Josh Bittner, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, with a quote: 'By collaborating with architects and designers early, we ensure AV systems are integrated into the design.' The background is a blue to purple gradient, with a white logo in the bottom left corner.

A Q&A With Josh Bittner, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at McCann Systems

When embarking on a buildout for a new office space, it’s important to think about all the features that space should encompass. Where will conference rooms be located? What size are the common areas? What type of lighting is desired? And just as crucially, what are all the connectivity and AV needs? As you might expect, bringing in the right experts at the earlier stages of the project is critical to get the desired results.

As a company focused on AV design consulting and integration for the commercial, education, and government sectors, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of involving the AV integrator as early as possible in a project. To delve deeper into this topic, we recently interviewd Josh Bittner, our Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, to share his insights and experiences.

SEE ALSO: Reinventing Conference Room Design for the Hybrid Work Era

Josh, could you clarify the differences between AV consultants and AV integrators?

Josh Bittner: Sure, the main distinction is that AV integrators, like McCann Systems, don’t just advise on adding AV to spaces–we actually implement and manage the technology and systems. We handle everything from design to the day-two services, giving us a deep understanding of how products perform over time. This practical experience informs our work, ensuring that our AV solutions are technically sound, useful, and efficient in real-world conditions.

Why should integrators be involved early in the design process of a building?

Josh Bittner: It’s all about inegration and foresight. When we’re involved from the start in the schedmatic design phase, we can ensure that the AV system complements every aspect of the building’s design. This avoids common problems that arise when AV is considered too late, like having to adjust ceiling heights or alter room layouts to accomodate AV equipment, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Can you elaborate on some Key AV design considerations that should be addressed early on?

Absolutely. Take ceiling height, for instance–it’s critical for determining how content is viewed on displays. If the ceiling is too low, it can limit the size of the display, affecting viewing angles and audience engagement. Room dimensions also play a big role, especially for acoustics. We need to ensure that sound travels well without creating echoes or noise. And, integrating things like sound masking and ensuring that AV equipment fits well with other building systems like lighting and HVAC are considerations that need early attention. That’s why we need to be in the discussion along with the MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) professionals. If we can’t get AV conduits for networking and AV cabling in a ceiling because there’s no physical room, that’s a problem.

What are the consequences of not integrating AV design early in the project?

The impacts can be significant. For example, if AV isn’t considered until after the architectural elements are set, you might end up with insufficient infrastructure to support the desired AV systems. Imagine wanting a large video display wall but the support wall wasn’t constructed to handle the weight of the video panel installation. This lack of planning can lead to higher costs from retrofitting and extended project timelines. Failing to integrate AV early on can also compromise the overall functionality and aesthetic of a space, leading to an experience that likely won’t fulfill the original vision of the client and the designers.

How does McCann Systems collaborate with architects and designers to ensure optimal AV integration in a project?

We take pride in our collaborative approach. By closely collaborating with architects and designers from the project’s beginning, we strive to ensure that AV systems are effectively integrated into the overall design. We’re really good at coordinating with other design trades to enhance the entire room experience, starting with lighting. It’s unrealistic to achieve a great video experience with standard lighting alone, isn’t it? Neglecting acoustics by haphazardly placing parallel glass walls, a stone table, and a hardwood floor and expecting a top-notch technology experience is equally impractical, right? From the design perspective, we act as the technological glue, ensuring the AV experience isn’t an afterthought.

If you’re planning a construction project in New Jersey or beyond, don’t wait until it’s too late to consider your AV needs. Contact McCann Systems today to ensure your audiovisual environment is seamlessly integrated and tailored to your goals and vision for the spaces. To learn more, connect with us using the chat button below or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!