After 28 months without an in-person InfoComm show in North America, InfoComm 2021 welcomed the pro-AV industry back together Oct. 22-29 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The week brought people together to interact with technology and meet face to face, learn about the latest trends, celebrate remarkable industry leaders, and so much more.
“InfoComm is the home for commerce, networking, and learning in the AV industry,” said David Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD, CEO of AVIXA. “It was incredible to be back in person and play host for AV professionals to help them grow their businesses, careers, and knowledge base.”
On the Trade Show Floor
The trade show floor doors officially opened on Wed., Oct. 27 at 9 a.m. for pro-AV buyers and sellers to meet to discuss business opportunities.
“From Absen’s perspective, we think this InfoComm went well. Much better than we expected. It was great—worth all the investment that we made,” said James Liu, President of Absen Inc. “Within 15 minutes of the show opening on the first day, all those questions went away. Our booth was so crowded and had so much traffic. And more importantly, I think, we had a lot of quality customers who came here with reasons: either they bring a project, or they want to talk about partnership with Absen.”
“Our founder Harro Heinz is 92 years old, and he was a driving force behind our decision to exhibit at this year’s InfoComm,” said Graham Hendry, Vice President of Strategic Development, Renkus-Heinz. “There was a sense of duty, a sense that we were coming out of everything chaotic, and that there was a near-term opportunity that needed to be capitalized upon. Well, Harro was right! Our audio demo room was standing room only, from the first demo to the last. Deals got done, and the traditional buying cycles got crushed – in a positive way. Visitors told us of their challenges, we gave them solutions, and we wrote orders. It was a phenomenal show!”
“From a business perspective, our booth had paid for itself within three or four hours of the doors opening,” said David Pedigo, CEO of Auralex Acoustics. “Everything after that was just gravy. We had end-users from sports, education, and corporate markets placing orders, plus many integrators coming to us who previously weren’t aware that they could act as dealers.”
InfoComm 2021 total registrations came to 14,017, with 7,335 total in verified attendance. The show hosted 254 exhibitors and spanned across 124,100 net square feet, highlighting a desire for the industry to take its first steps in getting back to in-person, large-scale live events.
Learning and Certification
Education was also at the forefront of the show – whether it be in classrooms or at the Technology Innovations Stage. Sean Wargo, AVIXA’s Senior Director of Market Intelligence, and Peter Hansen, Economic Analyst for AVIXA, kicked off the Technology Innovations Stage program lineup with a State of the Industry presentation, walking through the macroeconomic landscape, industry revenue forecasts, and supply chain issues. In this presentation, they gave an exclusive look at the new Market Opportunity Analysis Report dashboard, which surveys 1,500-2,000 buyers quarterly to gauge demand for AV products and services.
The State of the Industry presentation also gave a first look at AVIXA’s new compensation tool, which utilizes data from over 5,000 respondents from the annual compensation survey. This new tool, scheduled for release in December, provides personalized salary estimates on a global level that allows people to explore how to increase their market value.
Over 90 courses were available throughout the week, including AVIXA’s highly regarded Certified Technologist Specialist (CTS) Prep Course. Many AV professionals took their CTS exams at the show, and a total of 44 professionals earned their CTS, 11 attained CTS-D (Design), and 15 became CTS-I (Installation). Setting a record, Phil Ayache, President of Bespoke Technology Group, passed all three exams in one day.
InfoComm 2021 hosted 811 unique attendees in education sessions, from 3-day classes before show opening, through dedicated conference tracks for collaboration and digital signage, to open sessions at the Technology Innovation Stage.
A Celebration of Connection and Resiliency
Networking opportunities abounded throughout the week with AVIXA council events, award recognitions, and after-hours celebrations that mixed business and community engagement. “This InfoComm was all about connecting with people in person. It’s amazing how good it felt seeing industry friends and getting reconnected,” said Cory Schaeffer, Director, Alliances & Ecosystem, QSC.
The AV industry’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) was seen throughout the show. The annual AVIXA Women’s Council breakfast and Diversity Council event were met with full audiences, empowering keynote speakers, and productive discussions. Additionally, HETMA (Higher Education Technology Managers Alliance), with the support of AVIXA, launched the Prism Scholarship to support the growth of underrepresented communities within the U.S. higher education technology workforce.
“The AVIXA team sends our heartfelt appreciation to everyone that made the InfoComm 2021 show possible, including our members, attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, media partners, vendors, and so many others. We could not have produced a show in 2021 without the commitment, loyalty, dedication, and support from so many in the pro-AV industry,” said Rochelle Richardson, CEM, Senior Vice President of Expositions and Events, AVIXA. “As we wrap up this year’s show, we are already eagerly looking forward to seeing the AV community again in Las Vegas for InfoComm 2022!”
InfoComm 2021 On-Demand
InfoComm 2021 also presented a virtual experience, which is now available on-demand until November 30. It features an InfoComm Morning Show from each day that includes interviews with key speakers and industry experts. It also includes the recorded live stream of the Technology Innovation Stage, where 25 sessions were presented covering pro AV solutions trends, a state of the industry presentation from AVIXA’s market intelligence team, and product announcements and demonstrations. Also available is the AVIXA Women’s Council keynote presentation.
This year’s digital experience also includes an InfoComm Virtual Post-Show Event on Nov. 9-10, featuring interactive sessions and one-on-one appointment scheduling with InfoComm exhibitors.
In-person InfoComm 2021 attendees have free access to the on-demand content from the virtual show as well as the Virtual Post Show. For those not in attendance, a virtual-only pass to InfoComm 2021 is $59 for AVIXA Premium and Elite Members and $89 for all others. Visit www.infocommshow.org/virtual.
InfoComm 2022 will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center June 4-10 (exhibits 8-10).