How AV Integrators Adjust to New Business Realities Could Determine Their Role in Post-Coronavirus Economy

*Originally published on*

AV Integrators made a quick shift to business survival as COVID-19 landed on American soil. How they prepared for the unexpected determined their success.

It seems almost impossible to believe that it was less than a month ago when Geoff Colvin talked during his NSCA Business & Leadership Conference keynote about how the 400 or so attendees need to be ready for the future of work—and the role they’d play in it.

The future is here now, thanks to the continued spread of the coronavirus across the U.S. and around the world, but the changes in the AV industry and the global economy aren’t necessarily triggered by technological advances, but more by an unexpectedly quick shift to business continuity mode.

AV industry leaders certainly couldn’t have predicted the coronavirus pandemic would force so many workers to immediately work from home, but those who were prepared to make the transition when it happened are probably the ones who will emerge from the crisis in the best shape in a few months.

Sure, most people in AV knew about Zoom a few weeks ago and probably used their service or something similar to conduct their video calls. But who could have seen the explosion in its popularity as a primary form of communication and connection?

What will be the next Zoom? You should know–or you should be working to create it now so it’s ready for worldwide adoption at the exact moment when the world needs it.

Colvin’s BLC keynote was about thinking in innovative ways about how technology can replace humans in the workforce in certain tasks and how that transition often leads to the creation of new tasks for the humans who are displaced by robots or technology.

Obviously, there’s a lot of scrambling going on across the country and around the world as we all try to figure out the best ways to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, but the business leaders who shifted into not only business continuity mode but stepped into business transformation should be your role models.

Nobody wants to be bombarded right now with sales pitches and efforts to sweet-talk someone into new products, but the companies that have been able to figure out ways to help their customers solve the new problems they weren’t facing a month ago are the epitome of everyone’s favorite word: nimble.

You should be thinking now about how you’ll handle the inevitable next business disruption. Will you be able to offer your customers an added level of service when you’re no longer able to meet the deadline for that big installation?

Or will you be able to find new ways for them to use your existing product line to meet the needs they didn’t know they had?

AV Integrators Play Key Role in Economic Recovery

Another interesting development is seeing the federal government label integrators as “essential critical infrastructure workers” during the business continuity phase of the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

I’ve heard more than once that integrators don’t value themselves and what they do as much as they should, so could it be that government officials are giving them a not-so-subtle hint about their importance to our economy?

Maybe the government values integrators more than they value themselves. Their roles in the COVID-19 response could be more important than any of them realized a couple of weeks ago when we were just starting to pay attention to the situation because of the effect it was having on the AV supply chain.