I had the pleasure of providing live coverage for most of LAVNCH WEEK 2020, an all-digital event put on by THE rAVe Agency in partnership with Zoom last week. After five full days of education sessions, product launches and thought-leadership, I wanted to write a wrap-up story of my favorite moments, broken down by AV vertical. I had some help on these recaps from our resident assistant editor and meme queen, Steph Beckett.
By the way, if you missed LAVNCH WEEK last week … LAVNCH WEEK 2.0 is coming the week of June 22. Go ahead and join the list here; spots are limited. Also, you can check out our LAVNCH WEEK microsite to see all the wrap-up articles and public videos from the week and more!
We started the week off with a bang. And by a bang, we mean a keynote from Dave Labuskes, CEO of AVIXA. He talked to us about the importance of doing #AVgood. Then, it was William “Bill” Ammerman, who I feel like may have a crystal ball on life — or, at the minimum, on the future of voice and AI. Mark Coxon then delivered our Tech Talk on using AV to trigger biology (a brilliant, fresh look at how #AVisLIFE). Finally, we saw and participated in a great panel called “AV Careers, Workforce Development and Pivoting Your Products and Services.” On ProAV Day, we also saw some great educational content from Kramer, HuddleCamHD, Peerless-AV and Barco.
My favorite moment of ProAV Day: When we were welcomed by the man, Dave Labuskes, himself. AVIXA is the association that puts on InfoComm and is delivering weekly COVID-19 impact surveys, and Labuskes has had a big part in providing the AV industry those resources and information. Labuskes’ keynote was one of the highlights of ProAV Day for me, not only because it was the first successful live segment of LAVNCH WEEK (when all of us at rAVe danced a collective dance) but because his words were poignant, heartfelt and uplifting. I appreciated what Labuskes urged toward the end of his session: Every AV professional has to recommit to learning the technology that has become mission-critical to the world; we also need to continue championing diversity of thought and background.
Digital Signage Day
We hit the ground running on Digital Signage Day with a keynote from Mark Boidman of PJ SOLOMON. He spoke on COVID-19 and gave his forecasts for the digital signage market. Ameet Shah of Prohaska Consulting gave a Tech Talk on programmatic DOOH, and we ended with a timely and vital panel discussion, “Leveraging Digital Signage in Times of Crisis.” On Digital Signage Day, we were graced by the presence of LG, Black Box, SpinetiX and Lumo Interactive to learn more about their products and solutions throughout the day.
My favorite moment of DS Day: I have an advertising-agency background, so I really appreciated Mark Boidman’s talk on forecasts in digital signage and advertising; brought me back to those tiresome but exciting days of working in agencies. One of the takeaways that sticks with me from Boidman’s talk, in response to COVID: “Short-term, it’s defense. Long-term, it’s offense,” Boidman said. The more information consumers have, the better they’re going to feel. You can’t overcommunicate to consumers in this environment.
THE Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, introduced the day of events. (It was awesome!) His intro was followed by a discussion with Harry Moseley, the global chief information officer of Zoom — who talked to us about the future of collaboration. Dr. S. Ann Earon, the “fairy godmother” of the UCC industry, rounded out the day with her Tech Talk, helping us compare the different UCC options in the market. Finally, a panel came together to talk about what’s next for UCC integrators in today’s landscape. On UCC Day, we were served up some excellent segments from Barco, T1V, Avocor and AVer Information Inc.
My favorite moment of UCC Day: It’s a toss-up: The day’s first session with Harry Moseley of Zoom was just super excellent and raw — a real “human” moment caught us all off guard when Moseley’s new puppy started scratching at his chair during his session live; but it was a good laugh. However, I also got a HUGE kick out of Barco’s live segment, which led with a three-minute parody video (give or take some time there) on all the things that go wrong in today’s conference calls. This was a sequel to the original “A Conference Call in Real Life” video that went viral in 2014, I found.
House of Worship Day
“How” can you not get excited about a whole day dedicated to the house of worship market? Anthony Coppedge, a seasoned BlogSquad member, delivered a keynote about stats, facts and opportunities in the HoW market. Paul Richards of PTZOptics talked us through creating a scalable worship-streaming system in his Tech Talk. Finally, we had a rockstar panel that discussed how to sell, serve and support AV in churches. We also got some great partner content from Epson, PTZOptics and Epiphan Video on HoW Day, with solutions specific to this market.
My favorite moment of HoW Day: All the sessions from HoW Day were truly excellent — so I have to say, the panel. When you get a group of AV experts together in a room to talk shop, it could go one of two ways: The first, everyone butts heads. The second, everyone feeds off each other’s energy, sharing new ideas that cross-pollinate with others. In this case, I found it was the latter.
End User Day
We’d been promising that LAVNCH wasn’t just for integrators, and this day, we proved it. Joe Way, director of learning environments and information technology services at the University of Southern California, spoke to us about the past two months from an end-user perspective, discussing how it would likely change the market forever. Scott Tiner, another famed BlogSquad member, gave a Tech Talk on the evolving relationship between vendors and customers. Finally, our panel of industry experts gave some excellent insider tips on market “hot spots.” Throughout End User Day, viewers enjoyed live segments from Intel, LG, SDVoE and Sharp, giving us insights specifically from the end user’s perspective in AV.
My favorite moment of EU Day: Again, I have to say the panel. The conversation flowed so nicely, and I learned so much good stuff from practically every vertical in AV (higher ed, corporate, government, etc.). I think our great moderator, Dr. Joe Way, had a lot to do with the success of it. I stand by the recap I wrote on how it made me feel: Despite the promised title, I actually found this panel to be more like therapy combined with education combined with a virtual happy hour but without the beers. Maybe next time we can have the beers.
LAVNCH WEEK 2.0, y’all!
Again, if you missed LAVNCH WEEK last week, don’t fear — LAVNCH WEEK 2.0 is coming the week of June 22. Go ahead and join the list here. And check out our LAVNCH WEEK microsite to see what you missed last week.