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Letter from the editor: Optimism for 2021 and thoughts on 2020

Installation chief looks ahead to what's in store this year for magazine and industry

Now that we’ve waved goodbye and good riddance to 2020 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 last year was 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 this year.

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 next month, 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 Trains, Planes & Automobiles shuffle into the office every day. 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 previous 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 January 2021 edition, (pictured left, or above – depending on whether you’re reading this on desktop or smartphone) and December’s workplace special (pictured below). We’ve been making some improvements to the magazine, to ensure you get even more of a benefit from reading it – 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 or the mailer. 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 current 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. As quarterly publications, the print editions – like December’s workplace special – 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 – distributed late January.

I shall now take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year.