InfoComm Enjoys Slight Uptick in Size and Participation

June 18, 2012

In this difficult financial climate, it can be a good thing to be a trade show representing an industry comprised of multiple market segments, especially when some of them are growing at a very rapid pace.

Case in point is InfoComm International, the largest annual exhibition and conference for the professional audiovisual and information communications industries, held June 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

According to show officials, the event’s attendance grew by 4 percent, with 34,000 attendees from more than 90 countries and 925 exhibiting companies spanning 487,000 net square feet of exhibit and special events space.

In 2011, InfoComm drew 33,000 attendees and 892 exhibitors occupying 477,000 sq. ft. at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

“The commercial a/v industry is extremely healthy, and we’ve been very fortunate in the last few years since the economic downturn,” said Jason McGraw, senior vice president of expositions.

He added, “Our technologies are used in so many different vertical markets and applications that we’ve been able to weather the storm very well.”

Owned and produced by InfoComm International, the event not only consists of an exhibition boasting the latest and greatest in industry technology trends and solutions but also a cutting-edge conference program, with more than 300 educational sessions covering topics from acoustics to video conferencing.

But representing an ever-changing, $78 billion industry also means the show must continue to work overtime to find more and new ways to stay innovative, mirror the marketplace and add more value for its participants, said Betsy Jaffe, InfoComm director of public relations.

“Because the a/v industry is always changing, the show is always changing, so we’re always looking at new ways to innovate,” she added. “We never do things the exact same way as we’ve done it the year before, but on the other hand, it’s a successful show so we don’t want to re-invent the wheel.”

Besides offering free on-floor education opportunities, additional seminars and live programming, the event also expanded its digital offerings.

Initiatives included a stronger presence on Facebook, streaming video of showfloor sessions, a Twitter campaign, an attendee and exhibitor matchmaking feature called InfoComm Connect, a mobile app, digital way-finding maps on the exhibition floor and a pilot program for exhibitors that gives them QR codes for linking their product literature to the show’s online catalogue.

Out on a busy exhibit floor, some exhibitors said that although they were happy to get face time with their customers, meet new prospects and see what was going on in the industry, they the show appeared flat with the year before.

However, 25-year Exhibitor Scott Schaefer, president of Comprehensive Cable, said he was pleasantly surprised with this year’s InfoComm.

“The traffic’s been good, the quality of the leads have been good and we stand to have our best show ever from a lead count standpoint,” said Schaefer.

He added, “Based on our location, I would say it’s busier from our perspective but in today’s economy even if it was flat, flat is the new up, so I would consider it to be a successful show.”

Attendee Robert Wojtas, project manager of Matrix Video Communications, said the show always was so valuable for him and his company, he didn’t mind traveling all the way from Alberta, Canada, to attend.

“So far, it’s been great, and I’ve been seeing a lot of good stuff,” Wojtas said. “It doesn’t seem as busy as last year, but maybe that’s because it’s spread over two floors. We’re always looking for what’s new and what’s next so we have to be here to keep up with the trends.”

InfoComm is scheduled to return to the Orange County Convention Center June 12-14.

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