My Infocomm 2012: Hey I Know You! … from the Podcast (Part 3)

Continuation of my Journey in Las Vegas to figure out how Social Media is changing things.

Last fall I had been asked if I would be interested in appearing on the AV Week show as a guest panelist by its founder Tim Albright (@tdalbright). I met Tim online and later connected with him via LinkedIn. My interaction with Tim was usually brief. Typically we met prior to the recording and bounced around some ideas and show topics via email. Most of our interaction was limited to messages, tweets and emails. Fifteen minutes prior to the show we would chat as part of a sound check and introductions.  Once the show started it was as if the guest panelist had just spent the last month touring the world together on small bus. The conversation in the podcast was natural and when you place AV people in a room the stories and opinions typically fly faster than fists at Jersey shore nite club. Prior to InfoComm, Tim had invited me to stop by the show’s Friday live broadcast.

Situated between the main entrance, exhibit halls, eateries and the 2nd floor escalators I guess you can say that AV Nation was at the “Center of it all”. As a whole the area outside of the main exhibit hall was a virtual beehive of activity. Apart from the show attendees and the RAVE Pubs team providing show coverage the Podcast area itself was a magnet for the curious. Groups of curious onlookers stopped and huddled around to watch the live broadcasts. Just In case you were wondering this was not limited to any particular demographic since both “New” and “Old school” AV people were drawn to it. The combined Buzz of the live broadcast and the activity of the RAVE team really drew the crowds in.

As I walked up to the location I saw Tim and exchanged a hand wave and smile from a distance as not to interrupt. I recognized a few others from their online activity and went over to say hi. Saying hi to one person rolled into 3 then 4 then more.  The first person I saw was George Tucker (@tuckertues) who was working the sound for the panel. George has been active in social media for a bunch of years and I had worked with George on the AV week panel previously. George’s handshake led to Spotting Matt Scott (@OmegaAudioVideo) which led to meeting Adrian Boyd (@The_AV_CAD_Guy) both of whom I had met on podcasts prior to InfoComm.  Standing next to Adrian was Steve Greenblatt (@stevegreenblatt) ,who is from NJ, but never met in person. Steve is also a frequent podcast panelist with AV Nation and a contributor to Publications.  When I turned to see the broadcast panel I meet Phil Cordell (@The_AV_Pro) who I’ve only seen on YouTube. His AV videos on YouTube made him easily recognizable.  After meeting to Phil I turn and meet Rebeca Villareale (@beckyreale). Rebecca had come over to introduce herself, again only from the online communities did I know these people. All of us came from different parts of the country except for Becky and Steve who were local to me and Matt who is from a different country all together. Our common bond here was more than just a presence on twitter. We all come from different aspects of AV. Some were from Manufacturers, Integrators, Residential, Programmers, Independents or consultants. Regardless of what we did or where we came from the conversation was great and we traded many of the same War stories .

Collectively we have all appeared on podcast where we were given a platform to speak out about what we love or hate about AV. In general I think the small sampling of AV professionals I mentioned are doing their part to promote the industry and shape its direction going forward. Don’t get me wrong here…this is nothing new to our industry. What is new are the platforms available to us to share our views and opinions. That is the secret ingredient to social media and how it works. The podcast location at InfoComm became the became the central hub for the #AVtweeps to gather. The term #AVtweeps, for those who may not know, is the twitter hash tag created by Johnny Mota (@JMOTA3) for the AV community on Twitter. The handshakes and hellos in front of the AV nation podcast continued the evolution of the InfoComm 2012 for me.  Apart from the introductions I finally sensed the show had a pulse that was not just marketing related.  AV had become social.

For the first time, in my experience, the show had a voice through the podcast. Tim and AV Nation team took the show from floor to bench tech in Topeka.  As an industry we have been doing a good job of covering the show both online and in print for many years but the live element had been missing.  The podcasts streamed live delivering not only new product information but the voices and opinions of the show attendees and exhibitors. To hear typical product hype from Market Managers is one thing, but to hear it from one a show attendee or tech manager is refreshing.  Needless to say that the podcast did an excellent job of making the show more personal, the listener is essentially sitting alongside the guest panel hearing the news as it happens. I personally could appreciate a live broadcast as someone who did not attend the show last year. This was a great Step forward for the show and I can only imagine where it can go from here.

To be continued…

Video: Transparent Video Displays

Check out my video on Transparent Video Displays.

Transparent Displays Video-720p

Click to See Video

 

 

My Infocomm 2012 : The Video

Check out the my video from Infocomm 2012. Please let me know what you think!

Chris

My InfoComm 2012: Hey I know you!

Part One

Hey I know you!

My journey began early Tuesday morning in lovely Newark, NJ.  I have to say that I love Newark Airport. Even at the crack of dawn you can witness the state “BIRD” fly without restraint.  I was one of the 34,286 attendees making their way to Infocomm 2012 in the Las Vegas heat. Once I arrived in Vegas I met up with coworkers, from AV Helpdesk, and finalized our objectives for the show.  During the 4 days I spent at the convention I split time between the exhibits, Infocomm meetings and networking. These activities are pretty much standard at all conventions. You’ll always have your attendees, exhibitors and media all mixed together or converged, for those who love to use that fashionable AV term. For many of the attendees the show may be the only opportunity that they will have to see new products and interact with manufacturers. Others simply see the show as work whether they are there to exhibit, attend classes or test for their certifications.

