The InfoComm Connected 2020 Experience
Diversified’s Joe Dunbar recaps his experience of the virtual event and how it was different from traditional InfoComm Shows of yesterday.
InfoComm Connected, aka #InfoComm20, has come and gone. I know plenty of folks had their last traditional trade show experience at ISE, however, for many of us, this was our first experience with a virtual trade show. What’s different? What worked? What’s new? What’s missing? These are all great questions, and I shared my thoughts below.
Before we get into the details, for anyone who missed the show, much of the content is available in an on-demand format through the show’s website until August 21st (and registration is free). I would highly recommend checking it out.
For anyone unable to attend InfoComm Connected this year, like many other events in our lives currently, the convention was moved to a virtual medium. Though it certainly wasn’t the same experience, it was a similar level of experience. Panel discussions were available to drop in on at almost any time of day, exhibitors had virtual booths available for tours and appointments, and traditional networking was replaced by virtual networking, which allowed you to extend a virtual introduction to people followed by an opportunity for them to engage in conversation with you.
The virtual sessions were chock full of quality content. This is the same kind of quality content and discussion I have come to expect at past InfoComm shows, but center stage at the traditional show is quite literally, center stage. I have always loved center stage and the fact that it’s out on the show floor at the heart of it all, however, in the virtual setting, I noticed it was much easier to pay attention and take in information. I wasn’t distracted by noise or other things happening around me and subsequently was more mentally available to engage. The more secluded engagement paid off when visiting with manufacturers and exhibitors as well. While I miss the opportunity to put hardware in my hands, the virtual medium was well-suited for showing off new tech.
Manufacturers were showing off innovative solutions in all the areas you’d expect given the current climate, and it’s safe to say that IoT continues to allow for creative disruption in the audio visual space. Work from home and remote solutions were certainly top of mind during the show. We also saw cameras with improved tracking and resolution capabilities, the most flexible audio solutions we’ve seen to date and control solutions that are further integrating AV solutions into building management systems over IP architecture.
I think we can all agree that there is no replacement for the real thing. The happenstance conversations that occur on the show floor, the catch ups with old colleagues, the social time in between everything, and the accidental discovery of a solution or brand that you otherwise would never have known of, these are all courses of natural human interaction when we share a space for these purposes, and it’s hard to virtualize that. We will see what the future holds for InfoComm and trade shows in general. I expect the lessons we’re learning now will be used to build hybrid events that allow for more inclusivity and exposure for everyone involved, and that is only good for the integration industry. Thank you to AVIXA for hosting and everyone who contributed to the show in any way. It was far from typical but certainly beneficial and memorable.