself in predicament. Late at night, I would like to lift weights, work out, and do a bit of overtime, all while blasting music to keep the energy up. This quickly caused a problem as the rest of the household didn’t appreciate the concerts I held in the middle of the night, not to mention the neighbors that didn’t want that either. So I had a couple of options, I could go to a 24-hour gym (which at the time were open but little did I know that would have been a temporary fix) Or I could design my own workspace that would reduce the sound by drafting an acoustical treatment plan.
Avoiding the sweaty gyms and having the freedom of being in my own home while having the option to have my music through a speaker was a no brainer choice. So my wife and I designed an acoustical plan.
What is an acoustical treatment plan?
In short, it is a design that will solve your problems and make the room better for recording and listening to audio. When making an acoustical treatment plan you need to decide what your main problems are and how much coverage you need. Most people need between 25% and 75% coverage. This is only for the walls and ceiling. Most people forget when treating a room that the ceiling is just as important when it comes to treating a room as the walls are. So when buying or collecting materials make sure to pick up some for the ceiling too.
How do you go about it?
When I was making mine I decided to use scraps from a previous project. I had odd shapes of sound silencer material, which was perfect for the outcome but the shapes would be a creative challenge. My wife and I spent time maneuvering the pieces into intricate designs that would get the job done while still being aesthetically pleasing. This process saved us money and kept our room design unique, compared to the typical soundproofing methods.
Find a store that sells soundproofing materials then draw out a design for your room while placement is important that doesn’t mean you can’t make pieces that look good in the right places. The sound silencer is a unique product, from an initial look it looks like styrofoam but it is actually tiny engineered beads molded together, which is both functional and pleasing to the eyes.
After implementing this plan the sound was reduced drastically. I now have a place where I can do work and be as loud as needed while others can sleep peacefully just a wall away. My wife and I had a great time working on this together it was a good problem-solving experience and gave us some extra time together. Most people think that acoustical treatments are eyesores…and they wouldn’t be completely wrong. It’s great that we were able to come up with something that worked for our space and looked cool.
Putting soundproof panels behind canvas pictures, or cutting them into unique designs are simple ways you can make acoustical treatments a designing choice instead of a functional eyesore. This project was cost-effective, made use of old material, and solved our main problem.
By Tony Sprando
Upon researching definitions for the “wow factor,” I came across the following descriptions:
- A set of properties belonging to an object or service that pleasantly surprises a consumer. From commercials to cool electronics, the wow factor is an important aspect to consider.
- A striking or impressive feature
- We create entertaining and interactive experiences that result in positive consumer engagement with your brand… that is The WOW factor!
And while these definitions and descriptions definitely have their place in marketing and promotions, I believe that for the AV industry, the wow factor is totally overrated. I have found that at the end of every project I have completed, my customers weren’t looking for the wow factor. They just wanted a system that was easy to operate.
For example, I’ve had a couple project “take-overs,” which means I took a project over from another AV company. While this other AV company had the project for a few years, the customer chose to use my services instead for two key reasons:
- The system was over-engineered and therefore, costly to support
- The system was poorly installed and consequently required a service contract to keep it running.
As I initially looked at the project site and its technology, it was obvious the initial AV company sold the customers the most expensive solution. This trapped them into a never-ending spiral of being dependent on the AV company to keep the system running. The customer was 60% pleased with the system and merely tolerated what they believed to be the only option. They felt stuck.
The Issue with the Wow Factor
Herein lies the issue of the wow factor — get the customer to just nod and trust whatever the AV consultant says, without really understanding what they are getting. This is also called being steam rolled. Most AV salespersons are pretty prideful and will tell you want you need and they know best. Beware of this. If you can discern some humility in your initial meeting with them, proceed. Otherwise be cautions.
Speaking of reasons to be cautious, remember the proverbial saying, “All that glitters is not gold.” Shakespeare is the best-known writer to have expressed this idea and it has many meanings:
- The shining outer look of something is not a consistent sign of its real character,
- Not everyone that appears good, turns out to be good,
- Not everything that is apparently glittery is precious, and
- Something that looks to be perfect but not in real life.
Watch Out for These Sales Traits
While I couldn’t find any clear and focused resources on helping you identify poor sales techniques from a customer’s perspective, the Sales Hacker had an insightful list of poor sales traits including:
- A salesperson who is as clueless about the product as the customer.
- A salesperson who loves talking so much that they forgot to listen.
- A salesperson who is unable to ask the right questions.
- A salesperson who has a sense of entitlement for being so good at what they do.
- A salesperson who views everyone as a prospect.
- A salesperson who is more focused on products that on people.
Again, beware of the wow factor in either the company, the salesperson or the technology. Choose a company and consultant with a proven track record of service and customer referrals. And get out of the way of those steam rollers.
