The coronavirus continues to spread, both in and around China and around the world as people who are unknowingly carrying the virus traveling abroad. What does that mean to the pro AV industry? It could be quite a bit, especially only a few weeks before ISE 2020 in Amsterdam.
We haven’t heard of any official restrictions on those who are traveling from China or other parts of Asia to Amsterdam for the 2020 Integrated Systems Europe show in mid-February, but you have to wonder how those from that region—and those who’ll interact with them—feel about the possibility of introducing the strain into the RAI with more than 80,000 attendees.
So far, we’ve only seen a handful of confirmed cases of coronavirus in China or anywhere else in the world, so we’re not anticipating any issues in that regard, but it’s certainly something to consider as the eyes of the pro AV world turn their attention to ISE’s Amsterdam swan song.
Thinking more broadly, we have to wonder how the manufacturing and delivery of AV gear in China will be affected by the coronavirus.
Could this mean project deadlines are missed because of extra precautions are needed before the products are sent?
And what about if someone from China needs to come to a project site to resolve a problem or to make sure everything is going according to plan—or if someone needs to travel to China to check on the final details?
Some parts of China are issuing travel bans and restrictions and at least one major airport is indefinitely shut down due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus—and that could put a project on hold.
How Coronavirus Relates to Videoconferencing
We’re guessing the spread of the coronavirus has more companies than ever thinking more about adding and more frequently using a videoconferencing system, says Jeff Ashachik, VP of recruiting at HireSparks.
Consider videoconferencing a key part of any organization’s business continuity and resilience planning, previously known as a disaster recovery or backup plan, he says.
“It’s about an organization’s responsibility,” says Ashachik. “It’s risk mitigation.
“Videoconferencing was initially sold as a convenience; it was shown to be a money-saver by reducing the cost, time and risk of travel, especially international travel,” he says. “It was a convenience we all enjoyed…to close the deal and get business done.”
As sales and manufacturing have become more and more international, though, videoconferencing “has become a larger part of the process, whether in a dedicated conference room or from a desktop computer,” says Ashachik.
“It allowed us to carry on with business without ever actually meeting in person and have to deal with local conditions whether they be environmental related or a virus such as this that can cause death,” he says.
We’ll see in the next several weeks “how well—or not—companies deal with this outbreak,” says Ashachik. “Videoconferencing has now arced from ‘convenient’ to ‘prudent.’”
“The successful business leaders will continue doing business relatively unchanged and then there will be all the others,” he says.
“If you haven’t already decided, perhaps this will be the forcing function to investigate adding videoconferencing to your organization, no matter how big or small you are.”