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What Has David Labuskes Accomplished in 1.5 Years?

Following popular Randy Lemke, InfoComm’s new executive director is putting his own bold stamp on the trade organization.

Tom LeBlanc

Technically, InfoComm 2014 is David Labuskes’ second as executive director of InfoComm.

In reality, however, how much impact could his leadership have had on last year’s June event after the former executive at architectural design firm RTKL replaced retiring Randy Lemke on January 1, 2013?

It will be at InfoComm 2014, June 14-20 in Las Vegas, where the fruits of Labuskes’ leadership will be on display for the industry to evaluate. And he’s comfortable with that.

“For better or worse, I’m not the new guy anymore,” he quipped during a recent interview before a Boston InfoComm Roundtable event. “I’m kind of happy about that. A lot’s been done in the past year at InfoComm.”

I won’t argue with that. From my perspective, Labuskes’ influence on InfoComm has been very positive. He’s been committed to the directions that he wants to take the organization even if the industry doesn’t universally agree.

Leading up to InfoComm 2014, for instance, the organization has aggressively targeted end user attendees. The new Solutions Summits with intense training focuses on digital signage and unified communication and collaboration (UCC) are catered specifically for organizations’ tech managers; meanwhile, InfoComm is highlighting a series of educational offers that will specifically benefit purchasing decision makers at universities.

Educating end users hasn’t always felt like InfoComm’s role, but it makes sense. Technology managers face high stakes. Their organizations’ communication rely on technology solutions, often on tight budgets. Getting more information from InfoComm about their options is only going to make them better integration clients.

What end users will learn isn’t the nuts and bolts of a system, says InfoComm’s senior VP of member services. “They’ll be armed with a much more in-depth understanding of digital signage or UCC. Not necessarily how it works but what it takes to put in a digital signage system. What can go wrong? Where do I need help? What are my options?”

Another clear focus for Labuskes is on pushing the AV integration industry—even if it’s kicking and screaming—toward IT. In a previous interview with CI he emphasized how integrators need to spend time evaluating their in-house IT resources.

“Do they have the expertise to integrate their AV solutions with the IT network? Do they understand the IT network?  Can they communicate with the people that are managing the IT network?” he offered. “Really, we shouldn’t even talk about it as an ‘IT network’ versus an ‘AV network.’ We need to talk about it as technology to support the strategy of your client.”

Labuskes explains the role InfoComm’s members play in shaping his priorities as executive director: