Looking Ahead to 2021

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New years typically begin with an aggressive start for AV professionals. Many of us hit the ground running in Las Vegas in January, wandering the ever-so-crowded halls of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). We come home for a week or two and then jump on an overseas flight—typically to Amsterdam, but 2021 was going to be Integrated Systems Europe’s (ISE) Barcelona debut.

Between those two shows, we’d attend kickoff meetings for new projects and close out the last of our installations from last year, and wedge in some time to catch up with co-workers and discuss their holiday travels and adventures. Barely time to breathe.

But this year will be a little different. CES will be taking place at your kitchen table, or wherever you attend meetings while working from home. (While some of us have returned to offices, many have not, and it’s still very unclear how the pandemic will affect our work plans this winter.) ISE, traditionally a February affair, has been relocated to June. With COVID cases surging across the nation, it’s not likely that we’ll be hosting in-person meetings anytime soon. 

While we all anxiously await the distribution of an effective vaccine so we can safely see our colleagues again, we’re back to filling our time with virtual meetings, events, and happy hours. 

Speaking of which, join me for all three on Friday, Dec. 4, at Leveling Up: The Esports and Education Conference and Expo

If that doesn’t work for you, I’m co-hosting AV Network Nation, a virtual event that takes place on Thursday, Dec. 10. I’ll be joined by AVNation’s Tim Albright, as well as an impressive roster of panelists who will be discussing the future of pro AV technologies.

Back to filling our time, we should all be using Q1 2021 as a planning quarter because once we are collectively back in business, things will be insanely busy. We’ll be flying from city to city, reconnecting (in person!) with our colleagues, fellow industry leaders, and potential clients. June will bring us both ISE and InfoComm, and the fall will bring an abundance of shows including the co-located NAB Show and AES Convention in Las Vegas in October.

So enjoy what could be the last few months of a slowdown and get ready to go full steam ahead into mid-2021!

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.