Recently, my wife, Alicia, introduced me to How I Built This, a podcast that “How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.” Several of the businesses that you probably know, Steve Madden, Zappo’s, Tom’s, Eve Cosmetics, and others challenged the norm and created a new way to sell their product(s) online. Accordingly, I really enjoyed their stories and thought that some of their strategies would work for Sound-Craft. I know that many people sell lecterns online. Therefore, I am fully aware that I am not exploring a new frontier here. However, I accept the challenge to make buying customized podiums online affordable, easy, fun, and reassuring.
Sound-Craft Systems is an awesome company! It has been around since 1947 creating amazing products while employing great people in small town America. Central Arkansas to be exact. For over 73 years it has facilitated end users to confidently stand in front of crowds and communicate effectively and professionally.
In 2012 and 2013, Sound-Craft lost two of its three owners to unexpected deaths. Sadly, in the company’s impressive history, it has lost a total of four owners to death. However, its dedicated teams and remaining leaders pulled through each loss. So, in 2015, I felt compelled to jump in and lead the business out of this tragic situation.
To that end, newly inspired by the podcasts, I pivoted my strategy and decided to become the best podium manufacturer that sells on the web. Specifically, I want to become the preferred place to buy podiums, lecterns, sit stand desks, ADA desks, carts, and conference tables online as well as the current, traditional way.
When I built Sound-Craft Systems’ website, https://sound-craft.com, I learned how difficult it is to buy a customized podium online. Therefore, I want to show how to order a Classroom Podium in this post. Accordingly, lets order The Presenter.
The 8 Steps to Purchase a Podium Online
Here are the eight steps that we are going to cover in this purchase a podium online post. Correspondingly, they are the eight simple tasks that you can complete to purchase your podium online.
- Select the model of podium that you desire,
- Choose the finish that you want,
- Select the removable work surface that meets your needs,
- Configure your podium,
- Add your podium to your cart,
- Configure your removable work surface,
- Add your removable work surface to your cart, and
- Proceed to Checkout and checkout.
How to purchase a podium online – First, Select your Product
To begin with, go to Classroom Podium – The Presenter’s product page here, https://sound-craft.com/product/the-presenter-multi-media-classroom-podium/. Instantly, it will open in a separate tab. I recommend that you make that tab a new window and place it side by side with this post so that you can read this post and view the product page at the same time.
Second Step, Select your finish.
Consequently, If you don’t see the wood veneer color or stain that you want, select VS Custom Stained Wood Veneer. As a result, we will contact you and start the process to select a custom stain or color. If you want Laminate, please select LS Laminate Specify. Similarly, we will contact you to get the details on the laminate that you want. Likewise, if you don’t see a Melamine color that you want, let us know. Depending on the color that you have in mind, we probably will be able to get it without an additional charge. Most existing Melamine colors are available for additional fees. On a situation like this, we don’t mark up the additional fees. We just pass them on to you at our cost.
Third Step, Select your Removable Work Surface
In the Removable Work Surface drop down menu, select one of the four available removable work surfaces.
The four Removable Work Surface options are shown in the below gallery and explained below the pictures.
RWS Standard Flat Removable Work Surface
The RWS Standard Flat Removable Work Surface comes standard with the lectern and is included in the price. As its name implies, it is flat but there are many ways to customize it to meet your needs. For example, cutouts for control panels, cable cubbies, cable port outlets, microphones, lights, and too many more to list. If you don’t want to customize it, you are ready to move on to the Rear Side. If you do want to customize the RWS, after you select your podium and add it to your cart, you will need to scroll down to the “You may also like…” section which is below the description and select a RWS Removable Work Surface for The Presenter, customize it the way you want, and add it to your cart.
CWS Combination Flat Sloped Removable Work Surface
When you select the CWS Combination Flat Sloped Removable Work Surface, it comes in the place of the RWS with an additional charge. The advantage of the CWS is that it provides a 45 degree sloped panel that is perfect for mounting control panels and/or small monitors plus connectivity panels. When you select the CWS as your work surface, after you select your podium and add it to your cart, you will need to scroll down below the podium’s description and select a CWS, customize it, and add it to your cart.
CWSP Combination Work Surface Wedge
The CWSP Combination Work Surface Wedge is ideal for displaying a control system’s touch panel. The touch panel mounts on a 45 degree angle to allow the presenter to easily view and access it. Also, the wedge allows the work surface to maximize the usable flat space for other features. Like the CWS, when you order the CWSP, after you select your podium and add it to your cart, you will need to scroll down, select a CWSP, customize it, and add it to your cart.
