InfoComm 2021 is only a few days away, and like so many things over the past two years, this one will be different. The exhibit floor will certainly be unlike shows of the past, with fewer exhibitors, scaled-back presentations, and fewer attendees. Still, there will be news to report and companies to interview, and AVNation.tv will be there.
As with any recent large in-person gatherings, social media has been rife with discussions, to be kind, on the validity of the event. Regardless of one’s opinion, outrage, or concern, the show must go on as the old trope states. This is not simple bravado or an attempt at arrogant swagger, far from it.
An Engine Of Progress
The value of trade shows like AVIXA’’s InfoComm is ostensibly touted as seeing and touching the newest products or seeking more in-depth knowledge. While there is truth in this, for many attendees, the show floor is simply a backdrop to the true worth of traveling hundreds of miles to tolerate hours of walking and tourist trap eateries.
The genuine coin of the realm is the ability to meet each other in person, share ideas, debate concepts, and honestly enjoy the human company of the tribe. This is no small concept; some may see this as a desire to engage in revelry and the effects of strong drink; we see opportunity and hope. Unlike the large-scale circus of CES, shows like CEDIA, ISE, NAB, AES, and InfoComm fuel the engine of progress in our collective industries.
Strength In Numbers
InfoComm is special to the AVNation folks who created, supported and promoted the types of conversations we thought were lacking. The little collective had, up until this point, only met via Twitter, voice chat, and the occasional Google Hangouts meetup.
It is one thing to chat over a video conferencing tool, but the physical proximity, hearing those voices with your own ears, not an electronic facsimile, is a remarkable experience. The shows we produced prior had chemistry and energy and awaiting base of folks looking for just the thing we were doing.
It was only after we sat down, broke some bread, and shared a toast or three that the group truly bonded. This trend continued as we picked up new show hosts and an ever-growing set of trusted panelists through covering more events.
The Career Machine
InfoComm is also where many careers started or changed for the better. Opportunities and intimate expression are the lifeblood of trade shows, and lives are forever changed by attending. The simple human act of direct eye contact and dialog fosters inspiration and a renewed sense of vibrancy like nothing else. Formal interviews and Zoom calls be damned; this is how real decisions are made, in the thick of the heady ether.
The show also furnishes us access to the multitude of new voices and avenues of expression. The number of articles that provoke thought and change perspectives from an overheard conversation or question raised is incalculable. The emergence of new, younger, and more diverse voices got their foothold on our attention from these shows, and that in itself is a glorious thing.
Once More To The Summit
The concerns are real, the choice personal- but if there is a show, we will cover it in person. So, we go not, as George Mallory said before his ascent on Everest, because it is there, but because it matters.