Experiencing InfoComm 2021 

InfoComm 2021The community finally came back together in Orlando, but how did it go?

Everyone went into InfoComm 2021 unsure of what they would experience. When I spoke to attendees before this year’s show, many of them didn’t know who would or wouldn’t be attending, what new technology would be available to see and how the overall experience would be impacted. After the show ended, I connected with a number of those in attendance to find out what they thought and what technology or trends stood out to them at this year’s show.

How was your experience, what did you enjoy, and what do you think needs to be improved for next year?

This year’s InfoComm was great! It had a much more relaxed feel. I was able to take time to attend events I may not have been able to in the past, such as the AVIXA Diversity Council Meeting, and spend more time wandering the show floor. I enjoyed seeing all the friends I had not seen in nearly two years, meeting new friends I had only seen through social media and attending the AVIXA Women’s Council Breakfast. I left feeling uplifted by speaker Sara Potecha. I would say the way to improve the event would be keeping it a bit more intimate like it was this year. Of course, once the effects of Covid wear off we will return to a large-scale event, but it sure was a nice experience this year. — Tammy Fuqua, Channel Account Manager, West Coast, ATEN Technology

My experience at InfoComm 2021 was a complete 180-degree turn from my expectations going into the show. I am thrilled we participated — and not only participated but we engaged, demonstrated and partied. We designed our booth to be attractive, open and inviting. We brought gear — 95% of which was in stock at the time those doors opened on Wednesday, Oct. 27. And we planned the biggest show opening party of the year at Top Golf which was not only fun, but so needed. We let the industry know we are here to help get back on track, get back in person, and get back to hands-on! The energy on the show floor was one of excitement, but also relief- relief that we can do this again without skipping a beat. Our relationships were not only intact but stronger for being at InfoComm 2021 and spending quality time with attendees.  Instead of a “quick, show me the highlights, I have to get to another booth appointment in 10 minutes,” we heard “thanks for being here, tell me what you brought. Oh, and how are you?”  The humanity and compassion we experienced was far more impressive than any exhibit or technology. — Gina Sansivero, VP of Marketing and Corporate Communications, AtlasIED

My experience was close to years past but with a much smaller audience. The attendees came with a mission, a directive, or simply looking for alternative solutions. From a manufacturer’s standpoint, it was a decent show. (I was in Aurora Multimedia’s booth). Improvements? Education offerings from AVIXA should be more pronounced at the show and I missed the CTS wall of fame. — Patty Wanzer, President, Synigize Sales & Tradeshow Marketing

InfoComm 2021 was a great experience. It reminded us why we go to trade shows, why we spend money and time on them — it’s to meet with people. We had some terrific conversations with those that were there — really, really, great engagement. As far as improvement, I’m just hoping that this pandemic is finally behind us in 2022 so that the show can be even bigger. — Brad Hintze, EVP of Marketing, Crestron

Overall positive. Even though the show was smaller, I felt our meetings and interactions were more productive and less rushed. We gained more insight and had time to dig deeper into features/products that we otherwise may not have been able to. The only improvement I would make is get rid of Covid. Also, logistically the show seemed to be on the far end from the parking and sit-down dining locations, not sure if this was intentional or forced by schedule. — Malik Khan, SVP Projects and Integration, ANC

What new technology and trends did you learn about at this year’s show? 

Direct view LED is being used in more places now that it has become a more cost-effective technology. For example, the First Americans Museum of Oklahoma recently installed a large, curved dvLED video wall as an immersive way to engage audiences with dynamic digital content as a backdrop and to show artistic visualizations in the space. — Megan Zeller, Director of Business Development, Peerless-AV

The thing that intrigued me the most is being able to mount a 4K touchscreen horizontally. I realize that this is a unique use case but being able to open a set of project drawings on a 65-inch horizontal touchscreen and work with them is something I have been looking for. The surface being about 58 inches wide, 32 inches tall allows it to handle most architectural drawing size without scaling. This would require no longer needing to print out a set of drawings for review purposes. Electronic markup has been available for years, but the need to pan and zoom made it slower than a hard copy. It seems to be a great option for workspaces, especially when the display is on a mount that converts from vertical to horizontal. — Bradford Benn, Owner, Advisist Group, LLC

The new technology revolving around wireless conferencing and presentation is great to see improvements in. The use of AR/VR will be interesting in the coming years. — Jeremy Caldera, Partner, BNCO Consulting and Senior Vice President, Pearl Technology

Virtual studios are the current rage in LED, but VoE (SDVoE and similar) is the future in AV. — Malik Khan, SVP Projects and Integration, ANC

The biggest trend is clearly the focus on hybrid work. The first aspect of that comes to mind in that regard is videoconferencing — and that’s super important — but so is in-room technology. When people come into the office, they want to be productive; they’re there to meet. Everything should support that in-room collaboration, and our industry is well-positioned to help provide solutions there.— Brad Hintze, EVP of Marketing, Crestron

What was your biggest takeaway from attending InfoComm 2021? 

This comment is probably already known. People like to complain. Everyone had a problem with something. The other thing that I think people missed both before and after the show, people have to do what they feel is right for them. The amount of people who judged other people about their comfort level was higher than I would have expected. I do think the show being held is the right thing. I think that amount of people who made the decision to attend every argument they were invited to was higher than I thought it would be. I know I had a couple of people give me grief for wearing a mask all the time. That was my level of being comfortable with the risk; however, people still wanted to argue. — Bradford Benn, Owner, Advisist Group, LLC

Biggest take away is the validation that it is still vital to have in-person meetings and events like this. — Jeremy Caldera, Partner, BNCO Consulting and Senior Vice President, Pearl Technology

My takeaway was that it was a very worthwhile, positive, and fulfilling event.  It makes me think about how we can recreate a similar experience in the future or whether this was a one-time occurrence. With that said, I do hope that next year’s InfoComm is closer to what we experienced pre-pandemic. — Steve Greenblatt, President, Control Concepts, Inc.

Seeing so many women receive an AVIXA AV Professional Award! It was truly inspiring to see some of my mentors and women I look up to in the industry receive an award for their hard work and dedication to the industry. If it was inspiring for me to witness, I am sure there were others that felt the same. —Tammy Fuqua, Channel Account Manager, West Coast, ATEN Technology

My biggest takeaway from InfoComm 2021 was seeing the world is slowly getting back to normal. People are eager to be face to face again, start new projects, and no longer have such tight budgetary restrictions. — Megan Zeller, Director of Business Development, Peerless-AV