Key Takeaways from NSCA BLC 2016: Communicate, Educate, and Dream

Tim Albright, founder of AVNation, reflects on his experience and the valuable business lessons he learned while attending NSCA’s 2016 Business & Leadership Conference.

Tim Albright

The 2016 version of NSCA’s Business & Leadership Conference was inspiring and provided a great opportunity to network. From Mike Hester and his wife’s donation of $25,000 to a veterans scholarship during the opening session to the Beer and Bull session discussing what our company’s strengths were, it was a great three days spent.

On Thursday night, the NSCA education committee laid out the plans for their Ignite initiative. It’s an ambitious plan that gives integrators the tools they need to inform STEM educators about the job opportunities in the AV industry.

Friday morning began with Dr. Lee McPheters. An entertaining economist, he laid out forecasts for the slow economic growth the U.S. market will see for the next few years. According to McPheters, we will see 2.3 percent growth in GDP. He said this is below the overall average of 3 percent of what we have considered normal, and made the statement, “Maybe it’s time to learn to live with a new normal.”

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We had the multigenerational breakout session on Thursday as well as a Millennial speaker, Seth Mattison. Learning to communicate with the generation behind us Xers is key for success in business. It was also eye-opening to learn that the generation behind them, Generation Z, will begin graduating college and entering the workforce in the next couple of years.

During Saturday’s sessions, Jim Morris and Dr. Kevin Freiberg spoke about dream building and building companies that last respectively. We ended the day with the annual Beer and Bull session where attendees were able to interact on recurring revenue, strengths and weaknesses in their businesses, and the service economy.

The NSCA BLC is one of the few events I attend where I am not reporting on the latest technology or product. I come here to learn how to run my business, AVNation, better. We have a small team, but so do a number of these attendees. It’s great to learn from each other on how to do things better. Nearly every person I met was willing to share the mistakes they had made to get them where they are today. Learning from others in the industry is more than worth the price of admission.