Five lessons learned at Integrate 2018

Integrate 2018, held at the ICC Sydney from August 22 to 24, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Here are five trends we observed at the exhibition that shed light on he developments in the Australian AV industry.

1. A place for all

Integrate 2018 celebrated its 10th anniversary by moving to new digs at the ICC Sydney. The AV industry came out in force with a number of manufacturers exhibiting for the first time. Interesting to note was the fact that all walks of AV from commercial, residential to rental were present in the halls.

Crestron paid attention to its range of residential products especially keen on showcasing functionality with Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Sonos speakers. On the flipside, residential brands such as RTI and Bluestream exhibited to not only highlight their offerings but to also show the suitability of their products for commercial applications.

Its Show Time

2. Back to business

At the beginning of 2018, Jands decided to part ways with Harman. The manufacturer then appointed Avt as the sole distributor of its products in Australia. The Australian AV industry has taken some time to recover from this seismic shift and at Integrate 2018 there were signs that all parties were ready to go back to business as usual.

Conversations with both Jands and Avt revealed that the distributors have been hard at work acquiring the requisite expertise to properly provide new solutions.

Australian distributors also remain hungry with a number of new partnerships being announced near the dates of Integrate 2018. Jands announced it will be distributing Bosch Communication Systems, Avt announced distribution for Mimo Monitors and Midwich will be distributing Ecler Audio.

3. Enter the dragon

Chinese LED manufacturers have become a staple of every exhibition. At Integrate however they were not only present but also engaged. Unilumin for example double dipped with a booth of its own as well as presence at its distributor’s booth (NAS) as well.

It wasn’t just Chinese LED manufacturers that made an appearance. RGBLink and Novastar made their presence felt along with Taiden.

Taiden in particular presents an interesting proposition. Their congress and conference products are well received in Europe and America. However, Taiden’s market share in Australia is low. The same holds true for other Chinese manufacturers whose products are well received in many markets but do not succeed in Australia. This situation is something that they are looking to rectify.

4. Quality contact

Enabling open discourse is a core part of InAVate’s identity and at Integrate 2018 we staged three discussion panels. With a host of panellists from AV manufacturers, Consultants, distributors and integrators we talked about the trends shaping our industry and the opportunities that are beginning to manifest.

Exhibitors at Integrate 2018 placed quality over quantity as well when it came to engagement at the show. Avt’s approach serves as an example. The distributor’s booth in the halls focussed on showcasing ‘solutions’ and ‘applications’. Those looking for a deeper dive into the technical specifications could move to a separate room to speak to product specialists. Many others had similar spaces set aside for customers.

Panel Discussion integrate 2018

5. Moving to IP

We know that video transmission is moving to IP networks and every manufacturer at Integrate 2018 was highlighting its video over IP solution. The battle lines for competition have been well defined but a notable competitor has yet to enter the field? However, we may not have to wait too long for Extron’s video over IP solution. Extron held a preview for a select few at Integrate to showcase an in-the-works version of its video over IP solution which may be out as early as September.

But while Extron might be considered ‘late’ to the party, all is still to play for. Adoption of video over IP in Australia has yet to boom and there still remain a large number of legacy systems which do not have a specified date for upgrade.

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