Pardon the Bold format here folks... The post was written in MS Word when I did not have access to my online tools *sigh* . For some reason the MS formatting is being read as bold and is STICKY as hell.
Infocomm has wrapped up and if my facebook feed is to be believed even the largest booths have been packed away in crates and are well on the way home. The pictures of tired but obviously satisfied faces with a drink in hand tell you all you need to know. This show went without a hitch and 34,268 -up 4%!- found good food, lodging and business deals.
Now, thousands of products were exhibited on the show floor - . You can find reports on nearly every one in nauseating detail from great industry news outlets like System Contractor, PLSN and many, many others. rAVe Pubs also did a fine job video documenting nearly every booth on the floor and have them posted in a handy, searchable site.
To save you time I am going to boil down the main elements for you in seven points
What was Infocomm 2012 all about?
You have heard of multiplication or perhaps even anticipation (it’s making me waa -a-a-it) but Infocomm this year was all about making things “Simpler”, “Easy”, “little ramp up time to operation” and “With in House staff in mind”. These common catch phrases spun as revelatory exclamations seem to show that manufacturers and developers finally understand that interface matters.
There is a darker side to all this happy ‘we get you’ preoccupation with making set up, controls and configuration as easy as a three fingered salute. I have to ask at what the root catalyst for this sudden interest in implementing the Wizards cry to Dorothy “Pay no attention to that man behind the screen!”. Are we giving up on the need for basic understanding of the physics and simple mechanics because they are no longer needed for standard operation or because we can no longer find the personnel who can or are willing to dig deep?
Certainly the industry is ch-ch- changing but is it for the right reason? We have a serious youth deficit in this industry, doubly so for the Event Staging world, is this the way to get them into the fold, by bypassing all the hard knowledge stuff ?
Apps are still everywhere but no one is hysterically shouting about them from booth rigging. Yes they are a good thing. Yes they make things more flexible and, well let's admit it, sexy. Thankfully they appear to have become standard accessories not above or beyond actual equipment.
3. Speaking of hysterical nonsense
Thank <enter deity name of choice here, or null> - that 3D is only a footnoted specification now. Last year in Orlando attempting to avoid the clamour of 3D from any booth was akin to trying to enter a vegas hotel without having to claw your way through the forest of slot machines, blue smoke one could cut with a bowie knife and over eager cocktail waitresses. If you read my Twitter rants or listen to the AV NationTV podcasts with any regularity -you know just how enamoured with 3D I am. Oh Muybridge! Up Yours (with apologies to Polystyrene)
4). HD over Structured Wiring
AV over “Cat 5” was everywhere - or should I say HDBaseT was ubiquitous under various and sundry names throughout the show floor. For Installations folks the era of UTP / STP as THE wire for everything is now nearly at hand. Another shake up in the wire biz is due soon as fewer and fewer cable types are used. I wonder what pseudoscience babble Monster Cable will start using to market theirs.
5). IATSE Booth
Before anyone starts with me, I love the folks involved with IATSE- some of my best friends are IATSE members. Yet the large set aside space with a stage and chairs never seemed to have any activity in it. Perhaps I was on a different schedule or something happened while I was recording AV Social or the Live Life. I spent a good deal of time in the ‘Lighting and Staging’ section and never saw anything beyond a few folks eating.
The eerie atmosphere reminded me of the a scene in the book Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. The book is part travel journal, part memoir and part literary extension of Kerouac’s On The Road, it is the story of his travels across the United States with his dog Charley. Steinbeck wrote the book while living in Sag Harbor Long Island, (My Home Town!) which is also where he wrote the Winter of Our Discontent - but that is another tale altogether. Early on in the book, while he is traveling through deep Vermont Steinbeck comes upon a fully lit and operating roadside cafe but it is empty of people. After waiting for half an hour he decides to get behind the counter and cook his own breakfast which he eat and cleans up after. With still no one showing he leaves money for his meal and moves on.
I really wanted to have some folks on the Live Life podcast but since I could not find anyone in the “booth” the opportunity was lost. If anyone from the organization is reading this, we would love to have you on a future show!
6). AV NationTV
Rocked with our first Live broadcasts of The Daily Rave, AV Week, AV Social and The Live Life. Our Broadcast table, in the front of the rAVe booth drew crowds of regular listeners and many new ones. We had a fantastic time chatting with integrators, press, Infocomm staff and lots and lots of exhibitors. When the recorded versions of the shows post I will update here with links.
Speaking of AV NationTV, we want you for the AV Nation Army- Join us by suggesting topics, guests or even joining us on air as a panelist. We started the network but it is for and about our industry - it can only grow when we work together.
All in all it was a great show. I am unclear if anything really new came out of this show but I found it informative and a great networking opportunity. In the last hours of the exhibit I kept thinking about the story of Rock soup. It may not have started out as much but it was damn tasty in the end with all the help. Hope to see you all in Orlando next year!