Orlando, FL (June 20, 2019)—InfoComm is many things to many people; depending on why they attend the annual convocation, they might say it’s a digital signage show, a networking show, an installation show or something else. One thing it most certainly is, however, is a magnet for AV industry movers and shakers across a variety of industries, all looking for solutions, opportunities, education and connections. This year’s edition, held June 12-14 in Orlando, Florida, provided all of that for attendees—and more.
Filling the aisles of the exhibit floor and seats in the multitude of educational offerings were 44,129 registered attendees. Breaking down that number, 37 percent of the show visitors were attending for the first time and 18 percent traveled there from a total of 117 countries outside the U.S.
“I think one of the aspects that’s most exciting to me every year is the number of new attendees that we have at the show,” said David Labuskes, CEO of AVIXA, the organization behind InfoComm. “There’s always going to be new technologies, new protocols, new alliances and new exhibitors, but one of the greatest assets of a trade show experience is the people that you meet, the relationships that you build and initiate, and that can’t happen without all the people in the room. And every year we attract new people to the show, which creates new opportunities for learning, lesson sharing and innovation. Those things are at the core and drive this industry.”
When it came to trends at the show, AoIP and networking further expanded their footprint in the audio world. Audinate’s omnipresent Dante protocol continued to be integrated into a broadening spectrum of new gear offerings, while even your legacy analog audio equipment, already in use across installations, can now be brought into the fold, as Neutrik, Arista and others released their takes on analog/Dante interfaces.
But the big, inadvertent audio trend this year was loudspeakers, as most of the attending major PA and installation speaker manufacturers debuted new boxes. New line arrays were in full force as Bose fielded its new ArenaMatch loudspeakers (among 50-plus new products at the show), Martin Audio unveiled the WPS line array, EAW brought its new KF810P installation line array, Clair Brothers debuted its C10 line array, DB Technologies had its VIO L208 line array, Crest Audio showed off its Versarray MKIII passive ribbon line array, and Electro-Voice bowed its XLAi install line array—to name only a few.
A number of companies brought along new offerings that straddle the line between line array and point source, such as Meyer Sound’s Ultra-X40 point source loudspeaker and Coda Audio’s N-APS loudspeaker. Renkus-Heinz presented its new IC-Live X series, Danley Sound Labs introduced the J7-95 Jericho Horn (and also showed its first-ever move into the recording world with Studio One studio monitors), Nexo unveiled its P12 multi-purpose point-source loudspeaker and L15 subwoofer, E-V revealed its new MFX floor monitors; and—sure to create confusion in the years to come—d&b audiotechnik debutedits A-Series installation loudspeaker line, while L-Acoustics introduced its A Series installation loudspeaker line.
Education is always a draw at InfoComm, and to wit, AVIXA fielded more than 130 sessions that were brand new; the annual TIDE (Technology. Innovation. Design. Experience.) conference held the day before the show aimed to reach creators shaping the future of integrated experiences; and the free educational sessions at Center Stage on the exhibit floor presented top thinkers and practitioners from the fields of retail, entertainment, hospitality, events and education, sharing their knowledge and insights in order to explore AV’s role in creating a better designed world.
Much in the same way that the technologies presented change over time, so has the way that InfoComm approaches something as simple as networking opportunities. This year saw the inaugural AVIXA Foundation 5K Walk/Run, held on June 14, which garnered 500 participants, and the AVIXA Women’s Council Networking Breakfast a few days earlier drew 283 people for networking, the annual awards ceremony and a high-powered keynote presentation from Christine Schyvinck, chairman, president and CEO of Shure Incorporated. The event’s success was indicative of a larger change within the industry, noted Amanda Eberle Boyer, senior director of Member Services, AVIXA: “The growth of the AVIXA Women's Council Local Groups has been infectious, due in large part to the passion possessed and displayed by the local leaders.”
If it sounds like you missed out (you did), then make plans to hit InfoComm 2020, which will take place June 17-19 next year at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.
InfoComm • www.infocomm.org