Improving the InfoComm Show Experience

From product previews to competitions, four ideas to enhance the InfoComm attendee experience.

Chris Neto

Every year AV professionals make their annual pilgrimage to InfoComm show. Last year’s event in Orlando was biggest one yet. This year the show will be back in Las Vegas with every intention of setting a new attendance record. The educational opportunities, new products and the networking experience have always been the biggest draw to the show.

So what can InfoComm do to keep the attendees coming? Here are four ideas that come to mind that could improve the overall show experience.

1. The first thing that came to mind when I think conventions is the “coming soon” enticements. At Comic-Con celebrities tease attendees with movie trailers or upcoming projects. The auto industry has been all about concept vehicles for years at their shows. So where is our AV future pavilion? Just like the shows that roll out concept cars of the future, where is the AV equivalent?

I’d love to see some out of the box, creative ideas from manufacturers. Do monitor manufacturers always see TVs staying rectangular? Are they experimenting with a new type of screen materials, colors or design elements? Some will argue manufacturers will not want to display their best secrets. Bringing some forward-thinking design concepts to a show like InfoComm is great way to test audience reaction while getting priceless feedback on whether or not they are on the right track. The greatest side effect of a future pavilion is the buzz.

2. Along the same lines as the future pavilion idea, I personally think a design/build competition would be interesting. InfoComm could come up with a theme, such as designing the ultimate collaboration station of the future, and have project teams compete to make their concepts a reality. A team could consist of a consulting firm, integrator, programmers, content creators, etc. They would then collaborate with manufacturers to build a system in a mock office space on the main show floor.

To make it interesting, why not have the show attendees vote on the best build, best idea, best GUI, etc.? Now this would require a lot of participation from both the manufacturers, who could provide the products, and teams providing the manpower. Having sponsorships and media coverage would entice participation.

3. Where is the AV plug fest area on the show floor? As an attendee I’d love to see what products at the show can or can’t do what they claim. The area would provide proof of interoperability claims by manufacturers in a somewhat realistic scenario. Cables, extenders and videoconferencing claims could be put to the test.

4. Another cool concept idea would be a demo room setup where attendees could test their professional know how. They would participate in a series of demos that would test their perception of quality. Have some random samples of music playing on alternating speakers and the attendees could identify the best and worst quality sound. In another area, have a few 1080p displays set up, mix in a 4K display and a big box store “sale special.” Then let AV pros identify the best display. The metrics provided from the interactive area could prove to be very valuable to InfoComm, manufactures and attendees.

What would you add to the show to make it more interactive or improve the overall experience?

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