New Year, New Opportunities for Growth in 2021!

An interview with Sam Taylor, Senior Vice President and COO, Almo Professional A/V

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, we are settling in and setting our sites on new goals in 2021. And yes, while 2021 is already starting with its share of challenges, there is a bright glimmer of expectation for the future, especially in Pro AV!

With recent AVIXA reports showing 7-8 percent growth this year, the Pro AV market continues to march ahead. In fact, according to AXIXA’s 2020 Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis, North American Pro AV revenue is expected to grow to $78.5 billion in 2021, up from $74.3 billion in 2020.

There are other glimmers available to small businesses in our industry. The latest COVID-19 Relief Package signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020 provides a second round of assistance to companies in need. See the see the full article from NSCA for complete details.

Sam Taylor
Senior Vice President & COO, Almo Professional A/V

Many lessons were learned in 2020. Like most companies, the Almo Pro A/V crew was also challenged with cancelled events, the work-from-home learning curve, and moving quickly to offer new ways to keep reseller and integrator partners learning, working and relevant.

We sat down with Sam Taylor, Vice President and COO for Almo Pro A/V to get his perspective on the highs and lows of 2020 and what to expect from Almo in 2021. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: What was the single greatest challenge for Almo in 2020?

Sam: The most difficult part was the inability to begin or complete installations due to facility closures. We’ve experienced a “W-shaped” business cycle with projects at a hard stop in the spring, only to come roaring back in the summer, then closing down again in the late fall with re-opening starting to happen again now.  

Q: How has Almo responded to this challenge?

Sam: Two primary ways, by keeping our partners educated on new trends and opportunities in the industry and providing them with relevant products/services/support they need to keep their business moving forward – either with existing opportunities or with new ones. While many markets like hospitality and onsite events were paused, others like distance learning for education and working from home for corporate businesses had urgent new AV needs.

Q: How is Almo keeping partners educated?

Sam: For the first time in 11 years, and after announcing and preparing for our regional E4 Experience education and networking program to travel to Washington, D.C. and CA last spring, we cancelled our live events and introduced a new virtual platform called E4 Evolution (E4v). E4v was met with such success that it has become a permanent part of the E4 program. With fully curated live and interactive AVIXA-certified sessions led by all-star educators on relevant topics to help attendees thrive, E4v has become the next evolution in live education experiences.

We are soon announcing the next E4v, which will take place in March! Stay tuned for details!

Q: What other measures has Almo taken to support integrators since COVID changed our world?

Sam: We are constantly evaluating and changing direction based on the industry and the needs of our partners. We now offer PPE, disinfectant fogging kits, hand sanitizing kiosks and other point-of-entry products. We supply work-from-home bundles and lecture-capture devices for educators and business professionals. We’ve even entered an exclusive relationship with ARHT Media to offer holographic telepresence technology, which is the next best thing to being live!

At the same time, we’ve expanded our managed services offering, particularly for labor and installation to include drafting and engineering options. So many spaces have to be reworked to accommodate COVID restrictions, like restaurant build-outs and restructured office and educational facilities and most of these changes must be made quickly. Almo provides these services so integrators can use them without having to worry about hiring the experts or managing the overhead. We are ready for you now.

Q: How have you handled shipping and manufacturing delays due to COVID?

Sam: The most common delays we have seen are with cameras and USB audio products due to high demand, particularly for education. We offer multiple manufacturing lines so that if one is delayed, there is usually another to access. We help our partners lock down on product allocations early and build flexible options into their P.O.’s to provide the best possible outcome. Offering managed services to help get those products installed quickly and effectively has also helped our partners complete their projects.

Q: Looking on the bright side, what are some of the positives that emerged as a result of all the challenges in 2020? 

Sam: It’s been interesting to see how some of the changes we’ve been forced to make have actually been beneficial. We have the technology to make working from home a professional, productive experience. Our E4v has enabled partners to participate in more educational sessions worth AVIXA CTS renewal units from the comfort and safety of their remote workspace. New projects and new ways of conducting business have created exciting new opportunities for our industry that we have been able to immediately embrace.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2021? 

Sam: I cannot wait until I am seeing our customers and our vendor partners in person, and getting back to the business of being together as an industry face to face for business and pleasure. While some things may permanently change, many will stay in a “hybrid” mode for some. As COVID vaccines and treatments become more widely available, public spaces will continue to open, making way for existing projects to continue and new projects to begin. The future is bright!


Instill Safety & Peace of Mind as Travel Reopens

Over the past year, our daily lives have become increasingly focused on the health and safety of ourselves and those around us. With the importance of face coverings and frequent hand washing, it’s essential to clean a clean environment for each and every hotel guest and staff member. When soap and water are not readily available, the CDC encourages the use of hand sanitizer with at least 60 perfect alcohol upon entry of a public space. As a key measure in protecting yourself and others, frequent hand sanitation provides a safer public environment by keeping germs under control.

