My Brave New World…


“What’s that then?”

“Well, It’s about People, not boxes”

This is what I told someone, not of our world (no not an alien, just someone who thinks PowerPoint is where they plug the kettle) when they quizzed me on ‘what’s AVCF all about then?’ The above was my very short, spontaneous kind of answer to a question of ‘what I’d do next’?

But, considering it now, my answer kind of gets to the truth of the matter.

It’s been about six weeks now since I left the British Museum and after I made the decision to spend time giving something back. This via the community we call AVCF. When I think back through all my experiences dealing with AV, teams, people or projects, the defining factor has been my relationships with the people. I remember a successful businessman once saying in an interview ‘choosing the right people is the most crucial investment we make’. I also remember that when I had a team up and running (motivated and happy, which should be the aspiration of a manager) everything was less stressful; running rotas, delivering events, sourcing the right equipment (despite the fact that being in the museum sector fighting for budgets is a… challenge). One day I met with my line manager and she saw how smoothly everything was going in my world, so she asked me, what would I like to do for my own development. Enlightened eh. I thought. Then said that for a long while I’d talked to colleagues in various museums and institutions, who worked in AV, and that I’d never managed to get out and see them – this was the fledgling start of what would become AVCF. Although I’d phone often, chat and ask various questions about ‘have you used this type of projector or mixer and what the hell was WUXGA anyway’. It was a while back! I still ran old school kit, film and slide projectors. I was an analogue guy in an increasingly digital world.

Well, she said ‘go do it’. At last I had official sanction to roam out and find these people in far flung kingdoms. To me anywhere outside Bloomsbury seemed far flung. My initial instincts were confirmed when I finally chatted face to face. We were all doing the same job and despite specific differences locally we faced a lot of the same issues. Let me tell you the least of it was ‘black boxes’. We talked about perception of our roles by management, staffing structures, budgets, the strictures of our management structures and how to deliver AV in the face of this. Managing everyone’s expectation, at all levels, both external and internal seemed to be a constant trope.

People, not boxes.

So Chris, what’s your plan now you’ve taken up the reins at AVCF I hear you cry? (Some of you need to adjust your gain structure a bit, little faint there in places). Well, first off is this new blog on our website, it’s where I can throw out random thoughts, ideas and news of what we’re up to. Feel free to comment and challenge when you feel the need. But, more importantly I invite you, members of our growing community, to contribute. We can then move forward in becoming a real forum for our discipline. I think it’s needed. Don’t you?

Audio. Visual. Cultural. Forum.

Four words. Huge topic.

Hey remember, people, not boxes.*


* Although some of the new Roland kit showcased at BT on our last outing was pretty sweet