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In The Press: ChoiceLIVE in Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine

ChoiceLIVE in Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine

This article was originally published in the May/June 2020 issue of Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine, pg. 63. Submitted by Jason Cataldi, VP of Business Development. 

ChoiceLIVE – as a brand – has only been around since the start of 2020. Upstage Video has been around for 15 years. Rebranded to ChoiceLIVE, it is a highly focused, specialty video company providing arena and stadium level video systems for touring and concert festival clients since its inception. Having initially started as an outdoor solutions provider, in 2010 they entered the high-resolution market and quickly became a resource for production companies and end clients that were executing the most advanced corporate theater events in the world. They have provided systems for television, sports, Fortune 500, politics and institutional clients all over the world.

The need to rebrand came about because their clients recognized the care, passion and innovation ChoiceLIVE brings to their productions, and they’ve been continually asking for lighting and audio in addition to video systems. In 2020, after much methodical preparation, ChoiceLIVE decided to heed their call and open up lighting and audio departments. While their core DNA will always be in video, they are building teams in Audio and Lighting that share the same passion to – provide best-in-class service and technology to their clients and partners.

EMPLOYEES AND CLIENTS

We’re doing our best to just continue conversations. It’s a challenging dynamic. We had planned on a pretty loud and consistent rebranding campaign for 2020. We are sensitive to everyone’s predicament, and frankly we just feel it’s in bad taste to keep banging that drum at the moment, so we’re just trying to keep dialog open with our clients and prospects. Soft touches – letting them know that we’re here, we’re ready, and we’re positioned to adjust to their needs as we all come out of this mess.

Like many of our contemporaries our web-based meeting support technology was an initial solution for clients that needed to reach and engage large audiences.  Many were for corporate external facing events who suspended travel and then shifted to internal town hall communications to keep employees informed.

We recently partnered with Mountain Productions to provide Pro Video Solutions & Emergency Digital Signage to ensure both government and private healthcare institutions have immediate access to turnkey large- and small-scale temporary hospitals and emergency centers which are equipped with on-site information advisories and emergency signage.  ChoiceLIVE provides video screens to ensure that the most up to date emergency information is at the disposal of all doctors and medical workers around the hospital sites.  You can find more information here about our mission.  https://lnkd.in/dRUeJXk

RESOURCES & GUIDES

Well, we’ve always been a fan of Tom Stimson (an authority on business strategy for small- to medium-sized companies and a thought leader for innovative business process). He has graciously committed to having a weekly webinar with other AV and Entertainment Technology companies, so we can all share information and aid one another in best practices moving forward.

We’ve been taking advantage of our membership with the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA).  AVIXA has been offering on-line training and webinars to help the 11,400 enterprise and individual members from over 80 countries.  It helps gain some new perspectives speaking with other businesses facing the same distractions & obstacles.

Most importantly, we’ve been staying connected with our Team.  We went from bi-weekly to weekly “Huddle” GoToMeetings.  While these meetings were initially to discuss business and strategy they’ve taken on an entirely new agenda.  It’s more of a time to create camaraderie.  To lend an ear, provide information, share a laugh, see a smile and indulge in a happy hour adult beverage or two.  A feeling of normalcy in such an uncertain time.  We’re all in this together and the show must go on.

LOOKING AHEAD

There are many components to this situation, that I think we’re going to see playing out. First, I think we’re going to see a lot of companies fold. It’s a challenge keeping up with technology, and it often requires companies in our industry to run thin. One or two demanding clients, and an ownership that is comfortable with risk, and something like this can take you down pretty quickly.  With that comes a lot of talent on the street looking for new homes and a lot of clients that are going to be out there looking for new resources.

I think there will be a reset if you will.  Not just with competitive pricing but for the buyer – the planners.  They will have even more freedom and leverage to choose who they want to work with.  For the supplies it will put the focus back on the customer experience.  Creating a positive return on experience (ROE), having the client’s best interest in mind, developing deep relationships built on a foundation of trust.

We could have stricter contacts, stricter deposit and payment terms, but at the end of the day, all that’s doing is passing the buck onto some other unlucky party. We view ourselves as partners to our clients. We do our best to work with clients that view us the same way.  If you do business with good people, you all find a way to move forward while trying to take care of one another.

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