With the year wrapped, it was certainly not just business as usual for the staging community. 2007 was a great year for this industry. Business was humming along, firing on all cylinders. Every rental and staging pro I've talked to reports only good news, as demand for services is rising on all fronts.
At year-end 2007, we headed to L.A. for the second stop in our new Rental & Staging Roadshow. The first Rental & Staging Roadshow, held at Altman Rentals in Yonkers, NY (a close-in suburb of New York City), on July 25, was a huge success. And it provided a nice all-in-the-family kind of atmosphere, as we, together with InfoComm and Randy Altman hosted stagers and end-users on the banks of the Hudson river. But we changed it up a bit for the second stop, taking the Roadshow into the heart of L.A., and into the heart of the video production community--the DV Expo (Digital Video Expo, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Dec. 5.) And it was a good opportunity to assess the big picture in the video world.
It's easy to stay so busy and so focused on just the staging end of the business, that we don't always see the broader revolution that is rocking the entire video supply and demand chain.
The digital revolution in video means not just a revolution in widescreen and HD for the stage. Rapid technical changes in video capture, editing, storage, compression, and delivery are affecting our relationships with other video professionals as well as with the client. In fact, the argument could be made that while we as an industry, the staging side, were early adopters of many video innovations such as widescreen, and HD (even if we achieved HD by image-blending three SD projectors), we could be now resting on our laurels a bit, as the video production community forges ahead with some very innovative new developments.
In his column in this issue, Joel Rollins ponders where the compelling new applications for IMAG will come from. What's on the horizon to create a new use of the medium, or even a new paradigm? "So the screens get wider, and the picture gets sharper... so what?... we go from a stored opening logo to camera to PowerPoint to camera and back to Powerpoint, and repeat it until the closing logo?"
Rollins thinks that there are indeed new applications on the horizon, things like object recognition software, and software systems with the capacity for tying the presentations and video together in such a way as to eliminate the constant transitioning between PowerPoint and video, making the whole presentation more interesting and cohesive.
Interestingly, Rollins was chosen by InfoComm to be their official tech track presenter at the Roadshow in L.A. I'm getting on a plane now and heading out there. It will interesting to see Joel, and a couple hundred other stagers, mixing it up with the video production community. I have no doubt some intriguing ideas will follow.