The pandemic was a watershed in the way we work, as more and more meetings became virtual and hybrid, and cutting-edge equipment became a must.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way we work, communicate, and host events. In this context, “hybrid” has become a buzzword of the new normal. The hybrid model has become a major trend, providing a significant boost to the audiovisual (AV) integrator industry.
The Transformation of Hybrid Work
The pandemic accelerated the adoption of hybrid work. Although many companies have reopened in the office, the hybrid work model is still expanding, forcing organizations to manage collaboration and communication in an environment with some workers in the office and others working from home or anywhere in the world.
“While video’s role in everyday lives has grown for years, its use was greatly accelerated when Covid-19 hit,” says Gilles Bertaux, co-founder and CEO of online web conferencing app Livestorm.
According to Bertaux, “Routine interactions that had typically taken place in person — meetings, drinks with friends, sales calls, attending school and doctors’ appointments — all moved to video, seemingly in an instant.”
The AV integrator industry plays a crucial role in this new context of surging demand for high-quality videoconferencing solutions, cutting-edge sound systems, and broadcasting technology.
Organizations are now willing to invest in cutting-edge AV devices and services to ensure their remote teams are effectively connected and virtual meetings are as productive as in-person meetings.
Physical and virtual events have coexisted for years, but the pandemic boosted the trend toward hybrid formats, and now, the ability to reach a global audience through live streaming has become essential for any major event.
The AV integrator industry is at the core of that transformation, providing the technology companies need for streaming content live, managing virtual Q&A sessions, and creating immersive experiences for both physical and virtual participants.
From high-quality sound systems to giant LED screens and cutting-edge broadcasting equipment, the AV industry is enabling the successful development and implementation of the new habits brought by the pandemic.
This industry will only gain relevance as virtual/hybrid meetings are here to stay. According to a survey from vFairs, 77.2% of people believe virtual events provide ease of attendance, 64.9% highlighted their global reach, 47.4% would consider them because of the low cost, and 14% think sponsorships are the main attraction for them.
Opportunities for the AV Industry
The rise of hybrid work and events has created a series of thrilling opportunities for the AV industry:
The demand for cutting-edge AV tech is growing consistently, boosting innovation in the industry. New solutions and products are improving communication quality and enhancing event experiences.
Training and Development
The evolution of AV technology is spurring demand for qualified workers that can implement and manage those systems, creating new training/career development opportunities in the industry.
The AV industry is working closely with industries such as IT, hybrid events, and corporate communications. This cross-industry collaboration is creating potential synergies and joint growth opportunities.
Events and work teams spread across borders give the AV industry a chance to expand globally and reach an international audience.
The expansion of the AV industry is also putting the spotlight on sustainability. Investments in energy-efficient technology and responsible resource management are becoming a priority.
The Challenge of Being Global
Despite its growth, the AV industry is facing an important challenge: going global in an efficient way. Companies must be able to handle global projects that require setting up equipment and rooms in multiple countries.
María Carolina Muller, Head of Business Development at Aerodoc, explains that the company can provide “support in the most logistics-intensive aspect of technology implementation,” like product imports and room setups. “We can also assist in replicating a video or conference room equipped with the necessary technology in multiple regions for our customers who want to complete projects without the need to establish a legal entity in each destination.”, she adds.
According to Muller, the pandemic provided a major boost for this kind of operation, as AV and unified communications integrators helped develop hybrid work and videoconferencing rooms so once workers returned to offices, they could work remotely with other people from around the world through an audiovisual connection that feels as if everyone is sharing the same room.
“We at Aerodoc have 25-plus years’ experience helping our customers do business in hard-to-reach countries. We have operations in more than 170 countries around the world,” says Muller, adding that currently, the company focuses on the IT, telecoms, broadcasting, satellite, AV integration, and data center industries.
The rise of hybrid has ushered a period of exponential growth in the AV industry. As more organizations adopt these new ways of working and hosting events, that industry is expected to keep playing a crucial role facilitating effective communications and providing impactful experiences.
For those willing to embrace ongoing innovation and evolution in this field, opportunities are limitless.
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