The Hidden Value of Being in the AV Industry
Before working at Control Concepts, when I used to tell people that I worked in Scouting I usually got one of two responses: “can you help my kid make Eagle?” and “can you get me a mixed tin of popcorn?” When I worked at a law firm prior, people wanted to know if I could give them legal advice, or “just ask one of your attorney friends.” Now when I tell people I’m in the AV industry most of them cock their head to the side, smile and say “that’s interesting,” having no real idea of what the AV industry is, what Control Concepts offers, or what, as an Executive Assistant, I do. Not really the reactions people set their career goals upon. In fairness to my friends and family, there are times when I’m not entirely sure what our software developers do or how our projects are executed from a technical standpoint. But over the past five months I have realized that what we do at Control Concepts and within the AV industry applies to life outside of work.
Recently, we wanted to add a banner promoting a new middleware offering. After investigating the ability to do so with the pop-up plugin we use, I found the solution was almost in reach. The look didn’t match the rest of our site. There were other options for the banner that fit better, including building one! Now I had a banner than with a white background blending too much into the look of our site. By changing the background color, something that could only be done using CSS, the banner would stand out in a positive way. On to the internet I went. After some light research I had figured out a way to write the background color I needed in CSS, and how to copy/paste what I had built on a practice internet page into the building block on our website. After previewing the page, it worked! The banner was created, now I had to move it to the pages we wanted it embedded. I was able to copy the code and paste it onto the appropriate pages and the banner worked. I had made some magic happen, and could not wait to tell everyone, including my coworkers!
Without my coworkers, I would not be able to fix computer issues or troubleshoot video calls. Earlier this month, the North Jersey Aquarium Society decided to have their first virtual meeting. As president, my boyfriend sent me a test call via Facebook Messenger for us to find that neither his audio nor his video were working. Calling me on my cell phone to follow up, he said, “you’re into technology now,” I laughed since I’m not a technology person. “Here’s the error message…”
“Let me call you back,” I said, the wheels in my head turning before I even hung up the phone. From my cell I pulled up Google and within minutes had copied two sets of instructions and pasted them into a text message simplifying them into two actionable steps.
We tried again. We had audio, but not video – this time there was no error message. After hanging up the phone, I opened a new Google search.
Minutes before the club’s call, I received one more test call. As I picked up I could see and hear my boyfriend. As I ended the call a wave of excitement washed over me. I fixed something technical for someone! I was able to troubleshoot a problem remotely! If one of our programmers hadn’t shown me how to fix the headphone settings on my own computer, the confidence to adjust settings or look for solutions from the internet wouldn’t exist. The skills our programmers have both work-specific and industry-wide are applicable to all technology and accessible to anyone willing and interested in learning.
People might not always understand what the AV industry is, what Control Concepts offers, or what I do, but my friends seem to know that if there’s an issue with their conference calling, installing a video game, setting up a website, or making/distributing a “Happy Birthday” video they can call me!
As I become more comfortable with what problems Control Concepts’ solves, and what our team does, I not only gain more from using technology, but I’m not as afraid. I can navigate troubleshooting issues by knowing what to research and how to interpret the information. As an executive assistant with a BA in English and a fear (albeit shrinking) of technology, I have no business being called a technical person. Through the relationships I’ve built with my coworkers and other AV industry professionals, I’ve been able to take on basic technical issues, expand my marketing reach through learning web technologies, and really find a place in my heart for the vast and still relatively hidden world of AV.