InfoComm: What to Expect at InfoComm Connections New York

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By Dan Daley
Special to InfoComm International

When the anticipated 8,000 to 10,000 attendees walk into the Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s West Side Nov. 11-12 for InfoComm Connections New York, they will not be experiencing a mini version of the annual June InfoComm Show. Rather, they’ll be seeing an exciting slice of the continuously expanding AV universe.

In New York, where InfoComm Connections is co-locating with the National Association of Broadcasters’ Content & Communications World (CCW) featuring SATCON, the focus will be on two key technology sectors — live-event production and digital signage — as they apply to major local verticals, including broadcast, advertising, retail and finance. The Connections New York keynote address will be delivered by Tim Hayes co-owner of CBGB and CEO of Productions New York and Gotham Air. Hayes and has spent more than 20 years creating events for Nintendo, Budweiser, State Farm, Walt Disney, the New York Yankees, AT&T, Kimpton Hotels and others. At InfoComm Connections, Hayes will share his insights on experiential marketing and special-event production.

Along with the InfoComm Connections event in San Jose last March, which emphasized AV technologies relevant to the higher-education and corporate IT verticals, these regional events represent a strategy of greater geographical inclusivity while targeting specific industry sectors around which to build education and networking opportunities.

“This is not ‘InfoComm East’ or ‘InfoComm West’. These are completely unique and new events that will bring content, education and marketing opportunities to our members in cities that the big June InfoComm Show will not be held,” explains Jason McGraw, Senior Vice President of Expositions at InfoComm International.

InfoComm Connections events are intended to be complementary to the InfoComm Show, extending the InfoComm brand and message at a more regional level. McGraw says that 69 percent of the attendees at InfoComm Connections San Jose do not attend the InfoComm Show. “This gives them a taste of what the June show is all about,” he says.

But most importantly, InfoComm Connections identifies major regional verticals and matches them with appropriate tools from the AV palette. Those attending InfoComm Connections New York will be able to interact with tech managers from key regional industries, an effect that will be enhanced by interaction with attendees drawn by CCW, which focuses on content creation, management and delivery technologies, and SATCON, which targets the satellite-enabled communications and content delivery industry.

“Taken together, what we’re doing is pairing content-creation and distribution entities with the display and communications resources of the InfoComm membership,” McGraw says. “The potential for synergies is enormous.”

You’ll See UCC

At InfoComm Connections New York, attendees will find a wide array of educational and technology application solutions in one place. Twenty panels, workshops and presentations — some paid and others free — are scheduled to cover topics including unified communications and collaboration (UCC), large-scale projection mapping, networked AV and security, and the implications of the ongoing convergence between AV and IT.

Joe Cornwall, CTS-D, Technology Evangelist at Legrand, will be giving two presentations that are closely linked. The Evolution of AV Connectivity — Past, Present, and Future will explore the origins of digital AV connectivity and trace its evolution to the current state-of-the-art, such as USB Type C, along the way taking an in-depth look at formats such as HDCP, HDMI, SDI, DisplayPort, HDBaseT and IPTV. The impact of desktop and portable devices like smartphones will have a large role in this discussion. Video Resolution and the Acuity of Vision — What You Can See and What You Can’t looks at how the traditional “4-6-8” rule of screen size and application will change in the era of 4K and 8K video.

“Connectivity and delivery and how we perceive an image are all intertwined,” says Cornwall, adding that this will also be relevant to a pending InfoComm standard on image size, resolution and application. “Your cell phone is already capable of 4K images, but how does that get to the screen in your boardroom? These are the questions we’re asking,” Cornwall says.

UCC will get a lot of attention at this InfoComm Connections New York. In-depth workshops on both days, presented by IMCCA in conjunction with InfoComm, will examine how UCC evolved from earlier forms of visual communication and how IP-enabled communication platforms — from high-end videoconferencing systems to Skype and ubiquitous cell-phone video — are changing it. The relevance of this evolution to broadcasters and others in the content creation and distribution business is enormous, according to David Danto, Principal Consultant at Dimension Data and Director Emerging Technologies at IMCCA.

“Narrowcasting — the exchange of information and collaboration one the one-to-one or one-to-two level, such as videoconferencing — and what we call ‘broader-casting’ — the ability to reach many people from a platform like a cell phone or social media — are like brackets on either side of traditional broadcasting,” Danto explains. “They complement broadcasting and offer more options for UCC than ever before. In the workshops and in the free one-hour sessions we’re also doing, we’ll be looking at that relationship, as well as related topics like security surrounding content in those environments.”

Up Against the Wall

One of the “connections” this event seeks to make is between AV technologies and other forms of communication and content. Justin Crutchfield, Director of Communications & Administration at Nashville-based DWP Live, says the links are clear among broadcasting, advertising and the large-scale projection mapping that is DWP Live’s specialty. Crutchfield cites a recent project in which the company created a projection-mapped architectural piece on the United Nations’ New York City headquarters for the weeklong UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development celebration and humanitarian awareness campaign.

“It’s all about content,” he says. “That’s what draws this all together. And we’ll be bringing some of the best, most creative animation content developers in the world — Bryan and Michelle Dodson of Integrated Visions Productions — with us for our projection-mapping presentations at Connections New York.”

The mission of InfoComm Connections as a highly-focused expression of the June show underscores the diversity of the AV industry. Technology is the common link and it reaches many vertical markets in different ways. Expect a similar, dynamic show back in California March 3-4, 2016, when InfoComm Connections returns to the Bay Area. But first, see you in New York.

This blog was reprinted with permission from InfoComm International and originally appeared here.