Trends and perspectives? It’s not about disruptive anymore

Back in 2014, I was one of the people who became known for ‘disruption’ in the industry. I wrote the “Disruptive Forces” series of interviews with the newer industry videoconferencing/UC companies (at the time) that were giving Cisco and Polycom a run for their money. In fact, many of the CEOs and executives of these companies came from Cisco, with the Tandberg lineage. I went to Enterprise Connect for the first time in 2015 and talked with many of these executives in person at the show, and came away with some pretty amazing interviews. I shifted full focus back to InfoComm in 2016 (after attending InfoComm with the EC knowledge in 2015), however it’s my plan to go back to Enterprise Connect in 2020.

Now, it’s all about trends and perspectives discussions at the show (as well as on The AV Life podcast at the show), they no longer resemble original ‘disruptive’ conversations. I consider these discussions even more meaningful now (with some of that trademark fun included) – and even a little less buzz driven (yes I finally get it, as my original editor would cringe…).

The words disrupt, disruptive or any variation are no longer used by me in any of my interviews. My new podcast “Digital Perspectives” is coming up soon, a different angle based on current trends and conversations.

The show scheduling game – don’t pay any attention to booth numbers

There are all kinds of ways to plan your show schedule ahead of time, the InfoComm website, the InfoComm app and more. As a press member, I’m expected to meet with exhibitors during the three days of the show and usually it’s planned out well ahead of time with booth numbers a part of the scheduling.

Well, this year – not so much. You see over the last several months life has taken me a few different places (some know the story), and I even had to delay appointment setting with exhibitors until all started coming into place. Once I began, the days started to fill up pretty fast, so fast that I put exhibitors on the schedule with not as much thought of where they were located on the show floor. My longest show floor journeys actually occurred on Friday, when thankfully I was wearing jeans and Adidas. The longest trip? From Onelan in booth 234 (at 9:30) – one that was actually planned the day before as I saw one of their products at the Stampede booth – to Audinate in booth 6845 for an interview (at 10:00). And if that wasn’t fun enough, the next stop was at Mimo Monitors in booth 542 for another interview (at 11:00). At least I gave myself a little time for a couple of booth stopovers in between.

The moral of this story? Let’s see how IC20 goes.

Finding out that someone in particular was waiting to speak with you

Talk about running from appointment to appointment, there are those times when the schedule may get away from you, even those planned booth appointments. In this instance Veronica Esbona, who is one of my fave PR people, met me at the Biamp booth toward the end of day two (where Amanda Roe was waiting for us) to help set up an interview there with Joe Andrulis. When we were finished, Veronica reminded me that I had not stopped over at Stewart Filmscreen – and sure enough, as I looked down at the schedule she was right (day two was truly jam packed). Figuring I might be able to fit the product manager I would have been speaking with into my day on Friday, she told me that Mary Stewart, owner of Stewart Filmscreen was waiting to talk to me.

Hold the phone – Mary Stewart? We hustled over to the Stewart Filmscreen booth, where I had to plug in my phone as the battery was almost drained to do the interview with her, as the day was coming to an end. We set up at the front of the booth as people moved around us, and we talked for about twelve minutes about the company, its history, their newly launched website, women in the industry and more.

Here it is – as day two came to a close. †

The Product Manager who I look forward to talking with – a Woman in AV, a Woman in Tech

The press is set up with many different company people to talk with at the booth – it could be CEO, President or owner, another exec, an engineer, a product manager, or a marketing person. I have talked with all at InfoComm.

There are times when an appointment is made and you might not know exactly who you’ll be talking with, as I alluded to above. This time I knew, and she is a very good friend who I respect greatly – not just for her industry knowledge, but for her achievements as well. YT Liang is ATEN Technology’s Product Manager, who has a strong engineering/R&D background, with a Masters Degree in Computer Science and Information Engineering from National Taiwan University. ATEN and YT held a seminar at the show ‘Sports Bar Takes on Real World AV Networking’ – she told me that it was very well attended. YT has led seminars on HDBaseT at other trade shows and events. She joins me on many of my podcasts as well (including The AV Life at InfoComm ’19).

Hey AVIXA Women’s Council, may I suggest a speaker for one of the next InfoComm Breakfasts…?

YT holding a seminar at another show

The people you look forward to seeing, and the ones you meet for the very first time

Really, isn’t that what InfoComm is about beyond the technology and trends? While many of us come to InfoComm with a grand purpose, we know when we’re there we’ll see those good friends we know just about every year, and those who we know in other various ways – like over social media or through podcasts. Some who work for manufacturers you’ll see at the booths, others you may see at parties and events (or maybe run into on the show floor).

There were two parties where I did get to see friends, and a very important event at the show where I get to see very important women in the industry, some for the first time. The AV Nation Tweetup was terrific, and there I saw a lot of those social media/podcast people I know (I had meant to tell Tim Albright terrific job this year) and then a private party that I look forward to, which always has a classic ending in Orlando. And of course, as always – the AVIXA Women’s Council Breakfast (below).

As for those people I met for the first time – it was outstanding to finally put the person IRL to the social media profile pic or the square on a Zoom videoconference. Hoping to get together with many of you again real soon, maybe at a trade show (or road trip) later in the year or next year. But definitely on a podcast…

Swag and snacks

InfoComm 2019:

InfoComm 2019 and 2017 together:

AV Necessities: HETMA tweaker (2019) & ATEN Bottle opener keychains

See you all next time!

(Note: Header and light bulb images Pixabay License, free for commercial use).  

With over 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV Media. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, Convergent Tech Talk, Convergent Week and The AV Tech Trade. 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 him talking about a whole lot of things, tech and otherwise. On LinkedIn