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5 Tips for InfoComm 2016 (Vegas Edition)

With this year’s InfoComm just around the corner, there are always new folks who will wander into the grand space of the Las Vegas convention center. As one who does various conventions, it is always good to have a few things packed ahead of time to save frustration. But before one enters the glitz and glamor of the show floor, or listen to the opening day speech, there are a few things to consider:

1. Bring water. Its something that is always for shows, however this year said show will be in Las Vegas, home to dry heat, and even drier Martinis. Dry heat itself doesn’t feel that bad, in fact you barely notice that you’ve sweated off a few pounds walking from the monorail to the convention center. But that’s the point, bringing water with you will save on the headaches later.

2. Bring comfortable shoes. Most folks see the walkways with carpet and figure that its much like their homes and there should be some comfort. This is a total false sense of comfort as most booths normally pay to have padding put into their booth (trust me, Harman and Crestron do it every year due to the sheet foot traffic.) The rest of the walkways are just carpet over the poured concrete floor, and those are the kind of floors that are completely unforgiving.

3.Keep an open mind. Everyone is aware of the 800-pound gorilla mfgs at the convention. And they have well deserved their size and scope. However, there are usually some smaller booths that have a solution or provide a small nugget of info that you didn’t know before. This past year it was fun to talk with the folks from Display Note. I had noticed them and it was interesting talking to a smaller wireless collaboration manufacturer. They asked for honest feedback from clients and took notes the what they observed on the show floor (in terms of what AV pros are asking for). It was a nice change of pace to see a CTO directly chatting with clients.

4.Enjoy the swag hunt. Every booth wants to get their branding out, and swag is a perfectly acceptable part of branding. And look on the bright side, it’s hard to miss certain manufacturers’ color schemes. If anything, it’s close to impossible to miss Pexip’s neon orange or Crestron’s true blue. And being that this year the convention is in Vegas, everyone like to have extra t-shirts for walking around in the great desert heat.

With InfoComm there are always a great number of things to attend. Weather it’s the super Tuesday class sessions, the manufacturers' parties, the always fun band session of the drunk uncles or the experience of the show floor itself. If anything I enjoy being able to have a captive audience with a mfg just starting a dialog with a product rep to see where they are going with their lines.

Bill O'Donnell, CTS, EAVA, DMC-D, is an AV/Network Design Engineer at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ.