Three Trends I'm Tracking for 2023

Three Trends I'm Tracking for 2023

We have a new year coming, and it offers a wide range of outcomes for pro AV. Here are a few things I will be watching for from my perspective on the intersection of economics and pro AV:

  • Recession: Yes, it's a real possibility, and yes, pro AV will lose out on growth if it hits. Here are two aspects to consider: One, it's far from a certainty. The odds are higher than 50%, but there's a very real chance inflation moderates, central banks ease their feet off the brakes, and the strength of household and business balance sheet sustains growth through the year.
  • Corporate Office Market: In public data on office rent and office construction, we continue to see strength. It's not to say there isn't evolution--there is--but fears of a major exodus remain wholly unfounded. I'm watching this for two reasons: First, I think there remains a possibility for further trend shift. If a recession hits and businesses are cash-strapped, we could see a trend of companies ending leases to reduce costs. By the same token, we could see a trend of companies reducing remote work options to cut staff through "voluntary" quitting. In addition, one thing our market research has heard loud and clear is that norms around the modern conference room are not established. Do we need big spaces? Small? How many cameras and screens to achieve meeting equity? Lot's of learning still to be done here!
  • Supply + Innovation: Pro AV supply chains have been so strained for so long, that I suspect it's had a meaningful impact on innovation. Product designers have been forced to focus on redesigning existing hardware to avoid unavailable components instead of reimagining solutions for the new era. So here's my two part watch: First, I'm watching for supply chains to finally ease. Our data suggests things peaked in the summer and are now mildly better, but we know supply remains the top problem for our industry. I'm looking for a major shift in 2023, a return not back to 2019 but somewhere close. Second, I'm watching for what comes out in 2023, especially late in the year when companies are more confident about shipping gear. What is going to surprise us? What is going to create new experiences for consumers and growth for the industry? I can't wait to find out!

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