Director, Strategic Industry Relations at QSC
“My role is to build relationships with strategic industry influencers, industry leaders, and new & existing customers to ensure that QSC is engaged in an ongoing dialog. I am Q-SYS Level 1 Certified, SynAudCon Principles of Audio, Sound Reinforcement for Technicians.
I sit on the CompTIA Council for Advancing Women in Technology and I co-lead the Southern California AVIXA Women’s Group. I’m a founding member of Women in AV and a co-founder of Listen Technologies Corporation.”
– Cory Schaeffer
What is something unique about the Audio Visual industry that not many people know?
I believe the AV industry is ideal for careers in data analytics. When an organization is presented with solid data on equipment use, room use, and productivity gains/losses, the organization will find the budget to spend. A Data Analyst is a career that is often not considered in the AV Industry. This past year, I attended a meeting at USC, where the discussion was around this as a career in AV. A case study was presented in how the AV department was able to get the budget for technology approved twice within the same year because of the data presented.
What is something in life that you are passionate about?
I’m a connector. I love connecting people in the spirit of helping them. I enjoy making connections and helping where I can without expecting anything in return. In fact, I recently reached out to an industry analyst with the goal of getting to know them better just so I could help them. This person wanted to know what I wanted and why I would do this. This allowed us to have a great conversation and what I learned is that he works in a world where there is always a give to get. I am passionate about connecting with people – really “connecting”.
What would you do differently if you were starting in your industry now?
I would earn my IT certifications.
What’s the best advice about the AV industry you have ever received?
If you don’t know something – ask, there are many people who are willing and who want to help you succeed. I have experienced firsthand, the generosity of many who make up our industry.
What does a usual workday look like for you?
I love what I do. I work to connect with people via email/phone/social media to learn how they are using the Q-Sys eco-system. We talk about their experiences and I ask if they will share these experiences with others. This might be a social media post, a case study, a press release, etc. This is incredibly rewarding and fun.
Much of my time is on follow up that leads to how best to share the user’s experience with others. I have a belief that “the fortune is in the follow up”. Many of us give up on reaching out to people when we do not get a response. I know people are busy and it takes following up to get results, I spend a lot of time on following up.
Some days I spend writing blogs or working on presentations that I’ll need at industry events.
I follow IT analysts/influencers and engage in conversations to learn what they are working on and if they have a need that I can help with.
I spend time each week learning – this might be to help me in my specific role at QSC or it may be learning a QSC solution.
What’s your definition of an ‘influencer’?
Someone who has a strong voice and a large & loyal following.
How would you describe the relationship between A/V and IT?
IT is the transport (the freeway) and AV is the room experience (the on/off ramp to the destination)
What do you see as the future of A/V?
I see the future being more about a platform and less about a box. Platforms (eco-system) are embraced for their ease of use, ability to upgrade with added features and functions and adaptability.
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