Audio/video integrators, as a rule, have been slow to accept the reality that training is among the top concerns with most production managers, systems operators, worship leaders and technical directors.
Training as part of new installation or system upgrade has traditionally been approached as an afterthought. Most of the training that is included in system packages relates to the most basic fundamentals of the system’s physical components. These sessions are typically half-day endeavors taught by an installer (or whoever is available) with no specific curriculum or outline. The end-result is typically ineffective.
The problem stems from the fact that integrators often do not have the available resources to develop an effective curriculum. Those who do have the resources often cut proposals to the bone in order to win bids, and training is usually in the first round of cuts. Unfortunately, the lack of an adequate training package often leaves the customer dissatisfied with the performance of a newly-installed system.
It is important for decision-makers to remember that a system is only as effective as its operators. An experienced tech can execute an acceptable performance with mediocre equipment, whereas an untrained operator stands little chance of delivering an adequate performance with even the most expensive systems. To avoid this scenario, decision-makers will need to do a little homework.
Integrators should present a plan of action to evaluate the skill level of system operators. Once this is determined, a course curriculum can be recommended to meet the range of needs of all system operators. If an integrator cannot provide a course outline, it should be apparent that training packages have probably not been well-developed and will, most likely, be ineffective.
Most end-users would agree that sound system training or video system training is an essential part of the investment in a media system. Any proposal that does not address this important issue should be regarded as incomplete.
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