A recent report from AVIXA shows that the corporate market accounts for the largest segment of pro-AV revenue, and it is only expected to keep growing from here.
Pitches to these kinds of clients succeed based on a number of things. The product has to be state-of-the-art, of course. More importantly, though, the pitch needs to connect with the needs of a modern corporate environment.
To pitch pro AV to these kinds of executives, you need to understand what the modern office worker values and how technology integrates into the office environment. With a focus on what the executives want and how they’ll be able to use it, you can ensure that your pitch is crafted for success.
The Modern Office
The 2018 Global Talent Trends study by Mercer shows that workers greatly value flexibility. This is reflected in today’s office spaces.
Traditional cubicle offices have been on their way out for years. Open office spaces seemed like the next big trend, but those didn’t quite work, either. That’s because neither of these concepts take into account flexibility into their design. It had a sort of “all or nothing” approach that had workers performing in either complete isolation or distracting.
This is why more and more offices are opting for a mixed-use approach to space. In offices like these, there are areas for collaboration, as well as specific areas for alone work.
But sometimes, flexibility means not having to work in an office at all. As Neurilink notes: “From our home office to the conference room, the way we work is changing at a rapid pace. Many workplaces are encouraging their staff to work remotely, and are searching for ways to partner more closely with companies in other cities and countries. This means greater productivity and higher profits.”
This means AV technology must accommodate a wide range of needs. It needs to work in collaborative spaces and private spaces. And it needs to be able to facilitate video conferencing from anywhere in the world. Like the modern worker, AV Technology needs to be flexible.
What Good AV Can do for a Big Business
AV Solutions may put it best: “In the workplace, audio visual technology is crucial to our lives and work. Technology is essential in creating a workplace that allows us to brainstorm, innovate, and troubleshoot.”
In today’s world, up-to-date AV isn’t just a luxury that can improve the quality of work and office life. It is essential, and work cannot get done without it. Not having pro AV makes about as much sense as not having a computer.
And just as with any other technology, there are simple installation options, and there are installations with more sophisticated capabilities. “A simple setup with great technology can jumpstart the functionality of your workspace,” says Dan Trenkner at design company Telepathy.
“Not only do you reap the benefits of better communication among peers by showing and explaining work, displaying important metrics, and setting the mood with music, you also get an office that greets visitors (clients, prospective employees, friends, family) with a strong sense of who this company is.”
Many offices have some components of a pro AV setup, but it might lack the functionality they currently need. National law firm Kurowski Shultz is one company that has benefited from a quality AV setup. “Our state-of-the-art audio visual capabilities enhance our ability to host book signings, networking events and various community offerings,” says Kerri Forsythe director of client development. “We enjoy a very unique rooftop event space for special occasions and firm events.”
The right AV technology can even be used to help employees relax, as Lindsay Kolowich at HubSpot reports. “At LinkedIn’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, employees can jam out in a music room that’s stocked with high-end music equipment like drums, guitars, keyboards, AV equipment, microphone stands, and even stage lighting.”
From necessary, day-to-day operations and special occasions, there is no part of work that cannot benefit from quality AV.
Office furniture retailer Red Thread notes how important it is to integrate AV into the entire building. “In today’s buildings, AV seamlessly touches all layers within the infrastructure to generate greater efficiency, optimization, wellbeing and sustainability.” Easy-to-integrate solutions like networked AV make this kind of functionality feasible, even in buildings that already have outdated AV systems built in.
Updating AV is absolutely essential, too. Bad AV equipment can be just as detrimental as good AV equipment is beneficial. Western AV notes that outdated AV equipment can cause a number of issues, limiting options and hindering communication.
That means you should stressing the need for up-to-date AV capabilities in your pitch.
How to Handle Objections
Complex technology can be difficult to pitch to corporate executives. However, you can do so by focusing on the end goal. Frame the pitch by telling the executives what the equipment can do for them, not how it works.
Professional installation is crucial for pro AV. Steve Montgomery at AV Magazine reports that around 60 percent of users employ a systems integrator to install and commission their AV systems due to their superior system design, procurement and installation.
Tomas Erikson, Maverick’s business development manager for Sweden, says to adjust your pitch based on the expectation of its users. “On a general level you need to work to the fact that end users have high expectations of tech and the younger generation will enter the workplace expecting their employers to have technology to enable nimble work practices.”
If companies are trying to hire younger workers, make it clear that those workers will expect them to have technology that is up-to-date.
What sort of technology you’ll be pitching probably depends on the size of the facility. “If you want to install within a conference room, you can get everything you need in HDBaseT,” says Daniel Shwartzberg from the HDBaseT Alliance. “If you want to do a huge campus with multiple buildings, then you probably need to mix HDBaseT and AV over IP solutions.”
This is a good rule of thumb, but AV over IP solutions are also incredibly useful for mixed-office spaces that require a wide range of functionality. In fact, AV over IP is recommended by a number of professionals. Mike Tomei, an AV design and management consultant, notes that AV over IP’s popularity is growing because it is so flexible.
AV over IP is a favorite for many because it is comparatively easy to teach and learn, and the technology is easier to update and grow than many traditional methods of AV delivery.
Finally, when pitching, keep in mind some of the future needs these clients will have. Justin O’Connor, AV Technology magazine’s Technical Advisor, states that voice control, gesture control, and face recognition will become some of the next big technological breakthroughs.
Noting that this might be on the horizon can be a fun way to get people interested in what you can do for them in the coming years, as the technology evolves.