Like many technology fields, pro AV changes rapidly. Every year, new technologies, capabilities and trends emerge, and customers seek innovative ways to meet their facilities’ AV needs. It’s safe to say that the AV market of 10 years from now will be very different than it is today.
For value-added resellers (VARs), the fast-evolving pro AV market can be highly lucrative—but it also can be easy to fall a bit behind the curve. That’s why it’s so important to align your business for the future. And the time to do so is now.
Here are a few tips to get started:
1. Understand the main forces that drive the pro AV market.
There are several driving forces that are likely to impact the pro AV market for years to come. First, technology is becoming more advanced than ever before, with a greater reliance on network connectivity and integration of multiple systems. The industry’s newest systems require more in-depth IT and networking knowledge, and that trend is likely to continue.
Meanwhile, as technology becomes more advanced, many the prices of many devices—such as LCD displays—are dropping rapidly. That means a broader segment of customers are now able to benefit from pro AV technology. Over time, items like digital signage will become more of a commodity than a luxury item, which is great news for any VAR.
2. Join industry associations.
Become a member of InfoComm International, the Digital Signage Federation, the Digital Signage Association, the Association for Quality in AV Technology or any number of other industry associations. You’ll hear the latest on new products, trends and events, and benefit from unique networking opportunities.
3. Future-proof your product offering as much as possible.
Take a look at some of the biggest emerging trends in pro AV. Do your product offering incorporate at least some of these technologies and provide a way forward as systems continue to advance?
Ensure that you’re working with technologies that are based on open architecture and can easily integrate with other systems. Opt for non-proprietary devices whenever possible. And look to all things digital and IP; even in smaller markets, they are most definitely the technology of the future.
4. Focus on long-term customer relationships.
No matter where the industry heads in the future, you will always need a strong customer base. So be sure to always focus on creating lifelong customers.
With each successful installation, offer extended support and service agreements. Check back occasionally to make sure each customer’s system is working as expected. And as new technologies are introduced, follow up with previous customers to talk about how their facility might benefit from an upgrade.
By providing the best products and service you can, you’ll keep your customers coming back. And, if you’re lucky, they’ll also be more likely to recommend your company to others.
5. Partner with a well-established industry leader.
Consider working with a technology distributor that can help guide you over time. You’ll benefit from leading-edge technologies and invaluable insight into market trends and developments. As the industry evolves, this could be a make or break for your business.
In what ways are you aligning your pro AV business for the future? What do you think will be some of the most significant trends to emerge over the next three to five years?