As I’m writing this, it’s one week until “Infocomm Eve,” the evening before the show floor opens at Infocomm17. In years gone past that night was dominated by the Infocomm keynote address and awards presentation. However this year I’ve noticed a trend that may speak to change going on under the surface.
I’ve been invited to no less than four parties/receptions on Tuesday night next week. Add to this a possible vendor diner and private group dinner, and Tuesday could rival any other night of Infocomm for busiest of the week. My usual mode is to look for trends, and this is an interesting one. Manufacturers obviously have decided that the time has come to move out of the three days and two nights format of the show floor days and expand things out. The audio demo rooms are already going to be completed for display on Tuesday. How long will it be until the full show floor is open those four days?
The show floor is already slated to be the entire width of the west concourse of OCCC. It wasn’t all that long ago that things didn’t expand all the way to the right, and anything past the obvious divider in the main hall was “no man’s land.” Now you’ve got quality booths all the way to the end. With this added floor space, have we gotten to the point where it makes sense to open the floor an extra day? It’s very easy even now to spend all three days in booth tours with the big booths that have gotten insanely huge. This leaves not a ton of time to see the rest of the floor. Some of the best items I’ve found at Infocomm were back in the small booths, the 10×10 or 10×20 booths. You are likely to find something that needs to be in every install you do, or a service you didn’t know you needed but now can’t imagine living without it. I think we are short changing these booths now that the show has gotten to this size and we keep it at three days.
I can hear every manufacturer groaning as I suggest we go to 4 days. But it’s starting to become needed. It’s easy to get distracted by the Crestron booth, or the Milestone booth, and they are certainly worth your time to visit. But do yourself a favor and carve out some of your limited time this year to cruise the edges of the hall. You may find the next big thing before everyone else.