With Digital Signage Hand Sanitizing Units from RC Stars, the safety of guests and staff is a top priority. The auto-dispensers provide touchless sanitation while displaying customizable information and graphics, bringing convenience and cleanliness to any hotel space. With metal body housing, tempered protection glass, and water-resistant casing, Digital Hand Sanitizing Units from RC Stars provide top-of-the-line construction in a sleek exterior. Available in both freestanding and wall-mounted dispensers, the kiosks are equipped with Remote Management Software, delivering content updates to your web browser when sanitizer levels are running low.

Freestanding vs. Wall-Mounted Units

Ideal for high-traffic locations, the 21.5-inch freestanding model stands seamlessly in any space. The kiosk is maneuverable and can be reconfigured to assist with traffic slow and sanitation, providing lobbies guests with convenient access to hand sanitation.

Perfect for smaller areas, the 21.5-inch wall-mounted unit is an excellent choice for saving space. With a sleek, contemporary design and durable construction, this kiosk is a health-conscious addition to any wall.

The Best Places to Use Your Digital Signage Hand Sanitizing Unit


Digital Signage Hand Sanitizing Units from RC Stars are an excellent addition to any hotel lobby. With customizable text and images, the kiosk provides guests with hotel news and information while encouraging proper hand sanitation. Ideal for high traffic areas, the freestanding unit allows for frequent reconfiguration to assist with traffic flow, guaranteeing a simple and sanitary experience for guests upon entry. Take a further look into the freestanding unit here.

Fitness Centers

With zero-contact hand sanitation, hand sanitizing units are ideal for a health-conscious fitness center. Available in a freestanding unit for open areas or a wall-mounted unit for confined spaces, these kiosks are perfect for providing guests with important information while encouraging frequent hand sanitation. With customizable information and graphics, digital signage units are ideal for displaying your mask policy, instructions for sanitizing equipment, or simply requiring hand sanitation upon entry. 

Elevator Hallways

With a variety of frequently touched surfaces, it’s important to ensure proper hand sanitation in elevator hallways. With space-saving construction, the wall-mounted digital signage unit delivers convenient, touchless hand sanitation. Equipped with Remote Management Software, each unit delivers content updates to your web browser when sanitizer levels are low, providing easy management of multiple kiosks.

Take a look at the wall-mounted unit here.

With the RC Stars Digital Signage Hand Sanitizing Unit, creating a safe and healthy environment for hotel guests is simple and efficient. Whether the unit is installed in a lobby, fitness center, or elevator hallway, guests and staff members will enjoy the convenience of digital signage and hand sanitation in a compact, sleek kiosk.

How to Keep Public Spaces Safe in 2021

In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness of public spaces. By encouraging hand sanitation upon entering and exiting a space, you’ll create a safer, cleaner environment for yourself and others. 

According to the CDC, washing your hands or using hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol are essential steps in avoiding sickness and protecting others. Hand sanitation is especially important in public spaces when soap and water are not available, specifically before eating and after handling or adjusting your mask. 

And with digital signage hand sanitizing units, you’ll keep germs under control while displaying helpful and important information for users. 

Digital Signage Hand Sanitizing Units

With digital signage hand sanitizing units from RC Stars, hand sanitation is simple and convenient. The touchless auto-dispensers display customizable information and images, encouraging users to properly sanitize their hands upon entering an indoor space. Perfect for a wide variety of applications, these zero-contact sanitation kiosks are ideal for lobbies, gyms, schools, shops, and other points of service. 

Available in 21.5-inch wall-mounted and freestanding units, digital signage sanitizing units from RC Stars deliver durability and functionality in a sleek exterior. With metal body housing, tempered protection glass, and water-resistant casing, you’ll enjoy zero-contact sanitation and top-of-the-line construction. Not to mention, the Remote Management Software connects the kiosk to Wifi and delivers content updates to your web browser, so you’ll stay up to date when sanitizer levels are running low. And with a volume indicator on the unit itself, you’ll enjoy simple and convenient refilling of your unit.

Freestanding vs. Wall-Mounted Dispensers

The Freestanding Digital Signage Hand Sanitizing Unit from RC Stars is an ideal addition to any live event. With a convenient stand for your sanitizing unit, this kiosk can be placed anywhere in a space and can be reconfigured to assist with traffic flow and sanitization.

If you’re looking for a space-saving station, the Wall-Mounted Digital Signage Hand Sanitizing Unit is perfect for smaller areas, as the unit hangs seamlessly on any wall. Delivering a sleek and contemporary aesthetic, this wall-mounted unit is an efficient and health-conscious addition to any public area.

