In a surprise announcement today, InfoComm International (the organization) changed its name to the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA). For now, InfoComm the trade show will keep its name (both the trade show in the U.S. every June, as well as the international versions such as InfoComm China). They will just be operated by AVIXA instead of InfoComm International.
In the past year, we’ve heard — well, the organization formerly known as InfoComm International talk a lot about the technology experience, or integrated experience, which we’ve heard at shows and in marketing materials. It turns out this was laying the groundwork for a complete rebrand of the organization.
The rebrand evolved out of the strategic plan that the InfoComm board and executive team has been working on for the past two years. At a press event today, David Labuskes, executive and CEO of InfoComm International/AVIXA, said the team did not come to the decision to rebrand lightly. He said, “You shouldn’t change your name. If you can do anything else, you shouldn’t change your name… But [after much thought and discussion], none of the other options worked or were authentic.” He also said, “It’s about the survival of our current members. We evolve or we die.”
AVIXA wants to expand its membership, and based on what we heard today, much of this growth will be through end users, with the goal of enticing content creators and so-called experience directors to the organization. An example of an “experience director” might be someone at a Fortune 500 company who decides what level of collaboration technology she wants her team to use, or an advertising executive who utilizes creative technology in campaigns. AVIXA says it will be changing, or expanding, its membership structure as well, which will include individual memberships that in some cases will have no charge.
AVIXA also said it decided to announce the change now, rather than at the InfoComm show in June, because they didn’t want the announcement to overshadow or in any way take away from the announcements the exhibitors were themselves making.
There will be much more information to come on this big change in the days and weeks to come. Please leave your thoughts in the comments — we want to know what you think. The full statement from AVIXA is below.
InfoComm International has changed its name to the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA). The change reflects AVIXA’s broadening mission to be an industry hub, while also acting as a catalyst for market growth beyond what has been considered traditionally as professional AV.
AVIXA’s trade shows worldwide, including the North America show, June 2-8 in Las Vegas, will continue to operate under the InfoComm name.
“This is an exciting time for our industry and for the advancement of audiovisual solutions across a wide range of customer experiences,” said David Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD, Executive Director and CEO of AVIXA. “Thanks to the innovative, creative efforts of so many members, partners, and their customers, we have collectively grown far beyond what InfoComm International could do to promote AV around the world. AV experiences have become so ubiquitous, and they’ve come to include so many more technologies, and touch so many more personal and professional lives, that we felt compelled to embrace a new identity that more accurately reflects this industry’s excitement and welcomes a far more diverse community of professionals.”
In recent years, AVIXA’s members have evolved to offer much more than audiovisual products and systems. Their innovation and attention to customer requirements has led to an industry of solution providers that use audiovisual technology to create outcomes. AVIXA membership has grown to include experiential designers, content creators, IT companies, and users of AV solutions across a growing cross section of markets. AVIXA’s 2017 InfoComm show in Orlando last June attracted a greater share of AV customers than in any other year.
By adopting the name AVIXA, the industry association, which operates as a trade organization representing companies and a professional society representing individuals, aims to reflect both what its members do (AV) and what they create for customers, which are integrated experiences (IX).
“The AVIXA Board of Directors has set out an ambitious plan to grow the association, increase awareness of AV experiences, and reinvent our brand in order to propel this industry into the future,” said Gary Hall, CTS-D, CTS-I, President of the AVIXA Board, and Federal Strategy, Planning and Operations Leader at Cisco Systems. “With new and different people and technologies coming into this space, we are thrilled that AVIXA will be home to all of them.”
AVIXA was founded in 1939 as the National Association of Visual Education Dealers. In 1949, NAVED merged with the Allied Non-Theatrical Film Association to form the National Audio-Visual Association. NAVA changed its name to the International Communications Industries Association in 1983, which became InfoComm International in 2005.
“Organizations evolve,” said Labuskes. “AVIXA’s core programs remains the same—training, certification, standards, community, market intelligence, tradeshows—but the industry has changed in exciting ways, and the opportunity to grow the market for audiovisual experience is so vast, it was important that the AV industry’s leading association change with it.”