We’re always excited to share the stories about integrators who incorporate the technology they install every day for their customers in their own offices, even as the way people work continues to evolve.
Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, N.Y., is the latest company to give customers a clearer picture of how the technology they’re considering buying for their offices could transform the place they work thanks to a brand-new 1,500-square-foot experience center that opened Nov. 2.
“It’s a way for people to see it before they buy it,” says Southtown president and owner Heather Sidorowicz. “We’re inviting people to a space where we can control the environment.”
Work started last October on the exterior façade of the buildings on the corner of Lake and Union Street in the village of Hamburg.
At the same time, there was a substantial amount of work happening inside the doors of Southtown Audio Video, replacing a space that was once a retail store for AV components with the experience center.
“The face of retail has changed,” says Sidorowicz.
“When I saw long successful companies close at the local malls, I knew we had to do something. A business associate mentioned to me that having a retail space might be a distraction. We were able to look at the space with refreshed eyes.”
The experience center is “more solution-centric and human-centric,” says Sidorowicz. In the first meeting in the new experience center, one of the attendees brought a USB to be able to display and share a presentation with others.
Inside the Southtown Audio Video Experience Center
SAV sold all their showroom inventory and moved forward with the experience center.
“About 80 percent of our business is commercial, and when we researched, we found that there are no spaces locally available for use or rent in the southtowns for larger meetings, especially one that is outfitted with the right technology,” says Sidorowicz.
Southtown Audio Video partnered with Mid City Office Furniture on the experience center, which features an 85-inch Sony LED screen, a Crestron control system and movable tables for up to 25 participants.
The space will be available for rental by the community, local business, Southtown AV vendors and for continuing education events.
Sidorowicz, in fact, recently earned her certification to teach CEU classes for local architects, builders and designers.
The Southtown experience center also features a smaller breakout room and lounge which are also outfitted out with the latest technology.
“The main space will have the ability to throw content wirelessly to the screen, and audio and video conference abilities,” says Sidorowicz.
“Many local businesses may not be able to hold a meeting of that size, or may not have the budget for a full-blown technology space. Now they can walk before they run.”
The experience center also features home control in the form of audio, lighting and HVAC control with Crestron Pyng and Sonos technology incorporated throughout the space.
“What has changed is we no longer have two dozen TVs to show the client,” says Sidorowicz.
“We have experiences to reveal to them. “Our goal is to enhance your life with technology in the places you work, live an play. Technology is not a perfect science, but with the right company by your side, it will certainly make life better.”