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Thankful for the challenges of 2020

Tim Albright reflects on the benefits of a challenging year

Each year we sit back and reflect on what we are thankful for. Megan Dutta from SCN gathers audiovisual industry members to give what they are thankful for as well. I figured I’d expand on my entry. This might come as a bit of a surprise, but I am genuinely thankful for the year 2020. No, I don’t wish the hundreds of thousands who have perished from the COVID-19 virus. The challenges, though, has forced me to rethink, re-invent, and get creative. It’s also forced some interesting mental and physical changes.

AVNation is blessed to have several media partners, including SCN and Future. In fact, if you haven’t signed up for AV Network Nation December 10, you totally should. With those partnerships, it’s a bit like fren-amies. We do compete for advertising dollars. My general attitude is there is enough for all of us. So, I enjoy co-creating content for the industry and leaving it a better community than I found. In 2020, those advertising dollars did indeed become scarce and there genuinely wasn’t enough for us all. Do make up those losses I had to get creative.

The need to get creative and re-think your business model and offerings is a great gift. Some people could spend decades just going through the motions with no real challenge or change. This year has given us plenty of those, with triumphs and failures. In mid-April AVNation produced our very first virtual conference. In fact, it was our first two as week one was residential and week two was commercial. Learn From Home was an exercise in our great community coming together. We had some great speakers, instructors, and interactions.

The summer came and went with some good experiences, including helping AtlasIED launch Atmosphere. I became a meme. Not something I thought I’d ever type. SMH. As the year wore on it became increasingly clear that 2020 was just a warm-up act for 2021. With the pandemic continuing to cause havoc financially and a vaccine not coming soon, we must be prepared for the next 12 to 18 months. That’s where I am most thankful.

Writing this here in the Fall of 2020, in my office, we’re still here. From a business standpoint it was a challenging year, but we’re still here. There was no DSE, InfoComm, NYDSW, or CEDIA, but we’re still here. We, I, have learned, grown, and evolved. I have generally held that we are not the same people we were five years ago as we grow, adapt, and change. This year has accelerated that to where I can say with confidence, I am not the person I was 12 months ago.

So, yeah, I’m thankful for the challenges, risks, failures, and wins of 2020. This has taught me valuable lessons about myself, my business, media, and the AV industry. Sitting here on the precipice of 2021 I can confidently say I can’t wait to see what next year has in store. ‘Cause we’re going to handle it.

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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