And so to… BVE


Intelligent Audio Visual


Allow me to explain. It’s not a new software platform, a control system or a magic black box. It’s an approach.

It’s the inclusion of an experienced AV professional. A human filter who knows how to deliver an outcome. It’s the successful communication of what is needed. It’s the balance to be struck between competing factions.

Where is this leading I hear you say? Well, I’ve been invited to take part on a panel at this year’s BVE and the subject under discussion is:

Embracing a future of AV/IT convergence

The more I think about it, the larger the topic seems (can of worms). Where to start. Take this as a question that will be raised:

– With AV budgets and teams increasingly sitting under IT – how can pro AV teams get buy in and support to embrace a fully immersive and integrated AV future.

Speaking to members of AVCF, and remember, you’re no slouches. There are many stories of what I will put kindly as ‘miscommunication’ and sheer ‘power politics’ from our cousins in IT. Who, let’s face it, are big players in our workplaces.

Of course, I am speaking from my experience of delivering live events in a large museum environment. There is a bigger systems integration issue here and it will be site/venue specific. But the story I mainly hear from our community is ‘we weren’t listened to, taken on board or consulted’.

Not exclusively of course, but quite a lot. How do we get buy in? Which led me to another question on the agenda:

– Pipe dream or reality – How can AV systems be integrated more fluidly, automated and centrally controlled like the IT sector?

Automated. Centrally controlled. Discuss, eh.

I advocate the use of IAV.

Intelligent Audio Visual.

An approach, a filter, an interpretation. Which in my experience, most of the best AV practitioners have instinctively.

That’s not to say we can rest on our laurels. Oh no. The world doesn’t stand still and we have to box clever. I attended an event this week which was all about how AI and robots will play a bigger part in the delivery of events? Very big questions for humanity as a whole here of course, concerning AI and robotics. But it will ripple down to our little world. Already has in subtle ways.

There’s a compelling scene in the new film ‘Hidden Figures’ about the crucial part played by black women mathematicians who were astounding, yet neglected, in contributing to the US space race. A supervisor realises her team can’t compete, for speed, in doing orbit calculations or models with the first IBM computer delivered to NASA. She surreptitiously learns the programming language, does it better than the IBM techs in fact. She spreads the word and teaches her team

’this is the future’ she says ‘but they’re going to need people to programme this new machine, and if we want to keep our jobs, we need to stay ahead of the curve’.

It is this human factor that solved various critical anomalies as they went forward.

it’s a great scene, amongst many, go see it.

It’s inclusion in my argument does traduce a momentous moment in US history. But hey, Hollywood made a movie of it. I had no idea of this particular moment, but it ably illustrates my point. We in AV need to be open to what’s happening in our worlds and to what’s coming.

Always thinking. That’s what humans do.


Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated by me and I can use them to inform the debate. Maybe you disagree strongly? Just let me know.

Some of our number will be at BVE and Dan Crompton, from Tate, is also appearing on this panel. It takes place on March 1st at 10.45-11.30 am in the AV, Integration & Live Theatre. It would be great to see some of you down at the Excel Centre.

Hope to see you there. It is possible that a drink may be had later?

Just sayin’.


NOTE: For those interested, here are some links which touch on some of the things I’ve been speaking about.

An alternate view of this debate:

Fascinating series on Radio 4 which explores AI and robotics:

The non fiction book on which the film I mentioned was based:

Rules for an AV robot to live by:

Further reading: