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Executive Q&A: Back to Business

Rochelle Richardson
(Image credit: Future)

After its return to Orlando, FL, last October (following a pandemic-induced, two-year layoff), InfoComm 2022 is heading back to Las Vegas, NV. Educational workshops and other training opportunities run June 4-10, while the exhibit hall will be open June 8-10. In an exclusive interview, Rochelle Richardson, CEM, senior vice president of exhibition and event services for AVIXA, discussed show floor pavilions, off-site tours, and the importance of trade shows.

SCN: On the heels of the pandemic, InfoComm 2021 wasn't expected to break any attendance or exhibitor records. How did AVIXA define success for InfoComm 2021, and did you achieve that?

Rochelle Richardson: In close collaboration with the InfoComm Exhibitor Advisory Committee members, exhibitors, and attendees, we made the decision to move forward with the InfoComm 2021 trade show in October to reunite the Pro AV industry.

The consensus was positive following the show. Although InfoComm was not its traditional size as in previous years, we achieved the objectives of providing a platform for commerce between exhibitors and Pro AV buyers, the opportunity to have meaningful and engaging discussions, the exploration of solutions and products, and much more. 

InfoComm Logo

(Image credit: AVIXA)

SCN: What will be different for attendees at InfoComm 2022?

RR: The ribbon cutting ceremony will have a new meaning, as it will mark the opening of an InfoComm show in Las Vegas for the first time in four years [since 2018]. InfoComm 2022 is also the first time we are holding the show in the new West Hall, in addition to the North Hall, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The West Hall is a $1 billion expansion to the LVCC, providing an additional 1.4 million square feet of new space and featuring the largest digital display experience in a convention center in the U.S. 

SCN: What industry buzz will be some of the main topics of conversation on the show floor this year?

RR: The buzz on the trade show floor at InfoComm 2022 will be about the 500+ companies and their new and existing solutions and products. This year will be the first year many are returning to an in-person event, and we anticipate there to be a few companies making big announcements in order to make a significant impact with the return to InfoComm.

Trade shows are a valuable tool for companies and attendees to reconnect, while providing the opportunity to grow their network and strengthen the communities we serve.

InfoComm 2022 will focus on the following key Pro AV solution areas on the trade show floor and Technology Innovation Stage as well as in education sessions: audio, conferencing and collaboration, content, production, streaming, digital signage, learning technologies, and live events. We’ll also be hosting show floor tours tailored by solution areas.

[InfoComm 2022 is Pro AV Digital Signage Destination]

The North Hall will feature “AV Solutions for Experience and Engagement,” and attendees will find the Digital Signage and Events and Entertainment Pavilions as well as Content, Streaming, and Production, and general exhibits. The West Hall will feature “Productivity Tools in AV,” and attendees will find the Audio and Conferencing and Collaboration Pavilions, Control, and Learning Technologies, and more general exhibits. The Technology Innovation Stage, also located in the West Hall, will offer attendees trend forecasts, updates from exhibitors, and product announcements.

SCN: Beyond the show floor, what are some of the other attractions for attendees this year?

RR: While I may be a little biased, it’s gratifying to collaborate with many people within AVIXA and other organizations who have worked diligently to build a robust program. There is something for everyone, from the essentials to the more advanced and premium workshops.

InfoComm

InfoComm 2022 will have extensive educational opportunities. (Image credit: Future)

For attendees looking for deep dives into networking systems, design thinking, and project management, we encourage you to register and plan to attend the three-day courses beginning Saturday, June 4. In addition, the Education Pass offers attendees the opportunity to select from 80+ sessions and will appeal to attendees looking for a wide range of courses including conferencing and collaboration, digital signage, audio, manufacturer’s training, and more.

Also, this year’s off-site integrated experience tours provide behind-the-scenes looks at AV solutions in the real world. You’ll have the opportunity to select from seven exceptional and unique tours curated specifically with Pro AV professionals in mind.

Tuesday’s tours include the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where you can explore the UNLV classroom renovation that features a Dolby Atmos theatre. Or plan to join the experimental artist Valentino Vettori as he gives a tour of Arcadia Earth. The Resorts World tour will show you the Zouk Nightclub, Ayu Dayclub, theatre, outdoor screens, and much more.

On Wednesday, there will be a tour of the Illuminarium, which features 4K interactive projection, 360-degree audio, in-floor vibrations, and scent systems. A tour of Las Vegas nightclubs led by Gerardo Gonzalez, senior director of technical services for Tao Group Hospitality, will take attendees through JEWEL, Hakkasan, and Omnia to see how each showcases their style of audiovisual guest experiences. On Thursday, a tour of Omega Mart will take visitors inside the interactive art installation created by Meow Wolf, which features contributions from over 300 artists. 

SCN: Finally, there are some people who think trade shows can be replaced by webinars and videoconferencing. Why do you think it's important for systems integrators and other members of the Pro AV community to attend InfoComm?

RR: If there was any question prior to the pandemic, we certainly all should have a definitive answer: There simply is no replacement for face-to-face trade shows.  

Renkus-Heinz

"There simply is no replacement for face-to-face trade shows," according to AVIXA's Rochelle Richardson. (Image credit: Future)

Trade shows are a powerful platform for professionals from multiple vertical sectors to come together for business—to build relationships, learn and discover, and so much more. Trade shows are a valuable tool for companies and attendees to reconnect, while providing the opportunity to grow their network and strengthen the communities we serve. There is an even greater necessity following a two-year global pandemic where many were limited to connecting virtually.

The momentum and excitement are palpable, and there is an increased interest from individuals and companies planning to attend this year’s event. There is a renewed energy around getting back together in person, meeting with customers, unveiling new solutions and products, seeing existing and new companies, and reconnecting with the Pro AV community.

There is something magical happening, and it is a wonderful feeling to know we’ll have the opportunity to see many from the Pro AV industry in just a few weeks in Las Vegas for InfoComm 2022!

Mark J. Pescatore
Mark J. Pescatore

Mark J. Pescatore, Ph.D., is the content director of Systems Contractor News. He has been writing about Pro AV industry for more than 20 years. Previously, he spent more than eight years as the editor of Government Video magazine. During his career, he's produced and hosted two podcasts focused on the professional video marketplace, taught more than a dozen college communication courses, co-authored the book Working with HDV, and co-edited two editions of The Guide to Digital Television