Everyone has a unique experience at InfoComm, but last week, as the show returned to Las Vegas for the first time in four years, many attendees experienced a reassuring sense of the familiar, mixed with the thrill of the new.
Following last fall’s strong but smaller edition in Orlando, InfoComm 2022 marked a full-fledged return for the convention, with all the hallmarks of a robust trade show and an industry dead set on leaving the effects of the pandemic in the rearview mirror. On the show’s opening day, aisles were packed as attendees hustled to all the must-see booths on their lists, running into familiar industry friends along the way and stopping to discover new solutions. Much of that action this week is taking place in the new West Hall, too, providing an extra sense of excitement.
"The upbeat vibe was unmistakable," said Gary Boss, marketing director for Audio-Technica. “People were optimistic and super happy to be seen in real life,” he grinned. “For us, InfoComm is a unique place to be able to actually show we sell physical items. We don’t sell software, and much of what we do is based on relationships, so when we can demonstrate a physical item to a real person to further strengthen those relationships, that’s a great opportunity for us.” Key among the physical items A-T showed at Booth W1713 was the new ATND 1061 Dante beamforming ceiling array microphone.
With the industry ready to return to in-person events, attending this year’s InfoComm was a given for most exhibitors. “We’ve been doing InfoComm for almost 10 years,” said RF Venue co-founder Chris Regan, who highlighted the company’s new diversity architectural antenna at Booth W1139. “We do a lot of business in the install market; a lot of our best customers were there, and we met new customers as well. International distributors that come to this show are great to connect with, so going there is really productive.”
During the height of the pandemic, the entire world adapted to conducting business remotely via videoconferencing and other technologies, but the process made maintaining business relations a
challenge. With that in mind, ACT Entertainment made a point of exhibiting at Booth W2303. “I felt like this was going to be a highly attended show,” said Darius Seabaugh, senior VP of marketing. “I knew that we’d get to see some of the new guys that we haven’t made contact with and tell them our ACT Entertainment story so they know that they have the full breadth of our product line available. I’m very happy with the attendance.”
There’s more to a trade show than merely exhibits, education, or the opportunity to network, however; it’s also a chance to know you’re part of a community, and that is what many experienced at the show this year. “InfoComm has always been an outstanding environment for the AV community to gather and celebrate innovation; however, the 2022 show proved to be something special,” said Gina Sansivero, VP of marketing and corporate communications at AtlasIED (W2323). “Positive energy and excitement permeated throughout the show floor. This year’s show was a testament to the AV community’s strength and resilience in returning to in-person events.”
That sense of optimism around the convention was palpable, as Brian Pickowitz, vice president of marketing at LEA Professional, noted. Standing in Booth W2861 telling visitors about the 1504 Connect Series 1500W Amps, he noted, “With every person that came through here, we saw such optimism about the industry and businesses. People are making plans, looking at growth, saying, ‘How do I expand my business, and how does your product fit into that?’ It’s reassuring for me just to see that because it shows that if business is not back to normal, it’s getting back up there—no more ‘what ifs.’”
Based on the mood last week, it’s clear the industry expects the future to be more steady and reliable. Hand in hand with that, another thing everyone can count on is InfoComm 2023, which will take
place next year at the Orlando Convention Center in Florida, with education running June 10-16 and exhibits kicking in June 14-16.
This piece originally appeared in Day 3 of InfoComm Show Daily. It was written by Clive Young.