AVIXA’s fifth-annual AV Executive Conference (AVEC), held at the Ritz-Carlton in Key Biscayne, FL from November 8–10, brought together some 150 industry leaders for networking and programs designed to educate and inspire the industry to reach higher levels of performance. 

For those of you who couldn’t make the trip, here are five key points on the AV economy.

 
Sean Wargo, AVIXA’s senior director of market intelligence
 
1. Onwards and Upwards
The AV industry is expected to be a $231 billion industry by 2022; that’s up more than 50 billion from 2016. Sean Wargo, AVIXA’s senior director of market intelligence said the industry’s compound annual growth rate looks a lot like the growth domestic product (GDP) growth rate, and that’s not a coincidence. “As we draw a very large umbrella for our industry, you start to look more and more like the industries underneath you,” he stated. “We cover so many things as an industry now that it makes sense to be somewhat similar to the GDP growth rate across the world.”

2. Growing Pains
At first glance, the financial outlook is glowing for developing regions like Asia and Africa, where AV is growing at almost double the average rate of GDP. Great news, right? There’s just one problem: unemployment challenges. Openings are more and more requiring advanced training and advanced degrees and the world has an influx of under-skilled potential employees.

3. You (Yes, You) Are an Economist
Small business owner? Don’t let economic analysis intimidate you. According to Marci Rossell, Ph.D, former chief economist at CNBC, you’re already an economist; you just don’t realize it. “The kind of analysis that goes into macroeconomic thinking is very similar to the kind of analysis that goes into business planning and developing business outlooks, and looking at your balance sheets. The principles that apply at the most micro level typically also apply at the macro level.”

4. Trends Create Vertical Opportunities
Our industry serves a lot of different vertical markets. Our historical lifeblood, corporate and education, may not be where we make our money in the future. Hospitality and healthcare are two of the biggest opportunities on the rise. There’s some really cool, cutting-edge technology going into hospitals and hotels. Need proof? Check out all the AV in operating rooms, digital signage in lobbies, or even the environmental control systems in hotel rooms. Wargo suggested you ask yourself “How am I situated relative to that? Where am I focused? Where may there be opportunities for me to consider expanding?”

5. Better Together
Technology may be our roots, our skeletal structure, and who we are, but it’s the solutions that matter (hint: it’s the entire reason behind the InfoComm-to-AVIXA move). The experience is all there is, and experiences are created with solutions. Wargo told us the largest, but perhaps most controversial, category for growth in AVIXA’s IOTA Report was streaming media and storage. Trends of connectivity and sharing content from a central hub paired with tons of devices means we have more to account for when building out solutions.