Throughout my career in the audiovisual industry, I have been aware of the distinction and division between the residential and commercial industries. But this gap is narrowing day by day. Though the equipment, processes, applications, and requirements may be different, the objectives, methods, and often clients are the same.
Technology and control are no longer limited to high-end boardrooms and designer mansions. Corporate conference rooms, higher education classrooms, and homes of all sizes use the same specialized AV and control technology that customers have come to expect from their work and school environments, merged with the usability and consistency of portable devices like smart phones, tablets, e-readers, and laptops. As overlap between the markets increases, so do opportunities.
This is not to say that the distinction between corporate and residential systems - or the professionals who specialize in each - does not exist. The structure, consistency, and formalities of commercial systems can be used to better define and educate residential systems clients. In turn, the customization, care, and creativity of residential systems can provide differentiation and specialization in commercial systems.
Both the commercial and residential markets are working with educated customers that reinforce the need to be conversant across markets in order to meet expectations. If you don’t start considering this now and taking into account the user’s perspective, you are going to be the fish out of water instead of one that can swim in both seas.
Attend trade shows in both markets to gain familiarity and share your expertise. If you are an AV professional operating primarily in the commercial market, check out the upcoming CEDIA EXPO
in Indianapolis. I’m sure you’ll learn more about how to better service and relate to your clients. I know I have.
About Steve Greenblatt
Steve Greenblatt is President of Control Concepts, Inc. and was a member of the 2012 #CEDIATweeps social media team. Follow Steve on Twitter at @stevegreenblatt.