In May of 2022, Iowa State University (ISU)’s Procurement Services Department presented Conference Technologies, Inc. (CTI), with its 2022 Supplier of the Year Award.

According to ISU, “The Supplier of the Year Award recognizes those suppliers that provide extraordinary customer service, engage in collaborative effort, demonstrate a willingness to assist when new issues arise and offer solutions that positively impact Iowa State University.”

The Project

CTI’s path to receiving this prestigious award began in the spring of 2020 when CTI’s Vice President of Systems Integration Timothy Wright met with representatives from ISU about a necessary update to the university’s sports broadcast technology system. 

The integration company put together a proposal and submitted a bid, after which CTI and ISU met again via video conference. The university, which was unsure amid the uncertainty of the pandemic if football games would proceed that fall, had dramatically scaled back its budget. CTI whittled down its proposal by half to meet ISU’s budget, and ultimately, the university accepted the bid.

Phase 1 involved building a secondary control room for the university. Under a rapidly approaching deadline, CTI expertly and efficiently completed the first phase of the project in time for the kickoff of the university’s fall sports program. 

Phase 2 began in the spring of 2021, once again under a strict and markedly short timeline. This phase consisted of creating another secondary control room, which would ultimately replace the university’s primary control room. 

Before beginning Phase 2, CTI waited as long as possible for the university’s Facilities Management team to complete necessary tasks like tearing out and rebuilding walls and installing HVAC components. However, with the deadline looming, CTI brought in staff from its Atlanta and Des Moines Audio Visual teams to take over. Disregarding the lack of air conditioning and the space being unfinished, CTI staff worked extra hours to install the necessary technology just in time to broadcast the first Iowa State University volleyball game of the season.

Despite the difficulties presented by the unfinished space, including the inability to hide conduits due to walls remaining unbuilt, CTI completed Phase 2 by the deadline. 

Wright said, “It really taxed our installers a lot, taxed our engineering a bit to make those provisions, but everything went extremely well, all things considered. We had some challenges along the way, but we worked diligently with the manufacturers. Got it all worked out; put in a lot of extra time on site. The whole crew, Des Moines and Atlanta both, was up there extra hours, getting things done, working in conditions that we don’t normally work in. It was middle of summer, no air conditioning, with all that equipment running, portable air conditioners trying to keep the equipment cool.”

The Herculean efforts of the CTI team clearly did not go unnoticed by the university.

The Award

Tyler Rutherford, ISU’s Assistant Athletic Director-Digital Media, nominated CTI for the Iowa State University Procurement Services Department’s Supplier of the Year Award for 2022. According to Wright, Rutherford explained to him, “You guys went above and beyond, and [we] really enjoyed working with you. And this was a very difficult project, and your team just really hit it out of the park.”

In April of this year, the notification came that CTI had been chosen to receive the 2022 Supplier of the Year Award. Making the achievement even more impressive, CTI was chosen from a pool of 11,000 vendors that had worked with the university. 

Wright, along with CTI’s Director of Engineering Tim Kersting, accepted the Supplier of the Year Award in May on behalf of the company. 

When asked about the experience of working with ISU on this project, Kersting said, “Their team’s amazing… They’re experts in their field, and they understood the challenges we were facing and were very willing to work through challenges with us at the time and overcome them together.”

A congratulatory video announcing the award’s presentation said of CTI, “They made staff available when needed, brought in additional staff to troubleshoot and problem solve, and ultimately did what was needed to assure that Iowa State University had the required equipment up and running and was able to meet the requirements of the second agreement. Congratulations, Conference Technologies, Inc., on being the 2022 Supplier of the Year. Thank you for positively impacting Iowa State University.”

For more information, head over to our website at www.conferencetech.com.