To No One’s Surprise, Last Month’s InfoComm Saw Attendee Numbers Down By 70%-85%
November 8, 2021 by Dave Haynes
AVIXA has released the numbers for its 2021 InfoComm trade show, run in Florida couple of weeks ago. As anyone paying attention expected, the numbers were way down.
Verified attendance was 7,335, a little more than half of the 14,017 who registered to attend. The AVIXA press release does not say if the verified total includes the staffing of exhibitor and meeting room spaces by vendors. One way or the other, that’s a drop of 70%-85% from the last full version of the event.
Pre-pandemic, the 2019 InfoComm had north of 44,000 registrants. That last normal show had about 950 exhibitors, while last month’s pandemic-affected show had 254.
One argument would be that the low numbers represent a massive hit. The counter-argument is that AVIXA managed to make the show happen, and put the pro AV on the path to some new version of normal.
“InfoComm is the home for commerce, networking, and learning in the AV industry,” says David Labuskes, CEO of AVIXA. “It was incredible to be back in person and play host for AV professionals to help them grow their businesses, careers, and knowledge base.”
The trade organization, understandably, is stressing that while the event was a shadow of its normal self, it managed to happen and those who decided or were allowed to go by their companies were happy. Quotes from exhibitors back up what I heard and read post-show from observers – the quality over quantity thing mattered and happened. The numbers were down, but those people who went were there on a mission, not for giggles.
From the AVIXA press release:
“From Absen’s perspective, we think this InfoComm went well. Much better than we expected. It was great—worth all the investment that we made,” saysJames Liu, President of Absen Inc. “Within 15 minutes of the show opening on the first day, all those questions went away. Our booth was so crowded and had so much traffic. And more importantly, I think, we had a lot of quality customers who came here with reasons: either they bring a project, or they want to talk about partnership with Absen.”
“Our founder Harro Heinz is 92 years old, and he was a driving force behind our decision to exhibit at this year’s InfoComm,” says Graham Hendry, Vice President of Strategic Development, Renkus-Heinz. “There was a sense of duty, a sense that we were coming out of everything chaotic, and that there was a near-term opportunity that needed to be capitalized upon. Well, Harro was right! Our audio demo room was standing room only, from the first demo to the last. Deals got done, and the traditional buying cycles got crushed – in a positive way. Visitors told us of their challenges, we gave them solutions, and we wrote orders. It was a phenomenal show!”
“From a business perspective, our booth had paid for itself within three or four hours of the doors opening,” says David Pedigo, CEO of Auralex Acoustics. “Everything after that was just gravy. We had end-users from sports, education, and corporate markets placing orders, plus many integrators coming to us who previously weren’t aware that they could act as dealers.”
The next InfoComm is HOPEFULLY back to to normal, in June in Las Vegas.