Looking Into Our Crystal Ball: Three AV Trends to Watch in 2023
As usual, another year has passed much too fast. If you didn’t get half of your to-do list done, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I AM proud, however, of what our RoomReady team was able to achieve this year. Alongside our partners, we were able to help customers better align their meeting spaces with the demands of hybrid work – achieving meeting equity for both remote and in-person participants.
But now that we’ve settled into a hybrid groove, it’s not too early to begin thinking about how AV spaces will evolve in the coming year. Before we start tearing into presents and eating far, far too many cookies, we wanted to share a few of the trends we think will pick up speed in 2023. Spoiler alert: the way AV experiences are delivered is about to be disrupted.
Hardware Takes a Backseat to Software
We first discussed this trend on the blog in October – but it bears repeating, especially as companies cut back in the face of economic uncertainty. In the past, meeting rooms were connected mainly by wires, going in and out of computers and into TVs, giving the room a messy appearance and users a headache. If you’ve ever played a game of “follow the cord to the correct outlet,” you know how frustrating this can be.
In 2023, we’ll likely see a broader shift to software-driven AV experiences, with more businesses connecting to their speakers and cameras via Bluetooth-enabled devices, rather than plugging into a central console. While this method can take longer for employees to master, it allows for quicker installation, fewer tangled cords and significant amounts of capital saved on unnecessary cables.
A Screen-Heavy Environment Calls for AVoIP
Software might be the right choice for reducing cords in one room, but what if your AV project covers an entire office? Or even a church, or college? Bigger AV projects that call for cords can still be streamlined using AVoIP (AudioVisual over Internet Protocol). AVoIP eliminates the need for specialized cables, allowing businesses to run their AV technology through a CAT cable. Instead of running AV through a single switch with a restricted number of inputs and outputs, users can connect additional switches and transmitters to the network for seamless broadcasting.
Next year, executives will focus on how to drive the best hybrid experience for remote and in-office workers. For businesses planning multiple collaboration spaces, AVoIP can help simplify the process. It can transmit information hundreds of feet, and the data source accessed through it can be changed across all screens quickly – meaning two rooms can collaborate with each other quickly and efficiently.
The Role of the AV Professional Evolves
As businesses streamline their tech investments through options such as software-driven AV experiences and AVoIP, it’s not just the meeting room that changes – the professionals who run AV will need to evolve as well. Employee questions will shift from “which cable do I connect with” to “why isn’t my screen casting properly,” so AV will be expected to have an answer. And as some businesses look at consolidating roles, having skillsets on both the hardware and software sides of AV can help professionals prove their value.
In the coming year, executives will focus on training their AV team for this new world – helping them think more like IT people and less like hardware people. These types of skills will be in high demand, so for AV professionals on the market: now is the time to begin mastering collaboration platforms such as Teams, Webex and Zoom for quicker troubleshooting and more efficient end-user training.
2023 is a fresh start – for many of us figuratively, but for AV, literally. Businesses are rethinking the way they utilize office space, and that means meeting room AV is getting leaner. This will be a year for trying new approaches to meeting room technology, and teaching professionals how to make the most of the solutions we find. Come January 1, it’s time to hit the ground running (we’ll bring the leftover cookies, of course!)