When Should You Invest in New Technology?
AV technology is always changing. It moves as fast as commercial technologies and can be a game-changer or a bust – just like any other technology. Some technologies in the AV industry are adopted quickly and by many people while others are adopted slowly and take time to reach a large group of people.
Sometimes new technologies fall flat – not delivering the improved experience promised, but others can truly set your AV vendor services apart from all others you compete with. Everyone is always looking for a way to offer a unique value proposition to their customers and clients and new technology is one way to do it – if you have the money and resources necessary to make it happen.
If you are limited in your money and resources to buy new equipment and learn how to use it, then you probably want to make sure that whatever you do buy is something that will have an incredible return on investment (ROI) for your company. Getting a good ROI is something that all AV service providers should consider before making any new technology purposes.
Questions to Ask Before Buying Investing in New Technology
- Does this make my job easier? You should always ask yourself this question before purchasing anything new for your AV business. If you truly believe it will make things easier for you, then get specific about those reasons. Write them out and share them with your team our an outside person. Ask them if they agree with you – if they don’t, it doesn’t’ mean you shouldn’t get it, it just means you should probably do a bit more due diligence before buying.
- Will this provide more value for my clients? If it does not make your job easier (or even if it does), you should ask if it will provide additional value for your clients. Is it a fun new prop that will get more people on the dancefloor? Or is it something that only you will appreciate as someone who’s into the newest technologies? Be clear about why you want to purchase the item.
- How long will it take to see a return on my investment? No matter how cheap or expensive the purchase is, you should have a clear understanding of how long it will take to recoup the invest and see a positive return on it. Run the numbers and take your time before making the purchase. The last thing you want to do is make a purchase that takes five years to pay off and the trend itself dies after just a year or two.
Now that you have an idea of when you should purchase a new piece of equipment or software, let’s see what new technology is coming in the AV industry and what trends to expect for the upcoming year. While the technology itself is always changing and evolving, there are some trends that tend to crop up and stay around for at least a year or two. Let’s look at two of the biggest and most exciting emerging trends.
AV Technology Trends
No more bulky control panels. Advancements in wireless presentation and AV/IP technology allow AV providers to create rooms without a control panel. Using Bluetooth beaconing and other user authentication methods, AV systems become intelligent so that so users can enter a room, start a meeting, present content, and leave the room without ever having to touch a control panel. As of now, this is used for smaller rooms, but expect to see it expand to larger rooms over the next year or so.
Virtual and Augmented Reality. This is where audio visual elements and physical space meet. Up until this point, AV designers have had to work around whatever physical space they’re given to work with. It’s not always conducive to optimal AV setups. This is where virtual and augmented reality come into play. No longer are AV designers restricted to their physical space, they can create worlds and effects that are unique and hyper-relevant for any event or presentation. Though there’s much to be discovered in this industry, it’s proving to be an exciting time to be an AV designer and vendor.