Digital Native Students Drive Higher Education Institutions to Invest in Pro AV Tech, According to AVIXA

Nearly 40 percent of students report that pro AV technologies increase their engagement in the classroom, according to the new Market Opportunity Analysis Report (MOAR) focused on higher education, produced by the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA). To create vibrant learning environments, colleges and universities are making large investments in AV technologies. The new AVIXA report investigates the opportunities and challenges for pro AV providers working in higher education. 

"Education has long been a key market for pro AV providers and for good reason," said Sean Wargo, senior director of market intelligence, AVIXA. "In 2018, education generated $13.8 billion in pro AV revenue globally, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.2 percent through 2023, when it will reach $18.1 billion, according to our Industry Outlook and Trend Analysis report. Today's college students are true digital natives with high expectations for technology, and education institutions are tasked with delivering on those demands."

MOAR: Higher Education reports on students' experience with technology in the classroom. The report also explores the feedback of purchasers of pro AV solutions at higher education institutions, as well as that of pro AV systems integrators that work in the market.

Colleges and universities are investing in technology, in part, to better facilitate recruitment. Eighty-six percent of higher education institutions indicate they are planning to make capital improvements to their classrooms or educational work spaces over the next two years, with 36 percent reporting significant increases in spend compared to the prior year. In terms of total capital expenditure budget amounts, the average outlay planned for the current year is more than $766,000. Seventy-nine percent of decision-maker respondents indicate more than 10 percent of the overall project budget is allocated specifically to upgrade or install AV technologies or solutions in classrooms or work spaces.

Among students who use or interact with specific AV technologies, two thirds agree videowalls, wireless presentation systems, and interactive whiteboards enhance the learning experience most. At the same time, technologies such as security and surveillance, environmental, and control systems — technologies with which students are less likely to interact — tend to be perceived as less impactful.

Four-fifths of AV integration firms work in education, driving nearly a quarter of their annual revenues, again highlighting the relative importance of the pro AV role in higher education. However, this may not be surprising, as the pro AV community is historically rooted in this market. While there is clearly ample opportunity for AV providers to work within the space, lack of familiarity with the category is the primary reason more integrators are not serving the market. Regardless, integrators appear to be aware of the growth potential with 95 percent indicating plans to enter the market in the near future.

For AV providers seeking relationships with higher education institutions, it's easier to identify the key players compared to other industries. Higher education institutions tend to have more staff directly allocated to managing AV versus other markets, which reflects their high degree of investment and commitment to AV technology. AV has been a part of the classroom experience for so long, higher education institutions have brought resources in-house to manage it. Nearly 50 percent of the higher education institutions surveyed report that internal technical/AV managers lead AV systems integration projects and 15 percent report the IT department does.

MOAR: Education is the sixth in a series of AV market studies. The hospitality, retail, corporate, transportation, and sports venues reports were published throughout 2018. The higher education report is available for purchase at AVIXA members are eligible for discounts. The full six-report series is available for purchase as a bundle that also includes a summary report comparing market results and copies of two additional reports — entertainment events and corporate events — coming in 2019.

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.