ERT Awards Supporting Information
Training Provider Award
AWE moved all its Smart Home Academy training online at the beginning of April and since then, delivered over 400 hours of small group training since.
Training available included live sessions with AWE’s team of specialists, alongside live webinars, pre-recorded tutorials, and on-demand training via partner brand portals.
AWE wanted the training to be as accessible, interactive and engaging as possible, so the size of the group for live training was dictated by the nature of the course being provided.
Stuart Tickle, Managing Director of AWE, comments: “The increased demand encouraged us to expand our distance learning offering, but like everything else we do, we want it to be the very b
est possible experience for our customers. Webinar-based presentations for large numbers of people are perfect for providing general information to lots of people at once, but we didn’t want to run these at the expense of the highest-quality interactive training where it is best for the delegate. This is why, as well as running webinars and providing a wealth of brand-based learning-on-demand options, we rolled out a series of small group training sessions that more closely replicate the interactive training experience we are renowned for. It is possible that we won’t be able to fulfil all the demand all the time, but we want to maintain quality where it is beneficial to those utilising their time to learn through us.”
– Home Cinema Audio Technologies
The Home Cinema Audio Technologies course aims to give students the tools they need to design an amazing home cinema. During the 2-hour session, attendees gain a better understanding of Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and other immersive audio technologies, the correct cinema speaker placement, and how to specify the correct AV receiver.
Students leave the online session with an understanding of the design processes and equipment choices that are required to create a truly immersive experience, whether it’s in a living room conversion or a fully dedicated cinema room.
Jonathan Apaloo from Inspire Audio Visual Ltd commented: “I attended the Home Cinema Audio Technologies course and I’d say that it is an essential introduction for anyone involved in specifying and/or installing multi-channel audio systems. As one would hope, the course is very much centred around Dolby Atmos and the various configurations that can be specified, dependant on room layout or budget. The course provides fundamental best practice in terms of locating speakers and their relationship to one and another so that the customer receives the best performance from their system. Due to Dolby’s involvement with the film studio’s, I would really take their information as ‘industry best practice’. James is extremely knowledgeable within this area and his style is very interactive with the delegates. The course does not focus on a brand, so the principles can be applied to any speaker product.”
– Home Cinema Projection Technologies
The Home Cinema Projection Technologies training course takes a deep dive into projector products and technologies available to integrators, educating them on how to create fully immersive and entertaining movie, sport, and gaming experiences for their clients. The course can be refined to suit the audience, so whether students are retailers, integrators, or electricians, this session is suited to each attendee.
The course begins by looking at different projector technologies — 4K projection, lamp vs laser, anamorphic vs Zoom, HDR, projector lenses, and why chipset matters. It then takes a look at the Sony and Epson projector ranges, focussing on the USPs, benefits, and technologies used. Students leave the session feeling confident about specifying the projectors for every job and a greater understanding of projector positioning, screen sizes, projector brightness, and more.
“We found that the small group training sessions that we attended – Home Cinema Audio Technologies and Home Cinema Projection Technologies – with James Drummie were really useful,” says Joe Clare, 4 Kings Security. “At a time where we are being inundated with product-centric PowerPoint webinars, this format was great. It was really useful for James to be able to go in-depth into both the theory and practical elements, with the ability to answer all our questions and focus on specific points as we went through the material. As a result, the training was more collaborative and engaging and we came away from the sessions with increased knowledge and tools.”
– Whole House Integration, with URC
There is also a Whole House Integration from URC welcome course, where delegates learn just how much control, automation and multiroom audio you get in URC’s Total Control system in just 1-hour. It is available to larger groups and presented by AWE’s CTO Mal Fisher, or Product Specialist and trainer, Tilak Rana.
For more in-depth URC training, AWE also offered the option to book one-to-one (company-based) advanced sessions, specifically for those who have taken the welcome course and want to continue with in-depth learning. This provides integrators with the knowledge they need to master the intricacies of whole-house control, automation, and multiroom audio with URC’s Total Control system. Students taking this session have access to demo/test equipment at a very special rate enabling live programming and remote assistance during the session, and first-hand experience.
There is also a dedicated URC Total Control Resource Page also providing access for registered dealers to access a massive range of learning-on-demand content, direct from URC.
“Lockdown life has been challenging in many ways, but at the same time, I’ve found it to be a fantastic opportunity to get in front of more customers than ever before and offer them a range of training options on a daily basis,” said James Drummie, AWE Product Manager. “It’s hard to remember a day that hasn’t included me sitting in my kitchen, wearing headphones, and talking to a group of integrators, retailers, and aerial installers about home cinema projection and audio technologies. From the word go, we knew that we didn’t want to provide a boring presentation-style training course. We wanted to take this opportunity to engage with our customers, train them on essential topics, answer their questions, and generally, provide them with the support they need. And, we believe that this is what we have achieved.”
Jack Avery, Technical Operations Manager at Integrated Logic commented: “My online training with James was great — he clearly knows his stuff when it comes to cinemas. Considering everything that is going on in the world, to be able to login and have an informative educational experience was brilliant. Two hours was the perfect session length and it went into a good level of detail — if you’re after growing your knowledge, then I would fully recommend it. James had some simple and effective visual demonstrations that he talked us through, keeping us engaged and the session interactive. I will be keeping an eye out for any further online training courses that AWE has to offer. I appreciate their efforts in these tough times.”
“We have attended six AWE online training sessions so far – with so many courses available, why wouldn’t you take advantage of this,” said David Farrell, Armillo IT Services Ltd. “The trainers are all hands-on professionals and have experience in the field. This, combined with the interactive format through Microsoft Teams, the groups being kept to a low number, and the sessions lasting around an hour, makes the training informal, engaging, and educational. In the field of IT/AV, you cannot invest enough time in training and AWE does an excellent job in keeping its dealers up to speed. I thoroughly enjoyed the Whole House Integration with URC course. URC products are well made, packed full of great features and benefits, and offer excellent margin, so it was important to attend this course to enhance my URC knowledge further.”