AV Career Day – Developing the Next Generation of AV Talent


AV Career Day aims to highlight the power of audiovisual experiences to students, and the many exciting career opportunities within the AV industry. We talked to key people from ISE, co-owners of the show AVIXA and CEDIA, and this year’s sponsors to find out more about what the programme is hoping to achieve.

The audiovisual (AV) industry is always looking for new and creative people to bolster its ranks. At ISE each year, leading trade associations AVIXA and CEDIA partner to host students and educators from around the world for a day of delving into careers in this exciting industry. Students from across Europe will spend the day exploring the show floor, engaging with AV professionals and learning more about commercial and residential audiovisual technologies related to areas of academic study.

“AV Career Day offers a chance for students, educators, and community organizations to explore the AV industry at ISE 2020,” says Joseph Valerio, Program Director of the AVIXA Foundation. “Our primary objective is to promote greater awareness of AV careers, while also building bridges between schools and industry companies seeking new talent. We hope attendees will be inspired and see themselves working in our dynamic industry.”

“AV careers provide good opportunities for people who want a creative, yet challenging career that does not require a traditional college or university education,” comments Aneta Armova-Levin, CEDIA’s Education Manager. As the world’s largest professional AV and systems integration show, ISE provides the perfect backdrop for students to find out about the career opportunities available to them in both the residential and commercial AV sectors.”

Over the past few years, the AV Career Day programme has grown from the support of a few local Netherlands universities to welcoming upwards of 200 international students.

Along with their faculty, students will get to see first-hand how AV professionals use the newest technologies to create incredible experiences in our daily lives. These events are designed for young people (16 years old and up) who are exploring career options and are not already in the AV industry. Last year, 200 students and faculty visited ISE 2019. Connections made at the event led to some student internships and new pipelines for the companies involved. Participants were also connected with AVIXA training following the event.

AV Career Day also gives companies the chance to spread the message of the plethora of interesting jobs available in AV, as well as getting in front of students to network. One prominent ISE exhibitor that has taken advantage of this offer is AVI-SPL.

“The AV industry is vibrant and full of possibilities – once people are in the industry, they rarely leave it,” says James Shanks, CTS, managing director at AVI-SPL, and sponsors of this years’ AV Career Day. “We have a skills shortage in our industry. Our job, as professionals, is to uncover and promote the opportunities available to those who haven’t heard of or considered AV before. In particular, AVI-SPL is focused on building a culture of collaboration, using workplace technology to connect people on a human level. We’re even starting our own initiatives such as an internship programme to encourage young people into the industry, and so are very pleased to be sponsors of ISE’s AV Career Day for 2020 as it aligns with our wider goals.”

Many pro AV jobs align with existing passions for many students, in areas like esports or video games, music and DJing, digital media, and even graphic design.

“On the residential side, the expansion of the home technology market is creating a growing demand for skilled labour, creating significant opportunities for the workforce of tomorrow,” Armova-Levin continues. “Students represent the future of our industry, and we’re committed to providing resources to support the next generation of home technology professionals. At the AV Career Day, students can find out how current training opportunities, career pathways and course options can progress their career in the fast-developing world of AV. There is also the opportunity to network with other students on similar courses, as well as leading manufacturers in on the guided show floor tours. We’re looking forward to welcoming students to this year’s AV Careers Day program at ISE 2020.”

“We hear time and again a concern our members have is the need for more qualified personnel,” adds Valerio. “This is driven by the fact our industry is doing so well, and with it an increased opportunity for work. Employers can’t find enough talent to help meet that demand.  On the other side of the equation, many young people aren’t aware AV is a viable career path.  This isn’t much different in other skilled trades like nursing, HVAC, or construction; it’s still a side effect of stigma against the trades. While a traditional degree may be right for some, others are perfect for AV.  We therefore want students to see that with a little training and some hard work, a person can make themselves very appealing to employers in this field. We hope through AV Career Day students open their eyes to the exciting possibilities awaiting them in AV.”

For 2021 and beyond, AVIXA and CEDIA encourage companies to get involved with sponsorship of food, travel, technology or space. This gives them the opportunity to get in front of the future talent of the AV industry, while educating students on the opportunities available to them.

AV Career Day takes place at Thursday 13 February from 09:30–16:30 at the Amsterdam RAI, beginning in Room G106 & G107.

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