In Blog Post, Guest Post

AV Pros to the Rescue

“Hey Kid, You Want a Job in AV?” with guest Alexis La Broi was just about to start on SDVoE LIVE! when the producer’s worst nightmare came true. We use the vMix software video mixing/switching/streaming platform and it’s performed flawlessly on more than 20 occasions so far, but this time the server was down at airtime. Our ace production team came up with a plan B on the fly and saved the show, but here is Matt Dodd’s minute-by-minute recounting of the fiasco.  AV pros will cringe, and empathize.

“Imagine waking up in a busy shopping centre at 12PM on Saturday with no clothes on! That’s how I felt when, with less than 5 minutes to go-time, I was told Justin and the guest were unable to dial in because the vMix remote server stopped working. ‘Why NOW?’ was the thought in my head as I tried to process this unfortunate pickle.

12:55 – JK and guest text me to say they can’t connect to the remote streams which have worked perfectly for 2 years!

12:56 – We turn everything off and on again.

12:58 – That doesn’t help.

12:59 – My production team tells me they don’t know what to do, but it wasn’t our fault.

1:00 – It’s go-live time and JK throws a zoom idea at me and tells me (begs me) to get something on the screen. I have no idea how to do it.

1:03 – I use our studio graphics computer to connect to JK’s zoom room which he’s already invited the guest to.

1:05 – I shout instructions to my now frightened production team to place the zoom call in the main studio set centre screen. They tell me I’m live and everyone watching just heard that.

1:07 – I start an impromptu show introduction and quickly realise none of us can hear each other, so I take my microphone off, place it in front of the zoom call on the studio graphics computer, and turn up the volume.

1:09 – I realise the bodge (in North America, you’d probably call it a ‘kludge’) seems to have worked when we all start communicating. Gratefully, I leave JK to carry on.

1:10 – I cry inside!”

If you work in AV, something similar has probably happened to you. The industry is full of creative thinkers and progressive companies are always looking for bright young talent. Once the show got back on track, that’s precisely the topic Justin Kennington’s interview with Alexis covered.  The talk was all about the concrete steps we can all take to encourage participation of recent and soon-to-be graduates in the exciting careers we sometimes take for granted. Attracting and training young people to the AV industry fosters innovation, cost management, sustainability and growth.

AV job opportunities in the news

Justin brought our attention to recent news articles such as “How to Attract, Hire & Retain Talent”, “The Cost of Employee Turnover” and “Create Opportunities for Young People to Enter the AV Industry”, all of which are definitely worth a read.  Find links to them in SDVoE Academy on the archived show page “Hey Kid, You Want a Job in AV?”.

AV and IT training are key: SDVoE Academy

On-the- job training is great, and always necessary, but there are great online and in-person resources and certification programs available too.  Of course, AVIXA runs the ever-popular CTS certification program. We also encourage you to check out SDVoE Academy.

The pro AV industry has embraced SDVoE Academy as their trusted resource as we blend AV and IT technologies to take full advantage of off-the-shelf Ethernet switches to realize greater system flexibility and scalability over traditional approaches such as point-to-point extension and circuit-based AV matrix switching. Since its inception in 2018, SDVoE Academy has attracted more than 5,000 students and served more than 25,000 lessons over more than 100 different online courses in video technology, network basics, and system design across a variety of vertical markets. We’re building a strong community around the SDVoE Academy forum where SDVoE members, designers, developers and end users can mingle, share tips & tricks, answer questions, and solve problems together. And it’s all free!

Two professional certification programs, for SDVoE Design Partners and SDVoE Developers, have together graduated more than 1,600 students with the goal of enabling great AV user experiences. And again, it’s all free!

What’s next?

Join us every other Tuesday at 1 PM ET (New York) for a fresh episode of SDVoE LIVE! in SDVoE Academy or on THE rAVe Agency’s LAVNCH platform.

Upcoming SDVoE LIVE! shows

The three remaining episodes for 2021 have already been scheduled and the 2022 line up will be confirmed soon. Get the latest info at

  • Nov. 30 – “Higher Ed AV Tech: What’s Next?” with guest Josiah Way, PhD, CTS
  • Dec. 14 – “AV Supply Chain Disruption: Is It Our Own Fault?” with guest Mark Coxon
  • Dec. 28 – “AV UX: Getting the Details Right” with guest Raviv Kramer

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