With churches continuing to add multi-site campuses to extend their geographic reach and influence, how can the pro AV market serve this market with solutions equal to the scale of church multi-site expansion? The answer is church multi-site now with face-to-face live pro AV support — that’s a game changer for the industry.
The answer can be found in the axiom of the Truman Triangle, where a client can have “good, fast or inexpensive — so pick any two.” In this particular example of multi-site church growth, those three possibilities might be represented as “qualified AV support, fast AV support and inexpensive campus AV support,” where the church could choose to have qualified, on-site personnel but not inexpensively due to the need of on-site staffing. Likewise, churches could opt for off-site personnel to reduce cost, but then not miss out on fast response times due to the lack of proximity to a local multi-site church campus.
To be clear, this has been the reality for multi-site churches since the venues require a significant investment in pro AV technology. Looking at research on multi-site churches, the growth patterns are clear and the technical pro AV support challenges should be obvious: multi-site churches are ideal customers for pro AV integrators from an equipment, training and ongoing support perspective.
Church Multi-Site Growth Stats
The growth of church multi-site campuses represents both immediate and future needs for pro AV expertise. The charts below identify trends in the house of worship multi-site movement and highlight the opportunity to both equip church campuses with proAV gear and introduce pro AV support for these systems, especially before, during and after mission-critical weekend services. Even the venerable mega-church market — which is comprised of large churches with greater than 2,000 people in attendance per weekend — growth is dwarfed by the exponential rise of multi-site church campuses.
According to the church research firm Leadership Network, as of January 2019 “The new official statistic is that there are more than 5,000 multi-site churches in North America. That’s more than 5,000 different churches, each of which has two or more different geographic campuses — one church in two or more locations.”
Source: Leadership Network, www.leadnet.org, data on U.S. Protestant churches
Source: Leadership Network, www.leadnet.org, Fall 2013 Survey
The growth is not only accelerating, but it’s also growing faster with the largest of these churches which are already being stretched to equip, train and support the pro AV technology at ever more campuses.
Source: Leadership Network,www.leadnet.org, Fall 2013 Survey
Finally, with video teaching via projection or video walls at satellite church campuses, the reliance on video becomes mission-critical, similar to corporate client Network Operation Centers (NOCs), where uptime requires ‘five-nines’ (99.99999% uptime).
Source: Leadership Network, www.leadnet.org, Fall 2013 Survey
Given these growth stats and the huge opportunities for pro AV expertise required by multi-site churches, the need for support — near-instant support under critical deadlines — has never been greater.
A Game-Changer for Pro AV Support of Churches
While the needs and size of multi-site churches as a market segment for the proAV industry has been well-documented here at rAVe, it wasn’t until InfoComm 2019 that we saw a technology solution that could flip the Truman Triangle from “good, fast, inexpensive — pick any two” to the possibility of “good, fast AND inexpensive.” That technology was called “Teleportivity” in a smaller booth on the tradeshow floor with what was one of the most innovative technologies on display and a potential game-changer for the house of worship market.
Teleportivity is a company and product by the same name with a live, cloud-based video helpdesk communication system that provides real-time, face-to-face live support “with the right person, at the right place, at the right time,” according to the company. “It isn’t just about collaboration and event technology, but how do we scale our managed service without adding headcount?”, asked (rhetorically) by Adam Gottlieb, Teleportivity founder and CEO. “Our technology is designed for physical locations because we want to prioritize the allocation of resources to scale people in the best way.”
The technology is promising for churches that have either centrally-located pro AV staff or a service and support contract with a pro AV systems integrator. Because Teleportivity is composed of physical video devices located at a tech booth or adjacent to pro AV technical systems or equipment racks, the ability to not only talk live with a support person but to also use a camera to allow the support technician to see the physical area and interact face-to-face with the church AV staff or tech volunteer.
Gottlieb shared that the system can be set up on a unique, secure network, added to the existing campus venue network or even operate on cell phone signals, the uptime for the system is extremely high and provides flexibility for the church AV person to get real-time help in just about any situation or location within the venue.
Since churches lean heavily on volunteers, the primary focus of Teleportivity’s technology is to prioritize the human connection instead of the technical connection. “I’m not just going to make a phone call; I’m going to have an interaction with empathy,” shared Gottlieb. Interestingly, as the video below shot by rAVe during InfoComm highlights, the hybrid solution for fixed and portable face-to-face video, along with the variety of connectivity options is a game-changer for pro AV integrators to offer previously unheard levels of premium-level paid support for the HoW market.
With the church multi-site market continuing a meteoric growth rate, church AV staff will welcome options to either internally support their campuses through a centralized support model and/or seek options for pro AV systems integrators to provide real-time support 24/7 — or at least during mission-critical weekend services. Teleportivity is the first-to-market and will likely reap the benefits through a strong pro AV dealer network, though the introduction of any new technology adaptation will soon be met with new competitors trying to duplicate the success found by others. In the end, the multi-site church model and the proAV industry both win.
What say you? Do you agree with Anthony Coppedge’s future church market predictions for the audiovisual industry?