The Stimson Report for June 2008 -

The Stimson Report for June 2008

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It's June and time for InfoComm (June 14-20), but that's not all. The economy is at a tipping point; technology is having break through's all around us, and the need to stay informed is greater than ever. In this issue of The Stimson Report we highlight the InfoComm Show and point you to some important news and information. Read more and then join us at the show.

If InfoComm isn't your most important business event of the year, then you are missing something huge. Technology, Training, and Business Networking on the highest level make this show the only must-attend event in the industry. If you don't come home with a better sense of the industry and ideas about how to improve your business, then you spent all your time in the casino.

The best way to get started is to register for the event at

Next, get your InfoComm Daily News fix electronically. NewBay Media has made the 100 page preview edition available online in an easy to read and browse format at

Even if you do not plan on attending InfoComm, the Daily News features articles about and advertisements from all the major exhibitors. Learn about technology developments in wireless mics, scaling switchers, video projectors, and audio consoles. There are blurbs about important events at InfoComm like the Rental & Staging Forum (Wed, June 18, 2:30 pm, Hilton Ballroom A). Plus you can get a preview of important products from niche manufacturers that you might otherwise miss on the show floor. You owe it to yourself to check this out before you arrive in Las Vegas.

When you arrive at the Las Vegas Convention Center, be sure to stop by the InfoComm Central booth in the main lobby between the North and Central Exhibit Halls. Take a few minutes to learn about InfoComm's new social networking system for special interest groups (SIGs). Finally there will be forums and discussion groups for every interest that are not exclusive to industry segments. Anyone can join, monitor, and contribute on topics that matter to you. In fact, you can create your own forum and invite others to join to discuss trends, ideas, solutions, and innovations on almost any topic. While you are there, visit with an InfoComm staff member and learn more about the benefits you could be using as a member, make sure you are receiving news and updates by email, and find out how your CTS Certification has just become an even more important business asset.

Here's some events I will be at:

Tuesday, June 17:
InfoComm Opening Reception, 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
NSCA Expo Jam, 8:00pm to 10:00 pm.

Wednesday, June 18:
Ribbon-cutting, 8:45am, Main Exhibit Entrance. Be the first on the exhibit floor.
Rental & Staging Council Forum, 2:30pm-4:00pm, Las Vegas Hilton, Ballroom A. Hear from Industry leaders on current topics.
Rental & Staging Council Reception, 4:00pm-5:30pm, Las Vegas Hilton, Ballroom A. Open to everyone!

Thursday, June 19:
IS37: Rental & Staging Business Survival Kit, 8:00am to 10:00am. This is a NEW course prepared by yours truly, Tom Stimson. I take many of the topics you have read about in AV Matters and expand them in a busy two-hour seminar:
InfoComm Staged Events Awards & Reception, 3:30pm. At the InfoComm Booth stage in the lobby between North and Central Halls.

I subscribe to a cool enews letter called It always has something interesting and every once in a while there is a surprise like this: Ever wonder how companies know what their competitors are up to or how many widgets your supplier sold last year? The US Customs service maintains public records of container shipments into the country and they are a treasure trove of information. Check out This company takes the otherwise useless customs records and puts them into a searchable database (for a fee) and has become a new darling of the business world. Their website also has something for the average person: a news blog. For instance, check out this piece about Apple Apparently there have been 188 containers of a previously undeclared product arriving since March. Industry pundits have reason to believe that it's the new 3G iPhone. Read the Import Genius Blog and find out how it works.

Can't send everyone to InfoComm? Want to air out some other staff and give them an opportunity to attend a seminar or two and meet some manufacturers and suppliers? The Rental & Staging Roadshow is starting its second year by returning to Yonkers, NY and Altman Rentals on Wednesday July 30th. Randy Altman and his team were extremely gracious hosts last year and we are honored that they invited us back. Those of you familiar with the area know how easy Altman is to find - it's a short walk from the Yonkers train station. This year I think I will stay in Manhattan and catch dinner and a show before and after the daylong event. This is a great opportunity to rub elbows with folks from all over the northeast, meet manufacturers that really want to earn your business, and to get your hands on some cool products without a lot of distractions. Plus, we will have training seminars, free food, and an end of the day reception. Put July 30 on your calendar now.

