Us rAVe-rs woke up bright and early — some of us never went to sleep, actually — to get online today. The occasion: LAVNCH EMEA, which kicked off Wednesday in an exciting start to two full days of AV innovations and solutions launched virtually through our live, online event platform called LAVNCH.
If you’ve been to any of our LAVNCH WEEK events, you might already know about the platform. LAVNCH (pronounced “launch”) was created for the AV industry to share education, thought-leadership and new products in a virtual space. While LAVNCH was first built to bridge canceled 2020 trade shows and (hopefully) in-person 2021 trade shows, it’s become a lot bigger than itself — so big, that the requests starting coming in to host a LAVNCH event solely for our #AVtweeps of the EMEA region.
Thus, LAVNCH EMEA was born.
Created in partnership with Futuresource Consulting, LAVNCH EMEA gave the Europe, Middle East and Africa region of the AV industry its own space to launch industry innovations to the EMEA masses. Over the next couple of days, we’ll be recapping every LAVNCH EMEA session right here on rAVe [PUBS] so our EMEA (and U.S.-based!) readers can see all the great things that AV is doing in the region.
First up, LAVNCH EMEA ProAV Collaborative Day.
A keynote titled “Disrupt, Create and Innovate: New Horizons for the AV Industry” led our day, with panelists including Michael Blackman of ISE, Owen Ellis of AV User Group, Jim Fitton of Electrosonic and Jon Sidwick of Collabtech — a well-rounded group to discuss the current challenges, plus new horizons, for the AV industry. Chris Mcintyre-Brown, who you’ll see a lot of throughout these LAVNCH EMEA events as our all-around host, led the discussion as emcee.
“This is a crisis, and in that crisis, the variables are much harder to predict. … This is a deep and long-lasting change to all areas of our lives and will require new ways of thinking,” Mcintyre-Brown said.
In the keynote, the group acknowledged that 2020 has been, well, a year … and the impact on AV has followed suit. But evolving technology — just look at how much new innovation the industry has pumped out this year — has helped us through it. Our industry’s drive has bridged this confusing and awkward gap between being half at home, half back out in the world. (Depending on where you live, of course.)
“We are adapting with the changes,” Mcintyre-Brown added.
Addressing the elephant in the room early on in the discussion, Blackman talked a timely update for ISE in 2021. This situation’s changing every day, Blackman started.
“We are still in planning to actually do an in-person event, but we’re learning all the time as well in how we’re going to actually accompany it with a digital event, as well,” Blackman said. “Obviously we see everybody’s moving towards doing hybrid events right now, and we believe to get the experience, ISE 2021 has to be that.”
Blackman continued, “We’re absolutely certain there will be people in February next year who may not be able to travel due to restrictions or may not feel comfortable traveling. So we’re adding the digital part of ISE to give those people the opportunity to still participate … We have six months to go, and a lot can happen in that time.”
Ellis added, “If this had happened just a couple of years ago, it would all be very different.”
“We still feel that in-person events are the ultimate experience for the AV industry.”
— rAVe [PUBS] (@rAVePubs) September 2, 2020
Thinking about channel disruption from COVID-19, Sidwick offered his POV on how businesses can find long-term survival: “There’s an old Marxist term that I love called ‘creative disruption’ — in order to go for a change, you have to rip out the old and go for the new. That’s where our industry is right now — facing fundamental change,” Sidwick explained. “We are in the communication industry, and, boy oh boy, do we need great communication at the moment.”<
Some additional talking points, as discussed by the group today: The emergence of data; personalization with smart buildings and campuses; increased shifts to mobile and online commerce, where AV has a role in improving this experience; the opportunity in AV-as-a-Service and how most argue we’re not quite “there yet.”
Regarding AV-as-a-Service, Fitton said, “It’s a different sell to the end user. The expectation for the user … it doesn’t fit the traditional integrator model.” He added, “There’s changes to the model to integration [needed] to support this … it just needs some deep thought.”
Predictions and trends for the next 5-10 years:
- Blackman: Work-life-balance that includes some days in the office and some at home; changes in how digital affects stores, cafes and restaurants; live conferences and exhibitions as hybrid events but with a full return to in-person events, slowly but surely
- Sidwick: “AV will be on fire!”; definitely a hybrid world but also “getting on with life”
- Ellis: A lot more home working and a subsequent opportunity for the industry to scale up systems and functionality; a gap in the market around data/analytics providing opportunities for AV organizations to help end users “mine” that data and use it
- Fitton: Home working that will drive a boom in entertainment, events and cultural business — working at home means we’re not out in the cities all day; our weekend leisure time will definitely shift too
Today’s discussion was about how the AV industry has risen out of 2020 with a renewed sense of urgency — one that gives it permission to disrupt, create and innovate.
If you missed ProAV Collaborative Day and want to rewatch the keynote session, you’re in luck because we’re allowing retroactive registrations — but only for a short window of time. While you won’t be able to get AVIXA CTS-RU credit from watching the archives, you’ll want to tune in to see what you missed. So we hope you’ll register to view the LAVNCH EMEA archived content and let us know your favorite moments from the day.