A significant amount of career changes have come into effect as a result of the pandemic. As events are taken online and executed virtually and we move towards less capacity for live events, we are seeing a reduction in the availability of technical staff and specialists in event technology. We are forced to consider what the future will hold for their careers and for the event industry as a whole? What kind of skill set can we expect and how will it evolve with changing industry needs? What will future Orlando event productions look like?
Shortage of Technical Staff for Audio Visual Production in Orlando
Once live events increase capacity and safety measures are lifted, audio visual companies are hoping to regain all their clients and roster of annual events. As clients resume live events, trade shows, conferences and meetings; there will be an adjustment period for all those involved. Along with the new way of running events and way of life, the reduced availability of technical staff due to career changes is an added challenge all audio visual providers should prepare for.
New training will be a key component to maintain technical staff skill sets and supply. AV companies in Orlando will have to decide if they train staff in-house or if there are third party training services available. The company with the strongest background and ability to set up training may dominate the entire market supply as well as expand into a new business sector for AV education. Perhaps, we will see customized training by each AV provider that pertains to their specific event services offering and as a result new niches will develop in terms of types of event and the training for associated technical staff. This could result in a more sliced and diced event type and experience. We can definitely expect increased competition and companies requiring more differentiation to grow business and survive the marketplace demand.
Clients can expect to have more control over their events and what services they use, and with the increased competition they can benefit from more flexibility and better pricing. Each event will be unique and industry reputation and best practices are bound to evolve. Overall, there will be a learning curve on new technologies that help run hybrid events, as there will be a greater need for both a live event with a virtual event component. This may or may not end up being more costly for clients and accordingly revenue margins will shift for both event organizers and service providers.
Demand and Supply for Live Events
The pandemic is forcing multiple businesses in the event industry to go out of business. This is affecting product suppliers, technology providers, venues, AV services and more. As the industry hits a decline in competitors, it is likely that demand will drastically increase while supply goes down. This will further make competition fierce and the ability to survive in the industry will be harder. On one hand, clients will have less vendors to pick from and the price of events will go up but on the other hand, clients can pick and choose from existing providers all competing for their business. Clients will always benefit from either scenario as although the industry overall may see a rise in the cost of business, clients hold the key ingredient – events!
AV providers will struggle with less technical staff available, less suppliers, and needing to provide even more service and differentiation to win client business. Depending on monetary resources and the ability to maintain different aspects of the event supply chain, we will see a few AV providers being clear leaders who can keep their costs low and still deliver on all client needs. They are most likely to attract the biggest clients and the best technical staff to work together on events. We can also expect to see buy-outs of weaker companies, mergers and acquisitions, or partnerships in an effort to mutually survive the new industry landscape. Without a doubt, the event industry is in for a lot of uncertainty and long-term change.
Impact on Virtual Events
There is a new skill set being developed for virtual events which may continue to be valuable even as live events return to full capacity. We have developed a new career for technical specialists and as we continue with live events, we are most likely to also retain virtual components. AV companies that excelled with virtual events through the pandemic are most likely to continue to maintain their roster of clients and be able to better adapt to what the industry will require. They will also have good working relationships with talented staff for virtual events.
It is likely that the large amount of freelance staff in our industry will be offered more in-house roles, to be able to get first access to their skill set and time for clients. There is an opportunity for technical staff to call the shots and yield added benefits from AV providers. There is an opportunity for technical staff to specialize in both live event technology and virtual event technology, in order to have the most desirable skill set in the events industry.
Clients can benefit from the added revenue stream that comes from virtual attendees who otherwise would not attend the event. The cost of delivering the virtual components is also lower, so profit margins are greater. Overall, the Orlando AV industry mindset may shift as we are now seeing the benefits of virtual events which include convenience, lower travel costs, less environmental impact from travel, and the ability to reach greater audiences without logistical limitations.