Unlock potential growth in the transforming rental and staging market.

Over the past 10 years, the live events AV market enjoyed booming growth. According to AVIXA research, this market represented $26.7B of the total $247B AV market worldwide. Then along came 2020 and market disruptions that impacted live events in every industry. And though this drop off was sudden, the AV market is known for recovering quickly. To position your company for the next growth phase – which is coming sooner than you think – you need to understand the top trends and market dynamics of AV for live events, or the AV rental and staging market.

Market dynamics

Live events include corporate events and live performances like concerts. It’s important to note that the corporate events market is not a separate AV vertical, but rather a set of technology solutions that cut across all AV vertical markets. That’s why the corporate live events market represents greater growth opportunity in the long run.

Demand for AV equipment and staging services exists in nearly every vertical. These verticals include education, associations, technology industries, sports, retail/restaurant, architecture and related fields, healthcare, finance, broadcast media, hospitality gaming, energy utilities, and government/military.

In the corporate live events market, event planners typically spend a significantly higher percentage of their budgets on AV than customers in AV integration projects. That trend will continue, aided by dropping prices for installed AV gear.
Year in and year out, the installed AV market is much steadier than the more cyclical AV corporate events market. In a downturn, corporate event AV service providers purchase less new gear for their inventory. But in good times, AV stagers and live event pros are stars, pushing the entire AV industry forward to more product innovation and spec’ing the latest gear. Being on top of the latest developments in AV for rental and staging will benefit your installed AV market activity.
Over the past few years, many AV integrators also began work for temporary corporate events, and it’s not an insignificant activity in terms of business. It’s a big trend, not a casual crossover.

Trends and challenges

What are the biggest challenges for AV providers in the corporate event market? What are the top things to know for companies wanting to enter the AV services for corporate events market? Here are the top trends that will define the market coming out of 2020 and beyond:

The 2020 market pause due to COVID only illustrates how important the growing rental and staging market really is. Now is the time to position your AV company for the return of live events. But to do so, you must understand the new demand for hybrid events, a combination of in-person, remote, streamed, archived, and broadcast events.

In the future, streaming capabilities and collaboration technologies will be important for live events. Companies will continue to stream live events to remote attendees, though studies show that streaming doesn’t diminish people’s desire to attend events in person. The bottom line? There are ample opportunities for AV integrators that know how to leverage both installed AV and AV for live events.

Regardless of when markets ramp back up, it’s clear there will be more all-outdoor events. And that means a need for bigger displays with direct-view LEDs topping the list.

Both installed AV providers and AV rental and staging companies will continue to seek out trusted partners for R&D in producing virtual events.

There will be a trend in which both installed AV providers and AV rental and staging companies create their own event spaces (as opposed to sub-renting them from hotels, convention centers, etc.) to produce streaming events and hybrid events for customers. To do this correctly, you need to ramp up your inventory of AV gear. That means displays, LED, high-lumen projection, show control systems, capture equipment, and audience response systems.
AV providers will need a new way to price services. With the rise of hybrid events combining in-person and remote/streaming elements, pricing too high or too low can leave your company on the sidelines.

Key takeaway

Though live events are the first things people cancel in times of crisis, they’re also the easiest to ramp back up. To succeed, your company must be ready to meet not just a new surge in demand, but a new type of demand. Though displays, loudspeakers, and projectors are important, traditional AV equipment alone won’t cut it. You also need to tap into the collaboration side of the AV market to enable your customers to offer hybrid events. Though conference rooms have become more simple, corporate live events are becoming more complex. AV integrators that can blend the best of staging with the best of collaboration, streaming, and broadcast technologies are those who will succeed in the post-COVID world.