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Finding the right AV solutions at Mediatech

A guide to state of the art tech for every AV budget
Finding the right AV solutions at Mediatech

With Mediatech 2019 fast approaching, anyone in the professional AV market – particularly those who are seeking solutions for their meeting room or office space – should attend this B2B trade show. All too often uninformed end-users are duped into an AV solution that is either overpriced or impractical and Mediatech is the ideal forum for connecting with industry experts who can provide constructive advice. All the latest gadgets are showcased and for the technologist and integrator, it’s also a great opportunity to network with other industry professionals.

This is the 10th edition of Mediatech Africa and as a show that only comes around every two years, visitors need to ensure they make the most of this show experience. With over 100 exhibitors, more than 800 brands and 7 500 visitors, it’s easy to be overwhelmed at the scope and enormity of the show. Mediatech trade show director, Simon Robinson, says that first time visitors, and those who are inviting clients to join them at the show, should follow his trade show advice:

1. Tailor your show experience

It’s often difficult to know where to start when you hit the showroom floor; it’s a high energy environment, pumping with music, lights, live demos, events and teaming with people. So if you’re on a tight schedule, with only have a few hours to spend at the show, do your research. As a start download the Mediatech mobile app. The Activity feed allows attendees to toggle between three streams of content. All Activity is a complete stream inclusive of all event activity; My Feed is a personalised stream tailored to each individual based on the attendee's interactions with the app and Plus Notifications are listed to help attendees stay on track. An app really is the only way to navigate an expo of this size and magnitude. So look at the floor plan and get to know the industry-recognised AV leaders before you arrive.

2. You get what you pay for

Mediatech is a great opportunity to interact with recognised dealers and manufacturers, which limits your risk of inadvertently buying sub-standard products and services. As with any technology being deployed at enterprise level, it’s wise to stay clear of grey imports and "cost-effective" imitations of well-known products. When (not if) these units fail in the future, nine out of ten times the customer (and installer) will experience poor after-sales support, useless warranties and lengthy turn-around times on repairs. Not to mention all the logistics and delivery costs to send and receive units back from overseas suppliers for services rendered. In many cases these foreign suppliers have not optimised their control systems or product development to work (or be licensed) with leading or popular protocols like Google, Apple or Android, for instance.

3. Take a techy

If you are not an AV or IT professional and inexperienced in AV solutions, accompany your local AV integrator, technician or salesperson. They would be more familiar with the brands and technology that you should be considering for your solution. Your AV Integrator can clarify your AV requirements while also listing any network or environmental concerns regarding the planned installation methods.

4. Know what you want

If you are looking for a solution for your office, it’s useful to have a technical diagram of a pre-proposed solution, prepared by an integrator, when speaking to exhibitors. So book a site-inspection at least a week in advance of the expo. At the very least, compile a detailed diagram of your room dimensions that include ceiling height, room length, cable-routes, door and window locations, and floor layout. If there are other mitigating factors that will influence your installation, bring that along too. A functional room diagram could make the difference between a professional and a mediocre installation.

5. Decide on your spend

Everything comes at a price and AV technology is no different. Professional AV solutions can be expensive, and costs quickly escalate when you add features and add-ons to your solution. Unless you are a technology company that needs the best-of-the-best technology on your premises, and the means to impress clients with state-of-the-art boardroom automation and hardware, you don't need to spend millions to reach a solution. Remember, many AV solutions and products are developed in the first-world, with first-world economies in mind. Be vigilant when it comes to quotes that border on retail pricing, and be wary of integrators who charge more than 30% of the final cost on their installation. Unless there is brand-specific programming and back-end configuration that’s needed to complete the system integration.

This is a guide for current industry-standard average boardroom solutions:
  • 2-5 seater Huddle space: R30K - R50K
  • 6-10 seater meeting room: R60K - R100K
  • 11-20 seater boardroom: R150K - R250K
  • 25-50 seater executive boardroom: R300K - R900K
  • 50+ seater auditorium: R1m upwards
Mediatech Africa is on between 17 and 19 July. The show is the largest and only one of its kind on the continent attracting an extensive audience that covers six verticals including: Pro Audio (lighting and staging); Audio Visual Integration; Broadcast (TV & Radio); Studio (Recording – DJ); Digital Media (VOD – OTT); Film & Video (Production). Register before the 12 July closing date to avoid paying the R100 entrance fee and be exposed to the latest AV Integration technology being used in SA. Register before 12 July to avoid the R100 onsite registration fee: https://www.mediatech.co.za/register/

20 Jun 2019 12:41

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