InfoComm 2021 Served As a Homecoming for the Professional AV Industry

November 22, 2021

After more than two years without an in-person show in North America, InfoComm brought the pro audiovisual industry together once again to connect, learn and celebrate the industry’s resilience in the face of adversity.

Held Oct. 22-29 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., the annual technology trade show and conference welcomed 7,335 in-person attendees, who gathered face-to-face to interact with technology, meet and conduct business, learn about the latest trends and celebrate industry leaders.

“InfoComm is the home for commerce, networking and learning in the AV industry,” said David Labuskes, CEO of the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA), which produces the show. “It was incredible to be back in person and play host for AV professionals to help them grow their businesses, careers and knowledge base.”

Out on showfloor populated by serious buyers seeking to do deals with 254 exhibitors spanning 124,100 square feet of expo space, many exhibiting companies enthusiastically reported that their return to the show had been worth the investment.

“This InfoComm went well…much better than we expected,” said James Liu, president of Absen Inc. “Our booth was so crowded and had so much traffic, and more importantly, we had a lot of quality customers who came here to bring a project or talk about partnerships with Absen.”

David Pedigo, CEO of Auralex Acoustics, was excited to share that his company’s booth had paid for itself within three or four hours of the show’s opening.

“Everything after that was just gravy,” Pedigo said. “We had end-users from sports, education and corporate markets placing orders, plus many integrators coming to us who previously weren’t aware that they could act as dealers.”

As in past years, InfoComm’s conference was also at the forefront of the event, with more than 90 sessions taking place in meeting rooms or on the showfloor. Approximately 811 attendees participated in a wide range of educational opportunities, including three-day classes held prior to show’s opening; dedicated conference tracks covering top-of-mind industry topics; and 25 open sessions at the Technology Innovation Stage covering pro AV solutions trends, a state of the industry presentation from AVIXA’s market intelligence team and product announcements and demonstrations.

Infocomm Technology Innovation Stage

Networking opportunities also abounded at the show, including AVIXA council events, award recognitions and after-hours celebrations combining business and community engagement.

“This InfoComm was all about connecting with people in person,” said Cory Schaeffer, director of Alliances & Ecosystem, QSC. “It’s amazing how good it felt seeing industry friends and getting reconnected.”

The AV industry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion was also noticeable throughout the course of the show via the annual AVIXA Women’s Council breakfast and Diversity Council event featuring empowering keynote speakers and productive discussions; the Higher Education Technology Managers Alliance’s (HETMA) launch of the AVIXA-supported Prism Scholarship designed to support the growth of underrepresented communities within the U.S. higher education technology workforce; and the availability of gender neutral bathrooms throughout the convention center.

To make sure InfoComm was a safe and healthy experience for everyone attending, AVIXA put in place a comprehensive plan created through guidance from local and national health authorities including Orlando Health, the Florida Department of Health and the CDC. Protocols included:  

  • Required mask-wearing
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of full vaccination
  • Use of the CLEAR Health Pass app for negative COVID-19 test verification or proof of vaccination for U.S. residents. Otherwise, attendees could bring documentation of either a negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination information
  • Availability of complimentary rapid COVID-19 testing at the OCCC for attendees and exhibitors

For those unable to attend the show in person, InfoComm also presented a virtual experience Oct. 27-29, which included a Virtual Post-Show Event on Nov. 9-10 featuring interactive sessions and one-on-one appointment scheduling with exhibitors.

Available on demand through Nov. 30, the digital content is complementary for those who attended in person, while digital audiences must register for a virtual-only pass.

Programming includes an InfoComm Morning Show from each day featuring interviews with key speakers and industry experts; the recorded livestream of the Technology Innovation Stage; and the AVIXA Women’s Council keynote presentation by Sara Potecha, author of West Point Woman: How Character is Created and Leadership is Learned.

“The AVIXA team sends our heartfelt appreciation to everyone that made the InfoComm 2021 show possible, including our members, attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, media partners, vendors and so many others,” said Rochelle Richardson, AVIXA senior vice president of expositions and events. “We could not have produced a show in 2021 without the commitment, loyalty, dedication and support from so many in the pro AV industry.”

InfoComm 2022 is set for June 4-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

 

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: