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Five Minutes With Patricia A. Basteri

Chief Executive Officer, Mass AV By DMN Staff Writer
Patricia A. BasteriQ: What do you believe were the biggest changes in the industry in the last five years? How did they change things and what impact did those changes have?

A: Changing technologies and obsolescence of projectors because of lumen rating changes. The AV industry has also faced the challenge of easier presentation solutions available to the clients, particularly in the way of LCD projection. While it remains a top rental item for our industry, many presenters purchase their own projectors.

Competitive pricing is another challenge. The lack of a standard "service" fee inclusion in pricing is not often reflected. However, this also eats into the market. It's a lot different than the days of CRT projectors when a technician was required!

Mergers and acquisitions changed the market dramatically over the past five years, making opportunities in the hotel market rare. But this is likely to change in time. This definitely set the stage for development of our company and others into other areas of the AV industry, such as event staging.

Q: What is the state of the market now? What are the propelling forces and what are the barriers to growth?

A: The market is in a state of flux because we tend to do a lot of our work with more of the high tech or hot companies. The market is cost-conscious, so providing cost-effective solutions for the client's vision is always a challenge.

Company size is also a challenge when competing for large contracts as a regional company against much larger national players. And we're expanding into related but new markets with the staging part of our business. In order to provide a full service option to our staging clients, we expanded this division to include high-end audio, but it is a challenge to compete against audio only companies.

The investment in high-end equipment for the staging division is an ongoing challenge. Again, technology improvements and the need to provide the best gear to the client drives the investment. Maintaining the best inventory for staging and getting a good return on the investment are challenges.

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