Where to Use Your Hand Sanitizing Unit

School Buildings

With zero-contact sanitation, these digital signage kiosks are perfect for ensuring proper cleanliness of students and faculty upon entering a building. Available in both wall-mounted and freestanding units, the stations are ideal for school lobbies, cafeterias, and classrooms, as they fit seamlessly into any space.

Not to mention, our sanitizing units are perfect for college buildings, as they allow students to read important university information while cleaning their hands.

Doctor’s Office

With a high traffic volume throughout the day and potential exposure to illness, it’s essential to ensure that patients and staff are properly sanitizing their hands upon entry. And with customizable digital signage, these kiosks provide patients with necessary sign-in and office information while allowing them to sanitize before an appointment.

Shops and Malls

Delivering digital signage and sanitization in a compact kiosk, these units are ideal for displaying sales and advertisements while ensuring the health and safety of employees and customers. With customizable display images, digital signage units from RC Stars are perfect for alerting customers of featured products, explaining current and upcoming sales, or simply encouraging hand sanitation upon entry.


With the RC Stars Digital Signage Hand Sanitizing Unit, you’ll ensure greater health of safety in any public space. Whether you plan to install your unit in a school building, office, or any other point of service, you’ll enjoy the convenience of digital signage and hand sanitation in a compact, sleek kiosk.

To make your purchase, visit

Stay safe and healthy!

Single Entry Level Screening in the current and post COVID World

Just as the tragedy of 9/11 changed our lives forever, most of us agree the Corona Virus pandemic will be just as impactful.  Not only will businesses and governments slowly and carefully reopen offices and public gathering spaces, and but will be tasked ongoing to provide a “safe place” for employees and customers.  In other words, it won’t just end with this pandemic but rather place a duty of care liability on employers and government well into the distant future.

The practices and methods to best create a safe workplace or public gathering are being explored and implemented.  Almo Corporation endeavors to provide solutions for not only our own operations and employees but for our reseller customers as well.  We have created a basket of Health & Safety products & tools such as PPE, decontaminating “Fogger” Kits, Digital Signage Hand Sanitizer Kiosks, etc.

One set of solutions we offer are single-entry, level 1 triage Temperature Scanning Systems to facilitate a safe entry into a business or public space.  In short, single-entry solutions must provide technology that efficiently supports a safe assessment of a person desiring entry.  In the beginning, we interviewed a number of potential end-users regarding perceived needs in search of a solution.  Two points consistently surfaced.  First, all agreed that they need a solution; and secondly, none of them knew exactly what they needed.

The first point is obvious.  Employers and businesses agree that a safe work or gathering environment is paramount to moving forward in the post COVID-19 world.  This won’t be the last battle we’ll face as a society so having technology that supports a reasonable solution for the present and future is needed.  In response this summer, a “bull rush” of products flooded the market with a myriad of products.  Most of these products performed as designed but are not flexible beyond a “Pass-Fail” assessment.  Some may be able to pass signals to open doors and measure faces with masks on but can’t adapt to new processes or reporting needs.  They are what they are.

Fortunately, the full opening of offices and business have been somewhat delayed giving time to develop and evolve safe entry practices.  The market is anxious to buy yet hesitant to invest in one-trick ponies that won’t provide flexibility down the road as needs change.  Our search focused on finding solutions that not only serve the immediate needs of today but those in the future as well.  Our search has found solutions that not only provide reliable single-entry Level 1 triage body temperature scanning but support processes and reporting as well.  Processes such as matching employee pre-questionnaires with temp scanning and in-out tracking are accommodated.  And back-end reporting for administrative purposes is provided as well.

Our search settled on software platforms functioning on small format touch displays and tablets coupled with a temperature scan facial camera or wrist-sensing arrays.  One such solution uses tablets from Mimo, a manufacturing partner known for high quality displays and tablets with PCAP touch.  They partnered with a software platform from Revel Digital.  These tablets attach the temp scanning arrays via pogo pins.  The pogo pin connection scheme provide USB connectivity and power for the temp scanning arrays.  Revel Digital, in turn, provided the Android-based programming and CMS to not only control the temp scanning process but provide reporting and digital signage capabilities as well.

We have other hardware platforms and hardware solutions to offer our dealers and their end-users.  The key to our solutions is the ability to customize to end-user requirements now and in the future.  We have a team of specialists that can assist dealers in the end-user interviews to determine requirements and solutions.  These are not short sell-cycle hardware solutions.  It includes SaaS (Software as a Service) license fees in addition to hardware purchase.  These solutions can adapt as end-user needs evolve.  Our Almo Sales Reps and Specialists stand ready to start putting solutions together.

What other products can you see businesses needing to implement in order to provide a sense of security to returning workers and customers?

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