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Arizona Roadshow Recap 2 | 2024

When visiting a customer in Arizona two months ago, I heard rumors of a Higher Ed AV tech show coming together right here in Arizona.  Once I got the email from HETMA that a Higher Ed AV roadshow was on - I fist pumped.  Why? Well, it is a semi-long story, so let me try to keep it short.


Six months ago, I moved to the US to bring espresso displays to businesses in the US. We produce the world’s thinnest portable display and customers absolutely love the product, but the brand is still not well known in the general public.  Our main users are working professionals that need a second screen when on the go, but we increasingly saw interest rising in the education space due to our increasing touch and annotation capabilities.  Very soon, I turned my attention to higher education as a space where we could really help.  My previous outreach had been to finance and legal firms and wow, was I in for a shock when I headed into Higher Ed.  The warmth and welcome I received from the Higher Ed AV community was unbelievable.  Unanswered emails and sparse abrupt responses, were replaced with warm and caring individuals interested in how our product could help their staff.


So back to the fist pump. I had not yet had the opportunity to meet a tonne of Arizona AV professionals in person and not connected with a large amount at all.  Phone calls and emails can transfer information, but nothing beats handing a professional a display and intently listening to their setups and how the displays could help.  This was my opportunity!


I paid the (very low) fee to reserve a table at the HETMA show, marked my calendar and waited eagerly for the day to arrive.  In between waiting, espresso had a table at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) where we meet people from all industries interested in new electronic solutions.


The day arrived for the HETMA roadshow and wow, I was impressed.  The location at the University was impressive - a big space to house a large amount of people and the breakfast catering was on point!  But then the magic happened.  The people arrived.  And they arrived some more.  Before long, the hall was filled with eager Higher Ed professionals, looking to talk all things AV - a “safe space” if you will!  

From an expo standpoint, I spent the whole day speaking one on one with AV professionals that I have been looking to meet and speak to for months.  We demo’ed, we played, we discussed, we pondered.  We did all those great things that happen when you sit and have a discussion on how to fix the world’s problems (in AV).

The expo was not the only thing - we heard from Warick Pond and Dr. Timothy Summer on their thoughts on the future of tech.  We toured the impressive University of Arizona.  We also all went for a happy hour afterwards at a micro brewery beer garden.  What a perfect way to meet people - speaking all things AV and not at all related topics.


What did I get out of the HETMA road show?  First of all - learning.  I learned so much about how various Higher Ed institutions operate through deep listening and conversation and how espresso could play a part.  More importantly though, I developed more relationships than I expected.  I was invited to 5 site visits within a few days and the ability to test and expand the espresso technology has exploded.  The ties with the Arizona AV community has extended way passed the event itself.


As mentioned, we spent 4 days at CES 2 weeks prior, and I would argue I had more deep conversations and developed more solid relationships in the 1 day at the HETMA roadshow, than I did in 4 days at CES - and that speaks volumes

What a perfect day and what a perfect event.  Perfection does not come without a LOT of background hard work, so my hat is tipped to Ryan Gray (Yavapai College), Chris Dieterich (University of Arizona), Chuck Fortino (Phoenix College) and Sean Snitzer.  They sure pulled off an amazingly successful event.  This work is all from volunteers - another thing that makes HETMA great.  I have come to know the Higher Ed AV community as a warm and welcoming bunch - and wow do they care about their industry.  So much so, that individuals will volunteer their time to improve the state of their industry, and that they did at the HETMA Arizona roadshow

So what’s next? First of all, it’s continuing the relationships that started at that roadshow.  Also, at least for me, it’s keeping an eye on what roadshow is next, with a mouse ready to book flights.  There 49 other states, so plenty more conversations to be had, and brand new faces to meet.  I can’t wait.

Author: Chris McGreevy

Chris McGreevy is from Brisbane, Australia (Bluey too!) and has spent 8 years in Denver, Colorado (as well as time lived in Belgium and Costa Rica) but now resides in Phoenix, Arizona.  Chris is a medical device engineer who now works with espresso displays.  Chris is building the espresso displays brand in the US and is specializing in how the displays can help in the the Higher Education space particularly as a portable display option.