Widgets Magazine

Investing at InfoComm 2015

If you were one of the record 39,105 attendees that came to InfoComm in Orlando, FL then it,Aeos a pretty safe bet you were able to work up both a physical and a mental sweat as you explored the 515,000 sq. ft. of booths and exhibit spaces. You may have also occupied one of the 5,600 seats filled in classes throughout the entirety of the show ,Aei most of which were located on the 3rd floor of the Orange County Convention Center.
InfoComm brings together educators and volunteers from all over the world to share their knowledge and experience with those seeking to improve skills and understanding. As someone that spent a fair amount of time looking down on the show from above while alternating between instructor and attendee, I heard some incredible post-course interactions.
Passing by one of the many conversations that filled the air around the employees and volunteers at the CTS Wall and Standards & Innovations table, the question came up regarding how much time was being spent outside the exhibits to participate with the instruction and gaining additional education. Thinking on the matter, it occurred to me that while the bright and shiny toys that lined the aisles of the trade show floor were all exciting and stimulating, there is a large majority of products there that just will not find their way into the regular rotation of work.
Each consultant or integration firm has personal favorite brands that they like to use, or just prefer to invest more time and energy in due to the flexibility that the brand can offer. That still leaves hundreds of exhibitors that attend the InfoComm trade show that may only see one or two projects a year from those in attendance.
There are some that say this show didn,Aeot have the WOW factor that it claimed, with a few detractors raising their voices over the cool factor that some exhibiting goods brought to the show. The part that stands out, though, is the question of time investment in the limited 24 hours of show floor time that we are allotted to try and find the next item to help us accomplish our goals while still making time for meetings with manufacturing partners, education, and, for some of us, committee meetings with InfoComm.
Given the finite amount of time that attendees have to see and experience all that InfoComm has to bestow upon us, how can we fit it all in? The simple answer is that you can,Aeot. The more complex answer is that you can,Aeot do it alone.
Three members of my integration team were attending the show in Orlando. When it takes place in Las Vegas the group is much larger. Trying to tie in with our team members back home executing the projects we left behind, we set up a Google Hangout group chat so we can all keep our own agendas while sharing amongst ourselves the findings of the show.
Beyond that simple and easy to maintain interaction, there,Aeos also the network of AV professionals that you know and care for, even if you only see them a few days a year. They too are seeking out the product to help solve the problem that has plagued them for months. Perhaps they found yours too while they were at it.
The fact remains that with limited time to explore and attempt to meet with all 950 companies exhibiting on the show floor, assuming just ten minutes each for the basic meet, greet, and gist, it would take over 158 hours to see them all. That,Aeos just not feasible, nor is it practical as you likely don,Aeot have the need to meet with them all. You need to see your key vendors and channel partners as well as attempt to find the next big thing, or at least the next thing that will help ease you through the next series of projects.
Odds are that there are, at maximum, about 10% of the vendors on the floor that you absolutely should see in order to maintain your progression and keep on top of trends. There,Aeos certainly another 10% that you,Aeoll want to explore to determine if there is a need for an expanded partnership moving forward. That is 190 booth visits. Still assuming 10 minutes per visit, you still exceed the 24 hours available.
Budgeting your time and knowing what,Aeos important to you ,Aei be it education, volunteering for the betterment of the industry, or hunting down that elusive new bright and shiny widget ,Aei helps you to set your priorities and ensure that you walk away from the event of the year for the AV Industry. The show isn,Aeot necessarily about the biggest and best, but it,Aeos definitely about finding new ways to solve problems, help clients, and move forward.

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