In years past, whether for Commercial Integrator or for rAVe I have done my Thanksgiving posts in a sort of “Blessings and Turkeys” theme, relating what I felt were the best and worst things AV gave us over the past year.

This year however, when faced with a blank screen and a keyboard, I am having trouble being anything but grateful for 2017, (shocking, I know).

I believe that 2107 has launched a whole series of new opportunities in AV, not only for me in my new role this year, but also for the industry as a whole. How you ask?

First, InfoComm’s rebrand to AVIXA and new focus on industries peripheral to AV are sure to yield some interesting partnership opportunities, at least to those who embrace them. This not only enhances awareness but also provides increased opportunities for networking with valuable stakeholders in projects where AV may have traditionally be left to the last minute or overlooked altogether.

Second, in 2017 it seemed that IT based AV distribution finally started to get some traction in a meaningful way.  More quality products hit the market leveraging better chipsets like Aptovision’s Blue River NT and the SDVoE (Software Defined Video over Ethernet) Alliance gained some valuable members and momentum. The opportunities to distribute video over managed networks are greater than ever.

Mergers and acquisitions have given the larger AV players like Diversified, Whitlock, AVI-SPL, and AVI Systems larger footprints and more opportunities to grow global presences. Other companies like Verrex and ADvanced AV expanded organically, creating presence in new markets and going global as well. Smaller regional integrators have also been given opportunities to differentiate themselves with personalized service and more flexible installation services.

Finally, I’m grateful for the opportunity I was given in 2002 to enter this crazy AV industry. As many others in the industry, I was somewhat of an AV stray, working in various jobs, going to school for something completely unrelated to technology, but somehow I was given a home and a career. That career has yielded some amazing friendships as well, for which I am eternally grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!