SCN: What technology and/or verticals were most successful in 2014?
Clint Hoffman: The most successful product category in 2014 was undoubtedly wireless presentation and collaboration products. Devices that make meetings smarter began the year as fairly new and popular and are ending the year as the hot technology in the market. Enabling people to connect effortlessly to a display in a meeting room, classroom, conference room, or other meeting or huddle space and then to collaborate is transforming meetings from boring and unproductive events to truly productive and engaging events. As a result, demand for these solutions is increasing exponentially.
What customer or end-user demand surprised you the most and why?
CH: The most surprising customer and end-use demand in 2014 was also the demand for wireless presentation and collaboration products. The demand for these products was expected, but the level of demand has been happily surprising. The market is more than ready for these solutions. From higher education to corporate meeting rooms, the convenience and efficiency of wireless connection coupled with the ability to have any attendee very easily present from their screen at any time, to those features coupled with collaboration and the ability to share files instantly with all participants at the other end of the market, make these the hot technology solutions in the market right now.
Which vertical markets are on the rise and which do you see declining?
CH: We don’t see any AV vertical markets on the decline, but some are growing faster than others. Higher education is a growing market. Pardon the pun, but it’s also one of the most educated verticals. You can still find folks with the title, AV Technology Manager, or a similar title, while in many AV verticals the customer is someone in the IT department. That being said, the corporate and healthcare markets are also very strong. All three of these markets are, not coincidentally, the prime markets for the wireless presentation and collaboration products. These are the growth drivers right now.
Clint Hoffman is the VP of Marketing at Kramer Electronics.