The Wow Factor – Los Angeles and New York
The Sales Hacker
The arrival of 5G is transforming technology and our AV industry. You can barely scan your News Feed or watch television without some type of news or advertisement about 5G and its impending impact on your life. And while this whole 5G thing sounds like amazing hype, I’ve found that many of our customers and my colleagues aren’t certain of what it is and how it actually will affect their lives and our industry.
Let’s start with some definitions and explanations.
What is 5G?
The “G” in the term 5G stands for generation and relates to the speed, connectivity and reliability of our wireless devices.
In the beginning, we had 1G which essentially allowed us to talk to each other. With the development of 2G, we moved into the realm of sending messages. The next leap was 3G, which gave us broad data and internet connectivity. Now, we have 4G, which made all of the previously mentioned aspects a whole lot faster. But 5G is a game changer and a massive breakthrough for devices not only connected to the internet but also with each other. While 4G is pretty fast, 5G is real time fast. In fact, it is 150 times faster than 4G.
Which Industries Will Experience the Most Profound Effects of 5G?
You may have noticed that home 5G has already rolled out. Smart homes connected through the Internet of Things is actually common is some of the major international cities. Full roll-out of 5G across the globe is expected to begin in March 2020. And within a few years, the average person will interact with 5G technology in a variety of potential ways.
Medical Industry – Because 5G will allow wireless communication in real time across the world, many medical services will be provided remotely. Robotic surgeries will be performed in one location of the world by a surgeon “operating” from a different location. Patients will be linked to hospitals with monitoring services within the comfort of their own homes.
Manufacturing Industry – Smart factories are already being developed with wireless robots interfacing in perfect synchronicity.
Food Industry – Drones will simply fly over crops to monitor the health of our food. With 5G, they will give individualized attention, nutrition and water to our food sources.
Entertainment Industry – Imagine your virtual reality device connected to other gamers across the world and interacting with them in real time. It’s coming.
Transportation Industry – Driver-less vehicles in major cities will be transporting passengers at speeds up to 200mph and in an accident-free environment.
5G Will Drive AV Technology
AV professionals will have plenty of opportunity to capitalize on the 5G movement as it becomes more and more commonplace. Right now, many businesses are discussing design and infrastructure options in anticipation of 5G networking.
Due to on-the-go connections and networking, employees will be able to collaborate anywhere. Existing AV technology like video conferencing will be real time fast and it is a given that virtual reality will be a future daily practice as well. The conferencing experience will include intelligent cameras and omnidirectional microphones enabling participates to view the entire conference area.
Digital signage is another opportunity area for AV professionals as well. Facial recognition programs will enable digital signage to be real time fast and personalized.
What are you doing to prepare for the 5G roll out? Let us know with your comments!
Thank you to the following sources of 5G intel!
Thank you for joining us for Part 4 in our series. So far, we’ve presented:
Part 1 – The Key Players in AVL Design
Part 2 – The Key Tools in AVL Design
Part 3 – The Key Phases in AVL Design
Now, we’ll finish our series by addressing the final phase of AVL Design – Bidding out your AVL system. Read more »
In Part 1 of our AVL Design series, we listed and summarized the Key Players in AVL Design. Then, in Part 2, we shared about the Key Tools that those Key Players may interact with and use. For Part 3, we will move forward to discuss the important phases of the design process. Let’s begin with the most important element to the success of each phases – communication. Read more »
In Part 1 of our AVL Design series, we listed and summarized The Key Players in AVL Design including the architect, the consultants, the engineers, an owner’s representative, and a general contractor. And depending on the complexity of your AVL project, these key players may interact with and use some sophisticated tools. They will be discussed here in Part 2 of this series – The Key Tools in AVL Design. Read more »
Whether it’s a major project around your home, or a major project you have been assigned to manage at work, when it comes time to find people and companies to get the job done, the choices and process can seem overwhelming. Read more »
Technophobia refers to the feelings of fear and anxiety related to technology. Many of our AV customers would describe themselves with this term. Due to the nature our industry, AV professional are not in this category. Because of our comfort levels, we can easily be unaware of these issues with our clients. To our detriment, we can also be unsensitive and cause further anxiety during our consultations. In this post, we challenge our AV colleagues to learn more about technophobia and how to increase comfort levels and trust. Read more »
So, you’ve decided you need a new widget. For a variety of really good reasons, your widget is now inferior. However, you now face the daunting task of entering into the sales cycle. You will become a buyer. You will interact with a sales team, either online or in-person. You will try to avoid common pitfalls. Here is a potential guide: Read more »
We live in society where newer equals better. Every month, if not every week, tech companies race to create and release newer, faster, sleeker, sexier gadgets. And while some of them really are worth their weight in gold, most are flash-in-the-pan trends. So, as AV experts looking to guide our customers to not just a better fit but the BEST fit, should we automatically gravitate towards the latest and greatest? Or should we take a closer look at Dark Horse tech and over-looked and underrated tech? Read more »