What Happens in Vegas, Creates the Next Stage in AV/IT – #InfoComm14

infocomm-2014-0614Microsoft. The AV industry giants. The ever growing market of communications and collaboration. Digital signage and video walls. Interactive displays and whiteboards. Cloud and virtualization — strategic technologies enhancing enterprise collaboration, infrastructure and more. BYOD — the fastest growing trend in the enterprise today. The new market disrupters. And of course, the integrators and end users from across the country (and even the world) coming to what looks to be the best and potentially the most well attended InfoComm Show of all. If last year was the biggest so far, the potential for this year’s show is limitless, especially with one of the kings of the IT industry taking a front and center massive position on the exhibit floor. I’ll assume the crowds there at the Microsoft booth will be almost Super Bowl sized (I’d call it SRO but everyone there will be standing anyway).

As I’ve written previously, last year’s show in Orlando was the very best of those that I have previously attended starting in Dallas in ’95. The big show experience then was of course — the “Projection Shootout” (here’s a video of the 1996 Shootout in Orlando). It had me marveling as I watched what were considered the best projectors at the time (imagine 19 years ago compared to now) one lined up next to the other and trying to determine which was indeed the best. Which one was it? Unfortunately, 19 years later I couldn’t tell you but suffice to say though it was almost stand still jaw-dropping awe. So we push fast forward (for all your former cassette lovers) to 2014 and come to what has been advertised ever since January as the the best show yet, with the entry of that IT industry giant being led back near the top by new CEO Satya Nadella (who I also wrote about in a previous blog). What to expect from other industry heavy hitters and disrupters? There’s no doubt that it’ll all be good.

To go along with what’s happening on the exhibit hall show floor, are the myriad sessions occurring at the show. This begins with the new Solutions Summit co-sponsored by the IMCCA, including conferences focused on two of the the hot topics of today, digital signage and unified communications and collaboration. Then comes InfoComm University as well as manufacturer and partner training where the best training in the industry, as they say, takes place under one roof. Click on the link for overall show event information including registration and pricing information.

As for the newer exhibitor show-comers, and there should be many from around the world, it will be a true benefit to be in front of, again, potentially the largest attendee crowd ever at any InfoComm. What kinds of giveaways will all of the vendors be bringing? Well there was one group discussion in LinkedIn which posed the question in terms of what kinds of giveaways you like most. One of the posters in the group said he wouldn’t mind a week in the Caribbean. Tweakers came in a close second. For me, a t-shirt always suffices, however I’ll definitely take the tweaker too. For others, well just wait and see what will come along with the slew of pens and candy.

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For this year’s attendees, especially those for their first time, it certainly promises to be an event highly worth seeing. Plan your trip to and through the show accordingly and make sure you do sign up for sessions that apply. Downloading the show app on your mobile device is highly advantageous as I found out last year with my iPad, which I use for note taking, pictures, checking e-mail and more at the show. Best is to plan as far ahead of time as possible, depending on how many days you will be there. Like last year, I’ll be there for all three. Remember – Unified Communications, Cloud, Digital Signage, all things BYOD, the long-time well known fare in AV and as usual some very good surprises. I’ll likely be writing about the experience on the red-eye back to DC on Friday night for an upcoming post-InfoComm blog. I guess I’ll also have some time to read the new book I received about a month ago “Cybersecurity and Cyberwar” (you know, a little light reading) that I’ve been trying to get to.

For those who I will see at the show, especially some from overseas who I know from my Disruptive Forces blogs, I’m looking forward to it. For the rest of you who will be attending hopefully you’ll come back with new technologies, concepts and ideas. Best of all the chance to possibly find new colleagues in an industry we all consider, as big as it is, to really be a “small world.” I’ve been in and around the industry for about 20 years and have seen it, along with many of you, grow exponentially and advance technologically over these years. It’s a great place to be now, and it will continue to be as it moves further along the path of AV/IT.

Enjoy the show everyone!