To those interested in the audiovisual industry and its extensive history, this new group, the Audiovisual Historians Group (AVHG), is for you!
The group is compiling stories with the goal of sharing pro AV history from the minds, memories, and mouths of those who have lived it. If you have something you’d like to share or if you’d just like to learn more about AV history and the people behind it, check out this group!
AVHG will start with the “modern era” of AV, the 1970s, beginning with film-based display technologies and analog audio as the industry evolved into the digital world.
@Alan C. Brawn, CTS, DSCE, DSDE, DCME, ISF-C, an illustrious name in the AV industry, helped start AVHG. Currently principal of Brawn Consulting, a longtime Commercial Integrator columnist, and AVIXA contributor, Brawn boasts a career spanning four decades. He is the recipient of many awards, including the InfoComm Volunteer of the Year Award in 2011 and the Fred Dixon Lifetime Achievement in AV Education Award in 2015.
“Our quest is to tell the story of the AV industry from inception to the turn of the century,” said Brawn. “Our self-imposed mandate is to talk about the major companies, the major integrators, the influencers, the trends, and the evolution. How did we go from analog to digital? How did we go from a clicker to a button panel all the way to an interactive touch panel? We need to tell those stories, and we need to highlight the people who were influential. It will take time, but as we like to say, ‘If not us, then who?’”
Their tagline expresses what the group is all about. It is about bringing people together and sharing the stories that built the AV industry up from the minds of those who played an imperative role. And it can’t be done without those who have been involved sharing their experiences.
Brawn initially learned about AV by sitting people down and asking them questions. Early on in his journey of seeking AV knowledge, he inquired one of his vendors to explain BNC connectors. The vendor asked, “Really?” and Brawn simply said, “Yes”. That conversation and others led to him gaining the knowledge necessary to eventually help create numerous courses and the CTS program. He likes to say that he is not impressed with what he knows, but rather what he does not, and upon discovery, he is anxious to share. His passion comes from talking to others about AV and sharing knowledge. And that's what the group also aims to do.
“These people, these industry veterans, they deserve a shout-out,” said Brawn. “The Audiovisual Historians Group wants to highlight people who paid their dues, people that volunteered, and people who've really done things for the industry. We stand on the shoulders of the people who have taught us. And that’s where the passion comes from. We are making sure that everybody is brought along in the process. We may miss a tangential story, but we will only miss a tangential story if somebody fails to tell us that tangential story!”
While Brawn is leading the way with the group, this is not a one-man effort. In this quest, the group has put together an AVHG Advisory Board to help reach out to others willing to share important parts of their professional and, in some cases, personal lives.
Email email@example.com if you are willing to contribute. All ideas are welcome, and proper attribution will be provided. Ultimately, the goal is to publish an e-book, with attribution to all those who contributed, and to construct a podcast on these same topics and people.
So, make sure to join the group on LinkedIn to stay connected!
And here’s a little AVIXA History Lesson:
It all started in 1939, when eight AV dealers came together to form the National Association of Visual Education Dealers (NAVED) with the goal of increasing American government funding of education. In 1949, NAVED merged with the Allied Non-Theatrical Film Association to form the National Audio-Visual Association (NAVA). NAVA changed its name to the International Communications Industries Association (ICIA) in 1983, which became InfoComm International in 2005. InfoComm became the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) in 2017, to reflect a more diverse membership and creative outcomes.