By Corey Moss

Another InfoComm has come and gone and 4 words best describe the 2017 version – record-breaking attendance, and busy. For the first, congratulations again InfoComm for doing it bigger and better every year, and for the second, it provided more work on the show floor than I may have ever encountered before.

As Convergent AV entered its very first InfoComm show, our small team of myself, Editor Alesia Hendley and Iowa State mechanical engineering student Taylor Meyer (who I invited to join me) set out to experience InfoComm 2017, the first time for Alesia and Taylor, and for me one of the numerous times since 1995.

I’ll always admit when the pre-planning sometimes doesn’t produce all of the desired results – and with only two posts on the 14th, Convergent AV basically went “silent” throughout the show. There are many excellent news sources for the show which is great for the attendees, as well as those who are viewing from home, however I do believe that we did achieve in ways, even some that might not have necessarily been expected.

Things began on Tuesday with a stop over at the Starin booth on the concourse to visit with my good friend Malissa Dillman, and Chris Neto, James Maltese and other friends stopped over as well. People took #AVSelfie pics at the booth (which went on throughout the show):

They also had a chance to pick up what was voted Best Swag of InfoComm 2017 by Convergent AV – #AVGeekman.

And this momentous occasion happened for Alesia (and Taylor):

The night time event was the InfoComm Networking Reception at Mangos, a great one where we met and networked with numerous industry people – here’s Alesia and Traci Schaefer, TLS Communications, Communications/Public Relations Consultant for Almo Pro A/V.

Oh, and this #AVselfie (glad to be the lucky guy):

On Wednesday morning, Alesia and I with our appointments set, headed off to the show floor at the opening (Taylor would be catching up with us for out 10:00 stop). As I have the last few years, I was able to grab an overhead shot of the exhibit hall on my way in.

I headed in for my 9:00 appointment with Intel to see Intel Unite. I talked with them along with getting a couple of demos – in fact my pre-show conversation with Chad Constant, General Manager Business Client Platforms at Intel Corporation, who met with me in the booth, was the set up for what I was going to see – so I had the overview I needed to meet them and get started. At the booth we discussed the Unite solution for smart collaboration and content sharing, along with Skype for Business and partnerships with Nureva, Avocor and Flatfrog.

(Click on the link to read ‘Intel IT Answers Top Questions about the Intel Unite® Solution for Conference Room Collaboration’). 

Next was a 9:30 tour with Middle Atlantic to find out about their strong new approach, with a theme for the show “building on innovation” in what was called their Innovation Pavilion. Middle Atlantic also looked to help attendees to be more efficient when designing and integrating jobs. As a former commercial integration sales person, I could certainly appreciate this approach for the industry’s integrators to help bring them to the next levels of integration.

Mark Tracy, Vice President of Marketing at Middle Atlantic Products, Inc. detailed this, along with the new product launches and more prior to the show in our conversation on The Show Corner.

The 10:00 stop which I referred to was in the plans more than a month in advance as Alesia worked it out with Amanda Roe, Global Public Relations and Research Manager at Biamp to set up a recorded coffee chat social with certain people from the Biamp team. This was one I was certainly looking forward to, especially with the first group to join me, as they’re two people I have come to know very well, Ron Camden, Vice President of Global Sales and Bill Nattress, Director of Channel Strategy – Paging. We began the chat, which I’ll say turned out to be a terrific discussion about the company, both of their starts in the industry (two great stories) and the InfoComm CTS Holder of Year Award presented to Bill this year, as well as Ron’s past Volunteer of The Year Award. All of it outlined before we began and even some impromptu discussion during the conversation, as that’s how I like to do it.

John Urban, Product Marketing Manager, was next with a discussion on their products TesiraLUX, TesiraFORTE, and the device which has become a collaboration centerpiece for the company, Devio. John joined me on The Show Corner to discuss TesiraLUX, Devio and more, which can be listened to here.

Finally, Amanda joined us to chat about her global public relations and research role with the company, the importance of marketing and social media which builds upon their efforts as a well-known industry manufacturer for 40 years (we discussed that too), and more.

The coffee was great, as you would expect with a visit to the Biamp booth (and the lady making the coffee is utterly sweet), and while you of course have to come to see all that the company has to offer at InfoComm, the coffee is a must as well.

A stop at Draper’s booth followed to see all of the latest that this 115 year old AV industry company has to offer, and it was also an opportunity to see the new brand, and here it is:

Alesia, Taylor and I spent some time with Penny Sitler, Marketing Manager and Kevin Barlow, Director of Business Development at Draper to discuss the new logo (the first logo change in their 115 years), the products including TecVision, and to just talk with some terrific people in the industry. In fact, we came back later on to help toast the occasion.

Penny was the first person to join me for The Show Corner podcasts which can be heard here.

We then headed to an appointment at Epiphan Video to do a live streaming (Facebook Live) discussion. Alesia set it up where she would ask me questions about such things as starting Convergent AV, The AV Life podcast and more, and Taylor joined me as well. We also discussed Epiphan’s video streaming and recording solutions.

After a few as I call them “on the way” booth stopovers, I headed to my next scheduled appointment with Dell to see their new advanced 4K laser projector with Ultra HD ultra-short throw high-brightness technology, along with their new 37.5-inch UltraSharp curved monitor. I was highly impressed with both, and my conversation with Kameel Vohra, Global Launch Marketing Manager (Large and Vertical Displays) at Dell was a very good one, talking about the products as well as Dell’s influence in the AV market as evidenced at the show.

Following that was an appointment with Prysm and a meeting with David Schweer, Director of Product Marketing, to talk about Prysm solutions, including the new Prysm Go and Co-browsing, as well as a theme I’d developed on collaboration at the show for which I see Prysm as one of the prime players in helping to advance it.  I consider Prysm to be one of the revolutionary companies in the collaboration space with their digital workplace platform – you can hear David discuss this and more on The Show Corner.

Earlier in the day we had met with Barco people for a tour to see, as well as have discussions about their industry-leading projection, video wall, control room solutions and more. I was very impressed with the new UDX 4K Laser Phosphor large venue projectors, as well as their control room offerings (and of course one always has to mention Clickshare when talking Barco). Their cinematic entrance to the booth (which you can see below) is another outstanding innovation from this industry leader in AV and IT technologies.

After a few more booth stops along the way, the end of the day scheduled stop on the show floor was also at the Barco booth for one of the main events, the Belgian Beer Bar, which was also the first stop of our promotion “Crew Spots” where our industry podcast ‘The AV Life’ team members would appear at booths with show t-shirts. Here’s one with Alesia and Taylor:

Alesia and Taylor with DJ Alexis Skatchkoff, who also happens to be the Product Manager for Barco UDX:

And a pic with good friend Bryan Meszaros, CEO and Founder at OpenEye Global:

Of course you can’t end day one without attending the AV Nation #AVTweetup:

Part 2 is here.

me peets

With almost 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, The Edge of AV, EdTech Focus and The Show Corner. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers.

Find out more about Corey on LinkedIn and on Twitter @Cbmoss.