If you haven’t already heard, AVIXA has decided to cancel InfoComm 2020 for the safety of all involved. Many other events have been canceled or postponed for safety — but InfoComm is the largest Pro AV trade show in North America. Therefore, its absence this year will no doubt be felt in many ways.
We wanted to hear from both small and large AV integration companies regarding their feelings on the cancellation and what they’ll do to stay in touch with industry colleagues, trends, and new technologies.
Here is what they told us:
Immediate reactions to the cancellation
Everyone asked about this disappointing news seems to agree: not having the event in June was the right choice.
“While I’m certainly disappointed to learn of the official announcement to cancel InfoComm 2020, I was totally expecting it and very much agree with the decision,” says Jeff Irvin, principal of Spinitar.
“Even IF we’re back to some level of normalcy in June (which is a BIG IF at this point), all attendees will be so busy trying to recover from the severe financial impact this has had to their respective businesses, attendance would have been WAY down, and those attending most likely wouldn’t have their head in the game anyway.” — Jeff Irvin, Spinitar
President and CEO of Human Circuit Bruce Kaufmann echoed those doubts that June would have been a safe month to host, adding, “The show would also have been an expense that exhibitors and visitors could ill afford as we go through recovery.”
Lionel Felix, owner of Felix Media Solutions, is glad AVIXA made the right choice in terms of safety, but says he wishes the decision had come a little sooner.
“I wanted to see the show pushed out to November and we would all just adapt with lots of lead time. In times of crisis we need leadership, and leadership means making hard decisions quickly, with the intel you have, hunkering down and planning to fight again another day on your terms.” — Lionel Felix, Felix Media Solutions
What they will miss most about not going this year
Felix echoed most of our respondents in saying it’s the people he will miss seeing at the show more than the technology.
I love to see our friends at Bluewater and Verrex. It’s a real treat to soak in the industry for a few days and come back a bit energized. It’s a few days of hard work, lots of walking but lots of smiles. It’s a bummer. — Lionel Felix, Felix Media Solutions
AVI-SPL director of corporate communications Nathan Legg echoed that sentiment.
“We enjoy collaborating with guests and strategizing ways they can enhance their organization. With partners, it’s always great to see their excitement for what they have to share at the event and feed off that energy.”
Kaufmann, on the other hand, had a different response, saying he wasn’t incredibly excited for the show this year because he feels trade shows don’t hold the same value as they used to:
Changes occur too quickly, and knowledge should be shared regularly. Proactive positioning and distribution of knowledge by manufacturers should arrive in more personable and fulfilling ways. If trade shows are to be of any value, they should be miniaturized, focused, and held regionally/locally. — Bruce Kaufmann, Human Circuit
What they’ll do to strengthen connections despite InfoComm 2020 being canceled
One of the most problematic parts of InfoComm 2020 being canceled is the lack of connections attendees otherwise would have had at such a large congregation point.
We asked integrators what they would do to network and learn about the industry now that InfoComm isn’t an option.
Some, like Robert T. Gag, the CEO of Tierney Brothers, say they’ll rely on trade organizations to keep in touch:
“Organizations like PSNI allow Tierney to continue to make great relationships with other AV companies around the world. Additionally, manufactures are so skilled at keeping us informed these days. I don’t think we will miss a beat without Infocomm this year.”
Legg says AVI-SPL is developing a series of alternatives to ensure they continue to engage broadly.
“We’ve created a new series ‘Together We Can’ that shares relevant info and tips on how organizations and institutions can better manage their suddenly remote workforce/student body.”
Felix says he thinks COVID will have momentous impacts on employees in various fields.
“We have the opportunity to see that all of this means more inclusivity, not less. People with disabilities will be more able to participate in work. People who need to care for their parents or children or a loved one can work from home with far less stigma.”
Kaufman offered a pretty optimistic view:
“The significance of connections/relationships are ones that occur daily, not the ones that take place once a year. They are laser-focused and purposeful. We have so many avenues to create meaningful connections, and they should be gathered more wisely.” — Bruce Kaufmann, Human Circuit.
What do you think about InfoComm 2020 being canceled, and what do you plan to do to stay in touch with the industry? Let us know in the comments below.