AVIXA and the Dawning of the AV “X” Men (and Women, Of Course)

Well if you’re in commercial AV and you haven’t heard the news about InfoComm International’s name change to AVIXA yet, please stop reading this and go back under your rock. The association is now AVIXA, while the trade show is still InfoComm. The news is on every trade publication website and all over LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as well.  From what I can tell, the news has been very well received. I would venture that the positive comments on social media outnumber the negative ones nearly 30 to 1 based on what I’ve seen to date.

There was quite a bit of mystery leading up to the announcement, and from what I could tell from the surprised reaction, the newly named AVIXA team did a great job at keeping this close to their chest. They also did a good job of producing video content and doing some proactive SEO to make sure that AVIXA the association climbed the page ranks over a few other Avixa business entities that exist out there already.

Although the announcement itself of the Association’s name change from InfoComm International to AVIXA was a surprise, the reasoning behind it really shouldn’t be surprising at all.

Dave Labuskes launched the “Exceptional Experiences” campaign in the organization early on, nearly four years ago. The APEx program for integrators that replaced the old CAVSP program added a customer rating component to assure that APEx firms were delivering excellent experiences to their clients. The InfoComm 2017 Show featured a special TIDE conference focused on Technology, Innovation, Design and… Experience. Anything stand out? Oh yeah… experiences!

The former InfoComm also had some dynamic marketing professionals hanging out at the show a couple years ago that I happened to meet at the #AVTweetUp. I wrote a piece about Repackaging InfoComm in 2016 after the show based on that chance meeting. “Experience” was a common theme in that piece as well. I don’t know if that firm actually guided the new name, but the point is, the association was on the move, not only to change their image, but also to develop a new strategic plan to make sure the change meant something besides new letterhead.

All the signs have pointed to AVIXA.

The challenge now for AVIXA and the industry as a whole is to embrace it.

Many smart AV companies have seen the value of focusing on experiences already. Many AV integrators are focusing on service experiences, user experiences and designing and installing place based experiences with amazing results. Some AV manufacturers have started thinking of their product categories and development efforts, not in terms of hardware and technology, but in terms of the types of the “X” or experiences those products will provide to their end users.

We are starting to see the “X” accompanying the “AV” more and more.

Voice control, connected devices and virtual/augmented/mixed reality technologies are only going to drive that further along

I playfully said on Twitter that InfoComm has needed to go a little more SXSW and a little less CES for some time. I wholeheartedly believe that.

If AVIXA can get digital marketing companies like George P. Johnson, Juxt Interactive, Obscura Digital, Deloitte Digital and Sapient Nitro to join the association, it would be a real testament to the plan. It will also be interesting to see if they can attract the SIGGRAPH crowd to AVIXA as well to round out graphic design-centric hardware and software for content creation.

I would love to see the waves of TIDE extend beyond the private audience of the paying few to the main stage at the InfoComm Show.

AVIXA may just be the dawning of the new AV “X” Men.

Professor “X”‘s new school for the AV gifted.

An improvisational AV Wolverine rigging AV gear up on Adamantium mounting skeletons while the AV Cyclops shoots light off of oscillating mirrors to illuminate the space with his laser phosphor powers.

An AV Storm wielding the power of the IoT to control the climate as a pyrotechnic AV Phoenix rises above the audience.

The AV Nightcrawler teleports audiences into a virtual reality while the AV Banshee shatters time and space with immersive sound.

Which hero will you be?

The AudioVisual and Integrated EXPERIENCE Association?

Yeah… I could get used to that!