Not being at Infocomm this year was very different. In 2019, my view of the show was through Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin. Taking it in via social media open my eyes to a challenge we have in our industry.
We need to get with the times!
When an event of this scale is happening, there are three audiences:
1.) Those who are there
2.) Those who want to be there
3.) Those the organizer and exhibitors wish to be there but aren’t interested
For those who attend, they have the joy of managing their schedule to see as many manufacturers, network & socialize, and maybe get in some education in a 2 1/2 day schedule.
For those who want to attend, we want to know what we are missing. What demos & activations did I miss, who is at the show I would have loved to catch up with, how good were the education sessions in the lineup?
For those who the organizers and exhibitors wish to attract but aren’t interested in attending, what is the buzz of the event from within their circle?
Based on these views, here are my three biggest takeaways from following the event from a distance this year:
Manufacturers, It’s Time To Step Your Video Game Up
RAVE and AVNation do a great job going to the various booths for interviews and quick overviews, but for a manufacturer, this is the one time you probably have all of your best reps with your best products ready to show your favorite and prospective customers how the magic happens.
Why not take the time to record it and share it socially? Last time I checked we hand hundreds of thousands of people working in our industry worldwide. So with only 44k at the show and not all of them coming to see you, why not Invest part of that tradeshow budget into creating some marketing material from the show that will continue to get you leads long afterward.
It’s 2019 Where Is The Digital Component To The Conference
One thing I felt like I did notice was that there was an increase in younger AV professionals at the show. I do not have data to back this up, but they caught my eye in a lot of tweets. For all of the young AV professionals that weren’t at the show (yes I may be gray, but I’m not 40), there was a big disappointment that no one was streaming any of the free content portions of the event (except the women’s council breakfast).
If you ask any live event AV professional, they will tell you live streaming an event is no longer the exception its the norm, especially when companies are trying to reach a broader audience.
From Microsoft to Google, thousands of companies are streaming a keynote, panel discussions, or critical parts of the program they feel will benefit those who can’t attend. Then most importantly, this content is available for on-demand viewing to relive the experience over.
I haven’t found a person yet who doesn’t love Zoom meetings. Can’t make it to a breakout session but would like to attend, Zoom me up, Scotty and ta-dah a webinar or interactive meeting room session is ready to go.
This use to be a massive undertaking that was uber expensive, but in many of the sessions that come to mind, you have 99% of the technology all ready in place to make this happen.
The show can be more significant than just the show
Infocomm is the most market diverse audiovisual industry event that happens in the US.
The effort to attract end users, the next generation of AV professionals and a new audience of existing AV professionals, is on everyone in the industry.
There is a reason the music industry stop producing as many CD’s and change the way they tracked music sales with digital downloads. A shift happened, and that’s what their audience wanted.
It’s time we all start listening to our audience because the shift has happened, but we haven’t caught on yet.
Overall while I was disappointed, I couldn’t be there and couldn’t find enough avenues of digital engagement I am excited by the discussions, ideas, and plans I will have to bring this to life at next years event.