AV News Awards 2017 – the winners

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The AV News Awards have a special place within Europe’s audio-visual industry, being focused on the people and community that make the business work. The Awards recognise the contribution made by the individuals in the labs and R&D centres, the sales and marketing teams and those involved in training and support for the technologies and services that comprise AV solutions.

The Awards also recognise excellence in AV technologies and in the channel that delivers them to market. The Awards continue to attract a strong group of nominees and AV News would like to extend its thanks to all those who undertake the task of filling in the forms, and to the Award sponsors who make the whole thing possible.




The AV Technologist of the Year recognises an outstanding achievement by an individual in advancing AV technology.  The Award is open to nominations for individuals responsible for the development of a new technology, solution or application, and which is either currently available on the market or which will be demonstrated as a working prototype.



General Manager, Vision

stuart lockhart

The AV Technologist of the Year Award is usually presented to the originator or developer of one or two good ideas, which come to fruition as great products or solutions. This year we have someone who emails AV News every month with a new idea or improvement. So many in fact, that we have lost count of how many good ideas he is responsible for. The winner of this category is Stuart Lockhart, general manager of Vision.


The AV Sales Professional of the Year recognises the contribution that the individuals who lead or make up the sales teams of resellers, integrators, distributors or manufacturers make to advancement of the AV industry. The winner of the Award must demonstrate success in AV sales over a period of at least two years, a professional approach and innovation in sales technique.



Business Development Manager, Medium

Our winner has been in the industry for 7 years and has carved out a fantastic name for himself within the av channel. He is seen as one of the best business development managers in the business. He started out as a telesales professional, and quickly progressed within the industry. He is now a leading business development manager for Medium.  Daniel joined the company 3 and a half years ago, and over that time, Medium has doubled in revenue. Daniel has developed and grown his account set by over 200% (in terms of revenue), while keeping a very relaxed, approachable, sincere and honest relationship with his resellers.

Dan Clarke



Support plays a vital role in customer retention and winning repeat business at every level in the channel. The AV Support Professional of the Year Award recognises the importance of the support and service functions in the running of a professional business, and is open to representatives of resellers, integrators, distributors and manufacturers. The winner must be able to demonstrate a commitment to the support role, and to provide evidence of positive customer interaction.



Head of the Solutions Team, NEC Display Solutions

Our winner began his career in the AV industry began in system design and engineering, before moving into a sales role with systems integrators Reflex and Asysco. He joined the NEC corporate sales team in 2012, bringing extensive knowledge of digital signage, video walls, video conferencing and IPTV. After two years with the company, Craig was promoted to head up NEC’s Solutions Team. The heartbeat of NEC’s reputation for excellence, the solutions team provides technical expertise to support both channel and vertical sales teams. With strong commercial proficiency, Craig is responsible for developing NEC’s partnerships, firmly focused on the customers’ needs in providing a Total Display Solution.

Craig McQueen, NEC Display Solutionsbiddy


Communication of the benefits and applications of a continuing stream of new products, solutions and services have seen the marketing function increase in influence. The AV Marketing Professional of the Year Award recognises excellence in marketing and marketing communications. The winner must be able to demonstrate effectiveness, creativity and success over a period of not less than two years and innovation in marketing communications.



Head of Global Marketing, Avocor

Building a brand in a market as competitive as AV is a tough ask – doing it twice is almost inconceivable. Wining the Marketing Award for the second time, Natalie Harris-Briggs has been instrumental in bringing Avocor to industry attention worldwide in a matter of a few months, establishing the identity of a new vendor in the category of interactive solutions.



The Outstanding Achievement in AV Award recognises the product of a lifetime contribution to the development of the AV industry. The winner will hold, or will have held, a senior position within the industry for not less than five years, and will be a well-known figure at the manufacturer, distributor or reseller level.



For the first time ever, AV News announced joint winners of the Outstanding Achievement category of the AV News Awards. Both have a legitimate claim to be real pioneers of interactive technology, creators of a whole new category of AV solutions and to have changed the face of education forever.

Nancy Knowlton and David Martin started SMART Technologies Inc. in 1987 in Calgary. In just 25 years, SMART grew from a tiny start-up to a global business with annual revenues just under $800 million. With the beneficiaries of Nancy and David’s endeavours numbering hundreds of channel partners, thousands of teaching professionals and millions of school and college age students, we have no hesitation in declaring the Award category criteria met, and in presenting Manacy and Dave with the AV News Award for Outstanding Achievement.



The AV Market Development Initiative of the Year category acknowledges success with end-user programmes that contribute to the development of new business opportunities for the AV industry. Examples of qualifying entries might include end-user marketing or education campaigns; end-user events; customer promotions; new technology applications and deployments and other market development initiatives by AV resellers and systems integrators.



Laser shoot-out

The Award-winning initiative here started out as an in-house technical exercise and a response to the growing demand for laser projection It ended up as a Laser Showcase involving ten manufacturers and around 40 delegates from sectors including education, health and enterprise.

Pure AV shootout 1



Education applications have seen a succession of technology paradigm shifts that have changed teaching and learning fundamentally. These transitions are still in progress with the move to collaborative and personalised learning. The Education Project of the Year rewards innovation, sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness and will be awarded to the reseller or integrator responsible for deploying the nominated learning solution.


CDEC for Goldsmiths College

After a robust tender process, CDEC was chosen to undertake the supply, installation and commissioning of AV systems into 91 rooms across Goldsmiths. This included 5 room types: large performance spaces, teaching spaces, seminar rooms, meeting rooms and mobile solutions. CDEC created a futureproof solution, a key element of which was the adoption of laser projection campus-wide. CDEC worked closely with the rack build team to enable us to ‘wheel in’ a completed room of kit. This off-site build process was so successful that what was initially billed as a 30-month roll out was condensed into a 9-month project.


