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How to Better Prepare for Events | IT in AV

As we enter the month of June there are only two things that come to mind. The first is that the fiscal year for higher education is coming to an end and the second is InfoComm. Having these two events in the same month can have a big impact on our schools, our users, and even our team. With this in mind, I am not writing this article about this year or this InfoComm; this article is about how we can better prepare for these events.

The Impact

These events have a big impact but in different ways. The ending of our fiscal year means that departments, ours being no different, are trying to spend any money they have left over. Because of this, we see an increase in spending on anything that can be completed by June 30th. Our inboxes start filling up with requests and we even see projects that we thought were dead get brought back to life. This puts our teams under stress as we are working with a tight deadline. This puts our schools under stress as they need to make sure they are being financially wise with the money but don't want to see their budgets slashed. 

The impact of InfoComm is the time away from the office. Even if you only attend the show floor you are still away from the office for three days. If you are one of the lucky ones, who live in either Orlando or Vegas, maybe you can get away with one day. Either way it means at least one member of our team, if not more, is out of the office but doesn’t mean the daily operation of our schools stops. 

What We Can Do?

We can use the time at the show to make connections and build our network. Making these connections can aid us when we start nearing the end of the fiscal year. When we build a connection it means we are building a partnership. These partners share the same mission of making sure projects succeed. Their goal might be different than ours but any true, good, partnership will be more of a win/win situation for both parties. We can call on these partnerships when the time gets tight and get straight answers to our questions. 

Building the partnership might aid us when the time crunch of fiscal year end comes up but what about attending the show itself? How do we prepare our teams, schools, and users for the time we will not be there?  We can start talking to them months before June.  We can plant the seed that we will be out of the office. With these seeds planted, we can start to see how events are being scheduled and what support might be needed. 

We can take what we learn from the show and our partners and set up remote monitoring systems. These systems can even be helpful ways to use end-of-fiscal year funding as software can be completed as quickly as you can download it. The remote monitoring system will also allow us to see the status of our system when we are away or even set up alerts to go to other support staff during this time. 

Another thing we can do is configure our systems to support secure remote access. When we are away at the show the last thing we want to deal with is work but in reality, the job does not stop because we are away.  We can do our best to disconnect and let our teams handle any issues that come in but there might be times we need to help. Being able to connect to the system remotely will allow us to help support the school while also being able to attend the show. This should be our last line of defense but should still be a tool in our belt. 


Now these are just the tip of the iceberg for these two topics but hopefully, they gave you enough information to start preparing your team, equipment, and users for the end of the fiscal year and InfoComm. These are two events that will always come and ones we should not let slip by.