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InfoComm Connected: A Show Guide for Tech Managers

InfoComm
(Image credit: Future)

This year, seasoned show veterans and industry neophytes are wondering the same thing: what should I expect from InfoComm Connected? We caught up with Rochelle Richardson, CEM, AVIXA’s senior vice president of expositions and events, to find out what the show has in store that technology managers can’t miss.

Since announcing the decision to launch InfoComm 2020 Connected, AVIXA’s Expositions and Events team has shared glimpses of information of what people can expect to experience June 16-18. “We recommend that everyone get registered now—it’s free to all attendees to participate,” Richardson said.

Related: AV Network’s InfoComm 2020 Hub

Visit InfoCommshow.org to view the Schedule at a Glance, and check out the complete Content Program to begin planning your schedule. “We offer content programmed for a global audience, with event hours beginning as early as 6 a.m. ET and lasting through 10 p.m. EDT,” Richardson said. With this year’s InfoComm Show being virtual, it can truly be a global event. There are sessions available in five different languages. In fact, when you look at the list of sessions online, you’ll see descriptions written in German, Spanish, French, Italian, and of course, English.

While we’re all yearning for the day where we can see each other in person again, attendees and exhibitors have the opportunity to network together with unlimited live virtual one-on-one meetings using the scheduler in exhibitors’ showcases and virtual booths. “The AI matchmaking feature will recommend exhibitors to attendees based on attendees’ interests,” Richardson said.  

Easy on the Feet

Looking on the bright side, it will be much easier to take in more sessions without having to run the 100-yard dash and try to beat the clock between each. Attendees can pack their schedule with more than 70 educational sessions covering everything from live exhibitor presentations to panel discussions with Q&A with industry experts, to sessions on industry updates and challenges amid COVID-19, New Tech Lighting Rounds, and much more. Special events include the AVIXA Foundation Virtual 5K, Trivia Night, AVIXA Awards ceremony, and AVIXA Women’s Breakfast.

To help plan your schedule, it’s easy to sort education sessions offered at InfoComm 2020 Connected from the Content Program. You can sort by topic, presentation type, language, vertical market focus, and CTS renewal units. “There is something for everyone and most of our content will appeal to AV/IT end users,” Richardson said. Some highlights are the daily keynotes from AVIXA CEO Dave Labuskes, senior director of market intelligence Sean Wargo, and AVIXA’s board of directors. Exhibitors will give their own live presentations and present during the New Tech Lighting Rounds and there will be 24/7 access to on-demand presentations.  

“We will all miss the energy and excitement of everyone coming together in person for the annual InfoComm trade show but are confident that we have created the next best option with InfoComm 2020 Connected,” Richardson said. Industry professionals from around the world to were surveyed to learn what was most important to them for the virtual event. “This helped us put together a comprehensive event that presents exhibitors’ products and solutions, a rich education program, and many fun networking events,” Richardson added.

There may be cultural differences within corporate businesses and higher education between countries across the globe, but COVID-19 has leveled the need for technology solutions. 

Higher Education

June 16, at 8:00 a.m. — Higher Education AV/IT managers start off the first day of IC20 Connected with the session “Learning and Teaching in a Distributed Environment.” Moderated by Gill Ferrell, learning and teaching SIG leader at EUNIS, UK, this session will look at examples and lessons learned using both standard and high-end AV technologies. 

Panelists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway, the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium, and Queen Margaret University (QMU), Scotland discuss how digital technology makes it possible to connect students and teaching staff across geographical distances offering the possibility to mix physical and virtual participation, share similar classes between different institutions and allow multi-campus universities to increase the selection of courses at each campus.

Through award-winning examples of hybrid and distance learning, hear about how universities across Europe are adapting existing technologies in the face of the COVID-19.

June 16, 2:00 p.m. — You can’t miss the keynote, “A Better Normal: Reducing Friction and Finding Our Way in a Hybrid World.” Dave Labuskes, CTS, RCDD, CEO, AVIXA, and Kate Wik, CMO, of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority discuss how the AV industry has the knowledge, skills, and experience to build a better normal that connects us all. As we learn we change the way people experience the world together and we make that a change for good.

June 17, at 4:30 p.m. — “Higher Ed AV Open Forum: Pivoting to the New Normal, or Whatever,” will be led by Christopher Dechter, principal learning space engineer at Indiana University. Join the “Higher Ed AV Super Friends” as they share their approaches to designing, integrating, and supporting flexible learning spaces in a post-COVID university environment. 

