ICIA presented the Distinguished Achievement Award to Harald Thiel, CTS, who recently retired from prominent staging company AVW-TELAV, at a sold-out Communications Excellence Awards Banquet held June 7 at InfoComm 05Tom Stimson of Alford Media, chairman of the ICIA Rental & Staging Council, hosted what was billed as the largest panel ever held at a Council meeting, the opening day of InfoComm.
Stimson was referring to the participation of almost 200 audience members in the discussion, via the Meridia audience response system in use at the Rental & Staging Forum. The meeting was focused on an interactive discussion among all the attendees, who were able to respond instantly, and anonymously, to a series of questions and issues about the state of the industry. Among the issues addressed were trends in technology (DLP versus LCD; LED walls in corporate events versus entertainment events; digital audio boards and more); staffing issues; employee compensation; adding lighting services to the mix; and a wide variety of other hot technical, management and marketing topics.
The Forum was the largest in attendance in InfoComm history, and the first where virtually everyone in attendance was able to have their opinions tabulated, with results shown on a large screen seconds after the responses were entered into the Meridia response system.
In attendance was a wide sampling of rental and staging professionals representing both large and small companies. The majority of those attending demonstrated, via their instantly tabulated responses to the questions posed by Stimson, a propensity to add more lighting services to their offerings, a move to digital audio, a tendency to outsource advertising and marketing activities, and more outsourcing of labor (i.e. hire more labor on a freelance basis).
The Forum wrapped with a discussion on the need of the Rental & Staging Council to gather more market data about specific areas of market activity. That information would then be made available to ICIA member companies to help plan business growth strategies.