Mersive’s Erica Carroll attends the AV Magazine Awards as a nominee for ‘AV Pro of the Year’, visiting several impressive Mersive Solstice installations and customers along the way.

I’ve never been to the UK. Having spent five days there last week with my husband and Mersive EVP of Sales, Joel Carroll, I can say it is now one of my favorite places on Earth. The trip allowed me to experience a new culture, visit with Mersive clients and partners, and see several impressive Mersive Solstice installations, not to mention eat some really great food. 

I was here for one extraordinary reason, however: Each year, AV Magazine hosts their AV Awards honoring businesses, people, technology, and projects across the Pro AV industry. Finalists are chosen by an independent panel of judges comprising senior representatives from end-user organizations, consultants, and other industry players. I was nominated for “AV Professional of the Year” alongside truly inspirational men and women in the industry. The nomination is an honor in and of itself and one that I’m humbled by and grateful for. The experience has been an adventure, with many insightful stops along the road to the awards. 

P&G—Nappies & Solstice for All

On the first day of the journey, Paddington was our home base and jumping-off point to explore London. Walking around London was magical; we visited Buckingham Palace, plenty of pubs, and learned to navigate the city by way of the Tube. After that, we spent time in Chinatown, SoHo, and capped off the day with an amazing theatrical performance of Moulin Rouge!

The next day, I left Paddington for Manchester to visit P&G with Phil Stanley, Mersive’s UK Regional Sales Manager. P&G produces a staggering 7.1m Pampers diapers (also known as nappies in the UK) every day! After sitting through an extensive security briefing, we met with P&G’s Digital Content and IT team in a collaborative and divisible training room enabled by two Mersive Solstice Pods—to talk about P&G’s small fleet. I love seeing Mersive Solstice technology ‘in the wild’; it helps to crystallize everything that the collaboration platform is capable of and get feedback from clients on the features they use most.

UK Higher Ed Embraces Mersive Solstice

We continued our Pod-spotting tour at Manchester University, which is the largest installation of Mersive Solstice in the UK! Man U’s newest addition—the Manchester Engineering Campus Development building—has nearly 500 Solstice Pods alone, with more across campus—all managed via Solstice Cloud. Solstice is this university’s exclusive wireless sharing solution, and the scope of the project is truly impressive. 

Continuing on the educational beat, we did a quick visit with Staffordshire University the following day to see their new Catalyst building, where it seemed like almost every display was supercharged with Mersive Solstice. Staffordshire also had several spaces empowered by Mersive Active Learning, which is our software-based video routing for multiscreen environments that gives professors the ability to drag and drop video feeds among multiple displays. 

Erica Carroll and Merisve UK Regional Sales Manager Phil Stanley at Staffordshire University’s Catalyst building, which is enabled by Mersive Solstice Pods and Mersive Active Learning.

An Active Learning Space at Staffordshire University’s Catalyst building.

Our last stop was Derby University, which has more than 150 pods across campus. We were able to meet with Derby’s AV/IT team in one of their Active Learning spaces to discuss how they use Pods on their campus and gather feedback. In fact, this was a big part of the trip for me. As Director of Product Marketing, it’s crucial for me to hear the voice of the user and help translate that for the product team back at headquarters.  

Derby University Campus, powered by Mersive Solstice Collaboration Platform and Mersive Active Learning.

Before the Awards Ceremony, we also had the opportunity to stop by Midwich—our distributor in the UK —where we celebrated our 10-year partnership with the group and had a chance to talk to the sales team about Mersive Solstice over cupcakes. Midwich was also nominated for an AV Magazine Award for Distributor of the Year.

Mersive visits UK distributor Midwich to celebrate 10 years of working together. 

And now, the Drumroll please…

And the Winners Are

It was time for the big night! I made it back to London (Victoria) and Joel and I prepared for the award ceremony. It was truly a stunning event and the opportunity to mix and mingle with the Pro AV industry overseas was a delight. Congratulations to Michael Lammas of Train AV, who took home the title of AV Pro of the Year, as well as the other nominees—Adam Wilson, PCL Live; Steve Hudson, Project Audio Visual; David Ren, Seada Technology; and Laila Hede Jensen, ZetaDisplay.

While I didn’t take home the trophy, the entire UK tour broadened my perspective on how the work we do in the Pro AV industry has both an immediate and lasting impact. I’m more motivated now than ever to help foster opportunities for others like me; to help contribute to amazing projects like the ones we saw this week; and to continue to work with cutting-edge tools like Mersive’s that bring us all closer together.