This was a very successful large scale project for both CDEC and the University encompassing over 91 rooms, ranging from high-end performance spaces to standard lecture theatres.  CDEC’s submission future proofed the university and provided complete peace of mind for the next 5 years by incorporating a 5-year hardware and installation warranty and a free helpdesk support service. CDEC understood the critical factor for the success of this project was minimising the impact and amount of time each learning space was out of action. CDEC formulated a full off-site pre-build solution for rack build, configuration, testing and programming of each individual space.

toni banett cdeccmyk


Commercial AV has assumed new levels of importance in environments as diverse as SMBs through to enterprises and public sector organisations. Whether through improving decision making and operational efficiency with collaborative technologies or developing customer communication with digital signage, AV technologies are fast becoming mission critical.  The commercial Project of the Year rewards innovation, sustainability and effectiveness and will be awarded to the reseller or integrator responsible for deploying the nominated commercial solution.



UGG Retail Promotion

UGG partnered with Projection Artworks to design and install displays across 10 European UGG concept stores to showcase its new boot – the Classic II. Installations bring to life the new ‘monogramming’ service, where shoppers can have their initials embroidered onto their chosen boot. The projected content includes an animated embroidery sequence of the monogramming process.


Displayed in a bespoke ‘mirrorbox’, the consumer is immersed in seasonally-themed projected CG animations, like falling autumnal leaves or raindrops.   The installations use Optoma’s ML750e LED projectors for their compact nature, longevity and brightness and Projection Artwork’s retail display solution, DisplayMapper.



Both home automation and networked home entertainment have seen significant innovations in the last year, with advances in energy saving, 4K displays and projection, networked audio and the migration of control to mobile devices. The residential Project of the Year rewards innovation, sustainability and customer satisfaction and will be awarded to the manufacturer, reseller or integrator responsible for developing or deploying the nominated residential solution.


VIDEOTREE for Hill House Interiors

Our winner was commissioned by Hill House Interiors to fulfil a prestigious residential AV project for a homeowner in Cobham, Surrey with a brief to tailor a high specification, High Brightness TV with a bespoke frame and conceal the installed unit behind a mirror in the client’s master bedroom suite. A further state-of-the-art outdoor television that enabled the homeowner to take the entertainment outside all year round.

video tree


The AV Display Innovation of the Year Award marks the development of new or improved display technologies that will have a significant effect on the AV industry going forwards, providing the basis for new products, solutions or applications. The Award can be made to companies recognised as currently active within the AV sector or those involved in the development of enabling technologies on which future AV solutions might be based.


MICROSOFT for Surface Hub

Microsoft wanted to re-imagine the way people work together. They created a brand-new collaboration device that could be as transformative to group productivity as the PC was for individuals. Microsoft Surface Hub reimagines the meeting experience so that you can unlock the power of the group. It becomes a platform for amazing large screen apps, in addition to the built-in team experiences like Skype for Business, Microsoft Office and OneNote.  Users can also connect apps from their personal device and drive them from Microsoft Surface Hub. The fully integrated design is available in a choice of two screen sizes, and flexible mounting configurations means there’s a solution for every business.

Microsoft Surface Hub (2)


The AV Network Innovation of the Year Award marks the development of new or improved networked or bundled technologies that will have a significant effect on the AV industry going forwards, providing the basis for new products, solutions or applications. The Award can be made to companies recognised as currently active within the AV sector or those involved in the development of enabling technologies on which future AV solutions might be based.



Remember when the late Steve Jobs described Apple products as “computers for the rest of us”. If he had been around today, he might well describe the winner of this category as “video communication for the rest of us”. AV News editor Bryan Denyer was so impressed he actually bought the product for his office, with his own money – something that doesn’t happen very often!



The AV Reseller / Integrator of the Year Award recognises excellence in the transaction of AV business – skilled specialists delivering the right product or solution for their customers’ needs, with purchase decisions based on appropriate advice, installed with a high degree of competence and supported with due consideration. The winner of this Award will be required to demonstrate effectiveness at each stage of the buying process, with evidence provided in the form of projects completed within the last 12 months.



Focus 21 is celebrating a record year, growing the business both in terms of installation work, maintenance contracts and market sector. There was a 119% increase from June – September 2016 which saw the team travelling throughout the UK and Europe, from Barrow to Brussels and everywhere in between.

Dedication to education for the whole team as the largest Infocomm CTS scheme holders in the country. An astounding 52% of the technical work force now have these advanced accreditations with 28 of 82 people holding CTS, three CTS-D and nine CTS-I. Focus 21 is the only company to have three triple certified professionals.

The company’s marketing is focused on educating end-users. This has been derived from ‘Tech-a-tete’ showcase events, with the latest being (on Skype For Business collaboration solutions) being shared live on social media and captured for a series of product reference videos available to everyone.

Jim Harwood Focus 21 MD

Thanks to Award sponsors and partners

AV News would like to thank the sponsors, the Award nominees and those assisting with judging and execution of the AV News Awards 2017.

Particular thanks are offered to Nancy Knowlton and Oliver Mack for their presentations, and for the creative and AV support provided by Acquire Digital and PSCo. Acquire were responsible for the co-ordination and management of all the content and music for the keynote speeches and Awards presentation. The company also provided interactive presentation facilities for the Keynotes.

As the display partner for the AV News Awards at ISE, for the second year running, PSCo provided a 4 x 2 metre A3 Pro, 3.9 mm pixel pitch LED wall, as well as 4 x Samsung 75” screens with stands. The company also provided full technical support on build and de-rig to ensure a smooth event was had all round. Large format 75” displays were used as repeater screens so everybody in all corners of the room could see the presentations and awards results being showcased.



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