2022: A look back at a year in AV

2022: A look back at a year in AV
As 2022 comes to an end, Inavate looks back at the stories and developments that defined the AV industry in 2022.

Oh my, what a year. 2022 kicked off in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic that had seen the industry take a gut punch as projects closed down and supply lines began to bend and, in some cases, buckle.

We saw a huge amount of change and challenges throughout the year. As we tidy up our desks and begin to head home for the holidays, Inavate breaks down the top ten most year-defining stories of 2022.

Royal projection

On 6 February 2022, the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her platinum jubilee, which saw famous landmarks across the UK lit up in tribute to Her Majesty’s 70 years of service as monarch.

Stonehenge saw a projection of the Queen from each decade of her reign, while Marble Arch in London and Buckingham Palace saw its own illuminations thanks to Cameo illuminated spotlights.

This was to be Queen Elizabeth II’s final celebratory event before the longest reigning monarch in British history passed away on 8 September 2022.

Integrators at war  

On 24 February 2022, Russia stunned the world with its barbaric invasion of Ukraine, a brutal war that wages on to this day. Caught in the crossfire was Leater, one of Ukraine’s largest AV integrators, who despite missiles falling from the sky and Russian tanks closing on Kyiv, worked on to support the Ukrainian people and government.

Under fire, Leater installed makeshift cinemas in Kyiv’s metro stations to entertain the children that took shelter from Russian bombs. The team even took the fight to the Russians themselves, by creating a mobile drone station for the Ukrainian Army to use on the frontline.

Today, Leater carries on the struggle but needs your support. The team are working to install educational AV equipment at two orphanages in Ukraine and desperately require equipment in working condition, new or used, and funds to support the team in their work. You can make a cash donation here or contact invate@imlgroup.co.uk to make an equipment donation.

ISE 2022 and the Inavation Awards

In May 2022, ISE returned in person for the very first time in two years at its new venue at the Fira, Barcelona.

The show saw a total of 43,691 unique attendees from 151 countries, making a total of 90,372 visits to the show floor.

On the first night of ISE, the Inavation Awards made their triumphant, in-person return at the Barcelona Maritime Museum.

The evening started with the Technology Awards before the inaugural Applied Technology Award was revealed. The new award went to Visionary Solutions for the pivotal role its technologies played in the colossal Resorts World Las Vegas.

Four Business Awards were announced before Project Award winners were revealed. Ten winning projects came from eight countries and represent the best examples of AV integration seen across the globe from October 2020 to October 2021. Two projects from the Dubai World Expo featured as did the new home of the Dutch Parliament and a London luxury hotel of staggering scale.

Chipping away

As summer’s rays welcomed the return of live events and in-person gatherings, the AV industry found itself still struggling with an ongoing chip crisis that continues to affect the supply of products for projects around the globe.

To counter this, Audinate used its strategic partnerships with chip suppliers - including Xilinx, NXP and SkyWorks (formerly Silicon Labs) - to lobby for increased allocation of chips on behalf of the more than 500 Dante manufacturer licensees.

The maker of Dante networking technology points out that semiconductor analysts report that the global supply chain challenge is largely a demand issue more than a supply issue with AV particularly affected due to its smaller size compared to consumer, automotive and military.

LED disaster

July saw an installation nightmare as a huge LED screen came crashing down on two dancers at a concert by pop band Mirror in Hong Kong.

Failures like these are the stuff of nightmares for AV installers, as the 500 kg screen crushed two dancers. According to the South China Morning Post, the crash was caused by substandard metal wire bought from a supplier in China through another company.

The newspaper claimed that a government source revealed that a task force set up to investigate the accident involved a substandard wire cord, a weight error involving the screen, an incorrectly installed rope guard and a snapped screw resulted in the disaster.

There’s no I in Teams 

There has been a rush to install Microsoft Teams Rooms, but it has often been at the expense of delivering the right solution. Paul Milligan looks at what can be changed in the future.

Microsoft Teams has emerged from the Covid pandemic as the front runner for video meetings in the corporate environment, charging ahead of Zoom and the long-term incumbent Cisco. Teams was always the likely winner because Microsoft is already so ingrained inside every IT department from Bangalore to Berlin. Teams has become fundamental to the post-Covid hybrid working office, and this has led to a gold rush of Microsoft Teams Rooms for system integrators.

Ensuring a quality Microsoft Teams Room installation means less speed and more haste, putting more consideration into room design.

Supply shortages means opportunities  

With supply shortages of everything from processors to LED displays ongoing throughout the year, is a shortage of stock from the biggest suppliers in the AV world an opportunity for smaller or lesser known brands to become an everyday part of an integrator’s portfolio?

Short supply of products has provided an opportunity for smaller companies to expand their market share, finding a rare opportunity to break integrator brand loyalty and showcase what their products can do.

Today’s challenges mean that integrators need to be creative and the supply challenges faced today are likely to still haunt us as we head into 2023.

Recession looms

As summer came to an end, Inavate sounded the alarm on the coming recession that has now hit countries across the globe.

Rising inflation is a cause for concern, not just in our day to day lives but also in the AV industry, which has been fortunate to have avoided price hikes as severe as global inflation in other sectors.

The industry remains at risk from economic slowdown that results as a fallout effect from how central banks combat inflation, and different regions may experience more difficult circumstances than others.

“AVIXA is telling its members to have caution”, says Peter Hansen, economist, AVIXA, “Right now in 2022, pro AV has a big tailwind and that is the return to in-person events and in-person working. It is why we saw record growth through the spring.

“We encourage people to keep in touch with thought leaders and our business index to keep up with real-time conditions in pro-AV. Staying plugged in to media and market research sources will help you be the first mover when whatever changes in the market become apparent.”

Immersive play 

The FIFA World Cup returned in November 2022, held in Qatar for the very first time. As part of the event experience, 4D immersive audio screenings were set up at FIFA Fan Festival events across the globe.

The international FIFA Fan Festival events brought live match broadcasts from the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, bringing 4D immersive audio to some events which filled the venues with sounds from the matches live on the ground.

The events took place at the Dubai Harbour in the UAE and at the Outernet in the UK, alongside additional partner events in Seoul, Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City.

New year, new winners 

With 2023 on the horizon, Inavate announced the finalists of the Inavation Awards 2023 project and technology finalists. The winners will be announced at the hotly anticipated Inavation Awards in Barcelona on 31 January 2023 within the glorious walls of the MNAC in Barcelona for a night of awards and a luxurious dinner.  

We look forward to welcoming you there! You can book your table here. 

Main photo credit: MangKangMangMee/Shutterstock.com

Chipping away photo credit:  anyaivanova/Shutterstock.com

Supply Shortages photo credit: Jenari/Shutterstock.com

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