The Power of Partnering with a Pro for AV Solution Success

Jim Carter
Raeann Bilow

Organizations are adopting AV and conference room solutions at a rapid rate. The rise in hybrid work—along with technological advancements making AV solutions simpler and more affordable—are contributing to the growth of AV solutions.

As the adoption of these new technologies grows, so do the accompanying complications and risks. Organizations that do not work with an expert when designing and implementing their AV solutions risk ineffective and inefficient setups, wasted resources, security events, and more.

Connection can help overcome these challenges by providing customized, intuitive AV solutions. As Certified Technology Specialists, our expertise helps to ensure a seamless and successful AV implementation.

The Rise in Demand for Conference Room AV Solutions

The pro AV market is poised to grow by 90.51 billion USD from 2020 to 2025, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.31%. We are seeing similar growth at Connection. In 2021, our Digital Signage Practice (DSP) achieved 41% growth, its highest sales level since its inception in 2008. 

This growth can be primarily attributed to two factors: the rise in hybrid and flexible workplaces, as well as the advancements in AV technology helping to make solutions simpler and more affordable.

Flexible and Hybrid Workforces 

The rise of hybrid workforces is one factor we’ve seen that’s led to an increased reliance on AV and conference rooms. With more than half of workers now hybrid, companies need reliable and effective tools for remote collaboration, virtual meetings, and seamless communication between on-site and remote teams. 

Although there is a greater need for collaboration technology to enhance the hybrid work experience, the quality of that technology remains lacking. In fact, less than 8% of the 90 million conference rooms worldwide are currently video enabled. As hybrid workforces continue to proliferate, organizations will need to adopt AV solutions that will allow all of their workers to feel like they are able to contribute in meetings equally—no matter where they are working.

Technology Advancements

Advancements in conference room technology is another factor that’s fueling the implementation of new AV solutions. High-resolution displays, improved audio systems, and other new technologies have all transformed the conference room experience. These innovations provide better quality, greater flexibility, and enhanced user experiences.

These upgrades have made AV solutions simpler and easier to use. For example, a separate piece of hardware used to be necessary to convert the video signal for streaming capabilities. Now, that can be done internally, by either a PC or as part of the internal compute of a complete sound bar solution.

AV technological advancements have also led to cost savings. While AV technology was once associated with high costs, advancements have made it more accessible and affordable. As prices for quality AV equipment decrease, a wider range of businesses can afford to integrate AV solutions.

Why Expertise Matters: The Complexities of AV/Conference Room Setup

Navigating the complexities of AV/IT conference room setup has become increasingly intricate. From selecting the right equipment to ensuring compatibility, optimal performance, and user-friendly interfaces, the end-to-end process can be fraught with risks—without the guidance of an expert. 

Risks of AV Design Without Expert Input

These are some of the specific setbacks that organizations who attempt to design and implement AV solutions on their own face.

Wasted Time and Decreased Productivity

Time and productivity in meetings consistently get squandered due to inefficient conference room equipment. In fact, around 15% of time spent in meetings is wasted, primarily due to inefficient conference room equipment. Difficulties like connecting to a display, launching video calls, or switching presenters during virtual meetings all waste time and productivity. 

Incompatible Equipment

Purchasing incompatible equipment that doesn’t work well with existing systems can result in frustrating issues like poor audio and video quality—or even complete system failures—during meetings. There are also several different idiosyncrasies that you may not be aware of until you’ve had the experience of designing multiple conference room spaces. 

For example, Teams only allows one camera, while Zoom allows multiple. If an organization decides down the road that they’d like to switch from Zoom to Teams, they’d only be able to access one of their cameras. Working with an expert ensures you’re up to date on these types of features of different systems, and that your new technology will work optimally with your existing setup. 

Purchasing the Wrong Equipment

Not purchasing the right equipment for the right space is another common pitfall. For example, organizations may not have the appropriate audio for the size of the conference room or experience an echo due to digital signal processing. They also risk not getting the right-sized display for their current setup, so people in certain areas have a hard time seeing the visual.

Incorrectly purchased equipment can result in wasted financial resources. You might end up spending money on components that don’t meet your needs or can’t be integrated into your existing infrastructure. 

For example, our AV/IT team recently worked with a company that experienced issues with their wiring diagram after working with a distribution partner. Since their issues weren’t fully apparent until after their 60-day warranty had ended, they had to pay for someone else to fix it. In addition to that added cost, they also spent a significant amount of time swapping out equipment that was bought as a mistake. 

Security Risks

AV equipment can be vulnerable to security risks. Without proper security measures, your AV system could become a potential entry point for cyberattacks. 

Experts can help to ensure you have essential security measures such as encryption, firewall configurations, or intrusion detection systems. They can also identify potential security vulnerabilities and set up proper access controls and authentication protocols to safeguard your systems. 

Navigating the Maze: How a Professional AV/IT Partner Can Help

Entrusting these tasks to an expert partner not only mitigates potential risks, but also guarantees a tailored solution that aligns precisely with your specific business needs.

Connection offers an extension to their well-established Digital Signage Practice, the  Collaboration and AV/IT practice segment. As such, we are able to provide a comprehensive solution and strategy, from design to deployment. These are the steps we take to ensure success.

Expert Assessments

Our team starts with a consultation to assess your space and needs for optimal AV setup. We take into consideration such factors as: how to best design a solution in accordance with the shape of the room, how many speakers to use in a room of a certain dimension, how far away a person would need to be to see a certain display, etc. Understanding these intricacies in advance ensures a smoother implementation process down the line.

Vendor-agnostic Recommendations

After assessing the space, we then select the best technology for your specific needs. This is based on our deep understanding of the latest AV equipment, their features, and their compatibility. 

We are vendor agnostic, so we deliver unbiased recommendations as to what makes the most sense for specific needs. This ensures a more seamless integration process and the best possible performance in the end. 

Customized Solutions

Depending on your unique requirements, we’ll design customized solutions that are tailored to meet specific needs. We focus on creating the most user-friendly interfaces and workflows by designing intuitive control systems that make it easy for users to operate the AV equipment, minimizing the learning curve and maximizing user adoption.

The Certified Technology Specialist: Ensuring Excellence

When selecting an AV partner, one of the most important elements to consider is whether they hold the CTS (Certified Technology Specialist) certification. In fact, according to the AVIXA® META: Pro-AV Channel Employment Reportmore than 80% of firms prefer or require CTS holders for higher level engineering and technician positions. 

To assure our clients that our specialists meet the highest industry standards, Connection’s Digital Signage, Collaboration, and AV/IT Practice regularly seeks out new certifications for its team of Business Development Specialists.

Recently, digital signage expert Jim Carter, Sr. Business Specialist for Collaboration and AV/IT, acquired the CTS-D (Design) certification. This specialized certificate has a pass rate of only 58% and ensures that clients receive the advanced design skills needed for complex AV projects that involve designing intricate and integrated systems.

Future-Proof Your AV Solutions with Connection

Professional AV/IT services are an essential investment in today’s evolving work landscape. With increasingly flexible work arrangements, well-designed AV spaces help to enhance collaboration and productivity, no matter where employees are working from.However, the complexity of AV design cannot be underestimated. The risks of implementing AV solutions without an AV/IT expert are substantial. That’s where Connection can help. Our expertise as Certified Technology Specialists ensures seamless, tailor-made, and intuitive AV solutions for future-ready conference rooms.

Jim Carter has been in the AV industry for nearly 30 years. He has seen most facets of the business from the consumer, pro, manufacturing and commercial spaces. He holds many other important certifications in the industry beyond the CTS-D including DSEG certifications and Dante Level 2.