Friday, December 14, 2012

Tweet-up and Meet-up: an evening with the Women in AV

Tweeted from Chapel Hill
Holiday season is here, which means - amongst other things -holiday parties. Last night was a special event in the AV industry as we had the first of what I hope to be many annual multi-city celebration of the Women in AV.

Why celebrate women in AV, and why is WAVE such an important organization? I talked about that in this space last year, but you probably know already. Professional and commercial AV, like so many other technology-related fields, continues to be dramatically male-dominated. In fact, some see it as worse than the IT field. Are reasons for this? Maybe. Are there clear, simple reasons with clear, simple answers? No. So the talented women in our industry mentor, they educate, they join their voices to the chorus whispering into the ears of young girls that they can have a career in technology.  And perhaps, slowly, attitudes change.

Tweeted from New York, NY
The New York City branch of the WAVE party was hosted by Crestron and Sapphire Marketting at Crestron's New York City showroom and design center. It's certainly more residendial than their Experience Center in Rockleigh and, therefore, less of a fit for my interests, but it is a sleek and modern space which does an excellent job of showcasing applications of various Crestron control solutions, including wall-mounted iPad docks, touchpanels of varying sizes, and a faux living room boasting a 90" LED TV. It not as jaw-droppingly impressive as the Theo Kalomirakus-designed "home" theater in the Rockleigh location, but is a very nicely executed system.  
Tweeted from New Jersey

Our event wasn't as well attended as it could have been, on the heels of the Crestron/Sapphire Marketting Holiday party (Marla of Sapphire joked that we're trending towards a party together every week. Which would be fine with me), but there was a nice and engaging crowd of bright and enthusiastic AV professionals on hand. Discussion ranged from the disappointing number of women in the industry and why that might be, to green initiatives in AV, to little-league baseball and parenting. See the pictures for a taste of how the various cities presented their events via the magic of Twitter.

The City of Brotherly (and Sisterly!) Love

...and low.

Salt Lake City!
I had a terrific conversation with the talented Gina Sansivero of Project Green AV about the directions our industry could and should go in environmental sustainability. More on this at another time, but to make a long story short, there are few accepted standards, nobody earns LEED points for using more efficient AV gear, and there's just not much incentive for end-users to invest in more sustainable technology unless you can sell them a ROI based on energy savings alone. This will likely change, but it looks like a depressingly slow process. In the meantime, it's great to have people like Gina fighting the good fight. It was a pleasure to meet so many colleagues with passion for not only our work, but for how our industry fits into the world at large.

All told, it was a great event and a good something to be a part of. Thanks to the good folk at Women in AV for putting it together.

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