By Corey Moss
You’ll find Part 1 here.
Day one at the show ended with the great #AVTweetup, one of the notable events put on by AV Nation for the #AVTweeps community. In the last few years I had wanted to attend, however certain show responsibilities had prevented me from attending before it ended. This year, I made sure I was there – and I’m happy that I was able to catch up with good friends there. The night ended quietly for me as it had last year, resting up back and feet for day two.
Day two began with an event that I have attended for the last three years, one that is very important for me as while I have covered it for the publication I write for at the time, I also attend as a supporter for women’s advancement in the industry. The Women of InfoComm Network (WIN) Breakfast has become an important event at trade shows for the AV industry, and this year a close friend’s company, Tier PM, was a co-sponsor of the Breakfast. Marika Aquino, one of their Managing Partners is that person, and she and I have known each other for over three years now. I’ve watched her rise in the industry, first as a CI 40 under 40 and now a great role with the Women of InfoComm Network, which I know is very important for her.
Penny Sitler has also been a very close friend of mine for a few years now, and it pleases me to no end watching her on the dais opening the ceremonies as WIN Chairperson, as she is no doubt one of the great women in the industry to go with many others.
The Breakfast itself was yet another sell out, with an outstanding group of women and men in attendance, and an excellent Keynote presented by Drew Jacobs of The Ariel Group “Executive Presence for Women.”
More of my impressions of the WIN Breakfast to come in another blog. Alesia attended the Crestron Press Tour at that time, she will have information on that in another blog.
Heading out to the show floor after the event, the first stop was at the Polycom booth to talk with executives CMO Amy Barzdukas (who appeared with me on The Show Corner) and Head of Global Corporate Communications Cameron Craig, as well as to see the new Polycom Pano. What came with the visit was just a bit unexpected – a game show hosted by Marty “Wink” Sexton (Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Polycom) where people had a chance to play for prizes. It doubled as a Pano demo as well – and here’s what took place:
And here is “the win” of the show (with what was voted Best Swag of InfoComm 17 by Convergent AV):
More to come on a special discussion with Polycom and Zoom, who recently announced an industry video collaboration partnership.
The Listen Technologies press conference followed, led by Peter Papageorge, VP of Sales and Marketing, Americas, who took us on a tour of the booth to see all of what Listen has to offer, including what I’ve considered one of their best product launches, ListenTALK, to go along with another outstanding product, ListenWiFi.
Next up was BenQ to see their current line of 4K projectors, where I ended up having an excellent discussion on 4K as well (another blog to come on that). Here are some pics from the booth:
This to go with the demo I had been looking forward to seeing for months now, the Google Jamboard. Taylor Meyer (who met me there) and I received a private demo of one of the the newest industry collaboration boards, and I must say that I was highly impressed with it’s features which include walk up, pick up a pen and start, along with it being “Google ready” (naturally) – as in what do you use to browse the internet along with apps – and more. In fact, Taylor was so impressed, she asked if she could stay behind and talk with them while I headed off to my next appointment.
That was with Revolabs to see their solutions, especially the Yamaha CS-700. Prior to Enterprise Connect, I had spoken with Randy Lee, Director, Strategic and Channel Marketing about the product. Prior to InfoComm 2017, I spoke with new Revolabs CEO Mick Kamihara on The Show Corner about the product, as I consider Revolabs a true solutions player in the collaboration space with the Yamaha CS-700.
Next was a booth stop with the AV industry distributor that continues to expand and change the distribution model in positive ways, Almo Pro A/V. I had met with Melody Craigmyle, VP of Marketing, Pro A/V Division and Sam Taylor, EVP, COO at The InfoComm Networking event on Tuesday night for targeted discussions of the latest developments at Almo Pro A/V, including the announcement of their global business team (new website and more), led by JC Delgado, Director Global Sales at Almo Pro A/V. At the booth I had a direct discussion of their various services, strategic solutions offerings provided by Almo Pro A/V for AV integrators.
Vivitek, a brand of Delta, was the next stop to see their new line of projectors, along with their 4K DLP cube technology, all detailed in a conversation with James HSU, Director Global Product Marketing at Vivitek and Mike Gazzano Marketing Manager at Delta Corporation on The Show Corner. At the booth, I looked at NovoTouch and the other solutions, and Mike also gave me a detailed look at their 4K DLP Laser Video Wall Solution consisting of true UHD-4K cubes, which I was certainly highly impressed with.
Logitech was next with a look at their new product the Meetup ConferenceCam, an excellent collaboration solution for small room (or should I also say huddle space) meetings with 4K optics and super-wide 120-degree field of view.
Along with this came a chat with good friend Simon Dudley, Director Product Strategy, as he was passing by.
Next up was a stop at Nureva to talk about Span System and the HDL300 Audio Conferencing System. As always, Steve Vander Meulen joins me on the pre-trade show discussion to talk about both solutions, and at the booth I met with Tyrone Chou, Senior Product Manager to talk about the revolutionary audio conferencing system powered by Nureva’s Microphone Mist™ technology. CEO Nancy Knowlton, who I always enjoy talking with (as one of my cornerstone solutions back in the integration sales days was the SMART Board), stopped over to chat about the latest developments at the company, and she even took Taylor over and gave her a demonstration of the Span System – my great thanks to Nancy for that.
InFocus was the next stop, and if there’s one executive in the industry who spells fun in a whole different way, it’s CMO Brady Bruce. Brady and I have been good friends for a few years now as he’s participated in numerous interviews as well as my podcasts, and each time it becomes a better (and dare I say more fun?) discussion experience. This discussion at InfoComm was no exception, as Brady and I got together to talk about their new ConX Cloud (and MondoPad Flex) – and this is how it happened with swag clouds, and light up spinners in hand:
There were some more booth stops toward the end of the day providing looks at other excellent new solutions, and after leaving the show floor, I headed home to get changed for the event I had been looking forward to on Thursday night, the Crestron Swirl Party. And what an event it was, as I had finally arrived in time to see Juliette Lewis perform, and then lo and behold out walks Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach in a moment I can only describe as “Whoa.”
Posted on Facebook with caption: Sebastian Bach just sang Crazy Train. Holy ….)!!
Following Sebastian Bach was Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander who sang an outstanding version of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” along with a couple of Cheap Trick staples, with Bach’s backing. Yep, a concert that had to make many go home happy.
The night finished with a special private gathering, and I’ll leave that one right here…
Voted “Best Invitation-Only Party at InfoComm 2017” by Convergent AV – Bill and Jay’s Excellent Adventure
And it was a blast.
Part 3 will be coming very soon…
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.