It’s been about three months since COVID took over and the stay-at-home orders were initiated. Some of us are being allowed our freedom back, and others are stuck inside for at least another month, maybe even more. We all want this over and for our lives to return to normal in the safest way possible.
The Events industry was severely impacted by this virus and the steps taken to “flatten the curve” finished off the events industry for an indefinite amount of time. It’s time to stop dreading on the past, and look forward to our comeback. Social distancing will continue for months, maybe as long as a year or more. Budgets for nearly all types of organizations will be tight — firms will hold onto their cash in an unpredictable economy. So, in light of these things we know to be true, when will people need AV, when can people afford AV?
Many venues, companies and buildings have in-house AV. Even though people are being laid off or furloughed, these systems still need maintenance. A significant part of in-house teams’ roles is to provide support for ongoing meetings, conferences and other events. With all events being cancelled or postponed, internal support is still a necessity, especially if the business is deemed “essential.” This is a fantastic opportunity to think about selling remote support and management services. Be a trusted resource for businesses basically anywhere and help those needing tech support, installs, AV services of all types. You can create a plan for the hopeful influx of events after all of this has past.
Digital Signage and User Design
We will likely need to figure out ways of directing people around buildings to prevent them from being close to one another. Think about elevators, stairways, lobbies and meeting rooms. There are opportunities here with AV technology, combined with digital signage to determine when spaces are full and there are ways the two can direct people to other locations, or means of access. Be creative. As we move forward and seating is limited, and long lines are prohibited, digital signage can be the answer.
There is an opportunity to direct resources to focus on designing foolproof user interfaces (not just control, but the entire system). If support positions are being cut, these simple spaces will be vital in keeping an organization afloat. If you aren’t already, start offering these services to your customers. Implement touch panels in spaces that can be accessed via smartphones or tablets. Focus on creativity and how you can make things easier for your clients and companies.
At Home AV
Theaters have taken an enormous hit from the economic shutdown. Trolls decided to completely challenge the market by releasing their movie directly to on demand streaming. This ended up changing the entire game, profiting millions more than ever anticipated. As more and more Americans are staying home, rentals and installs of projectors and screens, speakers, TV’s, lighting, accessories, and home networking options to think about.
I think it is going to be a long time before society feels OK about touching things without gloves, consistent cleanings, and plastic coverings. This provides an unusual predicament, given that most AV equipment requires touch or close contact. Touch panels, remotes, microphones, and so much more are passed along in the industry, how often were they cleaned or sanitized? Touchless control may end up making its way to the new normal. For example, voice control and motion control could be options. As we get back to events that require a lot of mic-passing, no one will want to use a microphone that someone else just had by their mouth. Search/create new options, such as even using a person’s cell phone as a mic.
Think about what you have currently, and what you are capable of. Now is a time when creativity, thought, knowledge and experience will help you survive the crisis and thrive in the reality, the improved normal.