How COVID has affected the AV Industry After 1 Year

It’s hard to believe that we are approaching the one year mark since COVID-19 lockdowns swept the globe, impacting life as we know it in just about every capacity. The AV industry has not been without its share of shortcomings, unknowing’s and necessary pivots in order to stay afloat in a very uncertain time. Yet as vaccines are distributed and stay at home orders lifted, positive movement and hope begins to bubble up to the surface of the murky pandemic waters of this past year.

Seemingly overnight, certain industries were stripped of previously cemented success. In AV, the rental and staging/live events markets were completely devastated. Concerts and gatherings cancelled and thus the need for AV completely wiped out. The retail space also saw consumers tightening their belts significantly. Down 15% with a loss of a huge 72 billion dollars, we expect an eventual recovery as things normalize. Houses of worship also had to pivot significantly to online production with stay-at-home mandates in place. This change also  meant lost need for AV investments.

Some spaces in particular fared better than others in COVID times, however. With AV, we have seen an uptick in need for and installation of mobile carts that can move locations easily to communicate a variety of messages to viewers. Environments in healthcare in particular have seen an increase in mobile carts employed; think vaccine clinics and testing sites. “This kind of digital signage can help communicate messages and safety concerns in a mobile solution” says Digital Marketing Coordinator of Premier Mounts, Elijah Mounts. Uptick in need was also seen for products like video conference cameras with remote work dominating seemingly overnight.

In regard to operations and manufacturing in AV, sites in China were particularly affected with total lockdowns shutting down operations entirely for extended periods of time. Most notably it was difficult for some display and dvLED brands to keep up with demand in the states because of this. Companies that manufacture in the U.S., on the other hand, were able to continue with operations deemed as essential business.

As the world continues to adapt in the age of COVID, projects are picking up much needed and renewed speed in AV. dvLED installations in particular have increased as many companies have budgeted those upgrades for the new year. As many schools and educational spaces open back up or prepare to, there has also been momentum within necessary upgrades to classroom tech.

The AV industry is one that is notoriously optimistic, even amid unexpected hardship as proven in the last year. Though we are not expected to hit 2019 industry revenue numbers until 2025, the road to recovery is one we are confident will continue. Expect to see many new partnerships and acquisitions coming to play as the path forward becomes more clear to total industry recovery and continued success.