Relocation Challenges of the IT Department, Part 7: Installing an Audiovisual System
Setting Up for Professional Presentations
In the accounting business, we give a lot of presentations. Whether it's continuing professional education for staff or one-on-one consultation with clients, having and knowing how to use good audiovisual (AV) equipment is the key to presentations that look and sound professional.
As you know if you've been reading along in this series, my company, a large accounting firm, recently moved our Indianapolis headquarters to a new office building. Before our move, putting together an AV presentation involved multiple steps: find a screen, find a projector, check out a laptop, grab a power strip and extension cord, and get it all hooked up correctly in the right room before the meeting began. It was a logistical challenge, to say the least. Often we looked silly, setting up equipment in front of the client or vendor at the last minute. The most frustrating part was fumbling over the tripod screenyou know, the kind that grandpa used to use with his old slide projector? Fortunately, we no longer need that old screen.
Moving to a new building gave us the opportunity to upgrade many aspects of our accounting practice. One of the most dramatic improvements we made was to purchase quality AV equipment and install it in the rooms where we give most of our presentations. We elected to install build-in screens in the training room and one of the larger conference rooms. In the training room, we added an AV desk to control switching the gear. For the conference room (and other rooms), we bought and customized an AV cart with all of the gear on board. On top of the cart is the projector and speakers. Inside the cart is the switching device to control the built-in PC, guest PC, VCR, DVD, and auxiliary jack. For the built-in PC, we use our wireless network (see Part 4 of this series for more information about the network). Now we simply roll the cart to the room where we're planning a presentation, and plug it in.
The cart has a built-in power strip, so just one power cord has to be plugged in. Even cooler, the power cord is on a retractable reel.
In case or fire, accident, theft, etc., it's important to make sure that your new audiovisual equipment is fully covered by your company's insurance policy. Some insurers offer special policy riders at special (possibly high) rates for very expensive or custom equipment.