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AVIXA Impact Survey: Economic consequences of COVID-19 continue to play out

The latest report indicates that as sentiment levels off, more revenue declines and layoffs seem to loom

There are growing signs the pro AV industry is in for a protracted recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic challenges it has presented, AVIXA notes in its latest Impact Survey. Revenue continues to be under increasing pressure, and it appears layoffs, as opposed to furloughs, are on the rise.

This is happening at the same time economies around the globe begin to open and the work situation thaws. In many parts of the world, when governments initially imposed restrictions, many AV providers were still able to work on projects already in progress, based on their status as essential telecommunications or construction contractors. But until recently, large swaths of society were still shuttered, meaning it was a matter of time before the wider economic slowdown might catch up to the industry.

“I’d be lying if I said we hadn’t taken a little bit of a hit from a revenue recognition standpoint and getting jobs done,” said the head of one AV integrator. “Anytime you see a good chunk of the country shut down, I think you’re going to get it.”

Said another, “I am expecting a slowdown because design projects are going on hold. Design usually takes six to nine months. It’s been three months of this already, so I’m expecting in three to six months, bid work is going to slow down because architecture is being told to wait.”

The Volume of Negative Impact Takes a Pause
On the bright side, the immediate, week-to-week negative effects from COVID-19 may be easing. In this week’s Impact Survey, fielded June 2-3, 62% of AV providers cited negative impacts over the prior week — still a sizable figure, but down from 66% the week before and a high of 88% in early April.

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Roughly 57% of AV end user respondents perceived negative impacts the past week, a percentage that has held fairly steady over several surveys, but is also down from a peak of 83% when AVIXA Market Intelligence first began asking AV Intelligence Panel members about the effects of COVID-19 on their business.

Companies still perceive challenges looming ahead. According to one AV provider respondent, “I think it’s very hard to tell which way things will go in the future, whether the future means tomorrow, next year, or five years from now. A lot of the decisions we’ve made about which way to steer our business in the past have been guided largely by what we hear from current and potential clients. I’ve heard very, very little from clients in the last two months or so.”

Read the full report here.

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