The Sixteen:Nine Mixer At InfoComm Is Unfortunately Now A No-Go

September 10, 2021 by Dave Haynes

When I was speaking with my friends at AVIXA several months ago, the prospects for a digital signage mixer tied in with InfoComm this fall seemed entirely solid. It would pull together the digital signage crowd at what is an event with many different interests and crowds, and would deliver much needed networking for people who hadn’t done that in too many months.

None of us were talking in cautious terms about IF the COVID situation would be fine by October. Of course it would be fine, ‘cuz there were vaccines and people would do anything for the jab!

Well, you know how that’s going (for the record, double vaxxed as soon as I could get jabbed and while I hate wearing masks as most do, I totally endorse the need).

So, I am not now going ahead with the mixer that was supposed to be in Orlando, right in the convention center, at the late October trade show. There are four main reasons:

1 – The big one is that I think the optics are all wrong to be encouraging social mixing and people loudly talking at each other at a cocktail party, when a pandemic is raging in that city and state (and country). AVIXA will be doing everything it can to ensure health safety, but that means a party where people are asked to stand six feet apart and keep their masks on except to sip their drinks. Such fun!;

2 – I have my doubts many people would register and show up, given what’s going on. The digital signage contingent at the show is substantial at an InfoComm, but will be down in numbers next month because all the numbers will be down;

3 – I don’t want to get sued by the 2021 version of a mesothelioma attorney, should someone get COVID and conclude it HAD to have happened at that damned mixer!!!;

4 – I can’t technically travel to the U.S. as I don’t think trade shows are considered essential travel by the border authorities,  but really, I don’t even want to. I flew for the first time in 18 months a couple of weeks ago. The getting there part of business travel isn’t all that fun at the best of times, but now it really, really sucks. Just awful, unless you can afford biz class or reliably get upgraded. And coach, at least on Air Canada, seems to cost what Business Class cost pre-COVID-19. Pirates!

Thank you to Screenfeed, TSITouch, Brandpoint, Elo and Samsung for committing to sponsor what would have, in normal times, been a great event. The AVIXA people were terrific to work with and the event would have come off really well.

Hopefully things will be much more normal – or normal-ish – come ISE time, and then for the rebooted DSE.

Both events are slated to have Sixteen:Nine mixers. The one at ISE will be on an outside patio, tied in with the global Digital Signage Awards, and Vegas is more than half a year away.

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