Another InfoComm in the books……and I’ve lost count of how many I’ve attended through the years. While this should contribute to me losing interest in the show, I have to say I feel quite the opposite.

I’ve seen more new and exciting stuff at InfoComm in the past few years than perhaps in the previous 10. So many new and disruptive technologies to see and a record number of people showing up to see them…….wait (queue the sound of the scratching record), I thought hardware-based solutions were dead. I thought we were going to consume all media with our PCs and mobile devices. Were 700 exhibitors wrong? Were nearly 40,000 people just wasting their time in Las Vegas? Is that even possible?

Perhaps the seemingly inevitable collision of A/V and IT didn’t result in the annihilation of A/V as predicted. It seems as though they have not only found a way to coexist, but like peanut butter and chocolate the combination of the two makes something so much better than the individual parts. As I walked around the show floor I saw so many cool things that were designed to enhance and improve collaboration. Everything from 4K displays to 3D viewing experiences, interactive touch displays of all sizes and cloud-based video conferencing. As Apple has taught us, a great marriage between software (IT) and device (A/V) makes any experience more captivating, immersive, and ultimately more valuable.

I had the pleasure of kicking off the show on Wednesday speaking on the IMCCA-sponsored panel “Merger of A/V & IT.” There was record attendance at the session and it was filled with end users. Yes, end users, not vendors as is often the case at industry events. A/V Managers, IT professionals and service owners from organizations of all types and sizes were there to figure out how they could filter through all this stuff and figure out what and how they could use it for the benefit of their businesses.

AGT Speaking on the IMCCA Panel on “The Merger of A/V and IT”

Over the course of the show during various sessions and at our booth, I heard a lot of questions from end users. They were asking about different solutions, technologies and applications. I realized that the excitement I had about all the technologies I had seen, was translating to confusion for some. Which technology should I buy, when should I use technology “X” vs. “Y”? How will I implement it, how will I manage it? Those questions made me step back and remember that as “experts” in a field loaded with cool technologies, that now more than ever, we need to be asking questions and listening to our customers. We need to use our knowledge of all these technologies to help our customers make the best decisions for their needs. So I guess as much as things have changed at InfoComm over the years, some things stay the same. Manufacturers create endless cool products that do countless things and end users have problems to solve and challenges to overcome…..it’s up to us, the “experts” to close the gap and bring the two together.

See you next year in Orlando.