NEC Plugs AVIXA’s Mission to Make AV Industry About Experiences, Not Just Tech

Published: November 21, 2017

“Experiences are the core of our industry.” If NEC VP of business development Rich Ventura is saying that, and AVIXA is saying that, are we even sure there’s room for discussion?

We’ve heard about how easy it is to focus on selling products over the overall customer experience and how that can lead to business failure.

After InfoComm International’s branding switch to AVIXA (which literally stands for “Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association”), we heard a lot from the organization about how this industry is about more than pulling cables and plastering screens all over the place.

“For 80 years, we’ve been trying to convince architects that AV is important by pushing it out to them that we want to be involved in the building design conversation earlier,” says CEO David Labuskes. “What we’re doing now is pulling them into the conversation and talking to them about content, space and technology and how you need all three of those to create the exceptional experiences customers want.”

At InfoComm 2017, NEC debuted the HoloNyne Virtularium, what they called “an immersive experience.” It was essentially a small cave of AV which featured everything from projection to large format displays.

“Rather than a headset, we actually have you walking into the environment,” said Ventura. “As you enter into the cave, we have large format displays that really encircle you and make you feel like you’re in that environment.”

If you were there for the exhibit, you no doubt have an opinion on its practical applications. It was arguably one of the most unique items on display at InfoComm, probably because of how intense and involved it was.

But that’s the type of “experience” these industry leaders tout as the future of AV. When Ventura spoke to CI at the NEC Showcase in NYC last month, he made a case for seeking out environments that best allow for end-user engagement.

“Experiences might be kiosk-based, collaboration, wayfinding, it might be projection mapping. It’s all about building out that experience.”

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