- Xchange Members
- United Kingdom
About Chris Lavelle
Senior Director of Development for AVIXA in EMEA with over 20 years experience in AV and IT industries.
Started off in sound engineering in the late 90s then pursued a career in IT. After working in web development I returned to AV and have not looked back! I do at times pine to work more directly with the amazing technology available today to help create great AV experiences but I do get to see them being shared and celebrated! I look forward to seeing many of those examples on the Xchange!
Great start to CTS awareness and growth for 2023 in Sweden!
Hi Mark. Great question. If you're at AVIXA, you're already headed the right direction.
Here's a link to the "Explore AV Careers" tool on our AVIXA page. You can filter by what kind industry you'd be interested, what kind of roles you might want to work in, or even look at your strongest skills and find what might suit you best.
AVIXA courses and trainings are great. There's a ton of resources here. My suggestion is to complement formal training with informal mentorship. This formal training will sink in a lot faster if you have somebody to bounce ideas off of. Whether it's someone on our Exchange platform, or a colleague, mentorship is heavily relied on in the AV industry. It's how most of us learned.
The Rising AV Professionals Council published "The First 90 Days" document that is like a getting started for AV professionals, including some good publications to start reading. @Gregory Rushton are you able to send him a link to download the PDF?
Apologies for the delay, great to hear you are looking to get into AV!
Along with the great pointers already talked about. If you are looking to start within the industry in the UK as soon as possible, I would suggest taking the AVIXA Essentials of AV Technology online training to cover the basics. The most cost-efficient way would be to become an individual Premium annual member of AVIXA for £100 as this includes that training, you can take the training or refer back to it as much as you wish while a member which is helpful.
In terms of getting work as soon as possible, there is general demand in the industry but particularly for Live Event technicians, most are freelance, so there is flexibility and the agencies are quite good with their booking systems. You generally provide your availability and they book you in. I suggest speaking to them and asking what skills are most in demand and what is easy to learn. For example, if you are interested or have knowledge in audio, learning how to use the most common audio mixing desks and microphones is a great start (when looking for work for you, you generally provide what you are familiar with e.g. Yamaha XYZ desk or DigiCo XYZ desk and the agency will match what you know to a job). You may be more into the visual side, just used audio as an example. As mentioned, learning on the job/shadowing/mentoring is the quickest way to learn, it may be worth asking if you could attend some setups and events to see/learn and get a feel.
There may be some full-time positions available that they are looking for entry level technicians where again, on the job training would be given.
If you would like, we can connect you to some agencies in the UK who could help and offer some guidance from what is in demand and what you need to know. Installers are much needed too if would prefer not to get into the live events part of the industry. I am including my colleague @Sarah Carless based in the AVIXA UK office who would be happy to help with membership and local industry questions.
Finally, just to say, I know of many people that change careers and come into AV later in life, be it from hospitality, military, healthcare etc. they bring great thinking and skills thoroughly enjoying the move to AV.
Let me know if you have any further questions.
Great piece and advice David! @Stefanie Hanel @Peter Schädel check this out, helpful for solution providers, like the part about asking if a case study can be done before agreement of the project. So many times AVIXA members do amazing installs but be cannot share the project with anyone!
This is a great annual publication! Well worth a read.
Great article, check this out @John Van Hoop @Carla Charlton @Peter Schädel