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Letter from the editor: Thoughts on 2020 and optimism for 2021

Installation chief gazes ahead to the new year with optimism, takes the positives for what has been a horrible few months for everyone, and discusses what's coming up in the magazine in 2021 and beyond.

As 2020 draws to a close we can only hope that 2021 sees a return to something approaching normality as the vaccines roll out and closer contact becomes easier. I don’t need to go on here about how tough this year has been for everybody, both personally and with regard to business – nuff said. However, I have been encouraged by the pragmatic approach of AV professionals to this most challenging of situations, and am confident that we will all come back punching even harder in 2021.

Of course, usually at this time of year most of us would have been thinking ahead to Amsterdam and another ISE. Alas – to borrow Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s favourite
U-turn interjection – none of us will be travelling to either Amsterdam or Barcelona in February, although we remain confident of treading the halls of the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via from June 1st. Wouldn’t that be something after such a tough year?!

As I’m sure is the case for many of us, there have been one or two positives to be taken from this pandemic, not least the chance to reflect upon our lives, and perhaps recalibrate our approach to the day to day grind. The huge changes to the workplace, with working-from-home no longer sneered at cynically as ‘working-from-home’ by committed commuter ultras, is surely a valuable takeaway, as businesses recognise that productivity usually increases when people don’t have to waste precious time and energy doing the Steve Martin and John Candy shuffle into the office every day (“Those aren’t pillows!”). And of course, the AV industry should be able to benefit from increased requirements for technology to realise this new hybrid working model. (See our current issue, focusing on AV’s role in the future of the workplace for more on this.)

On a personal level, one of the positives to come out of 2020 has been the opportunity to steer this venerable ship. The pandemic certainly made me reassess what I wanted from life and in part led to me taking over the helm on Installation. It’s been a thrilling ride so far, with two issues in the bag, the current December edition, (pictured left) and January’s forthcoming education special (although you’ll have to wait until the new year to check that one out there’s a sneak peak of the front cover below). We’ve been making some improvements to the magazine, to ensure you get even more of a benefit from reading it: one or two will be evident in the latest issue, and you’ll hopefully notice a lot more when January goes live and the mag continues to evolve. Plus, we’re adding more value to our website and mailer, with more exclusive content – including more insight and exclusive-to-online features – alongside the latest news and product announcements.

To fully appreciate Installation I’d encourage you to engage with magazine, website and newsletter. As you’re reading this, you know all about the latter, but perhaps you’re yet to subscribe to the magazine itself, and maybe don’t visit the website until the mailer lands – and then only to the stories featured there. It would be great to have you on board with us at all times, so here’s the link to our subscription page.

As mentioned, our next issue is January 2021, a 60-page mag featuring a 36-page education supplement. It’s also the first of our digital hybrid editions, part of a new publication model that sees eight standard Installation magazines per year, with one print and one digital edition in each quarter – plus news, views and exclusive insight regularly uploaded to our website, alongside our daily newsletter.

Our digital-only editions bring you the latest projects, tech, and solutions being deployed in specific vertical markets, with supplements dedicated to the key sectors – education in our forthcoming January issue (pictured left). As quarterly publications, the print editions offer deeper and more expansive coverage of the AV marketplace, focusing on specific technology areas such as digital signage, collaboration, and projection. Our next print edition (also available digitally, of course) will be February’s digital signage special, with a bonus residential AV section.

As this is the last Installation newsletter of 2020, it only remains for me to thank you for subscribing and to wish you all a very happy holiday season and a Happy New Year. See you in 2021! All the very best, Rob.