InfoComm Expands Offerings for 2007

When professionals from the audio/visual world unite at the annual InfoComm convention in June, they’ll find an eclectic mix of sessions, classes and workshops mixed in with a not-so-typical set of social events, awards presentations and even a battle-of-the-bands competition—all designed to showcase the diverse and cutting-edge nature of the burgeoning A/V industry.
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(click thumbnail)Organizers expect more than 28,000 AV professionals to attend InfoComm in Anaheim, Calif., June 15-21.ANAHEIM, CALIF.

When professionals from the audio/visual world unite at the annual InfoComm convention in June, they’ll find an eclectic mix of sessions, classes and workshops mixed in with a not-so-typical set of social events, awards presentations and even a battle-of-the-bands competition—all designed to showcase the diverse and cutting-edge nature of the burgeoning A/V industry.

Recently named one of the fastest-growing tradeshows in the nation, InfoComm will expand its lineup of classes and sessions in 2007 for the more than 28,000 attendees who are expected to descend on the Anaheim Convention Center from June 15-21.

INCREASED DEMAND

The goal of InfoComm’s expanded lineup and retooled events is to facilitate networking and information exchange for the industry, said Randal A. Lemke, executive director of InfoComm International, the A/V industry trade association that sponsors the annual event.

“The AV industry continues to grow each year, and the growth of InfoComm parallels the success of the industry,” he said. “Demands for A/V technology have grown dramatically in the education sector, due to new classroom construction and reliance on distance learning… and governments and businesses are increasingly dependent on our command and control centers and networked conference rooms. [Even] houses of worship rely on us to keep congregations engaged.”

The show’s expanded lineup includes events like the Manufacturers Forum, an event that will delve into industry trends and predictions for 2008 and beyond. Other new events include the Immersive Audio Experience, which will give attendees access to two integrated audio exhibits on the InfoComm show floor—one featuring a themed entertainment application; the other focusing on retail environments. This event is designed to dazzle attendees with high-definition audio and provide education on how to enhance listening experiences in various commercial A/V applications, McGraw said.

The expanded lineup of sessions and classes is being offered to “keep attendees up-to-date on the ever-changing A/V technology, and to allow those participating in education sessions to further their knowledge and understanding of complex topics on a continual basis,” McGraw said.

Unusual A/V events are also on tap, including the 24-hour Rack Building Contest, which pits teams against one another in a race to design and build a fully operational $25,000 A/V system in the space of a day. The goal is to give attendees a glimpse into the design and build process, allowing them to learn best practices for rack building and installation from professionals.

InfoComm will again put a strong focus on training opportunities this year, offering more than 250 classes, seminars and workshops. For example, InfoComm’s Institute for Professional Development offers eight different three-day courses, such as A/V-IT integration, a hands-on lab course focused on uniting the analog and digital worlds. “With most A/V equipment being networked this is an area of key importance to InfoComm attendees,” McGraw said.

The show will also include an exhibition hall with more than 800 manufacturers, such as Barco, Extron, Sony and Tandberg Television. Grass Valley will be on site with their A/V-specific solutions, such as the Indigo A/V Mixer, which combines features found in video production switchers, presentation switchers and audio mixers; the MediaEdge digital-signage solution; and the Turbo iDDR, a disk recorder designed for corporate or live events.

It’s vital for manufacturers like Grass Valley to pay close attention to the growing impact of A/V technologies in the marketplace, the company officials said.

“As a company we are focusing more and more on delivering high-quality images through file-based transfer, something we see as very much transferable to new markets for Grass Valley,” said Steve Wise, director of product marketing in play-out and editing.

Looking ahead, InfoComm announced in May that it will share its convention space in 2008 with NXTcomm, an organization that focuses on professional A/V, IT, communications and entertainment technologies.