Grand Designs Live

(19 May 2017)

On Saturday 6th May, I was happily participating in the "Ask the Expert" section of the Grand Designs Live show at Excel, London. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to take part a couple of times and always look forward to it!

The idea behind the section is that visitors to the show can book 25 minute meetings with various experts in the fields of Architecture, Landscape Design, Interior Design, Heating and Ventilation, Project Management and so on. Some of these slots are bookable prior to the show and some are held open for visitors on the day itself. At the meeting, visitors can then pick these expert brains about their own home or plans, ask questions and gain advice with no obligation.

My winning smile on the "Ask the Expert" site must have done the trick - all my bookable slots for the day were taken so I knew I was in for a whirlwind. The visitors to my rather fetching blue desk were enquiring about topics as diverse as lighting for a garage conversion cinema to whole home control whole home control of a full Passive house design. Although it's surprising how much can be covered in 25 minutes, I could spend hours discussing each visitor's exciting plans and AV requirements.

And it's not just my visitors that get some education; as the owner of an AV company, I gained some valuable insight into the principal elements clients are looking to incorporate in their homes right now. Whole home, intelligent lighting was brought up independently by each one of my visitors and almost all wanted to discuss multi-room audio solutions, such as Linn Linn and Sonos (other distribution systems are available). For me, this is great news. I have always felt that intelligent lighting should be the top priority for anyone looking to add some technology to their home - the difference it can make to your spaces is truly wonderful.

I would thoroughly recommend these short, bespoke consultations for anyone with questions about how best to incorporate AV into their homes, regardless of scale. Compare this one-to-one approach with any large presentation from an AV professional: if I were to undertake such a presentation, I would have focused on AV developments in the residential space, discussed the upcoming focus on voice control throughout the home and maybe spent some time discussing cinema design to flourish some fabulous photos of our work. Although interesting, none of that information would have provided real benefit to my Grand Designs visitors and their aspirations.

Helping people to create incredible experiences in their homes through exceptional AV systems is what we live for as a company and being able to advise so many enthusiastic people is the reason I sign up for "Ask an Expert" every year. I was therefore delighted, as you may imagine, to receive the following from a lovely Irish couple I had the pleasure of meeting:

"This Grand Designs expo visit was a really insightful one for us. [My wife] and I agreed that the time spent discussing our plans with you was worth its weight in gold. I'm not just saying this, but your session was the highlight of the day for us."

Music to my ears! I'm already looking forward to being involved again next year and hope to see some of you readers there too.

To see what Grand Designs Live is all about, get more information here:

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