• Published , by Tom Devine

Greetings from South Dakota! It's been one crazy year! 2020 will be a year to remember – my first pandemic, and I'm over 60 years old! Hopefully, there won't be a second, at least in my lifetime. From a personal standpoint, it's been weird – the first time in over 25 years not traveling on a regular basis – nor is the Sales team or the reps or the distributors. Everybody has figured out and is sick of, Teams, Zoom, and FaceTime, for one – I'd like to have some real "facetime" in 2021, and it looks like things will start to open up soon in the new year. No CEDIA, CES, INFOCOMM or ISE, no NAB, no Regional Events, no nothing in 2020! In 2021 we hope to SEE YOU in person – SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD!

Interestingly, in talking to my colleagues in the CEDIA/Residential market, business has generally been OK with numbers equal to or higher than 2019. I guess you could say people spending more time at home has made them aware of the deficiencies in their hardware and home control systems. In some markets, AV work is backlogged 3-6 months! We are hopeful that this growth trend continues in the CEDIA market and lite commercial continues to recover as more public venues continue to reopen. I'm going to lay out one tip here – from the housing crash of 2009 – don't take anything for granted. Shore up relationships with customers, make sure you have ongoing recurring revenue projects in the pipeline, and don't overlook training to give you and your employees an edge! 2021, from what I am hearing from the Resi market, could be the biggest ever in CEDIA's history – if you add on professional teleconferencing to home entertainment assets, your 2021 could be life-changing!

The AVIXIA/Commercial AV market has not been so lucky – buildings have been cleared out in large cities, and employees have been asked to work from home – putting projects on hold while leaders figure out the way forward with the new rules for health and safety. Budgets have been slashed or put on hold until the recovery is clearer. AVPro has spent 2020 building our AVIXIA/CAV team with the help of Brawn Consulting. All of the team members earned their CTS certification in 2020. We expanded our Manufacturer Rep network to cover the entire US market and are starting to see some projects really start to pick up, with 2021 promising to be a much better year!

We have been blessed in 2020 with some new, critical hires in the Engineering department and hope to use their knowledge to take the lineup in Commercial – AV over IP, USB extension, HDMI extension, switching and matrixing to new levels of excellence while building out relationships with Consultants and Dealers.


​So, this is Christmas 2020 – one crazy year – but we made the best of it! We are all wishing you a very Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! 2021, I think will be better 😊


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