DCWS Deluxe Combination Work Surface
The Deluxe Combination Work Surface is what you select when you want a medium to large monitor mounted flush in the work surface on a 45 degree angle. Monitors up to 24″ fit real well. Larger monitors can be accommodated for a design fee. Large monitors require us to custom modify the lectern around the monitor. The sloped panel typically has room for a 24″ monitor and a touch panel or other option. The flat portion of the work surface has room for a gooseneck microphone on one side and possibly a flexible light on the other. The DCWS allows for many custom arrangements. After you place your lectern in your cart, remember to select, customize, and put your DCWS in your cart. The DCWS makes your lectern stand out, looks great, and provides great functionality that will empower your presentation.
Fourth Step to Purchase a Podium Online, Configure Your Lectern (Podium)
At this point in the process of purchasing a podium online, it is time to select and customize the cabinet. Now, we essentially walk around the podium and select the options that we desire and indicate where we want them. The below picture shows all of the selections that we need to make. A selection must be made in each drop down menu. This helps us understand what you want. However, we will contact you via email and telephone to confirm everything. We want to make sure that we understand exactly what you want. We strive for 100% satisfaction.
The Rear Side of the Podium
In Sound-Craft terminology, the rear of the podium is the side that faces the presenter not the audience. Therefore, it is the side that the audience does not see. Typically, there are two decisions that need to be made about the rear. The first one is “Do I want the podium to have a rear?” The other one is “Do I want a keyboard drawer with a lock“? On the Presenter, it comes standard with a rear and a keyboard drawer with a lock. Still, you must select them. The below gallery shows the four typical configurations for The Presenter. The large majority of our customers select a rear with a locking keyboard drawer. Conversely, there are several other configurations that are rarely selected. If you don’t see what you want, ask. The chances are that we can make it happen.
In the Rear Side selection box, you have four choices. Please select the one that suits your needs.
How about some Rear Doors?
All things considered, Euro-Hinged doors are a nice item to have on the rear of a podium. Nevertheless, you can order one without doors. Additionally, you can select pocket-pivot doors, doors with acrylic inserts, and/or pocket-pivot doors with acrylic inserts. Pocket Pivot doors are very similar to Euro-Hinged doors with the additional feature that they can slide into the cabinet when they are open. The acrylic insert options is like putting a window in the middle of the doors. The below gallery shows some examples.
In the Rear Door selection box, select one of the five door options. If you don’t see what you want and have something else in mind, let us know. I bet that we can do it.
As exciting as they sound casters are essential to a podium. High quality wood podiums are heavy (200 – 400 pounds). You can order one without casters, but I recommend them for installation and mobility. As a result The Presenter comes standard with four 3″ swivel casters. Optionally, you can order one with two 3″ locking, swivel, rear casters or no casters and four adjustable floor glides. When you order locking rear casters, we cut two half moon shaped access holes in the toe kick to allow your toe(s) access to the locking mechanism on the caster. When non-pocket-pivot doors are closed, the access holes for locking casters are not visible. Pocket-pivot doors expose them when the doors are open or closed.
In the Caster selection box, pick one of the three available options.
There are so many options that you can select to go on the side of a podium. I built this website using the 80-20 rule. Accordingly, I tried to make it so that you could order 20% of the lecterns that cover 80% of our volume. Consequently, the side options that are offered online are limited. If you want something that you do not see offered, just ask for what you want. There is a high probability that we can accommodate it.
One thing that you have to keep in mind when you make your side selection(s) is that your choice directly determines how many rack units of equipment you will be able to handle. For example, side options that do not penetrate the cabinet will allow you to have 16 rack units of equipment inside the unit. For example, if you select the pullout shelf or drawer, you will limit the cabinet to 12 rack units. Similarly, if you select the document camera drawer, you will reduce capacity to 10 rack units of storage. Additionally, the shelves can be positioned to be American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. If ADA compliance is desired, please be sure to make us aware of that fact so that we make certain to accommodate it.
In the Right Side selection box, select one of the seven available options. As always, if you don’t see what you want, ask. We can probably make it happen.
The front of the lectern or podium is the side that faces the audience. The Presenter comes standard with a Removable Front Access Panel (RFP). The RFP allows convenient access to the rear of the equipment that might be housed inside the lectern. Specifically, access to the back side of your equipment really helps with installation, cable management, and trouble shooting. Alternatively, the unit can have a solid front that doesn’t allow front access. Additionally, the removable panel can be replaced by a Euro-Hinged Door to allow access. Some universities prefer the door instead of the panel for faster access when troubleshooting during a class. It takes a few minutes to remove the screws that secure the removable panel. Typically, customers that choose the solid front due so because they don’t want to see the seam between the removable panel and the top of the front of the unit.
