Ride to the UK with Exertis Almo

Let’s Join Together for Mental Health Charity in this Virtual Triathalon – “Ride to the UK”

We have partnered with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to raise significant funds and awareness of the importance of mental health in our community and beyond.

For one month from August 1st to August 31st, all Almo & Exertis Almo will be cycling 1,750 miles, which is a halfway point between our headquarters in Philadelphia and our sister company Exertis in the UK!

We will be taking time to race on the bikes, with several prizes for those participating. Join us across the country! Head out on a ride or jump on the stationary bike. Send a picture of your app/tracker to [email protected].


The grand prize will be a holiday for two to the UK! Almo and Exertis Almo employees can enter* by donating $5 to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and including their full name and location. The winner will be drawn on the final day of the bike ride! In addition to the grand prize, there will be other prizes given away throughout the month for taking part and donating!

Matt Cuellar on stationary bike
Matt Cuellar at NSM 2022 kickoff.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention logo


Help us ride to Exertis in the UK! DONATE »

All donations go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

About American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

AFSP is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, including those who have experienced a loss. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health by engaging in the following core strategies:

  • Funding scientific research
  • Educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention
  • Advocating for public policies in mental health and suicide prevention
  • Supporting survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide

For more information about the organization visit: https://afsp.org/


*Anyone can donate, but the prizes are only open to Almo and Exertis Almo employees.

Diversity & Inclusion at Exertis Almo

“You are the catalyst — the person who takes a purpose and gets people aligned, so you can get to where you want to go, fast.” ~ Carey D. Lohrenz

To help raise awareness around the DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) initiative within our organization, and to encourage the practice among our employees and leadership community, we brought in a special guest speaker for our kickoff event to highlight what is possible when women are included within a historically all male occupation.

Carey Dunai Lohrenz, CPAE – the first female F-14 Fighter Pilot and a WSJ Best Selling Author – provided an inspiring and engaging keynote speach at the Exertis Almo National Sales Meeting (NSM) in July 2022.

Carey Lohrenz Wall Street Journal
Span of Control, Carey Lohrenz

The timing couldn’t have been better with the 2nd Top Gun movie “Maverick” out in theaters. Everyone was truly inspired and motivated by Ms Lohrenz vivid tales of meeting with resistance and ultimately overcoming the odds to win in a predominately male field.

Everyone who attended the keynote at NSM week received a hardcover copy of Carey Lohrenz’s book  “Span Of Control: What To Do When You’re Under Pressure, Overwhelmed, and Ready To Get What You Really Want” to continue the conversation about women and equity in the workplace.

What is Diversity & Inclusion?

There is a lot of buzz these days about diversity and inclusion. Lets explore how Exertis Almo utilizes the terms so that our employees and leadership continue to put them into practice on a daily basis. Diversity and inclusion are clearly defined practices and attitudes which can be measured. These terms are often used interchangeably; yet their meaning and their implications are vastly different.

Matt Cuellar on stationary bike
Kim Lonas – Global Diversity & Inclusion Program Lead

Let’s break down what diversity and inclusion mean to us individually as well as collectively at Exertis Almo. Diversity and inclusion have an impact both on personal and professional levels. On a personal level, if these practices are done effectively, they allow people from all groups to feel welcomed, represented, and empowered. Effective diversity and inclusion practices also influence the performance of businesses and organizations in powerful ways.

Here we break down how these two perspectives on diversity and inclusion are different yet interrelated. Inclusion is the extent to which we feel included—that our individual identity and contributions are valued. It brings with it a sense of belonging and connectedness. When applied to a workplace, inclusion signifies that all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, empowering individuals to contribute to the business’s overall success.

The concept of diversity, though closely related to inclusion, is different and more personal. It represents the complex interplay of perceptual differences that shape each person’s unique view of the world. Diversity is what makes each individual unique in their perspective and approach to all aspects of life. The term comprises differences in origin, background, personality, life experience, beliefs, and personal characteristics to name a few. True diversity means a variety of skills, perceptions, and attributes that each individual brings to any business or organization.

The difference is diversity relates to the overall make-up of a person or an organization, while inclusion relates to how different groups are valued and empowered within it. Diversity and inclusion may not necessarily coexist. It is possible for a workplace to be diverse yet not inclusive, and vice versa.

