In Part 1 of my “Simple Expectations of InfoComm 2021” series of blogs, I explained some of the elements of how InfoComm 2021 will be like no other InfoComm we’ve had in history — for OBVIOUS reasons. In part 2, I explained why showing only one product in your booth is critical to success at InfoComm 2021. Part 3 was about leveraging the QR code. Today’s blog focuses on a new expectation: relax.
So, the show opens in eight days and I doubt there is anyone more excited for this day than me. I have been sooooo frustrated with how long it’s taken us to get back to live events. When I wrote in my Kayye’s Krystal Ball 2021 Predictions piece that it would be October before we got back to live events in the AV industry, I secretly hoped I’d be wrong. And, although InfoComm 2021 will be unlike any InfoComm most of us have ever seen or been a part of, it’s won’t be unfamiliar, either.
Unfamiliar. That word has so many connotations to it.
On the contrary, this year’s InfoComm will be intimate, special, unique and slow — not bad, considering our lives over the past 20 months. In fact, I would venture to guess that these four attributes of what will forever be known as the weirdest InfoComm ever will be welcomed and appreciated. But unfamiliar? No. We’ve all been to regional shows before — the Almo E4 Experiences, the AVI Systems shows, the Rocky Mountain AVX, the USAV/PSA TEC Show and the plethora of other open houses and local events. We love those events, as they’re not only an opportunity to see some new gear but also a place to hang out with friends and further solidify or even build relationships. This is what InfoComm 2021 will be.
Intimate: When I first got into the AV industry, InfoComm (known as COMTEC back then) was like 5,000-7,000 people with about 200 booths. It was cool! You could walk the entire show floor in a day and a half and meet someone from nearly every stand. And, you got to have meaningful conversations. Memorable ones. Don’t get me wrong; I will absolutely miss the LG awesomeness, the storytelling in the Epson booth and the newest stuff from Legrand (the ultimate glue company). I will also miss the ingenuity of the audio manufacturers and how they are trumping video companies with creativity right now, especially in the UCC market. But, I will enjoy talking to old friends and actually having full conversations (not just sidebars) as they’ll have time to talk. This is what InfoComm 2021 will be.
Special: There’s a fondness in small. Nostalgic. There’s natural fear about 5,000 or so people being inside a convention center all at once (as will likely be on day one of InfoComm on Wednesday). But, there is a quaint opportunity to discover hidden gems from the small companies that spent their entire marketing budgets to be at this show to debut something they are passionate about. Don’t miss this special moment. GO everywhere — cover the show floor and love what you are experiencing. It likely won’t happen again. This is what InfoComm 2021 will be.
Unique: I will bet you there will be few big signs. Some companies have already spent over $400,000 to get to a space on the show floor, and when everything was cut back, it included their trade show budgets. They had to be creative to get something on the show floor. In some cases, they have only a small number of exhibitor teams that were willing to go to Orlando, due to the constant Florida-beating that is all over the news. And, some just want to be seen — physically. The uniqueness of InfoComm 2021 will not be missed by everyone who attends. This is what InfoComm 2021 will be.
Slow: Boy, is this an understatement. We’ve all — literally — been running at top-speed at a show like InfoComm. We typically book appointments on the hour or half-hour and likely miss some and/or are late to others as the maze of people and nonlinear booths make it hard to go from point A to point B. Not InfoComm 2021. This year’s show will be slow, slow and slow. I will be loving it! We’re still taking more people than any other member of the press; I am quite sure of that — 14 people. However, we usually take 35. We have a new workflow for gathering and broadcasting the show’s new stuff. Instead of blasting it all over the internet in real-time, we’re taking two weeks to debut all the new AV gear. We want to give EVERY manufacturer who shows up — and even some of those that don’t — a chance to get seen, get heard and get some love. This is what InfoComm 2021 will be.
So, relax; next week is going to be full of #awesomeness.