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Exclusive: Peerless executive VP talks to Installation

Pro AV Watch List pick Nick Belcore talks diversity, virtual comms and AI

How did you get into our industry?
I joined the AV industry from Life Sciences and Healthcare in 2006, a sector that was changing substantially at this time that greatly restricted the ability to disseminate information and add value.  When the opportunity presented itself to come over to the AV world, this offered me with the chance to lead a team in a way I deemed best for the long-term benefit of the company, while simultaneously adding substantial value to our customers and partners.

How would you say things have changed in the last few years (pre Covid)?
There have been many aggregate positives over the past few years, but none more so than the united drive within organisations and associations to move away from the notion of diversity as a mere checkbox to the acknowledgement that it is a fundamental and defining necessity for the progression of our industry. We are already starting to see collaterally beneficial results from this push. AVIXA has set diversity objectives to achieve by 2025, and I hope we continue to see more ‘meaningful’ diversity initiatives and the emergence of groups to support these initiatives – such as the AVIXA Women’s Council – that foster and encourage the education and elevation of people who bring unique perspectives and skillsets. Recruitment at the university level will be the next step, to bring freshly minted talent into AV careers immediately following their education, instead of recruiting talent away from other fields.  

How is Covid set to change the landscape?
Covid has forced us to make advances in virtual communications and we’ll now see further incorporation into all aspects the industry. Taking technology to the next level and meeting the expectations of multiple generations of our industries rising stars, the millennials and Gen Z, who have grown up in the virtual space, is as important as evolving the interpersonal work experience of team members who have historically relied on face to face interactions in their daily lives. The key will be in blending the two cultures of live and virtual for a successful and meaningful outcome to the benefit of the full complement of professionals.  

Where do you see AV technology going in the next few years?
The emergence of machine learning and artificial intelligence is going to accelerate at a geometric rate and will become resident in products and in the data that drives technology and hardware development.  AV will make use of this new data and machine learning to create a seamless interface between the user and technology.  

Any thoughts on ISE this year: how things were handled; how the two shows went (assuming you attended/exhibited); thoughts on ISE Digital?
ISE continues to provide exceptional value to the AV industry and the organisation did the very best it could in both Barcelona and London considering the uncertain and rapidly evolving global circumstances.  

What are your plans (personal and business) for 2022 and beyond?
For next year and beyond, my plans are to steer the business in ways we can utilise our capabilities towards endeavours that make us better global citizens. Renewable and alternative energy excites not only me but everyone on the global board at Peerless-AV.

From a personal perspective, I plan to spend as much time as possible with my family. My kids are at the age where I can positively assist them both academically and athletically and so I plan to seize on that finite opportunity while it is available.   

What would you say are the most significant changes / developments in the industry during your time?
The changes in 15 years are too numerous to list. From a macro perspective, the industry is now truly uniting the world. The manifestation of global deployments via AV partners is far more meaningful now than any time in history. Technology is geared towards improving the communities in which it is deployed by adding internet access, plug in vehicle charging, dynamic public service safety and resource announcements. 

What personal, professional achievements are you most proud of?
I have both a personal and business responsibility to take Peerless-AV in a direction that benefits the planet. I’m very proud of existing endeavours such as Volta Charging and Blue Planet Energy. We will continue to utilise AV to have a positive impact on the communities we serve. Our focus on dvLED is very much a priority as dvLED provides a blank informational and entertainment-based canvas for private entities and municipal organisations to utilise to the benefit of all.  We’re making waves in the industry with our SEAMLESS by Peerless-AV dvLED video wall integration program – since the need for immersive experiences will always be there and has always been an intrinsic part of human learning. 

Do you have a philosophy you live by professionally? And if so, how has it helped your career and those you have worked with?
My success is 100% predicated on the outstanding capabilities of the entire team at Peerless-AV globally. My team, their families, and their wellbeing, always come first. A healthy, positive mentality means they’re able to perform at their best. 

Pre-Covid, what would you say were the biggest areas of technological or operational challenge to AV?
Having dealt with AV post Covid, any challenges we experienced previously were nothing compared to those we’ve been faced with during the pandemic. It has contextualised what real problems look like.

What needs to change in the industry?
Our industry is one of constant change and innovation. However, in order for true progression, there is a need to recognise and garner loyalty for the remarkable, and the technologies of the future that impact our planet in meaningful ways, that solve real life problems.

In your opinion, what will be the biggest drivers of change in AV in the next 5 years?
The convergence of AV and IT has happened and in the next 5 years we will see the emergence of amalgamated solutions that drive a better understanding of how best to learn and tackle problems that impact the most pressing matters of humanity such as the integrity of the planet, the administration of basic health services and the furtherance of interactive learning.  

Finally, what would your message be to those starting out their AV careers?
The future is yours. AV now exists on more profoundly significant level than ever before. This is your opportunity to truly affect change for the future, in all manner of exciting and meaningful ways.

Click here to see our full list of Pro AV Watch List picks.