Sony Formally Cancels InfoComm And NAB Plans Next Month, Citing Health Safety Concerns
September 7, 2021 by Dave Haynes
I think this has been quietly known for some time, but Sony has made it official that it is passing on putting up a stand at InfoComm in Orlando next month – citing health safety concerns. It will also skip the broadcast-focused NAB Show in October.
Sony normally has a very large, front-row, visible as soon as you walk in stand at InfoComm, so this is a big hole on the floor layout – a layout that’s undoubtedly been evolving for many weeks now as vendors make go-no go decisions.
“Sony Electronics has been closely monitoring the evolving situation of the COVID-19 Delta variant,” the company said today in announcing its decision. “With October on the horizon, we’ve considered the unprecedented circumstances and made the difficult decision that we will not be participating in person at next month’s NAB Show or InfoComm.”
“While these events are an important forum to reach our customers and introduce new products, this is a choice we made to ensure we’re putting our employees’ and our partners’ health and well-being first. As the world continues to grapple with the pandemic and businesses adopt digital alternatives and online opportunities to prevent the spread of the virus, Sony Electronics will continue to communicate and engage with our customers and partners in interactive, accessible ways that allow us to safely deliver exciting product news and updates to a wide online audience.”
“We’ll continue to monitor the situation and look forward to participating at industry events in-person at some point in the future.”
The COVID caseload in Florida, including Orlando, is off-the-charts high, and there is almost no chance it will be calmed right down by the end of October, when the show is scheduled. There are indications the case levels are flattening out and dropping a bit, but even flattened out, there were almost 130,000 cases in the last seven days.
InfoComm had already put masking and six-foot distancing protocols in place, and recently added a stipulation that anyone attending needs to be fully vaccinated. AVIXA announced that all who participate in the show in any capacity must provide one of the following: (i) proof of a negative COVID-19 test result OR (ii) proof of full vaccination.
I am not sure who all else has formally announced their go/no go plans. There are certainly lotsa rumours, but that’s not my thing. Whatever happens, it will be a very different InfoComm than the one pro AV and digital signage people know.
The AVIXA position on this:
While some exhibitors are reconfirming their commitment to InfoComm, there are some companies that have chosen to adjust their type of presence at the show. Additionally, there are exhibitors who have chosen to cancel their contract and will not be exhibiting at this year’s show.
InfoComm remains as an opportunity for the industry to reengage and reconnect. We are ready to provide the most exciting event in North America serving the pro AV industry where you can see the latest technologies, learn new skills, and forge new opportunities. We will take every care to safeguard those in attendance with practical health and safety protocols.
If 2021 is not your year, we understand – and we respect it. We cannot wait to see you again in the near future!
You can check out the real-time exhibit floor here.
Samsung appears to be where it normally is on the show floor, and same with the blended Sharp NEC. LG, however, has a couple of “whisper” rooms (limited access) off the main concourse and a buncha meeting rooms along the back of the hall.