Countdown to InfoComm - What the Largest Exhibitor has Planned for the Show

Countdown to InfoComm - What the Largest Exhibitor has Planned for the Show

All trade shows are rife with superlatives that can be difficult to substantiate. But at InfoComm, there is one statistic that can be easily confirmed by a passing glance at the exhibit map: Crestron’s sheer dominance in total square feet on the show floor.

Wanting to learn more about the substance within the size of Crestron’s monumental display, I checked in with vice president of marketing Sean Goldstein about some of the technology and ideas that will be highlighted at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center.

Sean Goldstein, Crestron VP of marketing

Goldstein described two major areas of technology that Crestron will feature prominently at its booth: enterprise building management and smart rooms.

For enterprise building management, Goldstein said that Crestron is “putting a big emphasis on how that could become actionable,” by explaining to dealers what it is and how they get started doing it today. He noted that many people are already offering a broad approach to managing all the disparate technology systems in a building—digital signage, room scheduling, HVAC, AV, security, etc.—under one system. Some people are using it and don’t even know it, so Crestron will be communicating to dealers how they can deliver an enterprise building solution to their clients, along with the benefits of doing so.

The smart room focus will in part explain how dealers already install hundreds of rooms, even many of those for the same clients. “You start to string these rooms together, and you’re on the path to having an intelligent building,” Goldstein explained. Crestron is releasing two new products designed as a centerpiece for small conference rooms, dubbed “huddle” rooms, or medium-to-large “collaboration” rooms. One of these two new solutions provides “a cost-effective way to wirelessly stream content to a display from any mobile device.”

The other new solution is the previously announced Crestron RL, a collaboration solution Crestron joined forces with Microsoft on to bring its Lync system into the conference room, where a full room of people can participate and share information, instead of just from one person to another.

The Crestron RL is a collaboration solution Crestron joined forces with Microsoft on to bring its Lync system into the conference room.

There are three types of training that Crestron is involved with at InfoComm: industry, manufacturer, and technical training sessions. For the broader “industry” sessions, the company is sending its experts to discuss trends on, “10 Best Practices for Digital System Design,” “How One Building Platform on the Network Can Give You Happier Clients,” and “Living on the Network in the Post Convergence World.”

Crestron is also presenting five manufacturer-training sessions and a three-day DigitalMedia certified-engineer training course.

Details about all of these training opportunities can be found here.

Goldstein discourages procrastination from those interested in any of these opportunities. “Nothing is 100 percent filled up, but things are filling up pretty fast,” he said.

As for personal predictions about industry trends at the show, Goldstein said that he expects growth in overall attendance to increase this year, as well as a change in attendee demographics. “We’re going to have a larger percentage of end users versus the [traditional] dealer base,” he said. “From the stats I see, it has been creeping up [each year], and I think this year that will continue.”

From an industry perspective, Goldstein sees the next evolution of the analog sunset, now that digital is well established. “I think that now what you’re going to see as it relates to digital is other methods of distributing digital signals,” he said. “[We’re] going to start to see a lot of people talk about streaming content across locations all over the world for various purposes.”

He expects more emphasis on wireless collaboration with others all over the world.

He also predicted, “You’re going to see a lot of things around adding intelligence to the traditional AV market.” Noting that for quite a while, we’ve been able to hook various items up and automate them, “but now you can add a layer of intelligence, collect data, and make smart decisions.” Some of the examples he listed are resource management, energy management, failure notifications, and other means of becoming very efficient at managing the AV system in one’s environment.

In summary, Goldstein sees the big picture themes that we can expect to see a lot of at InfoComm next month in Orlando as intelligence, collaboration, wireless, and streaming technologies.

Lindsey M. Adler

Lindsey M. Adler is an audiovisual storyteller based in New York.