Addressing the topic forefront on everyone’s mind this fall, the COVID-19 pandemic and the delta variant of the coronavirus in particular, as well as InfoComm’s Florida location, will be keeping an unknown number of exhibitors and attendees away from InfoComm this year. Whether that number is some or many, AVIXA intends that the show will go on and has put together a list of safety measures to protect the health of show participants. In late August, AVIXA announced that all who participate in InfoComm 2021 in any capacity must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of full vaccination.
In early September, Joé Lloyd, AVIXA’s senior director of communications, reiterated the organization’s intention that the show will take place and the hope that all who attend will have a positive experience. “InfoComm remains an opportunity for the industry to reengage and reconnect. We are ready to provide the most exciting event in North America serving the pro AV industry, where you can see the latest technologies, learn new skills, and forge new opportunities. We will take every care to safeguard those in attendance with practical health and safety protocols,” Lloyd said.
SCN spoke to several manufacturers ahead of the show to learn what technologies and trends they are looking forward to seeing at InfoComm.
Melody Craigmyle, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Almo Corp.
While the technologies and trends are always exciting to see at InfoComm, what we are looking forward to most is connecting with our industry partners in person, in a safe environment.
Additionally, 2021 marks Almo’s 75th anniversary. As part of this yearlong celebration, we are giving back to 75 different organizations representing causes that are important to us professionally and personally. This includes a major donation to AVIXA’s Michael Vergauwen Foundation, which awards scholarships to college students who display enthusiasm for the AV industry and a commitment to creating integrated experiences in their future career plans. We are passionate about mentoring and supporting those who will lead the AV industry in the decades to come.
Gina Sansivero, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications, AtlasIED
I believe InfoComm 2021 will be a show dedicated to community and togetherness. I believe the in-person return of our small, “family-tight” industry will overshadow a lot of the incredible technology that will no doubt be on display. But speaking of technology, the technology that is most flexible, intuitive, and in stock will likely be the most well-received!
Dana Corey, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Avocor
As enterprises are determining how—and when—to return to the office, the importance of creating dynamic meeting spaces that can deliver an equitable experience to both remote and on-site participants is paramount. One thing we are excited about, beyond seeing our partners and customers, is the opportunity InfoComm affords us to see the products our strategic partners have launched over the last year in action. That lets us provide our enterprise customers total solutions that enable hybrid meetings to be immersive and equal regardless of teammates’ locations.
Tiffany Dozier, Vice President of Sales, North America, B-Tech AV Mounts
I am looking forward to seeing the advancements in display technology at InfoComm. Screens continue to get better, and OLED, QLED, and Mini LED are all being incorporated into screen sizes of 85 inches or more. This creates amazing options for digital signage, classroom enhancements, and workplace designs. As displays continue to combine great internal technology and larger sizes, there will be an increased demand from users. Large displays can be mounted to stands, carts, walls, and even ceilings. The right mounting solution and display can create unlimited potential for installation.
Bridget Hayes, Global TPS Marketing Director, Black Box
It has been a while since most people in the industry have been able to meet face-to-face, so whether you’re attending or exhibiting, an in-person trade show is a big deal. Advances made with AV over IP will, of course, be of major interest. AV is simply everywhere, and the adoption rate of AVoIP is steadily increasing. Also we think attendees will be looking at their favorite vendors to showcase solutions that make AV easy to deploy, expand, and operate.
Lauren Simmen, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Crestron
There are a lot of things to look forward to this year, as many manufacturers have been able to deliver groundbreaking products over the last 18 months. And for many, InfoComm will be the first time we see them in person. One element I am most looking forward to is seeing what solutions are being brought to market to increase efficiency in the new hybrid-first digital workplace. We spent the last year and a half learning how to support remote work, and now, as employees are going back into offices, the mix of in-person and remote participants will create new challenges and opportunities. I am eager and excited to see the innovative solutions that will help guide customers in a seamless transition to the hybrid-first digital workplace.
Theis Mørk, Vice President Global Product Management, EPOS
InfoComm is one of the most comprehensive events for audiovisual solutions, so it’s always a great experience to be able to learn about new products and innovations. While we’re excited for the event in its entirety, we are particularly interested to learn more about the rich education program this year. Sessions will explore key aspects of the education sector that have become vitally important in the last 18 months, including access, inclusion, and hybrid working models. These are all passion areas EPOS is exploring through our expanding product offerings.
