If you build it they will come…I hope.

Just over a year ago, we began work on the exterior of our building (which we own); it was in desperate need of repair instead of just band-aiding the issue. We upgraded the look complete with architects, general contractors, and all that fun stuff. [See article here.]

The New Exterior of Southtown Audio Video (SAV)

The New Exterior of Southtown Audio Video (SAV)

Then, as work concluded, I realized that the retail store could no longer survive as it was [see blog here on shutting my retail doors]. Knowing the markets we work within are corporate, education, healthcare, immersive technologies, and residential, I decided we needed to build a space that could prove to our clients our potential — an area for them to experience what we were capable of. Internet searches proved my idea was anything but conventional. You see, commercial AV showrooms consist of fancy boardrooms and residential ones are homes, but what we wanted to create was a space that not only showed off a boardroom, but also a training space, a break out/huddle room, and also highlighted residential technology — not just a bunch of TVs.

Work began on the inside this past August, and we are just now wrapping up for our Grand Opening on November 1. I call it a Grand Opening and not Re-Opening because we are not what we once were. We are the new and improved. Not only can you make an appointment to meet with our AV consultants where they can give you the full AV experience, but also you can rent/use our space to have the know-how for yourself.

Upon researching locally, we found that most small-to-medium-size businesses did not have the space to host larger meetings, now they can. The goal of giving or renting the room is for potential clients to have a flawless technology experience. After that experience, they set up additional meetings or purchase a system for themselves.

Here is the break down of our space:

Main Area: As mentioned previously, this is usable space, however we personally use the space weekly for staff meetings. This space consists of an 85-inch 4K commercial Sony display and a 7-inch Crestron touchpanel, which allows you to connect to Mersive Solstice Pod, Crestron AirMedia, or 4K Apple TV.

Main Area

Main Area

Residential Highlights: A portrait touchscreen is the home base for Crestron Pyng, but of course this can be shown on the iPad or on your smartphone. The space is complete with motorized shades, full lighting control, media (use of remote as well), HVAC, and, of course, kick ass music. Since it is frowned upon to drink at work, one sometimes needs to blast some great tunes, so we kept a pair of tower speakers out as well.

Break Out/Huddle Room: A smaller space with a Crestron Mercury device and 55-inch Sony LED that allows for audio or video conferencing, Airmedia, Laptop plugins, and glass dry/erase board.

Break Out/Huddle Room

Break Out/Huddle Room

Digital Signage: A Planar 55-inch display sits above our counter/bar area powered by BrightSign. For the opening we will begin with a story of our construction, information about the space, and some pictures of current jobs, showing off to our customers and visitors what we are capable of. We are people first, and therefore will also have snapshots of press, news, SAV in the community, and teambuilding photos.

The Office: Another part of my story was when I realized we live at work more than anywhere else, but we often forget to make it a happy place. White walls, lousy lighting, and no music — how can anyone expect to be happy? I’m breaking the mold and built myself an office that represents what I find motivating, where I can meet with members of my team or with clients/vendors. I’m set up with a fancy couch (I may have watched too much Mad Men) and, once again, great audio.

It is important to state that I did not go through this metamorphosis alone. We worked with a local office furniture company on the design of the space and oodles of support and hard work from both my team and my family.

I may have purchased this company, but there is no looking back now — this is the company I have created, and I’m damn proud of it. Wish me luck as I host up to 100 people for our Grand Opening Party and for the company beyond that!

“Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

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