From the Confines of a Manufacturer’s Tradeshow Booth

relampitA lot of people have an InfoComm 2013 recap. Most are written by AV professionals who were able to spend a lot of time walking the show floor. Those recaps are generally insightful, especially for those of us who weren’t able to spend a lot of time traversing the expansive Orange County Convention Center. I review those posts for the eye-catching, note-worthy and disruptive technologies that one often sees at InfoComm shows. Although, sometimes I find the specific type of writers– the real pot stirrers- who nitpick for the sake of drama just to capture reader attention regardless of context, truth or education. Not my thing. So I am still kinda perusing the articles to find the real show stoppers- but feel free to leave a comment below if you saw something super amazing!!

For those manufacturers and service providers who are obligated to ride through the week in a confined space, I have great respect for you.  It is not an easy job and by day 3 at 4pm, you are likely both energized from amazing interest and exhausted from 3 days of non stop booth duty. You may be hungry, cranky, and desiring a cold beer. You deserve that and more! As I told my guys, I truly appreciate your level of dedication to your companies.

Today, I decided to write a quick post about the view from inside the RelampIt booth.  Our view included visits from AV systems integrators, end-users, consultants, distributors and manufacturer’s reps- as well as some great friends who are always welcome and are ALWAYS entertaining. After speaking to a couple of my sales staff whom I had taken to the show, they confirmed that there was little time to pause during the three days. We used up almost all of our give-aways and marketing materials (thank goodness because I DID NOT want to pack them all back up to send home). The most popular giveaway we offered this year was our AWESOME RelampIt recycled paper notebooks (if anyone didn’t get to pick one up and still wants one, just email me, I will send it out to you). And after 3 tiring days, we have to break down the booth, wait for our cases, pack everything up and send it on its way back to the office. Impressive RelampIt teamwork- all this was done by 11pm on Friday.

This is some of what I shared with my team earlier this week about our success at InfoComm 2013:

Show Summary: This year, (unlike last year) the second day (June 13) was a banner day for us. We were in the main aisle in front of the main doors where they did the ribbon cutting ceremony the first day. It was a nice location directly across from the Barco/ Projection Design booth and several booths up from Da-Lite, both of which attract a large number of visitors. This was, according to InfoComm, the biggest Orlando InfoComm ever. There are a couple of attendance numbers being tossed around ranging from 34,700 to 35,100.  Either way, it was a great Orlando show for us, which tends to be slower than the Vegas shows.  Our overall scanned leads increased by 10%, which was our goal for 2013. From the last Orlando show (2011) to this show, we increased our scanned leads by about 9%. This is not our best show for the RelampIt booth, which was 2010 in Vegas, but it did make it to slot #2 of the list of our top InfoComm shows.

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The buzz around the show was overall pretty positive, although I heard of very few “exciting new technologies” being presented. In other words, not too much that was exceptionally jaw dropping. The disruption for our market is still the hybrid projectors, of which there were a few more than last year but not a noteworthy increase. The increase in hybrid lumen output is something to note, however, and it will continue to increase as manufacturers of hybrids gain market share in education and even larger venue spaces. Right now, they are bright enough for portables, some k-12 settings and smaller conference rooms.  The other trend we should continue to monitor, as I have spoken to a number of integrators at the show which are all saying the same thing, is the increased demand for and use of flat panels for conference and board rooms. Suggesting that the time we focus on CORPORATE AV may be better spent elsewhere in the future.

Lamp manufacturers like Philips, Osram, Ushio and Phoenix did not have booths at the show this year. They did send reps to meet with clients. There is little to say about those meetings other than the manufacturers are still riding the wave, but have seen some decrease in demand coming from the OEM for the UHP type technology lamps.  Replacement (aftermarket) lamps, however, still seem strong for them.

RelampIt, like many AV manufacturers, is fighting the ebbing tide of existing technology; watching new technology approach, promising some sort of obsolescence. We still have a number of years to prepare. However, while the company is still growing, there is an impending requirement for my partner and I to make important decisions about our future products, new technologies and exciting undiscovered solutions. RelampIt will become re-imagined. And the outlook is not at all gloomy- as was evidenced by our outstanding success at this show and the potential that many of these new projects hold.

Pulling from my post InfoComm letter to our visitors- The best part of InfoComm, by far, is being able to see so many of our AV colleagues in one place. The innovation, effects and technologies are wonderful.  But the people are the true gems of AV.

I would like to sincerely thank each of you who visited us this year, as I know the show is “never long enough” and you are all short on time. I hope you found this year’s InfoComm as productive as we did. We look forward to working with you throughout the year to provide the lamps and services you or your clients need. Even if we can’t help you right now- please feel free keep in touch. InfoComm is a great venue to make connections, but it’s up to us to foster relationships that make the audiovisual industry a truly remarkable place to work! And remarkable it is.