My aching feet and back have returned from Orlando, and I am starting to thaw out from the high-performing air conditioning units at the convention center. You know things are weird when you’re doing conference sessions in hot, muggy Orlando and women are putting on sweaters.
If you were there and found your way to the backs of the massively wide convention hall, you might have wondered if attendance was down a bit, based on foot traffic and the sight of sales people poking at their smartphones or looking out from stands for someone to talk to. But it turns out the show this year was a major, major success in terms of the body count.
InfoComm International says it set an all-time attendance record for the annual U.S. show, with 44,077 people getting badges printed out. That broke the previous record of 39,105, set in Orlando two years ago and was up 13.5% from last year in Las Vegas. It has some way to go to catch up to the count of ISE in Amsterdam, which had more than 73,000 attendees in February. But InfoComm is trending in the right direction.
The show also set a record for exhibitors, and I can attest to their being one hell of a lot of booths to see. It remains a display and gear show, in the context of digital signage, and one a CMS software company would do only it does sales through “the channel” and uses InfoComm to recruit new resellers or efficiently meet in one spot with the ones already in place. There were definitely end-users in town, but it’s overwhelming an event aimed at the people who make pro AV happen for clients.
The show is back in Las Vegas next year, first week of June.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.