As we prepare to head to Las Vegas for InfoComm in June, there's a lot of momentum that's been building for years, momentum that will no doubt result in the InfoComm show managing to surpass last year's in attendance, and indeed set a new attendance record. But things are even more interesting this year, the first year that there have not been separate NSCA and InfoComm shows.
For about as long as I can remember, there was in this industry the perennial "rivalry" and also don't overlook the synergy, between NSCA and InfoComm. This dichotomy in the association/trade show world was the result of several dynamics. Conventional wisdom often held that NSCA was audio; InfoComm was video. I would protest that assessment, thinking it too superficial a reading, and try to explain, that if you wanted to oversimplify and parse the market into camps, a better distinction was that NSCA was more the civic/government/education/healthcare market; InfoComm more tuned to the corporate AV market.
Of course, in recent years, that simplification turned out to also be not very useful. The market, and the associations and the trade shows had evolved beyond such simplifications. And both behind the scenes and openly InfoComm and the NSCA had been working together in so many ways, any artificial division into rival camps was kind of silly.
So when news came one year ago that the InfoComm and NSCA shows would "merge" it seemed like a logical conclusion. And it's interesting to note that while some may have read this move as some kind of "victory" of InfoComm over a rival show, it wasn't that at all. If anything, the move, involving a significant outlay of money, signaled the strength of NSCA. And more importantly it indicated the particular brilliance of InfoComm who chose to embrace another association and in so doing build upon their impressive track record of working with a wide variety of entities to grow the market. I've always been amazed at how InfoComm brings so many, often rival, factions under its umbrella. InfoComm is one of the Top 50 trade shows in the U.S., and it keeps getting bigger, serving a variety of vertical markets and a variety of technologies, and they've achieved this stature by including, not competing thoughtlessly with other shows, associations, publishers, end-users, manufacturers, service providers, and more.
You'll have plenty of tools to help you navigate InfoComm, but as we're all bombarded daily with promos and email from dozens of events, shows, service providers and more each month, do check out NSCA's special activities at InfoComm. Chuck Wilson has done such a great job at the helm of the NSCA, and if you don't follow what he's got planned at InfoComm, you'd be missing a lot of great marketing, educational, and technology opportunities.
NSCA University is offering more than 80 courses designed specifically to help industry professionals solve problems, save time and make money. And adjacent to the NSCA Electronic Systems Pavilion at InfoComm, the "Zone" will be the place to see familiar faces, and learn more about TechWeek coming up this fall. (TechWeek, with NewBay Media as the exclusive media sponsor, is a new InfoComm-NSCA training and education program to take place in the fall... watch for details in these pages.)