Barco Acquires High End Systems

Barco's acquisition of High End Systems is a powerful combination of cutting-edge companies. This move consolidates Barco's presence in the lighting effects segment and gives them access to a much larger market channel for their processors and LED products. Observers will watch to see how the cultures mix and what yet another strong R&D team will be able to contribute to their growing list of unique Barco products. Two interesting side notes are the facts that High End has been partnering with Christie Digital for projection products used in the DL series of digital moving lights and that Barco has recently released the production version of its own DML 1200 digital moving light.

The Stimson Report is gathered monthly by Tom Stimson, CTS of The Stimson Group


The Stimson Report April 2008

This month I have been thinking a lot about labor and staffing. Coincidentally there has been a huge story developing with a management lockout of three labor unions responsible for AV at the St Louis Convention Center. All the best links are included, so please read on. Next, I want to share some web-based products where project managers (and we all manage projects, don't we?) can share information. Then while you are thinking about how stay ahead of your shows, let me present another AV Industry B2B with a brilliant strategy. Read on in this month's The Stimson Report.

The Stimson Report Mar '08

Networking, networking, networking...this was a big month for visiting with stagers from all across North America. Between the Orlando Roadshow and Barco's Annual Rental Partner Meeting - I have been privileged to attend two major networking events in as many weeks. There were lots of lively discussions on the economy, insights into where business is headed, and great times with old friends. Read about this and more in this month's Stimson Report.

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The Stimson Report July 08

Another successful InfoComm and for the first time I think the event was more important than the sum of its parts. There just seemed to be a different vibe on the floor. I found that the exhibit booths were better looking and communicated their purpose better than in years past. There was clearly some budget cutting in play, but I think the net result was less fluff and more products. There was also a LOT of new products - something I didn't expect to see. And folks in general were positive about the future (at least for the next quarter). Maybe all the hype about the economy is just so much noise? Read more about what was seen and heard at InfoComm in The Stimson Report.

The Stimson Report Oct '08

Who is not thinking about the economy? Probably no one. Are you talking about it with your customers and employees? I hope so. With everything going on, I am sure lots of folks have questions, concerns, and outright fears for their jobs, livelihoods, or mortgages. I want to share some thoughts how to face the crisis both in terms of helping yourself, your employees, and your customers. Read more in this month's The Stimson Report.

The Stimson Report May 08

No matter how well a company is doing, the conversation turns to the economy and the uncertainty of the future. The discussion isn't doomsday; no one seems concerned that the downturn will last. What they are interested in is more creative ways to survive and come out on top. This month I explore the industry buzz about the economy and some thoughts about what it all means in The Stimson Report.

The Stimson Report Sep 08

Summer may be over, but business seems to be heating up across North America. Judging by the mood at InfoComm and the July Rental & Staging Roadshow, life is still good in the AV Events world. In this issue we'll share the word on the street and introduce some cool finds that are worth some of your brain time. Read more in The Stimson Report.

The Stimson Report Feb '08

This month's Stimson Report brings you a mixed bag of news and revelations. There is a brief profile of a new AV company that I think you will admire. I present a new website for sharing corporate events war stories that should appeal to most of you old-timers. And I share some thoughts on online networking including my favorite business tool. In addition there's a selection of news items that have recently caught my eye.

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The Stimson Report Feb 2009

The business mood of AV companies across North America has drifted from cautiously optimistic towards tentative. There are pockets of dire circumstances and glimmers of hope all across the map. Regardless of their outlook, the majority of folks I chat with are starting to feel the crisis in tangible and discouraging ways. This month I want to share thoughts about two different battlefronts. First there is the media rant against business events precipitated by some insensitive financial sector executives. The second perspective shares the unexpected optimism generated by a very successful ISE show in Amsterdam Feb 3-5. What both views have in common is the innate understanding that what we do does matter, but it is our job to keep our industry relevant in tough times.