Ramzi Shakra, Product Manager, Large Venue Projectors, Epson America
Over the past 18 months, the avenues in which we interact in business and education settings have drastically changed. As offices reopen and students return to classrooms, technology is playing a pivotal role in creating safe, engaging, and productive environments. Looking ahead to upcoming tech trends, innovations in display technology and collaboration tools will make the hybrid model in corporate and education spaces seamless. Specifically, advancements in laser projectors paired with intuitive software and interactive tools will help create extra-large, immersive visuals to ensure everyone can clearly and effectively view content and participants—whether they are attending in person or remotely.
Ofelia Ruiz, Kramer Regional Sales Manager–Latin America, Kramer
First and foremost, I’m looking forward to meeting face-to-face with our customers and colleagues. It has been too long. Personally, I’m very interested to see products and solutions at InfoComm geared toward the new hybrid working and learning environments, as well as automated solutions to collaborate, share, and communicate in the strategic areas of networked software-based solutions, collaboration, unified communication, and cloud technologies.
Megan Zeller, Director of Business Development, Peerless-AV
One trend I am most looking forward to seeing at InfoComm this year is the increased use of direct view LED (dvLED) displays. As dvLED has become more affordable in the last two years, there has been an immense change in the role of dvLED in regard to the customer experience. Businesses including offices, hotels, and museums are opting to replace their existing LCD displays with dvLED in order to create that “wow” factor. The increase of dvLED provides a growth opportunity for vendors to create more compelling and artistic experiences for customers, and I’m excited to see how manufacturers will adapt to the trend.
Robert Detwiler, Director of LED Products, Planar
Micro LED technology is taking the industry by storm, delivering the finest pixel pitches, the most uniform color, and the highest brightness for truly unprecedented close-viewing experiences. The very small size of each diode in a Micro LED display leaves more room for a black canvas, allowing customers to achieve greater detail with dark images and better overall contrast. Still an emerging technology, Micro LED will likely become mainstream as the technology advances and prices decrease. We’re excited to see Micro LED evolve and look forward to connecting with our industry peers to learn more about their interest as well as the new capabilities and applications we can help support.
Andrew Kornstein, Business Development Manager, Sennheiser
The AV and IT world has had a whirlwind 18 months. The market has seen a raft of new demands and requirements for AV solutions across the workplace, classroom, and even at home—and the industry has delivered. As almost every organization and individual has had to adapt their hardware and software to participate in the new ways of working and learning, there has been a lot of creativity and innovation that will be on display for the first time at InfoComm 2021. I’m looking forward to seeing and experiencing all of these new AV technologies in person and all in one place.
Vanessa Jensen, Senior Market Development Specialist, Shure
The pandemic has led to expeditious growth in emerging markets, including hybrid learning, working-from-home, podcasting, gaming, and online shopping. We are looking forward to seeing and sharing innovations positioned to serve the needs of our global community during this unprecedented time. As regions reopen, our industry remains tasked with envisioning how AV technology can provide immersive hybrid experiences that respond to an increased desire for flexibility and socially distanced collaboration, especially for business and education applications. We are thrilled to see how our industry has collectively answered this call for modernization this year.
Patty Wanzer’s Top Picks for InfoComm 2021
Education: Steve Greenblatt and Kelly Perkins will be presenting a very important topic this year. In light of changing work dynamics as a result of COVID-19, they will be discussing new approaches to hiring and retention. It’s up to the collective efforts of the people in our industry to keep the industry growing and ensure it receives the respect it deserves. I cannot image that “Recruiting, Retaining and Mentoring Employees” is not a must-attend three-part course for all who hope to strengthen current leadership and foster future leaders in AV. Brad Malone is offering a project management course for 3 RUs, too! InfoComm’s list of education offerings is extensive. There is something for everyone!
Exhibit Hall: I always look forward to the products that exhibitors announce during the show. Many plan for this all year and use InfoComm as the platform to make their most significant product announcements. After last year’s show cancellation, there’s some pent-up demand for coming together in person and seeing what’s new. Do not miss what could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the excitement after months of being locked down.
Networking/Events: Another favorite is all the networking we can do after the (unwanted) hiatus. I was at a show in May and never stopped meeting and greeting! After having moved from its regular June timeframe this year, InfoComm will bring the bulk of the pro AV industry under one roof in Orlando in October. The Diversity Council Networking event is free to all attendees, and our mission is to ensure that everyone feels welcome. You can also get involved and help spread the inclusion we offer as an industry and learn how we look to improve/grow every day!
Free Exhibit Hall Pass
InfoComm is giving our readers a free Exhibit Hall pass to the show! Use VIP Code “FUTURE” to redeem your free pass. Visit www.infocommshow.org to learn more and register.