A Whole New Crowd

Well, InfoComm got off to a roaring start yesterday, and it continued into today. The show floor is packed, and the manufacturers and distributors I have talked to seemed happy with the attendance.

And so am I, for a number of reasons.

International attendance — I have often complained that the show of the International Communications Industries Association lacked international participation, rather like our “World Series” here in America. Then, I thought we were answering the problem by establishing more shows around the world, and to an extent that is true. But there seems to have been a “halo effect” around the international shows, in that they have drawn more international attendees (and exhibitors) to the show here in Orlando. Now, not all of that is due to the trade shows, a great deal of it must be attributed to the outstanding efforts made over the last decade to transform InfoComm into a truly international organization. To give credit where credit is due, InfoComm management has done a great job here. And it is great to see the level of international participation here on the show floor, for any reason.

Age — I have also often complained (and yes, Gary, sometimes I complain) that our organization seemed to be aging, and at many council and committee meetings we have discussed the difficulty in recruiting younger people into certain segments of our industry. But this trend seems to be reversing itself, and at this show I have talked to a lot of enthusiastic younger people.

Background — Years ago, we used to talk a lot about “convergence,” and attracting people from the I.T. And networking fields to work in the AV industry. Now, convergence lies in our rear-view mirrors, and with the advent of SaaS and cloud-based systems, the Red Bull crowd has joined us in force. Not only that, but with each successive InfoComm show we see more software-based and computer/network companies joining the industry. They have brought a whole new influx of those people to us and with them a new attitude and skill set.

I’ve had a great day today, and I’ve looked at a lot of great hardware and services. But the best thing I’ve encountered has been a couple of guys from Australia, and their program, “Tech Crew.” I will be covering this in detail with a post tomorrow morning, so as usual…

Stay Tuned.