AVIXA Suspends Russian Member Companies, Blocks Exhibiting At ISE, InfoComm
March 30, 2022 by Dave Haynes
The trade association AVIXA has suspended the memberships of Russian companies and individuals, and banned Russian companies from exhibiting at its biggest trade shows, Integrated Systems Europe (co-owned wth CEDIA) and InfoComm. The organization has also withdrawn support for an event called ISRussia.
The statement came out a few days ago, but I managed to miss that …
“At AVIXA, we condemn the unprovoked invasion by Russia of the sovereign country of Ukraine. We stand in support of our members and member companies across the globe, calling on the government of Russia to immediately cease its invasion, withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory, and restore the rights of both Ukrainian and Russian citizens,” AVIXA says in a statement.
“While it is our deepest hope that a peaceful resolution will be found prior to June and our annual InfoComm show, we will suspend all Russian exhibitor requests until such a time as there is an opportunity to gather the entire pro AV industry together.”
Also from the statement:
The current situation in Ukraine and Russia is heart-breaking, not only do we feel for the people of Ukraine, but also for the ordinary Russian people who are badly affected, too. We have friends and colleagues in both countries severely impacted, not least our colleagues at ISRussia and of course our Russian exhibitors.
Like many other organizations, we strongly condemn the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and we pray for a resolution as quickly as possible. To confirm the situation for ISE 2022, the three exhibitors from Russia are withdrawn from the event. We have also withdrawn from our cooperation with our Russian partner in the organization of ISRussia, and, as such, the show will no longer take place.
ISE, and the ProAV industry, is built on collaboration and support—and we remain committed to providing a platform to come together, reconnect, and rebuild business after the last two years. The situation is fluid, and our thoughts are with both the Ukrainian and Russian people in these difficult moments.
As noted in the statement, there were just three exhibitors from Russia planning to show at ISE in May, so the absence will be barely noticeable. The absence may be more noticeable on the end-user/integrator side, but folks who are sourcing display hardware would likely just pivot and go to shows in China. I am not entirely sure how Russian business people would get to Barcelona right now, given airspace bans. I think there is a loophole that allows people to fly into Serbia from Moscow and connect from there, and Russians can also fly out through Turkey and some countries in the Persian Gulf.
Given AVIXA’s stance on Ukraine, at least one AV industry member has suggested AVIXA also look at a situation much closer to home – state of Florida legislation that prohibits classroom discussion or instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity. Opponents have labelled it the Don’t Say Gay bill.
— "J" Jacoby (they/them) (@jacobyaudio) March 29, 2022
My guess is pulling out of a venue is a much-easier-said-than-done thing, as I think the big trade shows make years-long commitments to venues and those bookings aren’t easily backed out of. I would never miss the steamy hell-pit of Orlando in June, though.