Dedicated to supporting local nonprofits, the McKnight Foundation hosts approximately 175 guest meetings each year in addition to its own meetings and events in its Minneapolis, Minnesota, offices. Starting out by offering one large and two smaller meeting rooms equipped with projection and sound systems to organizations they were helping to fund, the McKnight Foundation soon added four more rooms to its space-sharing program.
“We host board meetings, staff training, strategic planning meetings, even dinners and receptions, for which we provide the space plus planning and technology services,” said Lorri Todd, meeting and event planner for the McKnight Foundation.
By the beginning of 2010, however, it became clear that the organization’s boardroom — a large, expandable space that at its maximum capacity can hold up to 200 people — was in need of an upgrade, with Todd citing the room’s inflexible audio system with its one volume setting as the main source of frustration. With no way to adjust individual sources, the system would often receive feedback during audio conferences.
Todd set about gathering proposals from three Minnesota A/V integrators, settling with RAV Technologies of Plymouth, Minnesota, after finding the firm’s future-looking approach impressive.
“The foundation was starting to run into situations where presenters brought in laptops with digital outputs, and they were unable to connect to the system,” said Don Owens, sales manager at RAV Technologies. “It was obvious that we needed to give them an all-digital infrastructure. We based our design on Crestron’s DigitalMedia system.”
Together, with Crestron Authorized Independent Programmer Jeff Gallus of JG Technologies, Owen and his team created a system with both analog and digital laptop inputs, a Blu-ray