AV Integrators Should See DIY Audio Visual as an Opportunity, Not a Threat, Says David Labuskes

Executive director of AVIXA David Labuskes spoke at PSA TEC 2018 about the importance of AV integrators seeing opportunities in DIY audio visual trends.

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Scary buzzwords can be just as harmful to an industry as real economic crises, but one of the most recent ones — DIY audio visual — is unique, insofar as it directly threatens potential relationships AV integrators can have with end users.

After all, what if your client’s nephew can order parts for a videowall and install it for a fraction of the price?

Scoff at that notion all you want, but some of the attendees at the recent PSA TEC event in Colorado had already experienced it (half of the attendees are in the security business, so it’s no wonder that they had. Ever hear of Ring doorbells?).

David Labuskes, AVIXA: There’s Opportunity in DIY Audio Visual

At PSA TEC, the chief executive officer of AVIXA said that the ability for potential clients  to order AV products off of Amazon and attempt to install it themselves presents integrators with more opportunities to brand themselves and their services.

He says integrators need to focus on why their customers hire them.

“If you define your value to the customer as putting a display on a wall, then DIY Audio Visual is a threat. But if you define it as enhancing customer engagement; enabling strategic discussions in a boardroom with employees scattered across the globe — you can’t have that shipped to you from Amazon.”

Knowing the client is a big part of the battle. Some jobs require super simple systems. But all too often, integrators design or bid on a project with overly complex system designs; particularly with the user interface (UI).

Labuskes says the market has evolved so rapidly that, if integrators try to protect a business model based on the market of 10 years ago, DIY will undoubtedly hurt their business. Likewise, if they see it as a facet of the modern industry, it can be an opportunity.

“There are many AV integrators who have already made money fixing a cheap installation put in by the end user’s nephew,” Labuskes says.