Infocomm wrap-up and round-up
June 20, 2009 by Dave Haynes
I had the equivalent of two full days on the show floor at Infocomm but it is amazing to understand how little you get done, as you end up in long conversations with vendors and bump into industry friends.
My first general thought is that having a big trade show in Florida in June is a little merciless. It was mind-wobblingly hot and humid, and sucked the energy out of people as soon as they got out of their hotels. Florida in November to April, nice. Summer, not so nice. It is back in Las Vegas in 2010, so attendees will transition from steam bath to blast furnace.
Attendance was down, but that’s probably something that can be said of shows in any industry right now (save credit counselling and foreclosure experts).
For my crowd, I am not at all convinced this is a show well-suited to many of the software guys in the space, particularly those with recurring services models. As has been noted elsewhere, the smart guys stripped back their show spend with smaller booths … or didn’t go. For those companies who service the reseller channel, this IS an important show.
This IS an important show for DS companies to send people to, particularly ops and engineering guys – as it is a quick way to bomb through the latest technology offered up by all the display and AV infrastructure guys.
I gather from people who were there that the Strategy Institute event that leads into the show was actually pretty good, and that the organizers finally seem to be listening to the advice about ensuring the sessions are not just thinly disguised sponsor/vendor show and tells. I swore off going to the things after what I saw at last year’s pre-Infocomm event in Vegas, but was assured by people I respect that this one was money and time well-spent.
You bump into a lot of people when you wander these shows (a nice experience, given I am usually chained to a booth as a sales monkey), and I asked most of them if they saw anything that really blew them away. I can’t really say I saw much that did. Most of the software guys who demo’d stuff for me had interesting capabilities, but all pretty much variations on stuff out there. The projection guys are all about bigger and sharper, but it’s still not a space DS will play heavily in until lamp lives get a LOT longer. The panel guys are all showing brighter, thinner displays and adding more capability around touch. Samsung probably had the nicest stuff, with super-thin LED-backlit panels (gorgeous, by the way) and units with very, very thin bezels.
In the little mental bubble I live in, I see too many vendors competing for DS business, with too little to distinguish them. However, that’s not unique, from what I saw. There is a pile of companies peddling telepresence solutions, and while I am sure each is unique and unbelievable, to a casual observer they all looked pretty much the same.
Adrian and Andrew Neale from Daily DOOH did and are doing a good job of knocking out stories and images of what they saw. You can see their stuff here.
I ran into Nate Nead, and had a quick chat with him before buzzing off for a meeting, He has a good round-up here.
Display Daily has a panel-centric round-up here.
And Bill Yackey from Digital Signage Today was around all week and has been tweeting and posting.