The Almo E4 Experience held on November 30, 2021 in Dallas,TX was an incredible return to live events for E4 – in addition to being Almo Professional A/V’s first-ever hybrid event. TWICE was able to attend the one-day learning, networking and exhibition event in person, and, like other events attended post-pandemic, it was encouraging and inspiring to feel the energy and witness the rekindling of camaraderie in the Pro AV community.
Over 800 attended live – either in Dallas or virtually – and thousands pre-registered to watch the content and earn AVIXA CTS Renewal Units at a time that is flexible for them. The next E4 Experience is scheduled for March 22, 2022 in Anaheim, CA, with the E4 Experience Chicago following shortly on May 3, 2022.https://youtu.be/3ZMHGdkifGc
“Integrators and resellers are working harder than ever right now but are still looking to reconnect, learn about the latest industry trends and see the newest available products, which makes the single-day, regional focus of an E4 Experience ideal,” said Melody Craigmyle, vice president of marketing and communications for Almo Corporation. “For those who are unable to break away, our virtual E4v programming gives them the same opportunity with the flexibility to integrate learning into their schedules from anywhere and at a time that is convenient for them.”
The E4 Experience Dallas kicked off with an energetic and informative keynote from Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe [PUBS]. But Kayye wasn’t the only person on stage that everyone was looking forward to. His special guest, Paramount Studio’s Scott McPhail was “beamed in” as a hologram, showcasing new ‘in-person” tech from ARHT Media Inc.that was like something straight out of Star Trek.
Beyond the amazing live Holopresence on stage, the real buzz among Pro AV attendees was the lack of latency between McPhail interacting with Kayye and the audience. ARHT’s complete end-to-end solution created a real sense of presence for McPhail, and it really did seem as if he was live on stage with Kayye during the keynote.
Always the futurist, Kayye dove into the growing trend of the future of workplaces in his keynote, encouraging attendees to build spaces that serve the client’s changing workplace needs, rather than serving their need as a designer.
“This is a different world that we live in now. We’re going to have to re-engineer the way that we work, unless we decide to not hire any millennials or generation Z,” said Kayye in his keynote address. “This is going to be a big deal, and if it hasn’t hit you yet, it’s going to hit you. We’re all going through this, and while we are wowed, blown away and excited about rollable OLED displays with 8K resolution, they’re watching on an iPad and perfectly fine with it.”
“Returning to the office of Yesterday is not the answer. We need to do better than that, and we need to go forward,” Kay Sargent observed as another “beamed in” Holopresence alongside on-stage co-presenter Rachel Rouse in their session, “The Power of Place – The New Next Workplace”. “We’ve really seen an emergence of an ecosystem of spaces- hub, home, spoke – it’s not just one place. You don’t just go to the office anymore to work. We need to empower people with options and choices, and give them some sense of control so they’re more comfortable in the spaces and environments that they are provided. We need to shift from everything being fixed, to being very fluid. We really need to rethink the purpose of place. We believe the workplace is important, but its purpose needs to shift – it needs to become an enticing enough space we want to be.”
The need for workplaces to evolve, along with employee expectations and needs, will benefit from the accelerated advances in communications and tech over the past few years. Forced to work from home, students and employees – especially Millennials ranging in age 30 up to age 35 – are now accustomed to being able to work how and where they like, and are finding it challenging to adjust to an antiquated workplace.
“We’re going to have to make the office more like home,” said Kayye. “This kind of changes everything for us. We should look as an industry at providing services and products that are outside what we define as the AV industry. We really need to redefine our industry a little bit and be more solving every communications issue, not just AV issues.”
Many businesses are embracing a hybrid work environment, but that brings its own challenges and frustrations, both for employee and owner, as companies try to find affordable solutions or try to adapt their old tech. One of the major problems AV professionals can help clients solve is collaboration between on-site, remote and hybrid workers.
“This is where you all come in,” Rouse added. “In order to create a proper hybrid technology solution, you’ve got to have the right stuff on site, and have to be able to blend those hybrid workers with the remote workers. How can you allow your staff to be able to work free-range when they’re in the office so they don’t have to be tied to a cubicle all day?”
“We need to think about access being the new ownership,” answered Sargent. “A lot of our clients are overwhelmed with technology. What they really need is access, they don’t necessarily always need to own it. So we need to think about how we are delivering solutions going forward, and we need to leverage technology to really help things be more effective going forward and help people with their enhanced environments so they feel more comfortable.”
As Kayye said in his closing remarks, “We’re going to have to relook at the balance of work/life and personal profession. We were forced into this situation by the pandemic, but it provides amazing opportunity for us to re-engineer the way we are doing things…and for us to get traditional workers, students, young people and Millenials back to the office.”
About E4 Experience
The award-winning E4 Experience offers AV professionals regional, in-person educational experiences featuring the industry’s most sought-after presenters who deliver critical trends and business content, most worth AVIXA CTS Renewal units.
Launched in spring of 2020, the E4 Evolution (E4v) is a live, virtual extension of the E4 Experience. Named a Commercial Integrator 2021 Best Winner, the E4v helps attendees evolve and thrive by providing educational content delivered live but available virtually at a time and place that is most convenient for attendees.