Social Networking

A Bay-Area Tweet-up For #AVtweeps?

Since I could not attend the tweet-ups at #Infocomm11 and #CEDIA11, I decided to organize a Bay-area tweet-up for the #AVtweeps in San Francisco and Northern California.  While some of you may know exactly what I’m talking about, other readers may be scratching their heads, or worse, getting ready to click the Back button (please, ANYTHING but that!)

So let’s start with a few definitions:
Infocomm and CEDIA are trade shows for the audio-visual industry.  Infocomm is mostly commercial AV, where as CEDIA is for homes, but there is plenty of overlap.

-A Tweet-Up is when a group of individual Twitter users meet-up in person, instead of online.  The tweet-ups are planned in advance, and often take place at a bar or restaurant.

#AVtweeps is a Twitter hastag created by Johnny Mota.  Twitter users in the AV industry often use the #AVtweeps hashtag to communicate with each other.

So, let’s get back to the  tweet-up at hand.  Here are my ideas, numbered so you can reference them in your comments or tweets:

1. Let’s use the hashtag #BayAreaAVtweetup for this event.  (You can still use #AVtweeps to spread the word)

2. Proposed date and time: September 17 (or Sept 24 if the 17th doesn’t work), at high noon.  Avoids conflicts with work, NFL, and the Holiday season.  Please let me know if you have a conflict for these days/times. We could move it to 1:30 if SF folks want to take the ferry.

3. Proposed location: Marin Brewing Company, Larkspur Landing, CA.  Good beer and reasonably priced food menu.  Lots of room, so no need to make reservations.  Easy on/off from 101, free parking.  We can sit outside if the weather is nice.  And then rent kayaks.  (I’m kidding about the kayaks, or am I?)

4. No sponsors, very informal, just lunch and good conversation for a couple of hours.  Order whatever, whenever.  Bring the family if you like. 

5. Once we have a plan, we can open up the invite to other Bay-area AV folks who don’t use Twitter.  Maybe this will get them interested?

Please let me know your thoughts on this tweet-up by using the #BayAreaAVtweetup hashtag on Twitter.  If you are not on Twitter, just leave your comments below or email me.  Danke schoen!


Continuing Education Renewal Credits

What’s in it for me? or RU sure?

Earlier this month, I attended the Almo ProAV E4 event in South San Francisco, a mix of free food, continuing education classes, a raffle, and a showcase of Almo’s manufacturers in a miniature trade show environment.  It was a good crowd, balanced between local AV integrators, design consultants, regional sales managers, and national experts of the AV industry including Gary Kayye of rAVe publications.

Infocomm CTS-D Certified Technology Specialist logoIn addition to the new gear and obvious networking potential, I also attended E4 largely because of the free CTS-D renewal units (or RUs) available for attending the 1-2 hour classes.  I wasn’t the only one; a few of my Bay-area CTS and CTS-D-toting friends also mentioned how much they appreciated the free Infocomm renewal credits.  (I’ve said it before: Don’t you just love free?)

For readers outside of The Land of AV: Infocomm Intenational® is a nonprofit association serving the professional AV communications industry, since 1939 A.D. (or 1 A.V.) I like to think of Infocomm as the clergy of the AV industry, teaching us the Best Practices (The Golden Rules) of AV design and integration.  If 25% or more of your company’s sales and technical staff is certified as an Infocomm CTS, CTS-I, or CTS-D, your company can also call themselves an Infocomm Audio Visual Solutions Provider, or AVSP.  To maintain your individual Infocomm CTS certification, you must obtain 30 RUs every 3 years, and pay them some money of course.  (Hey we all gotta eat, right?  Even clergy.)

C Is For Continuing EducationAlso starring The Letter C, the other major AV industry association is CEDIA.  A CEDIA Membership is a company membership, and employees of those companies are considered Members.  Their renewal credits are called Continuing Education Units or CEUs.   Both Infocomm and CEDIA host trade shows every year, showcasing new audio, video, touchpanels, and other audiovisual products.  The main difference between Infocomm and CEDIA is this: CEDIA is mostly centered around the home theater and consumer integration market, whereas Infocomm is largely focused on commercial integration and unified communication.   There is plenty of overlap between the two markets, and there are other audio, video, and broadcast associations out there too.

AV geeks are not the only geeks that need these renewal units to renew their licenses.  Architects and need AIA and CES renewal credits, as do Professional Engineers (the requirements vary state to state).  This past week, I was invited to co-host a lunch and learn presentation at the City and County of San Francisco’s Bureau of Architecture office.  About half of the 25 attendees signed up for the AIA/CES renewal credits; I guess the other half were there for the free lunch.  Hopefully, they all learned something.

Hopefully, you did too.

What types of continuing educations credits are you required to obtain?  Does your company offer formal classes, or lunch and learns, that include AIA, CTS, CEU, or other renewal units?  Please comment below, or email the author Paul Konikowski at at