If you want a solid front and need to use equipment, considered adding a rack box to your order. Rack boxes can be removed and/or rotated to allow access to the rear of the equipment provided the installer designs in enough cable length. Another advantage of rack boxes is that you can change your podium without having to reinstall all of your equipment. You can just remove the rack box from the old unit and place it in the new one.
Video Wall Front
Another Front Option that is really neat is installing one or more flat screen monitors flush into the front. We can design it so that the entire front is a video wall. A rendering of a recent design is shown in the below gallery. It is a modified The Classic.
In the Front Side selection box, select one of the three configurations.
Amplify your brand with a Front Logo
Logos are a great way to show off your company. Without a doubt, your podium will look great with your colorful logo emblazoned across the top front. To this end, Sound-Craft offers three types of logos – Gold composite logos with black lettering, acrylic logos with colorful graphics mounted on stainless steel standoffs, and solid hardwood color etched logos. When you select a logo, we will contact you to gather all of the details – logo image file, colors, size, and exactly where you want it mounted. The gold composite logos only come in an 18″ x 6″ size. The other two logos can basically come in any size within reason.
In the Front Logo selection box, please make your selection.
Selecting what you want on the left side of the podium is exactly like selecting options on the right side. However, you can only select pullout shelves or drawers on one side or the other. If you need them on both sides, select the XXL version of the podium. The XXL is typically 60″ wide and allows enough width for selves and/or drawers on both sides. At this time, the XXL version is not offered online. If you need one, please call us. We will get one going for you.
In the Left Side selection box, make sure to select what you want. If you don’t see what you want, please contact us. Chances are that we can do it.
The inside of the podium is where all of the technology comes together. Consequently, we provide options that facilitate the integration of audio video equipment. The Presenter comes standard with two partitions that are spaced 19.25″ apart. If maximum storage or a rack box is required, the partitions can be omitted. If rack rails are needed to mount the A/V equipment, we offer rack rails on the front only and on both the front and rear of the partitions. Additionally, if shelves are needed instead of rails, we offer one or two shelves. Alternatively, you can order as many shelves as you like, just let us know. The below gallery shows our standard offerings.
Partitions come standard with air slots cut into them to enhance air flow around the equipment. Also, each partition has two rows of 0.25″ holes cut into them for shelf support to hold shelves.
All of Sound-Craft’s multimedia cabinets come standard with cable access holes cut in the bottom of the unit. These holes allow air and cables to pass through the lectern to floor boxes or other connection destinations.
In the Inside Partitions selection box, please select the configuration that meets your need(s). If you don’t see what you need, let us know. As I have written many times already, we can probably provide a solution for you.
Audio video equipment that is installed in a confined cabinet gets hot. Therefore, we offer cooling fans that are installed in the side of the cabinet. Heat rises, so we install the fan(s) at the top of the internal compartment inside the podium to pull the hot air out of the unit. Further, we cut slots into the bottom of the unit beneath the equipment to pull cooler air through the equipment on its way to the fan. Subsequently, our cabinets work much like the high side of an air conditioning system – it uses positive air flow to remove heat.
It is possible to install fans on the right side of the cabinet, the left side of the cabinet, or both sides of the cabinet. In the CF Cooling Fan(s) selection box, you just need to let us know what you want. Additionally, if you need a thermostat to control the fan, let us know. We install them regularly. Just not enough to include in the online store.
Presenters don’t want to have to bend over to operate their laptop or read their notes, nor do they want to be hidden behind the podium. Therefore, we offer height adjustable podiums. Podiums with our standard height adjustable option installed in them typically lower 3.5″ inches and raise 3.5″ inches (a range of 7.8″ in total). Alternatively, if more height adjustment is needed, the range can be extended to 11.8″ or 15+”. Consequently, the greater adjustment ranges reduce the rack units of available storage. There is an inverse relationship between the height adjustment range and the equipment storage capacity. If you don’t need to store a lot of equipment and have a large variation in the height of your presenters, we can customize a lectern to meet your needs.
In the HA Height Adjustment selection box, please let us know if you need height adjustment. Remember, we are going to contact you to nail down all of the details. During this discussion, we can decide the ideal height adjustment range for your podium.
Extension Arm LCD Monitor Side Mount
If you need a flat screen monitor mounted on an extension arm on the side of the podium, we offer a Innovative 7FLEX-CN-104I monitor mount mounted on the left side, the right side, or on both sides. Alternatively, it can be mounted anywhere on the removable work surface. If you want it mounted on the work surface, please contact us.
