Keith Kennedy - ProITAV USA



A Global Perspective – Industry Trade Associations

I had the honor of recently being elected to the Board of SDVoE for the fourth time. Being involved in this industry trade association, along with others, has been instrumental for our company in many ways. Although I’ve been a part of this industry for 35 years and I’m pretty well connected, I’m always surprised at how many people I still haven’t met. Trade associations help me keep up with the continual evolution of the AV landscape as new companies emerge, new company leaders rise to the top, or existing companies merge their efforts.

1. New networking opportunities

Our business model in the industry is unique, as we only make products for other people and nothing with our name on it. We are a silent, behind-the-scenes partner. Through our involvement in various industry trade associations, we’ve been able to network with people to explain our role in the industry, and make ourselves available to help and advise them if needed. A focused, one-on-one conversation with another industry professional always results in me learning something new, and being able to talk more about our unique role.

2. Shaping the direction of the industry

Take a look at who is involved in the trade association you are considering. When there are large industry players involved, whether out in front or more behind the scenes, like our company, you will get a picture where the AV/IT industry is heading. As companies share their development direction with technology (when it doesn’t compromise competitive advantage, of course), the entire industry is better able to plan and shift for what is coming. A great example of this is 8K technology. We are able to monitor the progress of tech development, and its timing for a general roll-out, so that those of us in signal management can be prepared. It puts us in a more proactive, rather than reactive, stance within the industry.

3. Deepen existing relationships by working together toward a common goal

In smaller working groups, we determine which initiatives to focus on as a group, and how to develop information and training around new technology directions.

Business leaders and engineers come together to create a common message to put out to the industry. With strong media ties, the trade association presents a unified, cohesive message to the industry and media at large.

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