The change of the name of this industry’s premier trade association from InfoComm International to the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA)– announced today– should not come as a surprise, if you've been following all the market changes. The market itself is changing, so it’s not much of a mystery why InfoComm would change with the times. The world of AV is, indeed, so much more today. At the InfoComm 2017 trade show in June, the new Immersive Technologies Pavilion pointed to new directions and heavy trends including augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality. According to InfoComm, “those these technologies are traditionally associated with entertainment and gaming, there's growing demand for commercial applications in education, government, manufacturing, and more.”

VR and AR are sexy, but the industry changes are much deeper. Data-driven software tools add analytics to traditional tools such as screens or cameras. Data is the new currency of technology, and if you follow users, shoppers, employees, students– any participants– with data analytic tools that are primed with tech/screen/experiental tools will you be able to translate the data gathered into actionable data for the enterprise. Data is the currency of AI and machine learning– and both are tied into AV, VR and other new-gen experiential systems including AV.

I could go on about the quickly changing industry. What did AVIXA have to say about the change today? (Aside: In our business– journalism/media– we’ve come to expect a litany of clichés with any organization’s announcement of a name change– and more following an acquisition of one company by another. The running joke in our newsrooms is whether even one press release about an acquisition can avoid waxing eloquent about “leveraging the synergies” of the combined companies.) I was amazed by the cogent, no-nonsense explanation given for the name change, in press session today in Washington DC, and in the press release that followed. That’s no doubt a tribute to the fact that Brad Grimes, director of communications, AVIXA, is a former editor in the AV space and avoids the leveraging of synergies and other verbal gymnastics in favor of the facts.

AVIXA summed up their new mission today:

“AV experiences have become so ubiquitous, and they've come to include so many more technologies, and touch so many more personal and professional lives, that we felt compelled to embrace a new identity that more accurately reflects this industry's excitement and welcomes a far more diverse community of professionals."

"This is an exciting time for our industry and for the advancement of audiovisual solutions across a wide range of customer experiences," said David Labuskes, Executive Director and CEO of AVIXA. "Thanks to the innovative, creative efforts of so many members, partners, and their customers, we have collectively grown far beyond what InfoComm International could do to promote AV around the world. AV experiences have become so ubiquitous, and they've come to include so many more technologies, and touch so many more personal and professional lives, that we felt compelled to embrace a new identity that more accurately reflects this industry's excitement and welcomes a far more diverse community of professionals."

"The AVIXA Board of Directors has set out an ambitious plan to grow the association, increase awareness of AV experiences, and reinvent our brand in order to propel this industry into the future," said Gary Hall, CTS-D, CTS-I, President of the AVIXA Board, and Federal Strategy, Planning and Operations Leader at Cisco Systems. "With new and different people and technologies coming into this space, we are thrilled that AVIXA will be home to all of them."

For the traditionalists, AVIXA's trade shows worldwide, including the North America show, June 2-8, 2018, in Las Vegas, will continue to operate under the InfoComm name.