InfoComm 18: Views From Above

InfoComm 18: Views From Above

Bright lights, loud noises. Temptation. As the world of AV converges upon Las Vegas, prepare for sensory inundation from all fronts—and not just from the City of Sin.

Arriving by night, it’s especially striking: a vast sea of pitch-black nothingness. Then, out of nowhere, an oasis of shimmering light appears. It builds and builds, until you find yourself enveloped by the bedlam of the Strip. Coming to InfoComm is a similar journey: one of anticipation, expectation, and at last, cascading opportunity.

This is a milestone year in the history of North America’s largest audiovisual industry gathering—the first InfoComm put on by the Audiovisual Integrated Experience Association. Much more than a change of name, InfoComm International’s metamorphosis into AVIXA encapsulated an industry-wide evolution in philosophy: the shifting priority from product to experience. Sure, we’ve heard it a million times by now; but perhaps nowhere is this focus more vital than in navigating the halls of the convention center this month.

An emphasis on outcomes seems so obvious, but in practice, it isn’t always easy. The show is packed to the brim with shiny boxes and a phalanx of hype—from finer displays to quicker signal transport. It’s tempting to jump onboard with these latest-and-greatest products, but be wary: new equipment and ways of connecting it might not be the best answer for your particular case—a point echoed by experts in this month’s feature on AV/IT convergence. Yes, InfoComm is a show of products; to experience it as a show of solutions requires a higher perspective. And for that, AVIXA is there to help.

In addition to the catalog of courses tailored specifically for technology managers, the 2018 show is continuing popular thought leadership events from last year, including the TIDE conference, Emerging Trends Day, and Center Stage. Make sure to mark off some time from your schedule to attend some of these presentations—you may just learn an interesting approach to crafting experiences that doesn’t require new equipment at all.

So, be disciplined in your approach, but not uptight. Some impulses are worth breaking your agenda to pursue, and unplanned diversions can sometimes be the most rewarding in the long run. Just try to keep a 30,000-foot viewpoint.

Matt Pruznick

Matt Pruznick is the former editor of AV Technology, and senior editor for Systems Contractor News and Residential Systems. He is based in New York.