A Meeting Room Nightmare
Close your eyes and imagine you are on your way to your weekly team meeting. Usually these meetings are no sweat, but this week, the executives in your company are attending and the anxiety to impress is palpable.
You made sure you got to the meeting room on time, so you have a few minutes to greet fellow attendees, sit down and settle in. Right as the minute hand on your wristwatch strikes 12, everyone in the room is all eyes on your team leader and a blank white screen with some indistinguishable blue letters and numbers at the bottom corner of it.
Your team leader, once all smiles as the executives entered the room only minutes earlier, now displays a heavy brow and a light, glistening sweat across his forehead as he stares at the screen on his laptop the same way you’d focus on a college entrance exam. He can’t get his presentation to display on the projection screen and he’s now in a slight panic.
After five minutes pass, everyone sitting at the conference table have now shifted their attention to the emails, memes and social media messages on their phones.
Ah, it looks like there is an IT guy in the room who’s working on it. This shouldn’t be long now.
Wait. The IT guy has disappeared under the table. This can’t be good…
The Impact of AV Distraction
We began this article with a fun, familiar, but fictional story to demonstrate the loss of time to AV not working. In real life, we know that it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to an original task after interruption, according to Gloria Mark, who studies digital distraction at the University of California, Irvine. When you take into consideration this loss of productivity to interruption, the wasted time of highly-paid executives, facilitator, and IT professional, the impact of bad AV is significant.
Is it a pain? Indubitably. Is it worth fixing? That question can be a little harder to answer.
As respectful professionals, we try and keep our cool when our time is being wasted by bad AV. However, when the meeting is over, we often do nothing about fixing it. How could we when we don’t know where to start?
Could AV Issues Be Costing You Millions?
What if your AV problems were costing you a million dollars a year? Would you continue to ignore AV issues, or would some further action be escalated? Well, one of our clients discovered it WAS costing them over $1 million dollars a year.
This organization realized that persisting AV issues had direct costs to the business outside of the equipment and service itself. The return on investment (ROI) or return on assets (ROA) that business leadership used to make decisions had not been considered in the beginning. However, once the losses were determined through these filters, business and finance leaders were able to make higher quality decisions. In the case of our client, they identified ROI on having a new AV system in six months.
What Are The Next Steps in Fixing Bad AV?
You may already know of existing equipment or solutions that may work to fix your AV problems, but how do you make sure it actually eliminates them? How do you determine if your next AV purchase is going to work when all of the others haven?t?
If you have established your AV problems are costing you $x,xxx,xxx, you now need to ask:
- How long are we willing to live with that ongoing loss?
- When can we put money toward resolving the problem?
- Outside of the loss estimate, what else do we need in order to put money toward solving this problem?
- Do we have a clear understanding of why the last AV purchase didn?t work?
- Do we have a clear understanding of why the next AV purchase won?t carry risk to repeat?
- Are we willing to trial a system or solution that claims to reduce or eliminate the risk?
- What kind of ROI would make leadership feel good about making a purchase to eliminate these ongoing AV losses?
- What do I need to feel confident that this spend is going to resolve my own AV frustrations?
The short answer to these questions is you should be paying to permanently resolve your AV frustrations. The point of updating your AV equipment and services is to get a job done that the business needs to be more efficient. A failure of AV to meet these needs is a fundamental failure of identifying and measuring how AV affects critical business outcomes.