Why are diversity and inclusion important?

Why does this matter to our organization? You may think that individual perceptions of inclusion and diversity in the workplace have no bearing on the success of a business. However, the research shows otherwise.

Many research studies on the benefits of diversity and inclusion have been published by the likes of McKinsey, Deloitte, Harvard Business Review, and others. The results are clear: corporations identified as diverse and inclusive are more likely to outperform their competitors. Research shows diverse companies are 70 percent more likely to capture new markets (HBR, “How Diversity Can Drive Innovation”), while diverse teams are 87 percent better at making decisions (Cloverpop, “White Paper: Hacking Diversity with Inclusive Decision-Making”). In addition, companies with more diverse management teams have led to an average of 19 percent higher innovation revenue (BCG, How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation).

One area in which these benefits are most telling is gender diversity. McKinsey’s research indicates that gender-diverse companies (which employ an equal number of men and women) are 15 percent more likely to notice higher returns and produce up to 41 percent higher revenue (McKinsey & Company, “Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters”). These gains have a ripple effect that goes far beyond individual companies. Their research goes on to show that our gross domestic product (GDP) could increase by twenty-six percent (26%) if the gender gap were equally diversified. This equates to a potential of $12 trillion added to the global GDP by 2025 (McKinsey & Company, “Ten Things to Know About Gender quality”).

What happens when organizations focus on diversity, but not inclusion?

Many organizations use the terms “diversity” and “inclusion” interchangeably. This inaccuracy can lead to problems in the formulation and implementation of diverse and inclusive business practices. For example, a company may focus on diversity but not inclusion by hiring more women or more members of ethnic or racial minorities. However, if the organization does not value the perspectives of members of these groups, they will not be able to retain them for the long term.

True inclusion means that all members of the organization have the opportunity to contribute and to advance, regardless of their gender, race, and/or ethnicity. This goes beyond fairness and equality in hiring practices. It provides the opportunity for all to meet their full potential, so that every employee’s contributions are valued and their voices are heard.

To be authentic, inclusion must factor into company decisions regarding:

  • Recruitment
  • Remuneration
  • Policy
  • Training and development
  • Performance appraisals
  • Advancement opportunities

When structuring teams and committees, leaders should ensure the representation of diverse skills and voices. This leads to a more comprehensive outcome.

How can organizations ensure both diversity and inclusion?

The first step is to ingrain these values in a business’s hiring practices, training, and company policy. Following through with such practices, training and policies promotes a company culture of fairness, respect, dignity, and open communication. These practices also allow everyone to establish a baseline whereby you can continue to measure diversity and inclusion in your organization. When something is measured, it is more likely to become reality.

With a better understanding of diversity and inclusion, personally and in business, organizations are one step further along in their journey. Achieving diversity and inclusion does not exist without putting them into practice. The case for focusing on diversity and inclusion has never been stronger.

Taking a Hands-On Approach to Pro AV

The human body has roughly 5 million sensory nerve receptors inside. The receptors help trigger the sensations of heat, cold, pain, and so many others that we have grown accustomed to. Being that I just turned 41 in March, it is quite easy to overlook these sensations outside of the frequent times I would yell “I CAN’T STAND THE COLD WEATHER ANYMORE!” Having just returned from a trip out to California while attending Almo Pro AV’s award-winning E4 Experience, it really dawned on me of the importance that the sense of touch has on all of us. It had been 3 long years since I last had gotten on a plane and roughly 2 ½ years since I last attended an E4 or any other industry events. It is absolutely true that you don’t know what you have ‘til it’s gone and having the Pro AV industry (and the world for that matter) shut down the past couple of years really caused me to miss being on the road and interacting with all of you. With that being said, I found myself immersed in the opportunity to be around the product that we all sell, train, manage, and communicate on the daily. 

Dating back to my days selling the first consumer Plasma TV’s and 500lb console televisions (slight exaggeration!) in retail, I have always had a belief that to be successful in sales, you had to be a customer yourself. How could I honestly and accurately sell products if I didn’t use those products myself? There is something to be said about taking a new audio receiver home, connecting it yourself, and spending hours, days, or weeks adjusting the settings to your preferred listening levels. This practice dates back to the late 1990’s for me and holds true to this very day. I am a visual, hands-on learner. I enjoy the art of “trying to break something,” meaning I like to test the product, possibly disassemble it, and try to understand how and why it functions the way it does. Looking around my office right now, I can count a minimum of 10 products that are available through Almo Pro AV. If I look around my house even further, I see internet, cable TV, security, and even solar services, which I had sold previously in my career. Again, if I don’t use the product, how can I accurately sell it? 

