Reports from the audio and video bid/build sector are that the work is holding steady, as much of it was financed long before the trouble hit the financial industry. "The spec/build work continues. The projects have been in the pipe for a while, and the money is allocated," observed Ted Leamy, chief operating officer of Pro Media/UltraSound.
Leamy made an exception in the case of some casino projects in Las Vegas, but otherwise, his company's outlook is strong. In particular the sports, education, healthcare, hospitals, convention centers, and airports markets are "still plowing forward".
In anticipation of the work ahead, Pro Media/UltraSound has hired ten new full-time people in the past year. Leamy elaborated, "These are not temporary positions, we've added full-time employees, so we see this going for three or four years."
Keeping the business rolling in comes back to what Leamy says is "Business 101": "The key is, are you diverse enough, and are you nimble enough to take advantage of what the opportunities are," he said. "You don't want to stray too far from your core abilities, but you have to be diverse enough to move with the market. And then you sail through this with no trouble. In fact, some companies, like ours, are going to grow when maybe others are contracting."
Generally, it's smaller companies like so many of those in the AV contracting space that are well equipped for surviving an economic downturn such as this one. "Small businesses are naturally more nimble than large businesses, and they're sometimes able to take more risks," Leamy pointed out.
Overall, Leamy concluded, the too-pervasive Chicken Little notion that “The end of the world is coming” is unwarranted: "If you look hard enough, you find people like me who say, 'Wait a second, it's a new dawn here.'"