For the past two years, the ProAV audiovisual industry has been consistently trending upward, demonstrating strong demand for technology solutions that enable people to communicate and collaborate more effectively.
To gauge the ProAV industry’s performance each month, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) created the Pro-AV Business Index in September 2016. Since then, the Index has shown 24 consecutive months of positive sales and employment. In complementary research, AVIXA’s Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis (IOTA) finds the ProAV industry will generate $59.2 billion in 2018 in North America and is forecast to reach $71.4 billion in 2023.
“The ProAV industry’s continual growth trend shown in the index supports our Industry Opportunity and Trends Analysis forecasting year-over-year growth,” said Sean Wargo, senior director of market intelligence, AVIXA. “In many ways, the health of the commercial audiovisual industry tracks with U.S. GDP growth. Enterprises are enjoying economic expansion and many are investing in technology and services that create communication experiences and drive business outcomes.”
AVIXA’s Pro-AV Business Index report is derived from a monthly survey tracking business trends in the pro-AV industry. The report actually comprises two diffusion indexes: the AV Sales Index (AVI-S) and the AV Employment Index (AVI-E). In both cases, an index above 50 indicates an increase in sales and/or employment activity.
The latest Index shows the AVI-S for August 2018 up to 67.2 from July’s 64.6. With an overall strong economy to close out the summer, this is an increase of 8.8 points from a year ago. Survey respondents cited year-end spending as a reason for expected growth through the end of 2018.
The AVI-E hit 62.8 in August, showing a continued increase in pro-AV industry employment. The value is a hair lower than the 64.1 mark in July, but still indicative of positive hiring and reflective of macro trends: The U.S. unemployment rate remained low at 3.9 percent. Job gains were also strong in professional and business services, health care, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, and mining, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Looking at overall trends since the inception of the Index, the AVI-S indicates March is a strong sales month for audiovisual solutions and services. The Sales Index hit its highest mark of 71.4 in March 2017, and was strong again in March 2018, reaching 67.2.
“March reflects a high point in the commercial AV project cycle, as many contracts are signed then,” said Wargo. “Typically, budgets are set in the fall before the year end, and then project scoping discussions start in the early part of the year, reaching final draft and signing in March. Projects then go into fulfillment and completion mode. Of course, projects continue to come in throughout the year, hence consistent growth figures in each monthly Index.”
Employment in the pro-AV industry has been at its strongest in the fall. The AVI-E hit its highest number of 66 in September 2017 and was comparatively strong in September 2016 at 59.5. Coming out of the summer doldrums, these marks likely reflect fresh projects coming online at that time, leading to additional positions to support the work.
“The challenge,” said Wargo, “is often finding qualified labor to staff the influx of AV design and integration projects. The market for AV solutions is consistently strong; the industry must continually grow and evolve to meet the demand.”
To access the free monthly Pro-AV Business Index reports, visit here.