How many times a week do we find ourselves quoting out product specs for a particular item? Half a dozen? 10-12? I’d venture to guess quite a bit. Let’s take a portable loudspeaker as an example. All week long I can be on email, zoom, and phone calls and recite the following to a customer: “Yes, this speaker has a vertical array containing 12 2.5” drivers with copper-capped pole pieces to minimize distortion.  This model contains a 2000-watt fully-bridged amplifier and a 7-channel digital mixer. Each speaker weighs roughly 55lbs and measures 33x19x25” in size.” Ultimately, reciting those specs to a customer is probably going to be good enough to close the deal, especially if it is a speaker the customer has previously used, or maybe they need an upgrade to a more current model, etc.

However, imagine being able to attend an event like E4 Experience, where you walk up to a manufacturers booth, you see this particular loudspeaker on display, and you are ENCOURAGED to be HANDS-ON! The E4 Experience is hardly your 5th grade trip to the Museum. These manufacturers want you to touch the product, examine at your own speed, and ask questions about how to best utilize those products! There is a lot to be said for the ability to do this and immediately earns you a layer of credibility with your customers when you can speak from personal experiences. 

During this most recent E4 Experience, held in sunny Anaheim, CA, I had the opportunity to talk with Cassidy Alley, Account Manager from Almo’s National Business Team. Cassidy is newer to the Almo Family, having just started in the fall of 2021, and this was her first ever E4 Experience. In our show floor discussion, she said, “Being able to attend the E4 tour is a great experience as it provided the opportunity to learn about products through a live demonstration, build relationships with the vendors, and interact with end-users. This opportunity has helped with driving business as relationships and knowledge grew. The E4 tour is an invaluable way for dealers and end users to connect with key players in the industry. Going to an E4 presents an amazing opportunity to really dive deep and have a personalized interaction with the newest in AV technology.” The two things she said that really struck a chord with me were learning about products through live demonstration and also how attending an E4 presented an opportunity to dive deeper. Cassidy, like the rest of us, can only go so far reciting specs from online data sheets. She took the opportunity and ran with it like so many others and I find that extremely commendable. 

For those of you who are familiar with past blogs and articles I have written, you will know that I am a big proponent of seeking out ways to educate ourselves in order to move further in the comfort model. The E4 Experience is an excellent example of this, and it is a way for us to get our hands on the latest and greatest in technology that the Pro AV industry has to offer. As the country continues to open back up to pre-2020 normalcy, it is imperative that we all seek out these opportunities to not only get in front of the manufacturers we all know and love, but also get in front of the products we have been talking about for years and really gain a physical understanding of how the products work, how they tie together to complete a project, and even pick up some tips and tricks on how we can better sell them to our customers through live demos.

I hope to see you all in Chicago on May 3rd at the next E4 Experience, and don’t be afraid to walk up to a booth and get hands-on with everything that Pro AV has to offer in 2022!

Joe Cornwall’s USB-C “Must See” TV….at E4v

If you’re like many of us in the industry, you have a lot of questions about USB-C and how it fits into AV applications. Fortunately, Legrand AV’s “Technology Evangelist” Joe Cornwall is here to help. Joe presented a very thorough presentation on how USB-C fits into modern AV installations during Almo’s recent E4v.

During Almo’s recent E4v, Joe gave a detailed presentation on how USB-C fits into modern AV installations.

If you missed it, not to worry – you still have a chance! Courtesy of Almo, these trainings are available for another month at the E4v Flex Experience.

Below are three key takeaways from Joe’s session that you’ll definitely want to see:

#1 Cable Lengths and Connectors Matter

The great news about USB-C is that there is finally a single connector, and you don’t have to worry about whether or not it’s upside down anymore. Anyone who has touched a USB cable in the past has certainly dealt with the roller coaster of emotions that come with trying to figure out which way to plug in the cable. USB-C will solve that problem. Unfortunately, because of how much data these new cables are able to handle, they’re limited to very short cable lengths. The longest one you’ll find is six feet! Tune in to Joe’s presentation to learn why you should be excited about these cables, even with such a short length limitation.