In the EAMNT Extension Arm LCD Side Mount selection box, select it and where you would like monitor mount(s) installed. If for some reason, you do not like the monitor arm that we provide, but want to install your own monitor arm on the podium, please let us know. Accordingly, for a custom cutout charge, we will gladly install mounting holes for your arm where you instruct us to place them.
Do you need to address multiple audiences in the same venue during the same presentation? Well, Sound-Craft has a solution for that situation. We offer lecterns that rotate. Historically, these podiums go to city council chambers, court rooms, and school board chambers.
In the city council chamber setting, the presenter at the podium often needs to address the council members that are typically situated in the front of the room. Subsequently, the presenter will need to address the gallery or audience that is typically at the rear of the room or off to one side or the other. Our rotation option allows the presenter to rotate their podium to face each audience when they are the focus of the presentation.
To rotate the lectern, the presenter uses their foot to raise a spring-loaded lever that unlocks the podium and allows it to rotate until it reaches the next stop. The rotating units can stop at any angle of a complete revolution. Similarly, it can stop at as many different angles that you need. Due to the cables that typically connect the equipment that is stored inside the podium to devices that are located outside the unit, the podium can only rotate 360 degrees in one direction or the other – one revolution. Otherwise, multiple rotations will damage the cables.
In the Rotation selection box, let us know if you desire the rotation option. If you select the rotation option, will be in touch to discuss the stops that you require.
Fifth Step to Purchase a Podium Online, Add Your Podium to Your Cart
Now that you finished configuring your unit and ready to purchase a podium online, select your quantity and add it to your cart. Subsequently, you need to configure the work surface. Before you view your car, scroll down, select and customize your work surface, and add it to your cart.
Sixth Step, Configure Your Removable Work Surface
Earlier, the Deluxe Combination Work Surface was selected on the podium configuration. Therefore, it needs to be selected, configured, and added to the cart. Before you view your cart, scroll down below the podium’s description and related products to the “You may also like…” area. There, select the “MML36_DCWS Deluxe Combination Work Surface for The Presenter”.
After you select the DWCS, the below product page will appear. It allows you five options to configure your Deluxe Combination Work Surface. As always, if you don’t see something that you want, just ask.
Work Surface Slope Portion Left, Center, and Right
The sloped portion of the Deluxe Combination Work Surface (DCWS) is for medium sized LCD monitors. It comfortably holds monitors up to 24″ in size. They are mounted so that the screen is flush with the work surface. Accordingly, monitors can be mounted anywhere in the slope. Additionally, many options can be installed on the slope. The dropdown menu includes some of the most popular selections.
Work Surface Flat Portion Left and Right
The flat section of the DCWS can have options on the far left and far right. Since the keyboard drawer is directly below the flat portion, the options cannot extend very far below the surface. Microphone mounts, lights, and Cable Port Outlets are the most popular choices for the sides of the flat portion. In this example, no options were chosen.
Seventh Step to Purchase a Podium Online, Add the Removable Work Surface to your Cart
Finally, add the customized removable work surface to your cart and view cart. If you are a dealer, enter your dealer coupon. Afterwards, the discount associated with your coupon will be applied to your subtotal, and your total will be shown. If you are not a dealer but have a valid coupon, please enter it to receive your total price.
If you need a PDF of the cart to show to a customer or present to someone for approval, select the button below the total and follow the instructions on the screen.
Lastly, Proceed to Checkout and Purchase a Podium Online
When you are ready to purchase a podium online, select the “Proceed to checkout” button. The prices that you see do not include sales tax if applicable and shipping charges. Once we receive the order, we will
- Review the order,
- Contact you via email and telephone to verify and confirm all of the details,
- Email you a formal estimate that includes taxes and shipping charges, a 2D drawing, a 3D drawing, and several renderings (see below gallery) for your approval,
- After you approve and sign the estimate, we will enter a sales order into our system and proceed with the creation of your unit, and
- As soon as the order ships, we will email you an invoice.
If you have payment terms with us, we will accept payment per your terms. If you do not have payment terms with us, please pay with a credit card on our website. Depending on the product ordered, we will either run the card when the order is placed or when the order is shipped. We will communicate to you up front. If you order a product(s) that is in stock and ships quickly, we will run your card when we receive your order. If you order a custom unit that will take weeks to design, build, and ship, we will run your card the day the order ships. Additionally, deposits are often required on custom units.
That is How You Purchase a Podium Online from Sound-Craft Systems! When you are ready to purchase a podium online, www.sound-craft.com is your site. If you have questions during the ordering process give us a call or email firstname.lastname@example.org.