I’m Back!

I am back from my 2 week vacation in Portugal. I loved every minute of my time there and look forward to going back. I was great place to disconnect at least for a few days until i discovered Free WiFi in at the Turismo office in Sao Martinho do Porto. Nothing like a morning espresso and beautiful weather while reading your mail.

While there I worked on some blog material and articles to write about so look for them soon. The first to hit this week will be my first Ebook. I had been working on this for some time now and that should be ready later in the week. Along with the Ebook look for new articles from the Red Band Bloggers. I have 3 new  band member ready to go with their own take on AV.

It’s was nice to take some down time and recharge.

Thanks again for following the blog and I am truly honored by all the great emails, posts and feedback I have been receiving.



Vacation Pic: Man’s Best friend vs. the economic crisis

You know times are tough when dogs are finding creative ways to earn an income.


Great Article on workplace design and collaboration on HBR Blog Nework

Here is a great article about Workplace Design and Collaboration posted on Harvard Business Review’s HBR Blog Network by Anat Lechner . Check it out:

2012 AV Technology End-User Awards


I was one of the Judges for the 2012 AV Technology Magazine Technology End-User Awards.


My Infocomm 2012: Hey I Know You! … from the Podcast (Part 3)

Continuation of my Journey in Las Vegas to figure out how Social Media is changing things.

Last fall I had been asked if I would be interested in appearing on the AV Week show as a guest panelist by its founder Tim Albright (@tdalbright). I met Tim online and later connected with him via LinkedIn. My interaction with Tim was usually brief. Typically we met prior to the recording and bounced around some ideas and show topics via email. Most of our interaction was limited to messages, tweets and emails. Fifteen minutes prior to the show we would chat as part of a sound check and introductions.  Once the show started it was as if the guest panelist had just spent the last month touring the world together on small bus. The conversation in the podcast was natural and when you place AV people in a room the stories and opinions typically fly faster than fists at Jersey shore nite club. Prior to InfoComm, Tim had invited me to stop by the show’s Friday live broadcast.

Situated between the main entrance, exhibit halls, eateries and the 2nd floor escalators I guess you can say that AV Nation was at the “Center of it all”. As a whole the area outside of the main exhibit hall was a virtual beehive of activity. Apart from the show attendees and the RAVE Pubs team providing show coverage the Podcast area itself was a magnet for the curious. Groups of curious onlookers stopped and huddled around to watch the live broadcasts. Just In case you were wondering this was not limited to any particular demographic since both “New” and “Old school” AV people were drawn to it. The combined Buzz of the live broadcast and the activity of the RAVE team really drew the crowds in.

As I walked up to the location I saw Tim and exchanged a hand wave and smile from a distance as not to interrupt. I recognized a few others from their online activity and went over to say hi. Saying hi to one person rolled into 3 then 4 then more.  The first person I saw was George Tucker (@tuckertues) who was working the sound for the panel. George has been active in social media for a bunch of years and I had worked with George on the AV week panel previously. George’s handshake led to Spotting Matt Scott (@OmegaAudioVideo) which led to meeting Adrian Boyd (@The_AV_CAD_Guy) both of whom I had met on podcasts prior to InfoComm.  Standing next to Adrian was Steve Greenblatt (@stevegreenblatt) ,who is from NJ, but never met in person. Steve is also a frequent podcast panelist with AV Nation and a contributor to Publications.  When I turned to see the broadcast panel I meet Phil Cordell (@The_AV_Pro) who I’ve only seen on YouTube. His AV videos on YouTube made him easily recognizable.  After meeting to Phil I turn and meet Rebeca Villareale (@beckyreale). Rebecca had come over to introduce herself, again only from the online communities did I know these people. All of us came from different parts of the country except for Becky and Steve who were local to me and Matt who is from a different country all together. Our common bond here was more than just a presence on twitter. We all come from different aspects of AV. Some were from Manufacturers, Integrators, Residential, Programmers, Independents or consultants. Regardless of what we did or where we came from the conversation was great and we traded many of the same War stories .

Collectively we have all appeared on podcast where we were given a platform to speak out about what we love or hate about AV. In general I think the small sampling of AV professionals I mentioned are doing their part to promote the industry and shape its direction going forward. Don’t get me wrong here…this is nothing new to our industry. What is new are the platforms available to us to share our views and opinions. That is the secret ingredient to social media and how it works. The podcast location at InfoComm became the became the central hub for the #AVtweeps to gather. The term #AVtweeps, for those who may not know, is the twitter hash tag created by Johnny Mota (@JMOTA3) for the AV community on Twitter. The handshakes and hellos in front of the AV nation podcast continued the evolution of the InfoComm 2012 for me.  Apart from the introductions I finally sensed the show had a pulse that was not just marketing related.  AV had become social.

