Integrate, Australia’s premier AV integration show, is going virtual with purpose and in partnership with AVIXA
Launched to address the lack of a B2B professional trade show for the AV industry in Oceania, Australia and New Zealand, Integrate was first held in 2009 and has become an annual event in the region. But, like many of AV’s global conferences, meetings and live events, Integrate had to make the difficult decision to go virtual back in March, making its organizers among the first in the industry to acknowledge the potentially devastating impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“As a team, we started to look virtual options, initially, we considered rolling out weekly content for an hour or so. What we soon realized was that there was quite a lot of content being launched and we were a little uncertain of format, etc.,” says Soren Norgaard, commercial manager and event manager, for Integrate organizer, Diversified Communications Australia. “Integrate has had a longstanding association partner in AVIXA and they had also just launched their InfoComm Connected program, which ran successfully on what would have been the InfoComm dates in June this year.”
Integrate will go virtual from August 19 – 21, 2020, in partnership and collaboration with AVIXA, and on the original dates of the in-person event in another cue it has taken from IC2020 — a decision Soren says communicates the Integrate brand to the broader AV community and ensures that the organization stays connected to its core audience in the AV channel and end-user groups.
“We went live with the launch of the registration on the 28 of July and so far, we have had a very positive reaction,” Norgaard says. “We don’t have a long lead in to the series but it will be fairly focused and concentrated and hopefully not a saturation of information. We hope that the participants will enjoy the content and discussions that we are providing, but also importantly allow participants to engage in our live chat forum and hopefully take the discussion further offline. After all, industry events are all about engagement and connecting with like-minded people.”
One of the advantages of virtual events, as we have all have come to learn, is the access international AV professionals will have that might have been more difficult to achieve in person. Integrate always had international representation, Norgaard says, but hosting Integrate online digitally opens these borders.
“There is still going to be the time zone considerations depending on where you are in the world,” Norgaard explains. “Here are some examples of time scales. If you are on the west coast of the U.S. the program starts 17:00 local time. If you are on the east coast it is a bit later at 20:00. If you are in Europe you can log into the afternoon sessions first thing in the morning. But if it is all too hard with the time thing the sessions will be recorded and can be viewed when convenient.”
Integrate has a broad, appealing program line up that will engage the AV channel and AV professionals. For Norgaard, three sessions stand out as essential: Emerging Trends — What the Industry is Going to Look Like After 2020 (hosted by AVNation’s Tim Albright and Tim Stackpool, Australian TV and radio professional), Mental Health in AV Today, and Day 3’s The Future of Security and Government, which takes a look at the AV aspects of infrastructure and operations in those areas.
Integrate 2021 will be held in Melbourne, Australia, from August 24 – 26.
“The August date for 2021 is looking more and more promising given that COVID-19 is looking like it will be with us for at least the first quarter of 2021,” says Norgaard. “It will be interesting to see how the virtual take up will be received, but I can see that there very may be a virtual component is years to come to complement the physical show.”