Remember when we were all so excited for a wonderful new decade to begin with the year 2020? (Insert audible laugh here.) And then COVID-19 changed everything. The world came to a stop—businesses closed down (some for good), schools were shuttered, and introverts rejoiced as staying home made you a hero.
But the future is looking brighter for 2021, which pedants will happily tell you is actually the start of the decade, not 2020. The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have hit the market, and we can now see glimmers of light at the end of the stay-at-home tunnel.
This year has made me realize how precious our time together is, and so my business resolution for 2021 is to make more memories with the AV community and cherish the times we’re able to spend together, rather than rushing home to check my unread emails or worrying about my lack of sleep at a tradeshow.
I asked a handful of AV professionals to share their resolutions with me. I hope they will spark some thoughts about your own goals for 2021. Here’s what they had to say...
Nuna Becic, Markets, Global Integrated Systems Marketing, Shure
Our focus in 2021 will be continuing to help customers through evolving needs. With the pandemic restricting trade shows, business travel, and people in offices, we are all embarking on a new era in virtual meetings. Our job is to help customers keep their employees more engaged and productive. Now, more than ever, organizations of all types need to be agile and efficient for their stakeholders no matter where they meet: the office, a meeting room, at home, or on the road.
Garth Lobban, Director of Marketing, Atlona
We have two core 2021 business goals at Atlona: To build innovative AV products that speak to IT managers, and help people return to work and school safely with touchless collaboration and control solutions. The common thread to both simplify and evolve how people use and benefit from AV technology.
Bernice Cramer, Director of Global Marketing, Bose Professional
After a year full of challenges and surprises that tested creativity and endurance, my 2021 resolutions will be focusing on two important areas: An emphasis on listening to customers describe challenges and needs, especially now as they navigate how to evolve to a hybrid workplace and regather socially and spiritually. Just as important is our employees—helping them find balance for their health and happiness so they can continue navigating successfully while helping colleagues and customers alike.
Gladys Marrroquin, Audiovisual Consultant, Newcomb & Boyd
With COVID-19 catalyzing the need for flexible technology standards, I believe it would be wise to bolster our relationships with manufacturers who have been able to tackle current needs gracefully. It is important to keep in touch and reconnect with our local reps so they can help to keep us updated on each of their unique approaches, and keep those knowledge nuggets in mind when discussing needs with clients.
Nick Belcore, Executive Vice President, Peerless-AV
Heading into 2021, Peerless-AV will continue to focus on our core value of respect for people. We resolve to continue to find new ways to fully support our employees, customers, and partners in their professional endeavors as the world around us evolves. We will take full ownership, and drive impact first virtually, then in person as safety and circumstances permit. By furthering our investment in technology, we will enhance communication, safety, and ensure a cleaner, more resilient, and informed future for everyone.
Gina Sansivero, VP of Marketing and Corporate Communications, AtlasIED
I will work to ensure that 2021 will be a year of continuity and amplification at AtlasIED—our team will magnify what we have started in 2020. We will continue to reinforce our commitment to quality, to our dealer channel, to our industry, and to our employees. AtlasIED has a renewed brand identity and momentum in the industry, and we will continue to fuel that momentum through product development, support, engagement, training, and expansion. 2021 will be an exciting year, and I am resolute in continuing to build on our energy.
Chris Neto Market Development Manager - Experience and Engagement, Starin
2020 was a year of impactful change. For many, the challenge of shifting from office employee to a remote worker was a big enough change itself. In 2020, both AV companies and their employees tested their agility and resiliency in face of adversity. For years, AV sold and installed video conference systems, but many never turned on their cameras. Work culture as we know it has been changed. For 2021, my resolution is to continue to deliver a higher level of “presence”. Can I deliver a better value to our customers by using collaboration tools? I think so. This will be my personal goal, to perfect that balance between in-person and digital presence.
Kylie Holm, Director of Marketing, Neurilink
My 2021 business resolution is to continue crafting an outstanding customer experience. The customer experience is always at the forefront of our conversations at Neurilink—as it should be. Our vision isn’t to be the biggest, it’s to be the number one customer choice integrator in the Northwest.
We’re continually trying to find the right mix of flexibility and alignment with our proven process to create the best experience we can. 2021 will provide even more opportunity for us to dive deep into refining the customer experience as organizations rely more heavily on technologies that help employees connect and collaborate.
Joe Dunbar, Midwest Sales Manager, Sennheiser
In 2021, I will stay committed to my continued education. Like many of us, I was in a position where I could use some of my time to get new certifications and attend a variety of educational and informational seminars or trainings. Unfortunately though, I allowed a few of 2020’s curveballs to get in the way of (finally) taking my CTS, which I am on track to finish in Q1.
I promise that I will stay committed to supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives and using my voice and power to support equality in the workplace and in my community. I’m listening and I'm learning.
Kim Brown, Senior Director of Marketing, Planar
In 2021, flexibility will be key. We remain committed to offering our customers innovative display solutions that provide unparalleled visual performance, but also understand that their needs will vary during these unprecedented times. Despite the uncertainties next year will bring, the industry will continue to demand superior products, service, and support. From maintaining day-to-day business operations to executing one-of-a-kind installations, we’ll be here. We’re listening and ready to adapt to help make our customers’ visions a reality.
Vanessa Jensen, Senior Specialist, Market Development, Shure
2021 will be about adaptability. Shure will focus on helping customers remain open to change and evolve with the ever-changing business climate. It is clear that the work-from-home trend will continue into 2021, and we will continue to support our customers remotely so they can offer the best virtual meeting spaces possible. Technology will play an even bigger important role in the post-COVID world, enabling new, socially distant working practices. Providing high-quality end to end audio solutions that feature unmatched ease of deployment and more consistent experience will be more essential than ever.
Luke Jordan, Owner, Electro Acoustics
My goal this year is to take on the odds with my team—stickin' together like flour and water to make that slow dough! We worked for everything we have and we're going to stick up for each other—like brothers from another mother, kind of like Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.