Why is it Important to Attend InfoComm?
When Control Concepts started in March of 1997, one the first priorities was to become an ICIA member (then InfoComm, now AVIXA) and head to LA in June for InfoComm. Since that initial event, there has been no looking back. InfoComm has been a staple on our company calendar. Including a day visit in Philadelphia in 2018, this year’s event marks my 24 consecutive InfoComm trade show.
With the rise of the internet and ease of video communications, much debate has been raised about the need to attend trade shows. Specifically, the justification of expense in time, lost revenue, and out-of-pocket dollars along with the uncertainty of return on investment (ROI), leaves many contemplating the need to attend year after year. Attending InfoComm, like most other things in life, requires discipline and a responsible mindset of owning your own experience. It is easy to be a victim and feel that the investment in attending a trade show like InfoComm is unwarranted and thus not make the effort. However, with the proper focus, commitment, and goal setting paired with significant advanced planning and post-show follow up, success is inevitable. (Stay tuned for details on my InfoComm strategy in the next post.)
On the topic of ROI, InfoComm and other major trade shows represent the opportunity to accomplish more relationship building, learning, and industry insight in a week than can be done in months at a desk or in a local area with a lot less effort.
Why is attendance at InfoComm so important?
InfoComm is one of the few times of year that the professional audiovisual world comes together in the US. InfoComm brings together all aspects and members of the audiovisual industry. There is no where else where manufacturers, manufacturers’ reps, integrators, consultants, technology managers, independent programmers, independent service providers, content developers, and rental, staging, and live production professionals all get together in one place at one time. InfoComm is the place.
InfoComm provides a unique opportunity to:
- Visit with manufacturers that create the products that the industry is built upon
- Make valuable in-person connections with those who are behind the phone calls and emails throughout the year
- Network and meet new contacts that could ultimately become suppliers, clients, partners, or respected business associates
- Identify technology trends and new business opportunities
- Increase knowledge through both formal and informal training
- Demonstrate a commitment to the industry
- Promote company and personal brands by being present and interacting with others in the industry
- Connect and catch up with friends from across the country and world where opportunities to get together may be rare
- See and understand the big picture of the AV industry and where everyone fits in and contributes to overall success
- Celebrate the industry and have fun!
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Although, with a crowd of around 40,000 attendance at InfoComm may not seem to make an impact. It is actually one’s absence that can be more noticeable than their presence.
Face-to-face contact at in-person events is vital to maintaining some relationships. Especially in a close-knit industry when company changes and personnel movement is not uncommon. It is important to be seen and renew relationships year after year.
Additionally, for small and medium size companies, the opportunity to get visibility, engage with an audience, and get a leg up on competition can be invaluable. A great way to demonstrate commitment to the industry, be seen, and get noticed is to participate in conferences, events, and trade shows like InfoComm.
If justification or approval for attending InfoComm is still in question, take the initiative to pursue an opportunity to get involved in contributing to the event. One such way is to get involved in the education or content portion of the event. Whether it is to instruct a seminar or offer expertise and insight to the media. Certain opportunities like these can also cover expenses.
The unique opportunity InfoComm provides to present subject matter on your area of expertise to an audience of peers and potential clients is a great way to not only gain visibility, but also develop or refine speaking skills and delve deeper into your content. I have been an InfoComm Speaker for many years and will be presenting on Programming versus Configuration: Selecting the Best Control Solution IS040 this year.
I look forward to seeing everyone at this year’s show. If you plan to be there and want to connect whether it is to schedule an appointment or just say hello, please reach out directly or via InfoComm contact page.
It is natural that some years are better than others; however, there hasn’t been a year that I regret attending InfoComm. It is a “can’t miss” event on my calendar. In fact I look forward to the next year’s InfoComm, the day after the current one is over.