The Top 5 Common AV Partnership Pitfalls — And How to Avoid Them

May 9, 2022 | Audiovisual

Whether you’re engaging audiences at an industry-leading event, forging one-to-one relationships with a colleague across the pond, or building a high performance team, the stakes of communication in a tech-centric world are even higher than you might imagine. The biggest risk? Crossing your fingers and hoping that this time you won’t have to deal with common AV pitfalls.

Fortunately, you can trade the wing-and-a-prayer approach for peace of mind. With the right AV partner, you can turn just about any vision into a reliably performing reality. We’ve put together a list of the common partnership pitfalls, and what Pershing does to mitigate them when working with an organization of any size or scale.

1. Skipping the Planning Process

Many times, our customers are building new spaces or completely reimagining existing spaces, and don’t yet know what the design will or should be.

What tends to be more clear to team members is what the space needs to accomplish — that is, what the space needs to do for the end user. So, it can be tempting to jump into an equipment solution that markets features of the equipment or hardware itself as a perfect fit for your space. But this approach can, and often does, lead to a lackluster result — or worse, an unusable space.

Through our Technology Master Planning, Pershing is able to give clients both a high level view of what they need and how it should be accomplished, which we then break down further into an actionable plan. For every project, we start by determining the technology and requirements. Only then do we recommend the equipment and hardware that can achieve those goals within your unique space — and match them up to your needs. In addition, we’ll provide a long-term assessment for future implementations or enhancement options based on your choices.

2. Ignoring Lack of Experience

Goals, requirements, and stakeholders vary and can change quickly at the beginning of a project. One of the most common AV pitfalls is insufficient or incomplete AV guidance and support.

Don’t wait until you’ve planned half the project yourself to bring in an AV consultant. A good AV team should enable you to preempt risks and circumvent potential problems. Ideally, your partner will understand your “must haves” and hot buttons, engage in open dialogue, and know how to execute consistently within scope and budget.

It also helps to work with a variety of experts with diverse professional backgrounds, who bring both industry-specific insights and a nimble approach to new challenges. Even if you need a specialized solution, breadth of experience will be an asset to your project, and make room for innovative results.

3. Misunderstanding Stakeholder Needs

There are few things more challenging than getting a group of people to succinctly articulate what they want a space to be — especially when most of the team does not share a common language around AV. What happens when the most outspoken in the room dominates the conversation? What other stakeholders stay silent with their valid needs and insights? Was someone out the day of project kickoff?

A seasoned AV consultant will know how to stay in control of the conversation, while facilitating open dialogue, where all perspectives are considered and noted. Then, they’ll navigate differences in opinions with sound options, and help the team through the tangible meanings behind each choice.

4. Missing On-site Project Management

Many offerings categorized as “AV solutions” are really out-of-the-box, plug and play equipment designed to minimize the manufacturer’s or reseller’s involvement. That is wholly different than building a space alongside other vendors, internal facilities teams and end users alike, collaborating, troubleshooting and ensuring proper installation on-site.

“What our team at Pershing believes is that end user advocacy should always be our first mission, and we strive to keep best interests and needs at the forefront of every recommendation and decision we make.”

— Dylan Stoddard, CTS-D, CTS-I | Senior Systems Engineer

Our professional program management team liaisons with our expert engineers, systems integrators and the client’s staff to provide senior leadership and program oversight throughout all aspects of the project — and through completion.

5. Glossing Over Go Live

Although specifying the right hardware design is certainly important to a successful outcome, the extent of a company’s support should not end there.

Pershing has always recognized that the same design can be programmed in many different ways and each different way will have a significant impact on the final customer experience; that is, how the people within the organization will actually use the AV technology.

Pershing is unique in that our engineering staff has the expertise and willingness to configure and program our solutions to meet the original design intent. That knowledge easily extends into our commissioning process where we thoroughly test and document each system’s functionality before asking our customers to accept and take ownership. This step is done while we are still on-site, providing support and guidance where needed.

It doesn’t end there, though. We often come back at a client’s request to continually tweak and optimize the programming to best fit their ever-evolving needs. And, in some cases, upgrade systems or start again when the space requires its next refresh.

It’s never too early to begin the planning process for a complex AV technology undertaking. Pershing offers complimentary SparkSessions™ which are designed to be interactive, inclusive and give all parties the chance to ideate, brainstorm and envision what a partnership with Pershing can look like.

Check out more info and schedule a SparkSession™ here.

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