#2 New Terms: EMCA Cables and Billboard Devices

Unlike most standard cables, the USB-C connector actually has small chipsets built right into the connector. This means that the cables work in a different manner than previous USB versions. Here are a few terms and features to be aware of: “EMCA Connectors” and “Billboard Devices.” Failing to account for these when needed could create headaches for you and your customers. Joe will teach you what to look for and how to navigate these new waters.

#3 We’re Going to Need a Bigger Docking Station

If you’re planning on deploying USB-C, you should plan on learning the role of docking stations, as these little devices display the true power of USB-C. USB-C allows for the transmission of power, video, audio, data and control bi-directionality. You’ll need a docking station to fully take advantage of all of these features and get the most out of your USB-C products in your system.

Joe’s presentation is worth a 1 AVIXA CTS Renewal Unit. He does a deep dive on these topics (and many more), in a way that only Legrand AV’s Joe Cornwall with can. This is one session you won’t want to miss!

One Meeting Planner’s Challenge Post COVID – the Answer is Short

At a recent gathering of professional meeting planners, they tapped into my AV industry experience to discuss how to keep people socially distanced but not have to rent a ton more meeting space while providing a great AV experience. I told them the answer was short… short throw!

I recently had the privilege to be involved in a meeting planner’s conference with a mix of agencies and in-house corporate planners to discuss the business of getting back to in-person meetings. Part of my role at Almo is to help plan and produce our own E4 Experience traveling show among dozens of other smaller tradeshows, events and summits with the help of an amazing events team. As the turmoil of COVID continues to linger, we all compared notes about “how are we going to do it… and SAFELY?”.

One major expense for any event is the rental of the meeting space – it’s usually wrapped into a package with catering and sleeping rooms but when you have a local event like an E4 Experience, the meeting space rental can be pricey. My fellow meeting planners there do not have the advantage of their own “house AV” comprised of many CTS Certified business development managers such as Brian Rhatigan to help spec and design the most effective solution.

The usual gold standard for a meeting is rear projection for that “wow” factor of the big stage with multiple screens without seeing that ugly stand and hoping someone does not walk in front of it, trip on a cable(s)… you get the picture. However, we all know that takes up a lot of space. Now that we have to socially distance six feet apart and still want that wow factor and NOT break the bank on meeting space, we’re lucky to have in our arsenal the short throw projector which, if used properly can still provide the “wow”.

Epson’s PowerLite Pro L series offers a full line of high-bright laser projectors ranging from 6,000 lumens up to 30,000 lumens, all with optional interchangeable lenses including those for short throw applications.  When it comes to rear-projection, a typical projector will require about 25 feet of clearance behind the screen.  This can be reduced significantly by using one of Epson’s short throw lenses shrinking the required distance down to under 10 feet.  For a 75-foot-wide ballroom this gives you an additional 1875 square of usable space while maintaining the clean and clutter-free look of rear-projection.

My meeting planner colleagues were also discussing various ways to produce more revenue for sponsorships or reduce the cost of printing large signs and paying for rigging for, in many cases, union labor (not to mention the environmental impact of all that vinyl in landfills). I introduced them to the Epson LightScene laser projector to empower them with the creative freedom and flexibility to tell the client’s story, in the way they envision it. Forget the old gobo lights!!! Engage your audience by designing a visually compelling and immersive experience.

It was SO great being IN-PERSON with these folks! The ideas flowing, exchanging terrific keynote speakers, wonderful venues – there’s nothing like being in person. As part of the AV industry, I was thrilled to share some new tech with them to help us all get back together.

What Are the Applications for 3D Holographic Display Tech?

This is part three of a three-part blog series on ARHT Media’s new Holographic TelePresence technology, distributed in the U.S. exclusively through Almo Professional A/V. Find part one here and part two here.

You’re in conference calls with partners and coworkers multiple times a day, day after day, week after week. Naturally, you can imagine 2D video meetings have gotten a little old and unimaginative.

ARHT Media and Almo Professional A/V have joined forces. The new partnership brings Holographic TelePresence technology and a new platform for it called the Virtual Global Stage. In case you have not heard, this exciting solution is coming soon to a virtual stage design near you.

