2019: The Year of Hope

This past year was one for the books, but 2019 will be even better. Instead of a resolution, I’m once again choosing a word of the year. My word this year is “hopeful” because I want to be optimistic that 2019 will be a good—nay, great!—year for all of us. With my spirit of optimism, I have a few things I’m hopeful for within the AV industry.

First, I am hopeful that our industry will become more diverse. We made more advances than ever toward this goal in 2018. With the formation of the AVIXA Diversity Council and Women of Digital Signage—plus record growth for the AVIXA Women’s Council and the entry of experience designers—it seems the industry is collectively encouraging others to jump right in and join the AV party.

I thought 2018 might be the year that a single integration firm reaches $1 billion, but I was wrong; however, with AVI-SPL bringing in $820 million in revenue from commercial AV installations in 2018 and Diversified $700 million, it’s very possible 2019 will be the year. I’m hopeful we’ll hit $1 billion when we announce the 2019 SCN Top 50 in December.

I am hoping that 2019 will be the year we focus on security. With headline-making security breaches and more AV media traveling over networks, we need to look at what goes on the network, why it needs to be on the network, and who has access to it.

As an industry, I am hoping we can come together and define what an “experience” is. After having many conversations about the general topic of experience over the last year, I realized there is no single, common definition of the user experience and the experience designer. To me, an experience designer is someone who focuses on creating a responsive multimedia environment—and especially the visuals that go along with it. But I’ve also met project engineers who consider themselves experience designers because they design the product experience, and installers who consider themselves experience designers because they install the experience. Finding commonality will help us better understand the experience design process and our customers. (Side note: AVIXA is currently working on a User Experience Design for AV standard, which I believe will help us form a definition.)

I have one last hope for 2019: I hope 2019 brings you happiness and success in both your personal and professional lives. May happiness, health, and wealth come your way. Together, let’s endeavor to make this great industry better, faster, and stronger, and make 2019 one for the record books.

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.