From virtual reality to extended reality, events get a boost from AV tech

The trend of virtual and hybrid events creates demand for new tech that boosts engagement.

Virtual events have boosted the appeal of AV effects such as virtual reality engagement and other immersive tech. Photo Credit: gettyimages/Thinkhubstudio

The Covid-19 pandemic unsurprisingly took its toll on the audio-visual (AV) market, but prospects for the industry are positive going into 2022 and beyond, particularly for Asia. This is according to a report from trade body AVIXA (Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association) which represents the professional audiovisual and information communications industries worldwide.

Its findings, released in July last year, which assess Covid-19’s impact across 2020, show that overall AV revenues were the least impacted within Asia Pacific. The report recognises that ‘having taken preemptive measures for Covid-19 early and effectively, China significantly recovered during the first half of 2020.’ The report also singled out conferencing and collaboration as responsible for generating the highest revenue, in part driven by events going virtual, while digital signage is also poised for strong revenue growth.

The report also notes that while AV related to live events will have the slowest recovery to pre-pandemic levels compared to other areas, this is likely to bounce back substantially over the next couple of years.

Giving virtual events a 3D boost

Virtual events helped boost the AV industry in the last year and this trend is set to continue. Online events have made use of high-definition, production-style credentials to increase engagement and interaction and provide a more immersive environment. Expect to see further adoption of tech such as 4K UHD, Dolby-quality sound and enhanced lighting.

Virtual formats have also boosted the demand for extended reality (XR), helping brands to recreate a physical experience within an immersive digital environment. For a trade show for example, XR can help create 3D stands or booths that attendees can explore remotely.

LED walls, popular at major sporting events, are increasingly being used by corporates keen to make a statement. They can make a business presentation more dynamic by livening up graphs, slideshows and infographics. Green screens can be used in a similar way for online events, enabling branding, images and video to be inserted in the background.

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