For the first time, in my experience, the show had a voice through the podcast. Tim and AV Nation team took the show from floor to bench tech in Topeka.  As an industry we have been doing a good job of covering the show both online and in print for many years but the live element had been missing.  The podcasts streamed live delivering not only new product information but the voices and opinions of the show attendees and exhibitors. To hear typical product hype from Market Managers is one thing, but to hear it from one a show attendee or tech manager is refreshing.  Needless to say that the podcast did an excellent job of making the show more personal, the listener is essentially sitting alongside the guest panel hearing the news as it happens. I personally could appreciate a live broadcast as someone who did not attend the show last year. This was a great Step forward for the show and I can only imagine where it can go from here.

To be continued…

Band Of Three

Who’s Next?

My Infocomm 2012: Hey I Know You …Two


Part Two

Hey I Know You…Two.

How would Infocomm 2012 become personal?

How can a 140 character blurb translate into personal introductions?

How many more awkward introductions will I see before the end of the convention?

All of these questions ran through my head.  So here I am standing at the top of the stairs on the Las Vegas Convention Center and wondering what just happened.  Looking into the crowds I could now see avatars in the crowds and not the big blue alien kind. Just like those movies where people see ghosts walking among the living I too saw things differently now. Talk about an eye-opening.

Honestly I never connected the people reading my articles as the same people attending the show. Though I have written online for publications I do not see myself as a writer that anyone would follow or as someone who would be recognized. Social media combined with an online presence changed my Infocomm experience into a social media experience. The Social Media experience is  the moment when I first realize that someone, for example, from the Faro Islands knows who I am and looks forward to my posts.  By the way I checked where the Faro Islands were before I used it as an example and thanks for the Follow.  What started as a way to better understand the AV industry by interacting with other industry people turned into my “Hey I know you” moment.

I quickly decided to pack away my notes & schedules and set off to see how far of a reach does the online community extend. The rest of the day I spent bobbing and weaving in and out of booths.  It was great to meet many of the online AV Tweeps in person.  The reactions were priceless. Some recognized each other immediately, others were surprised and some reacted how I would have expected with a “who the hell are you ” brow scrunch.  It’s amazing the reaction a simple “hi” would incite. Regardless of the reaction the end result was a great conversation and a new perspective into some of the products at the show.

Walking into the various booths and recognizing someone who I traded tweets was very new to me. Especially when they got past their own awkward moment and realized who’s the guy with the hat. The interaction changed from sales mode to more personal “hey let me show this amazing new product that I love”. Though many probably didn’t realize it, the change from “corporate speak” to a more personal chat really makes a difference. The more personal and passionate talk about how they personally felt about a particular product or service really hits home.  In many ways I see employees truly connecting with their product and what their contribution was to the development of the product. People spoke honestly about the hard work put in by teams of people to make product “x” happen. You can see their face light up when talking about it. Everyone had “Joe in R&D” that comes out in the stories of how hard they worked to bring this product to market. I have to say that I truly enjoyed being shown products in this new way

After visiting a few more booths I headed out to the lobby to grab a soda at the food court. On my way there I stopped over to the AV Nation podcast location, who were in the middle of a live show. At first I was hesitant since I did not want to disrupt a live broadcast but I decided to go over to listen in on the show.  What happened next would take the show for me to another level.

To be continued…

Part 1 can be found HERE

John Sciacca’s Blog in Residential Systems – My small contribution of horror

Check out John Sciacca great post on installation nightmares & horror story for ResidentialSystems.com

Installation Nightmares – 9 Professional Horror Stories 

By: John Sciacca

Click Here to view the article!

And be sure to check out John Sciacca’s website as well by clicking the image below:


My Infocomm 2012 : The Video

Check out the my video from Infocomm 2012. Please let me know what you think!


Connect on Linkedin – OpenLink Network

Hi Everyone,
Just wanted to say that I am part of the OpenLink Network on Linkedin so feel free to send me an invite to connect. Check out my Linkedin profile by clicking the image below.
Thanks again for visiting AVShout.com and for connecting with me on Linkedin.
P.S.  I’m also on twitter as @chris_neto