They’re Coming for Your Business

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They’re coming for your business.

Flattened by the pandemic and bolstered by the ProAV market trend towards experiential, Europe’s live events companies will broaden their businesses to include systems integration.

For decades, it was an exception if you saw a specialized AV events company with a full business unit in the more static business of system integration. Mostly they were the fancy cousins who shared an interest in the same technologies but catered to a parallel “live event” market.

But all that has changed now.

When the next pandemic comes, Europe’s events firms hope not to be so exposed. And the new AV industry emphasis on “experiential,” suits them quite well.

The cousins want to expand their business and, with their experience, systems integration looks ripe. Of course, the first targets will most likely be the high-end corporate, government and institutional accounts where the live events firms can leverage their stage and event skills.

And, of course, their number one impact on your business today will be their efforts to recruit experienced staff. Overall, the impact is increased competition and probably higher salaries for the competition for experienced system integrator staff. This will squeeze the lower middle of the market, but the hand that is squeezing is most likely around the neck of the system integrators who have tackled enterprise-level corporate projects involving experiential — those lucrative jobs building corporate lobbies, showrooms and even high-end meeting rooms.

The sales intrusion into systems integrator territory will come from corporate events where those happy relationships may be translated into “How else can we help you?”

As these live events firms staff up for systems integration, the business unit managers they hire (from you) may bring their previous clients and contacts.

At ISE, you’ll meet at least two business extensions that follow the new path from live events into systems integration.

“Creative Technology is well-known for its spectacular productions in the world of live events, but even though our work in the systems integration market has been happening for some time now and is equally impressive, so far it has been much less visible to the market,” says Dave Crump, CEO at CT EME. “ISE offers us an ideal platform to highlight exactly what we can do.”

A global provider of technical solutions for the event, experiential and installation markets, Creative Technology, CT SI has completed multiple projects in immersive and experiential venues as well as sports, corporate, high-end residential, retail broadcast/XR and studios. The CT SI stand in Hall 5 will showcase some of the company’s outstanding installations, with LED screens displaying a showreel of projects from across the globe, from spectacular installations to virtual production stages.

In Hall 7, Adam Hall Group will present the new Adam Hall Integrated Systems division to focus on the install and AV market. With its own product team led by Gabriel Alonso Calvillo, Adam Hall Integrated Systems will act as an independent business unit for audio-video-lighting (AVL) specialists and support specialist planners, integrators, and end users in finding and specifying the right products for their projects.

By bundling all installation products from the various Adam Hall Group brands, their in-house application experts will provide advice and support for every project stage, from bidding to system design, training and commissioning.

Adam Hall Group CEO, Alexander Pietschmann, says now is the perfect time to take this step: “From humble beginnings in 1975, we have grown into one of the top three audio and lighting manufacturers in Europe and a highly successful international distributor. Of course, we have a strong heritage in live events technology because this is where it all started for us.

“At the same time, however, we have been developing products for the AVL sector for many years, as our customers’ demand for reliable, user-friendly products in this area has increased. As the AVL division of the Adam Hall Group continues to thrive, it was a natural step to create a dedicated division with a dedicated team to better serve this important market.”

In addition to Gabriel Alonso Calvillo, who leads the product team, Nik Gledic, Adam Hall’s global sales director, is building an independent Sales & Business Development team for the new AVL business area.

“We are currently looking for dedicated sales specialists who would like to join us. Our goal is to build a team of AV experts and become as successful in the installation market as in our other established segments. In addition to the vacancies, we are also continuing to expand our partner and sales network and look forward to connecting with new potential customers during ISE.”

With their high visibility at ISE 2023, these two examples reflect a bigger trend across the European market. Live events took the brunt of the pandemic business closures, and their survival may depend upon broadening their business interests.

While the ProAV systems integration business is still growing, the modest percentage of growth may not be high enough to sustain all as the competition now intensifies.