May 2020 Page 10 Home schooling

Will a lack of consistency result in some students lag- ging behind their peers when schools return to normal?

Page 12 Security in collaboration

A sudden explosion in video conferencing and other forms of collaboration has focused attention on security.

The direct channel to the industry

Barco results impacted by Covid-19

The start of 2020 was marked by the Covid-19 outbreak and it had measurable impact on Barco’s activities. As a result of lockdowns in Chi- na, Barco’s sales in China were halted during February and gradually resumed in March. Also, in China, operations and supply chains were disrupted during February but recovered to near full capacity by the end of the first quarter.

The Entertainment division was growing through mid- March at which point demand for event projectors began to stall and cinema replacement cycle projects began to be pushed out.

In Enterprise, orders for the corporate segment increased during the quarter, fuelled by the new ClickShare Conference product. However, in the lat- ter half of March, weakening demand impacted both orders and sales which caused sales for the quarter to fall below last year’s first quarter.

The Control Rooms segment was weak relative to a strong first quarter of 2019, due in part to softening demand from oil and gas industry customers compounded by project delays resulting from Covid-19 lock- down measures. The Healthcare division reg- istered double digit top line growth with strong results for diagnostic imaging, mainly driven by intensified demand for remote radiology solutions amid the Covid-19 crisis. In addition, during the first quarter the company aligned the activity rate of its organi- sation to the softening demand in some of its markets, shifted the investment timetable on selected longer-term initiatives and took significant discretion- ary cost containment actions

that will remain in effect for the remainder of 2020. Barco CEO, Jan De Witte, commented:

“During these challenging times, the health and safety of Barco’s employees, customers and partners is our highest pri- ority. In response to Covid-19 we have implemented mea- sures to keep our employees safe by applying best-practice hygienic and social distancing guidelines, reconfiguring pro- duction facility lay-outs and expanding home-work proto- col,” said Jan De Witte, CEO of Barco. “The cost

productivity and

operational efficiency mea- sures we implemented over the past few years, have created a

operational.” Barco’s 2020 guidance, pub- lished in the full year 2019 report in February, anticipated impact from the shut-down of economic activity in China and associated supply chain disrup- tions during the first quarter. Since then, the Covid-19 pan- demic has spread international- ly and has negatively impacted most of Barco’s markets with the exception of Healthcare. With both the timing of gov- ernment decisions to ease re- strictions and the economic impact of the pandemic on some of its markets uncertain, Barco’s visibility for the year is currently limited. Therefore, the company is withdrawing its full year outlook for 2020.

Can virtual trade shows replace the traditional model?

News that the 2020 edition of InfoComm is cancelled came as something of a shock to those for whom the show is a fixture in their calendar. We currently have no reason to doubt that ISE will go ahead next February, But some events globally have taken the digital option, so what’s it like to take part as an exhibitor in a virtual tradeshow? Is it as effec- tive as the tradition face-face- to- face model? Is it that much cheaper? One person who knows from direct experience is Gil- lian Rhodes, Head of Marketing EMEA & APAC at Promethean. She explains: “Our international marketing strategy has long had trade shows at the heart of re- gional programmes, and we were already starting to explore the po- tential for hosting some of these virtually as the world becomes increasingly digitised.” “However, with all of our other scheduled events now postponed or cancelled in 2020, MIEF [the Russian education show] acted

as the catalyst to accelerate de- velopment of a digital offering. In just a matter of weeks, we’ve transformed what was planned to be a traditional on-stand ex- hibition into a virtual journey.” “We’ve also identified some clear benefits as we’ve been able to bring guest speakers from Australia and the UK to Russian educators – something which would not have been practical if the event had gone ahead in its original format. The same is true for the event itself. Ordinarily MIEF is primarily for Moscow, because that’s where it is held. This year it’s opened up to the whole country giving us an even greater reach.” “While the delivery of the ‘Ex- perience the Elements’ 3D tour was not without challenge, given the timescales and it being our first fully online event, it’s given us some excellent ideas for tak- ing marketing forward and we can already see opportunities to use this approach to support our

multi-language facilities and can be with different stands. The For-U solution is said to support a 30,000 face database and supports a 1: 1 comparison recognition rate above 99.7%, Face recognition pass speed is said to be less than 1 second. The solu-

Gillian Rhodes, Head of Marketing EMEA & APAC at Promethean: “While the delivery of the ‘Experience the Elements’ 3D tour was not without challenge, given the timescales and it being our first fully online event, it’s given us some excellent ideas.”

international partners. When nor- mality does resume, I definitely see the value in running a digital pro- gramme to complement live events – these remain essential for getting hands-on with our ActivPanel Ele- ments Series.”

Can Covid-19 testing be done by a kiosk? For-U Technology says it has developed a special healthcare digital kiosk to help in the fight with Coronavirus. With its 8-inch screen, face recognition capabilities, tem- perature check and optional auto hand sanitiser device. The solution includes a software system, support speakers,

Jan De Witte, CEO of Barco: “The Covid-19 pandemic has spread inter- nationally and has negatively impacted most of Barco’s markets with the exception of Healthcare.”

more resilient business mod- el, poised to withstand severe economic headwind. Based on our experience in China since January and with a persistent focus on both short- and long- term business continuity, we managed to contain our cost spending levels while keeping our manufacturing facilities


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Management intends to give a full year 2020 outlook when it reports first half results in July 2020.

AV News Awards open for nominations Year

The AV News Awards 2021 will go ahead as usual, but for 2021 the venue will be ISE 2021 at Fira de Barcelona. The new venue gives us much-needed increased capacity for the event. To give you more time to pre- pare your entries outside the busy ISE build- up, we are bringing forward the opening date for nominations to the 1st May 2020. The closing date for submissions will re- main as the 1st December 2020, In the unlikely event that ISE 2021 is can- celled the AV News Awards will still go

ahead, but the format will be adapted to a digital webinar courtesy of our part- ners Zoom. If ISE 2021 is postponed the Awards will simply be moved to the new dates. We have maintained a consistent meth- od of submitting nominations the 2021 Awards, using a similar JotForm web form to previous years. The only amendments are the addition of two new Award cate- gories. These are: Education Technology Innovation of the

Manufacturer of the Year

The full list of categories appears on the nomination submission form at: Please complete the entry form as fully as you can, and if you would like your firm or a client to be invoiced, please don’t forget the authorisation section.

tion supports accurate face recognition and even comparison when wearing a mask. It uses an industrial-grade binocular wide dy- namic camera, night infrared and LED dual fill light.

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