The History of AV

In 1939, a group of eight AV equipment dealers came together to form the National Association of Visual Education Dealers (NAVED), reflecting the connection between AV and instruction. During World War II, the audiovisual industry educated the American citizenry through films.

By the 1950s, the industry's focus shifted toward advancing educational technology in public schools. As technology advanced in the 1960s, AV became a driving force for school media centers. Microphones and broadcast equipment began to shape a collective world experience, thanks to the growth of television.

By the 1980s, emphasis on controlling the environment to maximize the impact of audiovisual presentations emerged. The growth of personal computers, optical fiber, sound technology and new video formats led to a wider appreciation for audiovisual technology and a greater need for its role in communications activity.

In the 1990s, the AV industry focused on emerging presentations technology and its role in the corporate world, government and educational facilities. Projectors, presentation software and creative content were a central focus for the industry. These technologies also led to the growth of corporate special events and staging.

A dramatic shift for the audiovisual industry began in 2000, when AV technology arrived at the crossroads of digital technology. Suddenly, AV could interact with other technology over an IP network. Instead of AV standing alone as individual components, audiovisual technology became part of a bigger system. The backbone of the industry shifted to the engineering and integration of complex systems that are mostly incorporated into the built-environment.

Over the years, the trade association representing the AV industry had several different names, due to changes in technology and focus. In 2005, the organization adopted the moniker InfoComm International to reflect the name of its well-known audiovisual tradeshow.