A Letter to the AV Industry from AVIXA About InfoComm and COVID-19

A Letter to the AV Industry from AVIXAAVIXA CEO Dave Labuskes sent the following letter out to the AV industry today. My thoughts are below his letter.

A Letter to the AV Industry

I , as many of you, continue to watch the news on a moment-by-moment basis. As we are making decisions that affect our travel, business and family, I want to share with you where AVIXA stands during this rapidly changing time.

First and Foremost:

I reassure you that the health and safety of our entire industry, from partners and exhibitors, to members and attendees, as well as the local contributors in every city and location we serve around the world, is of highest concern. My thoughts and those of the entire AVIXA staff are with those affected by COVID-19.

We continue to monitor the situation through the advice of public health authorities including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), relevant government agencies at a regional and local level, as well as the advice of our hosting and venue partners at individual locations.

Because this situation continues to change on a moment-by-moment basis, our decision-making process will be on an event-by-event basis within the context of each location and its environment and its timing. Should there be a need to cancel or reschedule an event or meeting, we will notify all participants and attendees as soon as that decision is made.

A Second Point:

Like you, I look forward to each and every event with a build-up of excitement that only an in-person event can create. Today, that also carries a challenge of decision-making in an increasingly fluid environment. But that neither precludes us from making good, sound decisions through the advice of public health authorities, nor further jeopardizing the livelihood and benefit of our industry, economy and the world by acting prematurely. That said, should the expertise of the global health community recommend a different course of action to protect our community from the spread of the disease, then please rest assured that we will immediately adjust our response and implement their instructions.

A Third, and Final Point:

Throughout our education, membership and councils there are on-going events and meetings on a week-to-week basis. We are evaluating each and every event and location and making virtual options available, postponements if possible, and cancellations where necessary. I welcome and advise that you reach out to your AVIXA contact with any questions or concerns as it pertains to any event or meeting that you are planning to attend. And I ask, that as we continue to monitor the situation, you do the same. Follow the advice provided and should you feel ill, please stay at home. I know that I, as well as my staff will be doing the same.

dlabuskesAVIXA’s core values are communicated with three words: Heart, Courage and Trust. We love what we do, and we will do everything in our power to support each and every member of our community. We must have the courage to make the right decisions when the time is right to make them: not when it is easy. And we trust. We will trust our team, our exhibitors, our members and all of our extended community to make decision for the betterment of each other. We look forward to seeing you somewhere in the world soon at an InfoComm event near you.

At AVIXA we stand with the industry.

My deepest respect and gratitude,

David Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD
Chief Executive Officer, AVIXA

In an exclusive interview with AVIXA CEO, David Labuskes, this morning, Dave emphasized that, “Naturally we all want an InfoComm 2020 show but, everyone’s concern right now should be on themselves, their families and our friends.” He continued, “It wouldn’t be prudent of us to make the decision to hold or cancel InfoComm 2020 at this moment in time. This is an evolving situation and we’re addressing, day-by-day, decisions to hold any and all of our events — including our educational classes and conferences.”

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Dave stressed that AVIXA is well-aware of the short- and long-term financial impact of what’s going on in the industry right now and stated they are focused on, as AVIXA always is, on how to help, support and drive the industry forward, positively. But, he was clear that here, on March 13, 2020, it would be premature to make any decision or statement regarding a June show — a show, by the way, that, as off today has 1,300 more attendees registered than 2019 at this same time.

Dave finished by saying, “We are aware that these shows and other AVIXA events impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of communications professionals but that the time to make a decision about InfoComm 2020 specifically isn’t now.”

I agree with Dave 100%. I am sure there will be industry pundits who will complain that a decision hasn’t been made in light of NAB being canceled as well as a number of professional sports leagues suspecting their seasons. But this is a fluid situation and AVIXA is making the right call by taking a wait-and-see posture and evaluating it again later. So before you blog negativity or throw shade on Dave or AVIXA, think about the fact that it’s not just you this decision effects, it’s all of us!

-Gary Kayye