This is a statement AVIXA CEO Dave Labuskes put out today, re InfoComm (short version – it’s too early to make a call on running or postponing the June show, but AVIXA is anything but oblivious about the situation).
A Letter to the AV Industry
I , as many of you, continue to watch the news on a moment-by-moment basis. As we are making decisions that affect our travel, business and family, I want to share with you where AVIXA stands during this rapidly changing time.
First and Foremost:
I reassure you that the health and safety of our entire industry, from partners and exhibitors, to members and attendees, as well as the local contributors in every city and location we serve around the world, is of highest concern. My thoughts and those of the entire AVIXA staff are with those affected by COVID-19.
We continue to monitor the situation through the advice of public health authorities including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), relevant government agencies at a regional and local level, as well as the advice of our hosting and venue partners at individual locations.
- Daily Situation Reports from the World Health Organization
- World Health Organization Advice for the Public
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Because this situation continues to change on a moment-by-moment basis, our decision-making process will be on an event-by-event basis within the context of each location and its environment and its timing. Should there be a need to cancel or reschedule an event or meeting, we will notify all participants and attendees as soon as that decision is made.
A Second Point:
Like you, I look forward to each and every event with a build-up of excitement that only an in-person event can create. Today, that also carries a challenge of decision-making in an increasingly fluid environment. But that neither precludes us from making good, sound decisions through the advice of public health authorities, nor further jeopardizing the livelihood and benefit of our industry, economy and the world by acting prematurely. That said, should the expertise of the global health community recommend a different course of action to protect our community from the spread of the disease, then please rest assured that we will immediately adjust our response and implement their instructions.
A Third, and Final Point:
Throughout our education, membership and councils there are on-going events and meetings on a week-to-week basis. We are evaluating each and every event and location and making virtual options available, postponements if possible, and cancellations where necessary. I welcome and advise that you reach out to your AVIXA contact with any questions or concerns as it pertains to any event or meeting that you are planning to attend. And I ask, that as we continue to monitor the situation, you do the same. Follow the advice provided and should you feel ill, please stay at home. I know that I, as well as my staff will be doing the same.
AVIXA’s core values are communicated with three words: Heart, Courage and Trust. We love what we do, and we will do everything in our power to support each and every member of our community. We must have the courage to make the right decisions when the time is right to make them: not when it is easy. And we trust. We will trust our team, our exhibitors, our members and all of our extended community to make decision for the betterment of each other. We look forward to seeing you somewhere in the world soon at an InfoComm event near you.
My take: This makes sense. Three months is a relatively long time. I don’t know the trade show business much beyond being someone who goes to too many of them, but logic tells me it is not simple to just say “Ok Fine, let’s kick this back to the fall.” InfoComm is the kind of show that eats a big convention center, so finding another time window that has the available floor space and halls would be very tough.
On the flip side, big vendors with big booths need substantial notice, as they need to plan, crate and ship a lot of gear, and they don’t do that the week before a show like InfoComm.
It is also quite likely (please) that the spread should slow in the next 2-3 weeks as testing improves in the US, and people come to better grips with how to travel and do business in these times. The virus is unlikely to just disappear, so we’ll be taking precautions for well past this spring.
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.