Tim Albright walks us through how Almo Professional AV’s virtual take on its popular E4 Experience regional event came together
At the start of the year, like most of you, I had grand plans for 2020. One of those was getting to help the team at Almo Professional AV with their E4 education events. However, COVID-19 had other plans for the world and for in-person education.
Due to the global health crisis we all faced, the team at Almo started working on a way to still offer world-class education, AVIXA renewal units (RUs), and connect manufacturers with dealers and clients. Out of this necessity was born Almo’s E4 Evolution, or E4v.
Almo maintained the regionalism of their award-winning E4 events. The three days were time-shifted to give AV pros on the West coast, Central time zone, and East coast times that best fit their day. E4v also gave participants eight RUs for going through the vast array of education. As an additional benefit of going virtual, audience members had an extra couple of weeks to go back and consume the education at their own pace.
I was honored to help create two tracks: The Future of Projection and Direct View LED. This involved one of the best aspects of my job. Eight of the smartest and best industry experts sat down with me to talk about where they see their specific channel of the industry. Experts such as Nick Belcore from Peerless-AV, Michael Ferrer of NEC, Joseph Viola from Samsung, and more discussed their area of expertise and gave their view on where the AV industry can move forward. Both the Future of Projection and Direct View LED sessions came in at an hour each. By watching each hour you received an AVIXA RU.
Being in the St. Louis area, I signed up for the Central time zone session. It was a great experience. Gary Kayye from rAVe Pubs kicked off the day with a keynote highlighting the opportunity the industry has in the UCC space. After Gary’s presentation I took in the pre-recorded eSports interviews.
The creation of Almo’s E4v in such a short period of time was remarkable in ideal situations. During this time, the Almo team’s ability to still connect with their customers virtually was greatly needed and they pulled it off quite well. Moving forward none of us know what the future will hold when it comes to in-person events. I believe we will overcome this current crisis and come out stronger on the other side. As we do, my hope is that Almo, and other groups, continue offering a virtual event annually. These on-line sessions can be in conjunction with live events or produced completely separately. Either way, giving the audiovisual community the ability to come together, learn, and network regardless of where they are will be important to grow our industry and make us all better.
Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.