The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead

Since we last gathered at an InfoComm Show, the economy has turned the world at large upside-down.

Dr. Jeff Dietrich, Institute for Trends Research But what of our commercial AV industry? It seems the storm has passed over many without much disruption, and InfoComm 09 is a forum for determining the forecast.

Executives gathered at the Super Tuesday Business Executive Symposium one-day event to discuss concrete tips covering finance, accounting, and control; employee retention; using social media to build business; and how to use project management to enhance profit.

Immediately following the symposium, Dr. Jeff Dietrich, Institute for Trends Research, led a lively discussion during “Economic Outlook and State of the AV Industry.” His research shows that non-residential construction will face another downcycle, but certain markets, including hospital building, private education, houses of worship, and airlines and travel, are expected to remain positive. The overall economic outlook is not so dim, Dietrich assures us: “One thing is for sure: there is money in the system. The good news is that some of it is trickling out already.”

Duffy Wilbert, CTS, InfoComm’s senior vice president of membership, concluded the day with highlights of newly released market research data. Wilbert has a positive view as well, showing how, over the course of the association’s 70-year history, there have been 11 recessions, and our industry has survived them all. In fact, he noted, “This industry has grown following each recession, spurred by some technological innovation.” So what will turn us around after this recession? Only time will tell.

Mary Bakija is a writer and editor with more than 15 years of storytelling experience. Bakija is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Library and Information Science to help others find and tell important stories that might otherwise be lost, and to ensure those stories are preserved for future generations to see.