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AVIXA confirms mass redundancies, says it doesn’t know when trade shows will return

A letter to members confirms that a number of job positions have been ‘eliminated’

AVIXA has confirmed that it has made significant redundancies across its workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past 24 hours, rumors began to circulate online that AVIXA had made up to 40 per cent of its staff redundant. Now, the trade body has confirmed that a ‘number of job positions are being eliminated’, but has not given any specifics as to the total number of redundancies. AVIXA declined to comment further on this matter.

A statement to its members said:

To Our Members,

We write this letter to share difficult news with all of you. Due to the pandemic and the dramatic impacts to our industry, AVIXA has completed a strategic realignment of the organization. Throughout this time, we have chosen to focus on the three priorities we face: balancing the needs of our members, the needs of our business, and the needs of our team. Unfortunately, this focus has resulted in a number of job positions being eliminated; and while we respect the privacy of our employees and the sensitivity of this matter, we also felt it important to share with our member community the impact of these changes.

We wish the very best for all of them.    

For those employees who remain, charged with the mission of bringing AVIXA and the audiovisual industry forward into the amazing future before us, let us pause and thank our departing colleagues and friends. Let us take time to feel the sadness that all of us will feel. And let us also pause to thank them for all they have given to AVIXA and the industry over many years. The greatest honor we can pay to their legacy is to carry their good work forward.

While difficult to act on, these changes must position AVIXA to support our industry in 2021 and beyond. If we’ve learned any lessons in 2020, one of them is that we cannot clearly anticipate all futures. We don’t know when trade shows will come back. And we don’t know what they will look like when they do; but we do know that this industry will continue to grow in importance and vitality. 

As your industry association, we look forward to the work ahead of us, to the strength of the diverse community that makes AV, and we look forward to supporting you through the pandemic and beyond.

We thank you for your thoughts to those whose positions have been eliminated; and we thank you for your support today and into the future.

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The redundancies and comments regarding the uncertainty of future trade shows certainly intensifies speculation around the likelihood of ISE 2021 taking place in February next year, especially after last week’s announcement that tech show CES 2021 has been cancelled on account of COVID-19.

So far, ISE managing director Mike Blackman has been vocal in his commitment to the event taking place at its new home in Barcelona, a stance which was bolstered somewhat by last week’s statement from the World Health Organisation (WHO) describing the threat of COVID-19 to the event as ‘low’. However, as one of the organising bodies behind ISE, AVIXA’s view that it doesn’t know when trade shows will return will inevitably raise more questions.

AVIXA has already had to pull the plug on one of its biggest events this year, with InfoComm forced to go all-digital on account of the pandemic. It was originally scheduled to take place in Las Vegas in June. The show instead took place in the digital realm in the form of InfoComm Connected, which the organisation described as a ‘statement of perseverance’ when speaking to Installation last month.