(A sample Zoom Room | Graphic Courtesy of Audio Visual Bend)
Given the current state of the world, it’s no surprise that Audio Visual Bend has had a booming year of business, a situation that CEO Tony Sprando calls bittersweet.
“Audio Visual Bend is doing amazingly well! We have some of the best people working for us, and we were able to pivot our products and services this year to best fit the needs of our community,” says Sprando. Early in 2020, he says there was a hold on all the projects they had scheduled, but as the need for remote meetings exploded, his team shifted gears to accommodate the overwhelming demand. “There are customers we would never have helped if not for the shut-downs, so it feels bittersweet when I say we did well financially, but we did get a bit blindsided by the whole thing.”
Audio Visual Bend offers a range of services, including commercial and church systems, and equipment for classrooms, meetings and nonprofits. “With more than 60 years of combined experience in the audio-video industry, we have the knowledge to give clients exactly what they need with speed and efficiency,” says Sprando. “We specialize in customizing audio-video equipment to meet individual needs and constraints without sacrifice to quality. Investment in integrated multimedia capabilities changes the way you work, providing complete control over communication with your clients.”
Sprando and his wife formed AV Bend after moving to the region in 2000. “My wife and I moved to Bend with the desire to start a business here and raise our three sons in a good environment,” says Sprando. “This has proven to be just that place.” Sprando and his wife, Christine, who is owner and CFO of AV Bend, both have experience in retail management and commercial audio visual, so he says he reached out to some people in this area and learned that there was no one servicing commercial audio-visual needs here. There was only home theater servicing, which AV Bend does not provide. “Over the past 20 years, we have touched just about every municipality: schools, churches, hotels and hundreds of businesses throughout Central Oregon,” he says. “Our primary offering is designing and installing audio-visual equipment for commercial spaces; secondary is installing acoustical panels into spaces to quiet them down; and lastly, we rent out projectors, TVs, screens, cameras and sound systems for local events.” The most common rental this year, he says, is live-streaming packages for weddings.
Over the past year, AV Bend has had to flex with the times, and Sprando says his team is now equipped to handle any shape or size of remote collaboration solutions, including but not limited to Zoom Rooms, Skype Business Solutions, Microsoft Team Certified Meeting Spaces and Google Workspace Rooms. They have also added some new products to their inventory, such as touchless or single-touch control systems and germ-resistant big screens. “Believe it or not, this is a thing,” says Sprando. “Schools, businesses and retail stores are going this direction now.”
A recent AV Bend client was Mount Bachelor Sports Education Foundation (MBSEF). “Cliff was incredibly easy to work with. We are a nonprofit, and built a brand new building,” says Kristie A. Wild, controller for MBSEF, who worked closely with Cliff Kunkel, project manager of AV Bend. “I’m not techy. They made everything simple to understand, didn’t oversell our needs and provided exactly what we needed in a timely manner. The training they offered was simple to follow, and I have no doubts they will assist with any questions in the future. I highly recommend Audio Visual Bend.” Sprando says that MBSEF was so pleased with AV Bend’s services that they recommended the business directly to Jeff Robberson, owner of Robberson Ford, who just signed a deal to install two Zoom Rooms. “Kristie is our biggest cheerleader,” says Sprando.
Other AV Bend clients include:
- Living Hope Church, Madras
- Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanities
- Grace Lutheran Church, Bend
- Sage School of Massage, Bend
- Episcopal Church, Prineville
- SOLV, Bend
- Redmond Community Presbyterian Church
- Hayden Homes’ main office
- Central Oregon Association of REALTORS
- Jefferson County Commissioners
- City of Madras
- City of Sisters
In conducting business, Audio Visual Bend follows the ten best practices standards of excellence developed in collaboration with industry experts. Those include: complete solutions, informed advice, best value, ongoing technical support, systems compatibility, scalability, clear scope of work, appropriate documentation, expert technical staff and staff training support.
Part of AV Bend’s success in 2020, Sprando says, is his company’s quick pivot to accommodate the shifting needs of clients. “Our customers and clients are doing just fine. We are navigating this season with them, though some have gone silent. I trust they feel we will be there in a pinch or help them determine a best plan as we move out of this season and into another,” he says. “We are not going anywhere, and plan to weather any storm that comes our way, as we hope they will too.”
This philosophy has apparently served Audio Visual Bend well: The company has received the highest number of Google five-star reviews this year to date. “We are the local pros in remote conferencing, training and collaboration,” he says. “We are grateful!”