As I ponder how quickly InfoComm 2014 is approaching—even though it still feels like just last week we were closing out the Peabody every night in Orlando—it also feels like it can’t get here soon enough. The InfoComm Show is really one of the highlights of my year; it’s my chance to get up close and personal with all of the latest and greatest AV products on the market today.
In some ways, this year’s show will be like shows of years past, all while being completely different. Over the years, we’ve seen what seems like minor incremental changes year to year. Yet in the last couple of years, we’re really starting to see much more significant changes. As more products hit the network and start-up companies continue to inject new life into our industry, the InfoComm show continues to be the place to stay current and, more importantly, relevant.
As I make my biennial pilgrimage to lovely Las Vegas for InfoComm this year, I’ll be seeking companies and products that will help me and my business maintain relevancy. As you can see, I’ve adopted this as my personal theme for this year’s show, and I think you should, too. I’ve always found that with shows such as this, it’s too easy to be caught up with all the glitz and glamour of not only the show, but of Vegas as well. To really make the InfoComm show effective for you and worth your investment of time and money, you must focus your time at the show on those companies and their respective products that keep you and your company relevant. In today’s business climate, being relevant is kind of the best thing you can ask for.
At this year’s show, while working off my “relevant” theme, I’m gonna be looking for a few key things:
EMERGING: One of the best things about the InfoComm show is that you have the opportunity to see so many emerging technologies and some downright cutting-edge technologies! And let’s be honest, what kind of people would we be if we didn’t get seriously excited about some new cutting-edge technology? This is one of those tough ones. Sure it’s easy to speculate, but let’s just hope that someone surprises us with something really cool. Last time it was our friends from Beam and their telepresense gear. What will it be this year?
THE NETWORK: I’m really looking forward to seeing more gear on the network, particularly more products with AV B or HD BaseT built right in. We’ve been promised the application of single network cabled products for a few years now, and I think it’s time we see them on the floor in abundance— without dongles and preferably of the non-vaporware type.
LEARNING: I’ve become a life-long learner and it seems I like it. The InfoComm show has always been a great place to do that and if you’re not taking advantage of the many classes offered by both InfoComm and manufacturers alike, well you know what you are. There is nothing better then taking in a class, resting your feet, and learning something that you can use in your business to, you guessed it, stay relevant.
NEW FRIENDS: If you’ve ever read anything by me, you know I’m a huge proponent of connecting with other people in our industry. No man can be an island, and that kinda means you need to make some friends. This is a great opportunity to meet some more people just like you—people that understand our inherent desire to speak in acronyms and general tech-speak that annoy our family members and friends alike. So go ahead and be friendly! You gotta be a friend to get a friend! If all else fails, I’ll be your friend! Just hit me up via Twitter @mattdscott. I might even be able to connect you with some other great people in our business.
So go book your flight, find a hotel room, and get to Vegas! This is the show you can’t afford to miss!
Matt’s List of Companies To Watch For1 BlackMagicDesign - At NAB, BMD debuted some crazy new products and I can’t wait to see what they have at InfoComm for us to drool over!
2 Microsoft - This intrigues me immensely, as a Platinum sponsor Microsoft is really making a splash at the InfoComm show this year. I’m sure they’ll be showing some of their VC product, but I can’t wait to see what else is up their sleeves!
3 Crestron - Big blue is always a priority to hit at the show. You can’t miss their presence or their innovation, and this year shouldn’t disappoint.
4 Panasonic - Pani is back again and I’m expecting to see more of their ventures into 8K resolutions. You know, for those times that 4K just won’t due!
5 Christie - Although Christie is well known to many of us, its projector mapping technology is changing the way we think of displays.
Matt D. Scott is president of Omega Audio Video in London, Ontario.