To say this year’s InfoComm has been different from previous years’ InfoComm shows, for me, is a colossal understatement. I’ve been looking forward to this show, my first as an employee of a manufacturer, and how exactly it would bedifferent than when I was a technology manager at a small university.
The differences are great and pretty easy to identify. For starters, I’ve stood, more or less still, more in the last hour or so than I did all of the last show. There’s not a ton of walking when you’re working a booth. While everyone else on thefloor is racking up points on their fitbits and what not, I’m more or less walking in small circles going from customer to customer, helping them with our product line and showcasing new devices.
I’ve also worked a lot harder so far than I have previously as an end-user. From two full days of booth setup to just a small break to pound out this post, free time is not something that is plentiful during these shows. No leisurely lunches forme. No hallway naps for me. No leaving to go off-site to grab a drink with someone during the show. No 10-booth tour of free happy hours for me this year.
However, with all the differences from being a technology manager to being a manufacturer, the most important part of InfoComm is still the same as it’s been year-after-year.The show is still all about the technology. Cutting-edge, in-your-face, impressive display technology is everywhere; from display manufacturers to just about everyone else, incredibly bright and beautiful displays are everywhere. The trade show is brighter than it has been in recent memory with allthe ambient light reflecting on monstrous video walls and incredibly bright monitors. Beyond displays, there seems to be a pretty good representation of how the industry is shifting, technology-wise, from widgets and boxes andprocessors and systems to software based applications that help lower the amount of physical infrastructure necessary. I’ll get more into what technology I’ve been most impressed with tomorrow, but the shows focus is and continues tobe the most impressive audiovisual technology available.
Technology is great, and obviously the reason we have InfoComm every year, but the most important aspect of the show besides what is being exhibited is the relationships that are formed and the connections made. Whether it’scommiserating with a fellow show goer over the impressive and unrelenting heat of Orlando, or meeting a person who does your job at a similar company that you can bounce ideas off of, or developing a connection with a manufactureryou’ve never met before because their product looked neat, or you saw an ad for it, connections are what makes InfoComm special for all parties involved.
The more things change, the more the important things stay the same. Drop by the Vaddio booth (3421) and say hey and let’s connect.
Mike Brandes is a former university technology manager and currently an applications engineer for a leading AV manufacturer. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBrandesAV or his personal blogmikebrandesav.com.