It’s Impossible And Silly To Cover InfoComm From 2,000 Miles Away, So Here Goes …

October 27, 2021 by Dave Haynes

It is impossible, and arguably silly, to try to get much of a sense of how a trade show is going in Florida, from a home office in Nova Scotia, but what the hell, here goes …

Based on some emails, texts and social media monitoring, the now-open InfoComm trade show hall looks pretty much like a normal InfoComm in Orlando – just smaller, and with fewer people. There are exhibits/booths that look and operate pretty much as they always do, but others that are wildly different.

Samsung, for example, has a big floor plate in the middle of the hall, but it is set up almost entirely as meeting space. So it is an upgraded, good-looking and much larger version of the little temporary wall meeting rooms at the back of the hall.

Crestron would also, normally, have a giant space filled with pro AV product. This year, there is a giant space, but most of it is empty carpet, and the area is intended entirely for meetings.

Brightsign also appears to be doing a meeting room set-up instead of a normal booth with product:

But there are other companies – like the LED firm Unilumin and AV gear guys Draper – that have what looks like a fairly normal trade show presence.

Some industry friends are at the show and they have been sending me photos. I watched a live Linkedin video walk-around done by Gary Kayye of rAVe Publications that showed a variety of normal-looking booths, and a reasonable number of people walking around. You wouldn’t call it super-busy, but you certainly wouldn’t call it a ghost town either.

Start squinting at the photos and you notice pretty quickly how there is a percentage of people who are ignoring the mask mandate which is supposed to be enforced around the facility. Look at the photo  immediately above and in the Draper pix. Hard to police, I know. Perhaps that reflects the bigger story about a percentage of the population that is against masks and COVID vaccination. Those masks should be on all the time, not just to get past the badge-checkers at the entry.

Then there are these guys:

There has been lots of debate in other circles about the merits of AVIXA even doing the show, with some grumbling that everything is down except the costs. These guys (below) clearly aren’t happy, for example, but I doubt the convention center or Freeman (the company that does a lot of the arms and legs stuff) gave AVIXA a discount either … One commenter on social media wondered why, if these guys were so unhappy they made up a sign, did they bother packing up a truck and coming down to Orlando.

I doubt there will be much in the way of numbers until the end of the show, or well after. The numbers will all be down, but the metric that will really matter is whether the investment made was worth it for exhibitors and attendees. One meeting with a whale client can make a show for an exhibitor and one demo can make the trip worthwhile for an attendee. Talk to seasoned trade show people, both buyers and sellers, and they emphasize quality meetings over quantity of people and stands.

InfoComm is on through Friday.

  1. Brian Norris says:

    I have been following the exhibitor numbers since August, here’s a breakdown of exhibitors straight from AVIXA’s website:
    Aug 8 – 453
    Sept 7 – 437
    Sept 15 – 409
    Sept 23 – 378
    Oct 6 – 337
    Oct 18 – 301
    Oct 19 – 295
    Oct 24 – 283
    Oct 26 – 280 (day before the hall opens)
    Oct 27 – 266 (opening day, this number has dropped several times today).

    Per their own website, InfoComm typically draws close to 1000 exhibitors.

  2. Joseph Ladapo, MD says:

    Florida now has the lowest Covid case rates per capita in America. Meanwhile, northern and beltway states are still fighting the recent Delta variant surge, despite vaccine mandates, mask mandates, and even vaccine passports in the case of New York City. Simple, if unpleasant facts for the fearmongers. Masks are little more than virtue signaling, protecting no one.

    1. Video Conference says:

      Florida has the seventh-highest case rate in the nation. Not an accurate statement.

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