Live from InfoComm's AVEC -

Live from InfoComm's AVEC

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 As a result of calculated procrastination, I’m holed up in a hotel room, writing this editorial on the brink of deadline panic. I simply couldn’t justify writing this before heading to Florida for the InfoComm’s AV Executive Conference (AVEC). I was about to be rubbing elbows with the upper echelons of the industry’s leaders and luminaries, gathered to learn, network, and philosophize over the future. How do you write a letter from the editor before that?!

Fortunately, AVEC provided plenty of material, and my fellow attendees even used the word “fun” to describe proceedings. Not a common description for business leadership events, but I was surprised to find myself laughing throughout.

Part of the fun came from watching and participating in Twitter banter. I created a column in my Tweetdeck application for the event’s hashtag, #AVEC2015, and strategically oriented it behind my notes document. I confess it became rather distracting. But judging by the amount of people live tweeting the presentations, I wasn’t the only one monitoring the commentary online.

With Twitter, there still is a perception that you’re on your phone, messing around on the internet, and effectively thumbing your nose at the presenter. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Social media is a multi-purpose activity. We’re sharing the interesting ideas we hear with people who couldn’t make it to AVEC—and those who might not have even considered coming. We’re also building relationships with those present at the event, with conversations that start on the internet and transition to networking sessions and workgroups. The tweets are there for anyone to look at, at any time, so we’re documenting the event as well (search the hashtag #AVEC2015).

There are so many misperceptions about social media by people who don’t use it, but there’s an incredible value to it in so many capacities. Changing those perceptions and our business practices in an evolving world is what AVEC keynoter, NFL legend Joe Theismann, alluded to in his speech. One way of bringing cohesiveness to the madness of today, he said, is to bring something different to the table as we strive for success.

As we look to 2016, how are you cultivating change? Maybe you join Twitter, implement new activities at your company, or try a new trade show or business conference. It can be anything. Just don’t sit back and start the year the same way as last time.


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