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Analysis: France installed AV market survey

There’s a new political regime in France – but what is on the cards for its installed AV market? Our latest survey finds out.

In May, France elected Emmanuel Macron as its President – at 39, the youngest person ever to hold the post. As he settles into his new role at the Élysée Palace, the state of his country’s installed AV market is probably not uppermost in his mind – but we won’t let that deter us from presenting the results of our latest national survey.

Around half our respondents thought that their turnover would increase by more than 5% over the next 12 months. As sometimes happens in these surveys, our respondents seem to believe that their companies will outperform the market as a whole: general market confidence was flat, with half the survey seeing no change in confidence levels compared with six months ago – and roughly as many projecting a fall as a rise.

Corporate, digital signage and retail markets were all deemed to be performing strongly. Perhaps surprisingly for a nation with such a strong cultural heritage, museums & visitor attractions and performing arts venues ranked at the bottom of the list (showing little growth when responses were averaged out). Does this indicate reluctance in some quarters to mix culture and technology?

Next, we asked our respondents to choose from a list the one issue that they felt was most of concern to their business. Roughly half chose ‘clients going for lowest price rather than best value’. One respondent commented: “The client often confuses purchasing and investments. As his level of mastery of the subject is generally low, he has difficulty projecting himself into the future.”

We also posed the question of whether the overall number of players in the market was changing. Here, the responses divided into almost three equal groups – increasing, decreasing and no change. Two comments indicate why this might be, with two different factors in play. “The overall volume is increasing a little, with related players like IT companies working now,” said one respondent, while another said: “Purchasing power in France is down sharply.”

Our questionnaire also invited respondents to name one thing they would change about how the installed AV market works in France. The answers included: increasing education for customers, getting architects and interior designers to consider AV earlier in projects, limiting the manufacture of plug and play products (!), and making customers pay more realistic prices for products and services.

However, one very short comment about the French AV market in general resonated with us. “[The market] is still in motion and not yet an adult,” said one respondent.

It appears that relative youth is a trait of the French AV industry as well as the country’s new President.