Even when people are allowed out of quarantine across the U.S. and around the world, chances are it’ll take some time before we see restaurants packed with diners, movie theaters full of kids and offices with their full slate of employees working at the same time.
That transformation means there’s an opportunity for AV integrators to be in on the conversation about how to continue to meet clients’ needs as those needs change, perhaps permanently, as a result of the COVID-19 impact, says AVIXA senior director of market intelligence Sean Wargo.
“We’re expecting volumes and traffic to be lower in places like restaurants, hotels and transportation,” he says. “Maybe work can continue more robustly and quickly than in the past in those areas because there aren’t as many people there as there were in the past.
“The reimaging of space is going to be a big outcome from this. We have a chance to think of how we might redesign restaurants, office space and other areas. We’re already a part of the fabric of experience – improving and enhancing it. We’re going to have to be adaptive as an industry,” says Wargo.
The move for many restaurants to online ordering and other mobile options means more chances for AV to get involved in helping those businesses make what was seen as a temporary, necessary shift into a more permanent, profitable one.
“There’s a big change in how you account for the new requirements for social distancing or remote presence,” says Wargo.
Inside the AVIXA COVID-19 Impact Survey
Although respondents to the seventh AVIXA COVID-19 Impact Survey noted an uptick in the volume of project-related work they’re doing this week and an opening of the pipeline compared to last week, it’s going to be a more competitive market out of the gate with fewer opportunities than a few months ago.
“Relationships are still very, very important,” says Wargo. “You want to still be thought of first in line when business returns. Needs have also changed so companies have to be listening to their customers and market direction as things are shifting so they don’t get cut out.
“It’s a challenging situation, because we don’t fully know what comes out the other side. All we can do is listen, learn and watch,” he says.
Remote service and monitoring allow integrators to continue “supporting an organization in a different way” when there’s no project-based work to do, says Wargo. “It allows you to have continuity.” He expects those opportunities to be available even after the COVID-19 outbreak ends.
“The need for conferencing and collaboration existed before, but we’ve just hit overdrive on it. The industry is being forced to adapt quickly and push forward,” he says.