Infocomm Live 2014 – its a wrap

First of all, let me say that this year’s Infocomm Live has been an excellent, worthwhile experience. But the presenter on Social Media, while obviously knowledgeable, really points out, to me, the things that devalue and confuse social media platforms. He gave us instructions like “Be Enchanting” and “Listen Louder”, which like much of social media (IMHO) seems too undefined and pointless. In my opinion he, and many social media consultants, confuse “likes” and “followers” with real metrics. We are being bombarded with how very critical it is to be “out there” as if our mere presence among hundreds of millions of users has some incredible, critical purpose we don’t understand. Some of the examples given of being enchanting seemed to include posting mobile pictures of our dinner. The supporting slides, unlike the previous presenters, seem to be mostly pictures with very little data other than telling us how many people are using social media, which we knew long before he arrived. I spent the latter half of the presentation in the hallway, where I had quite a bit of company to talk to, including two of our industry’s most knowledgeable and avid social media proponents. Now, I will admit (sorry, Emily) to not being a big fan of social media because of the huge amount of digital “noise” that seems to drown out real messages, at least for me. But it is critical that we use the medium when it has real value. Check out rAVe’s Social Media Blueprint, which, while not convincing me of all of Social Media’s value, at least makes sense. And it doesn’t make me try to “Be Enchanting”, something I don’t understand (and something I am told by many that I may not be capable of).

However, in a really strong recovery, the afternoon presenter (Heather Christie of Actionworks) on employee retention was eloquent, well-supported with real facts and useful techniques, and seems to have impressed nearly everyone.

All in all, a great event, and a worthwhile use of time for anyone in the rental portion of the business. The venue was great, and the time with my peers was well-spent. The Infocomm staff did a great job, and deserve a real round of applause for listening to our little specialized portion of the industry.

It leaves me with a question for you: if you are in the rental end of the business, and decided NOT to come, why not? Because you missed one of the few events in the industry that is focused on your part of the business, paid for entirely (other than airfare and lodging) by your industry association and a truly great group of sponsors. As I said early on, if you put this group in an empty room together, you’d have a great program. But Infocomm, Digital Projection, and the other dedicated sponsors did a lot more than that.

Thank you.

JRR