We may never actually figure out what the “new normal is,” and we might not live in a post-pandemic world for a while longer, but AV will play an important role in the digital transformation triggered by the spread of the coronavirus around the world and the changes people have made as a result.
“We’ve packed about 20 or 30 years of learning into a few short months with the digital challenges we’ve faced as a result of this pandemic,” said Jeff Day, chairman of AVIXA’s board of directors, during the board’s “fireside chat” on the future of the AV industry during InfoComm 2020 Connected.
“Change is tough in the beginning, can get really messy in the beginning but is great in the end. Change is inevitable. It’s growth that’s optional,” he says. With about $2 trillion invested in technology in 2019 and 2020 alone, there’s disruption all around us and the AV industry needs to capitalize.
“The core of digital transformation is staying relevant and creating opportunities,” says Day.
AVIXA board VP Jon Sidwick has his eyes trained on the corporate vertical market, in large part because of the obvious transformation in that space because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everything around corporate communications is super-charged right now,” he says. “We all have to learn how to collaborate and communicate differently in the corporate environment. Changing the way people communicate is right at the center of what we do. If we don’t fill the space, someone else will.”
That change will mean increased focus on data, ROI, platforms and workflow. Those areas require “a different degree of competency,” says Day.
Digital Transformation Beyond the Boardroom
AVIXA board member Victoria Dade says the education market—both for K-12 and higher ed—will be permanently changed because of the pandemic.
“AV is instrumental now in how we teach our kids and take classes,” she says. “The integration between the learning management system and data has to be captured. We have the ability to shape how that’s going to look and I find that exhilarating.
“AV touches every industry. The pandemic has shown how important we are. We have the opportunity to shape how we move forward,” says Dade.
AVIXA board secretary-treasurer Sam Phenix expects hybrid experiences to become a staple, not just in the corporate world but perhaps in entertainment with “different points of entry” for people to watch concerts or sports at home and in the arena once we get the all-clear to gather in large groups again.
“It’s not going to be either/or anymore,” she says. “Chaos brings opportunity. It’s about we’re pivoting to provide opportunities for people. There are so many industries and areas in society that didn’t think about digital experience until now.
“When we show them they can use technology to meet their business goals, it’s really going to expand the market,” says Phenix.
Board member Rodrigo Ordonez says AV should be “putting ourselves at the forefront of the definition of experiences,” which means being involved much earlier in conversations about the design or redesign of spaces.
“Our technology should be an integral piece of that experience,” he says. “This is moving us one step forward.”