So here I am 3 weeks after the show looking to write a show recap of what I thought about the products and technologies. After spending 4 days admiring the latest and greatest I figured why make it easy on myself? Looking back at InfoComm one of the most impressive things on displays wasn’t a product, service or a company for that matter. This year’s award for most impressive display, not produced by a manufacturer, goes to social media and the impact it played at InfoComm 2012

Infocomm 2012 is the first show that I attended since I began using social media nearly 2 years ago when I joined LinkedIn.  I did not expect to immerse myself into the social media world. I also never expected that social media would ever fuel excitement and anticipation leading up to the show, not for me at least.  Maybe I was too naive or maybe I was downplaying expectations.  As expected you would have marketing people adding to the hype since that’s what they do for a living. Outside of the die-hard trekies … I meant techies who would really be that amped-up about a convention?

For many the show unofficially began weeks, if not months, before the first road case ever hit the desert floor. The online community had been preparing for InfoComm 2012 long before tickets were purchased or the first drink poured. Whether it was on LinkedIn, Twitter or InfoComm own online community, the buzz was building and people were planning.  If you’re skeptical about how much buzz was really generated go to twitter and type in the search #Infocomm12 or better yet try #AVtweeps into the search field.

I walked into the show like everyone else to gather new product information and meet new and existing vendors.  After a full day of running around gathering notes, pictures and information I was exhausted.  The second day of the show I had regained my drive and hit the floor running again. That all changed when I was stopped by someone who recognized me from my online posts and articles. Being from New Jersey if someone jumps in front of me and says “Hey I know you” my first reaction typically does not involve a smile or a “hi”. During that awkward moment is when I realized that this biggie sized show suddenly became whole lot smaller, a lot more personal and a lot more fun.  Mind blowing but that’s the power of social media at work.

To be continued…

 

Question: Your Thoughts on Infocomm12

Now that you have attended either attend Infocomm 2012, read reviews or both  I’d like to hear your opinions and observations on the Event?

  • Was there a lack of innovation in the products shown?
  • Was there a “Game Changer”?
  • Where you expecting  a bigger leap forward in a particular area such as VTC,  AVB, Projection, Consumer Product Integration, etc?
  • Was there something missing from the show in terms of classes or demos?
  • Did the show change for you in terms of networking?
  • Did anyone notice a more diverse crowd of IT, AV Managers, End-Users, AV, Broadcast and Designer Professional at the show?
  • Speak your mind!

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Chris

Congratulations to the Women in AV for being recognized as NSCA Movers & Shakers 2012 (Video)

Published on Jun 19, 2012 by  on YouTube

Watch what members of the Women in AV Network planning board shared about being recognized as a NSCA 2012 Mover & Shaker.Kelly Perkins – Vaddio, Jennifer Willard – Judicial Council of California and Cory Schaeffer – Listen Technologies were recognized for their leadership and mentoring of women in the AV industry. Awards were presented at InfoComm 2012 on June 14.

To find our more about Women in AV visit:  www.womeninav.com

 

Listen Technologies: www.listentech.com

NSCA: www.nsca.org

Infocomm: www.infocomm.org

 

 

AV Week Podcast Live From InfoComm 2012 & some Gratitude!

Last week I was a guest on the AV Week podcast Live from InfoComm 2012.

Special thanks to:

Tim Albright, Dawn Meade, George Tucker, Matt D. Scott and Michael Drainer for having me on the show!

Click HERE to visit AVNation.tv

Part 2 of my InfoComm 2012 report at Corporate Tech Decisions

Click here to view the Article

Click to view the article at www.CorporateTechDecisions.com

 

Infocomm 2012 – The Vegas Parable

During my 4 days spent in the Las Vegas attending Infocomm 2012 I learned a couple things that I’d like to share. Consider this your Infocomm 2014 prerequisites (when it returns to Vegas):

 

  • Don’t make any appointments on the first 2 days! Chances are you or the person your meeting with will be late. Maybe its time to deploy the restaurant buzzer/coaster thing? My advice is to save appointments for the final day of the show when the crowds calm down.
  • Making of lists only work if you follow them. I made a list of booths more as a reminder.  Also Do not discredit the smaller out of the way booths !  Some really good products and services are tucked away at those booths.
  • Take extra cellphone batteries, a portable power strip and a separate camera (with a flash). If not you’ll spend more time sitting by your phone while it’s charging than on the Show Floor.
  • Refuse to take pre-printed product specs.  Go green. Zap a QR code or ask for the info on re-useable thumb drive. Or bring your own thumb drive and collect your products specs that way.
  • Get in early and leave an hour before everyone else does.  If not you’ll be waiting in New York City style cab lines. Only difference is that it’s 104 degrees… but don’t worry its dry heat!  Just ask the iguana looking for shade and a drink.
  • Get involved with Infocomm or NSCA or both. Getting involved in your industry and meeting your peers will give you a completely different take on the Show. Also take advantage of the classes, demo rooms and networking events. This too is another great way to enhance your convention experience.
  • Bring Cash and Credit Cards. Some Cabs only take cash or you’ll need cash to split a limo with 6 others. Also Food can and will be pricey.  Bring credit cards because you know you could always use another bill when you get back home.
  • The most important advice I could offer you:  While on a cross country flight home from Vegas to Jersey do not step in front of a 6’4 Professional Wrestler who’s shoulders are twice the width of the plane’s center isle , while he’s heading to the bathroom, just to say “Hi…Are you?” …. Just saying you may want to rethink that. 

    Remember what you do in Vegas will come back to you in form of Spam email. Thanks for swiping my badge everyone.

     

    Chris

     

     

Infocomm Week 2012: Busy Day (Pic)

Infocomm 2012 – Great Day but I still have some work to do tonight before heading out.