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Collaboration technologies take greater share of AV budgets

One fifth of meeting room AV budgets are now being spent on collaboration technologies, such as interactive displays, video conferencing and wireless presentation solutions.

The new i3HUDDLE 3.0 interactive touchscreen
The new i3HUDDLE 3.0 interactive touchscreen

A Futuresource Consulting survey of 2,500 end users in the UK, USA, Germany and France shows that while display technologies still take the largest slice of budgets for the estimated 11 million meeting rooms in Europe and North America, this is changing in line with evolving working practices.

This is especially true of large meeting rooms, where over 60% of AV spend is now allocated to non-display technologies.

Anthony Brennan, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting, said: “With 11% of employees working from home at least three days a week – up three percentage points on the last time we ran this research – the role of the meeting room continues to change. More of us are wirelessly sharing content to a web conferencing platform or harnessing interactive technologies to get our point across, and the usage is only going to increase.”

He added: “As the landscape continues to broaden, companies will increasingly demand a multitude of features from their meeting room tech. The winners will be the technology providers who can deliver engaging, flexible solutions that work seamlessly and encourage collaborative working without getting in the way or adding extra layers of complexity…There’s a cosy, big money position for the vendor who can offer a full meeting room solution that covers all the needs of companies across different meeting room sizes.”

Futuresource Consulting’s analysis shows that suppliers of professional audio products, such as commercial speakers and high-quality microphones, are also benefiting from these trends. In the US, for example, 28% of AV hardware budgets for large meeting rooms are being invested in audio.

In addition to greater demand for professional-grade ceiling and column speakers as meeting room sizes and budgets increase, Futuresource Consulting Associate Director McIntyre-Brown highlights greater interest in professional microphones.

He said: “Corporations are becoming more attuned to the importance of high quality audio when making conference calls, which is helping to grow demand for dedicated microphones. We’re seeing a range of form factors gradually sliding into the mix, particularly in medium and large meeting rooms, where extender mics are being used in tandem with conferencing phones.”

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2018