Panelists Marc Cholewczynski, associate director academic technology-eng/technical services at Oregon State University; Jameson Rinehart, AV systems designer at the University of Missouri, Kansas City; Justin Rexing, audiovisual design engineer at Western Kentucky University; and Larry Darling, classroom technology manager at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, will discuss quantitative AV, qualitative AV, balancing technology with pedagogy, and the magic of the cloud. Hear what they are doing to be ready for fall 2020 and how to augment the traditional classroom experience to support hybrid-online learning.

June 18, at 3:45 p.m. — UNLV is back by popular demand! Take a virtual tour of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). Frank Alaimo, senior audiovisual systems specialist at UNLV leads the in-depth tour where attendees will explore the latest classroom renovation with a state-of-the art Dolby Atmos immersive audio system and a 4K laser projection system. The 254-seat theater/classroom provides a powerful, lifelike sound that flows all around you. Attendees will also be able to tour a 64-seat lecture style classroom that can serve as a screening room for motion pictures featuring its 7.2 Digital Surround Sound System.

June 18, 9:00 p.m. — In “Using Data to Extend System Life on a Small Budget: A Case Study,” Scott Doyle, audiovisual manager at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, discusses how administrators are using audit data collected and updated during the COVID-19 lockdown of Swinburne Learning and Meeting Spaces to develop a new lifecycle strategy that will assist the organization to defer capital expenditure refreshes.

The Future

June 16, 10:30 a.m. — In “TIDE Spotlight: Don't Be So Static,” Sasha Harris-Cronin, principal at BBI Engineering, and Maria Mortati, principal consultant at Maria Mortati Experience Design will discuss how interactive and immersive elements that redefined museums and public spaces over the past decade were a source of inspiration and innovation for experience design across many applications. Now with the “high-touch” aspects of these digital/physical hybrid spaces drastically altered by concerns over health and safety, what comes next? How will the challenges and opportunities presented by increasingly virtual and touchless user experiences help to inspire a new generation of AV designs?

June 16, 4:00 p.m. — Join industry watchers Tim Albright, president of AVNation TV and Megan Dutta, content director of Systems Contractor News as they explore technologies that you might not have heard of yet, but that everyone is about to be talking about; tech that’s been on the precipice for a while, and is about to really break  though; and what you thought was dead, but is now ready for its comeback tour.

June 17, 4:30 p.m. — In “Designing Contact-Free Building Experiences,” Michael Schneider of global architectural firm Gensler and Dave Haynes, publisher/founder of Vertical Media Consulting Group will discuss how the global health care crisis is driving a re-think on how people use and navigate public and commercial building spaces. Concerns about physically touching screens and other surfaces is promoting architects, interior designers, AV professionals, and digital signage solutions providers to explore new strategies and concepts for how to make spaces workable and intuitive, but still be memorable.

June 17, 10:00 a.m. — Be sure to catch the powerhouse team from global architectural firm HOK as they discuss “Seven Things You Need to Know About the Future of Workplace Design.” Kay Sargent, senior principal director of WorkPlace; Pam Light, senior principal, regional leader of Workplace; and Adriana Rojas, principal director of interiors present their list of what technology experts need to know about the future of workplace design, especially given the current COVID -19 crisis. They will examine technology trends through a design lens, and explore what catalyzing factors the industry needs to keep in mind as they outfit an evolving array of workspaces.

June 18, 8:30 p.m. — In “Smart Buildings: How Technology is Changing Facilities,” Zane Au, managing director at Shen Milsom & Wilke will discuss how technologies and building/facility operations have been constantly evolving and challenging each other since the beginning of architecture. Most buildings—be it a facility for conducting business, education, or healthcare activities—are designed to allow human beings to interact and collaborate. Back from when technologies were somewhat limiting, many such functions were built into very specifically designed and -designated rooms. Nowadays, with the advance of "smart" building technologies, multiple different functions and events can be supported in the same space in a previously impossible manner. This session looks at how technology has changed and is still changing the design and usage of facilities.

Be Happy

June 17, 5:00 p.m. — What would an AV industry event be without a social gathering? Grab your favorite beverage and Join Dave Labuskes, CEO of AVIXA, and Jeff Day, chairman of the board, as they recognize and toast 2020 Award Recipients