While COVID-19 was completely unexpected, we now know a lot more about how work, UCC (unified communications and collaboration) and meeting culture will change. Acting upon this new knowledge now is totally in your power.

ARHT Media’s Holographic TelePresence technology, distributed exclusively in the U.S. through Almo Professional A/V, could pay off big and change how your customers see virtual and hybrid meetings.

Image Source: Imperial College

What Is Holographic TelePresence and Who Is It For?

Previously, we talked about why now is the perfect time for holographic telepresence technology. Then, we dug a little deeper to understand how the technology works.  (distinguishing ARHT’s HumaGram technology from actual “holograms”). Below, you will learn about the applications for holographic technology.

What is hologram technology used for? Here are a few applications for which Holographic TelePresence is a perfect fit:

Higher education. Yes, we can do our virtual teaching through video conferencing platforms. But with more than a few people on each session, the personal feel you’re yearning for pretty much vanishes. Classrooms are an ideal place for interactive holographic displays. Why? Because holograms prove particularly useful where a connection is valued.

In the classroom, there’s great importance in seeing facial expressions, storytelling through body language, reading the room before moving onto the next lesson. As great as it is to have Zoom and Teams for digital learning, truly connecting on a 2D platform is tough. Add holography, and picture the wildly enriched lectures and engaging experiences.

Corporate and UCC spaces. The second application to consider as a use case for Holographic TelePresence is corporate. Holographic TelePresence takes the idea of a virtual meeting and infuses it with new energy and possibilities.

While, for now, we see holographic display images used by the C-Suite, widespread use is very possible. In corporate environments, remote or otherwise, ARHT’s technology breaks down the limitations of 2D. Hologram tech in a virtual environment creates an interactive experience that benefits viewers and hologram presenters alike.

Live events, meetings and conferences. Live event programming, while fun and valuable, costs a fortune. Highly desired speakers only have so much time and availability. Consider the possibilities if, suddenly, neither travel nor a large venue were needed. That alone is enough to make an event planner smile.

How great would it be to virtually stage a room and have world-class speakers (think religious leaders, CEOs, politicians, celebrities) at virtual events if the in-person feel was maintained? Booking speakers virtually (who can “beam in” from their remote setup instead of getting on a plane) saves time and finances — plus, it greatly lessens the environmental impact. Through Holographic TelePresence, it’s as though hologram presenters are on stage next to each other.

A Visual Edge and an Emotional Draw: Now Is The Time for 3D Holographic Display Tech

Especially lately, high-status speakers like celebrities are in high demand. But does a 2D video appearance create the connection that an in-person one would? No.

3D hologram meetings and hologram teleconferences deliver a more lifelike presentation and create a bigger emotional draw. In an interview with Inavate Magazine, ARHT Media CEO Larry O’Reilly highlighted an example from December 2018 with “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa.

“He was rehearsing for Saturday Night Live [in New York City],” said O’Reilly. “On Thursday night, he just went to a different studio at 30 Rock, and we beamed him into Mexico City for fan engagement and media events at the IMAX theatre there. The next night, we beamed him into Comic-Con Brazil, where he addressed over 3,000 people live.”

Through its Virtual Global Stage, ARHT leverages the proprietary transmission software that powers its HoloPresence (or “holographic presence”) platform to “beam” multiple presenters into a virtual, online environment. Human holograms then appear in lifesize proportions and can interact with audience members (and the other panelists) virtually.

Hologram solutions are beyond what your customer even knows.

Are Hologram Events a Trend or Long-Term Solution?

Big names are already using Telegraphic HoloPresence — like actor Jon Hamm, Santa Claus, the inventor of basketball and even the Crown Prince of Dubai. (By the way, all those names are impressive, but we know we had you at Jon Hamm.)

Some may claim that hologram media is a trend — or they’ll say it’s just emerging — but we know otherwise. The benefits of an enhanced teaching presence, a cutting-edge guest appearance or a town hall that doesn’t put you to sleep are massive. We’ve heard people say that futuristic solutions like human hologram technology are just a solution just looking for a problem. COVID-19 has changed this reality.

For more information, visit www.almoproav.com/holographic-telepresence, and get in touch with your Almo regional service development manager today.

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