Skip to main content

Center Stage Emphasizes Pro AV's Role in Experience Design

InfoComm 2018 Center Stage

Promoting new ideas at the heart of the InfoComm show floor for the third consecutive year, Center Stage 2019 (Booth 3161) is offering even more ways to advance conversations at the show. Designers and practitioners in retail, entertainment, hospitality, events, and beyond will take the stage to explore how pro AV technology contributes to better experiences. Brand new this year, the program will also feature several "Meet the Experts" sessions that will put these dynamic presenters in direct conversation with the audience.

The free Center Stage sessions will feature experts from big firms and brands, such as Gensler and Royal Caribbean, and creative studios, such as Vita Motus and Quince Imaging.

[Things You Can't Miss at InfoComm 2019]

The Center Stage roster includes Heather Shaw, CEO of design studio Vita Motus, who will chat with Center Stage program director Kirsten Nelson about how Shaw's team creates visual and physical productions for artists, festivals, and brands, such as Pharrell Williams and Red Bull. Shaw began her career designing cars for Audi, specializing in concept vehicle and future energy products. While working with Audi, she used her industrial design experience to create festival stages on the side as a passion project.

For a session on "Crafting High-Performance Audio Environments for Hospitality," music trend expert Christopher Golub from Studio Orca, selector of the flavorful tunes you'll hear at Chipotle, will be in dialogue with the chain's sound systems designer, Matthew Emmi of OneButton.

There's also a session on those giant, floating hospitality vessels, cruise ships. For that talk, the staging technology innovator Gemma Guy from TAIT will be in conversation with ControlAV's Amir El Yordi, realizer of shipboard technology, and also Christopher Vlassopulos, the entertainment, robotics, sound, and light person who makes these increasingly complex shows run for Royal Caribbean.

And you won't want to miss the new data from Gensler's Retail Experience Index, which will be humanized by future-technology-savvy architect Megan Lubaszka and her co-presenter Alan Robles, designer of Samsung's retail stores. They'll discuss why consumers gravitate to some stores and brands over others and specific design strategies that retailers can implement to improve the customer experience.

Also taking the stage is Eric Gazzillo, producer for Quince Imaging, who will discuss how the e-sports viewing experience is rapidly transitioning from online-only to increasingly large-scale live spectator events. He'll explore how creative content specialists and AV systems designers are collaborating with e-sports organizations and video game developers to put on the best possible show. Day to day, Gazzillo focuses on real-time, data-driven multi-screen control for the NBA, NHL, and international eSports markets.

[The Definitive Guide on Planning for InfoComm 2019]

Another big-concept session will be "Influencing Behavior and Enhancing Experience with Audio," which will be led by Stacey Quinealty, creative director of AV Design-Entertainment Production with Universal Studios Hollywood. He will discuss how to create truly immersive audio experiences that envelope listeners in an emotional experience—and why this part of the design process needs to start in the earliest phase possible to not only be more successful, but also more economical. Think it through at the start, rather than spending for a patch-up job at the end.

On Day 1 and Day 2 of InfoComm 2019, Center Stage will host "Meet the Experts" sessions where people will have the opportunity to network with the speakers and ask questions.

Wrapping up the Friday program at Center Stage will be a finale session led by Paul Chavez from Arup and Nick Nienaber of WeWork. They're going to look at "Developing a New Method for Technology Layering in Buildings." You're not going to want to miss these two mega AV designers' viewpoints on how buildings can be designed strategically to accommodate the people inhabiting them and the various life cycles of the technology they need.

For the full list of speakers and sessions, visit

Kirsten Nelson is a freelance content producer who translates the expertise and passion of technologists into the vernacular of an audience curious about their creations. Nelson has written about audio and video technology in all its permutations for almost 20 years; she was the editor of SCN for 17 years. Her experience in the commercial AV and acoustics design and integration market has also led her to develop presentation programs and events for AVIXA and SCN, deliver keynote speeches, and moderate and participate in panel discussions. In addition to technology, she also writes about motorcycles—she is a MotoGP super fan.