InfoComm 2015 is right around the corner. Manufacturers are in full swing with their show preparations, attendees are getting registered, booked into hotels and primed for all the educational offerings that will be filling the halls of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL this June.
I recently received a call from someone who was getting ready to book his flights to attend this show for the first time in his young AV career. He was excited for what he was going to see and it got me thinking back to my first show going experience. At the time I was a manufacturer so it was a little different as I was locked into my booth trying to offer as much assistance to customers as I could, but I still recall the mildly overwhelming feeling that overcame me as I walked the halls in my breaks from booth duty.
Fast forward a few years and I still find myself with that mildly overwhelming feeling as I walk into the halls just from the sheer amount of stuff that fills up these massive halls. It’s hard to tell where to start and what you don’t want to miss. Usually, by day two you hear about which new exhibiting manufacturer will be the show darling for the year and the “don’t miss” booths for swag or outstanding demonstrations. But the old standard exhibitors open their booths up to show their wares, include the vapor ones, and entice you with their new widget and the promises that it brings.
We all know that 4K has been the talk of the last two years. We also know that there has been a lot of talk about projection mapping and some of the new ways of transporting signal like Dante or AVB, as well as discussions about the progress we’re making in IT transmissions. That’s where the InfoComm experience becomes almost as exhausting as the three days of walking the show floor – you start having the same conversations over and over, the demos start to become indistinguishable, and it becomes harder to separate the signal from the noise.
A few months back I wrote a piece about a musical performance by guitar phenom Kaki King where she utilized projection mapping as a part of the artistic experience. I was reflecting on this again when my signed CD for being a contributor to her Kickstarter for the project arrived at my house and I began telling another AV professional about the experience. When I sent a link to a YouTube video about what she was doing the first words out of his mouth were, “Why aren’t we seeing things like this at InfoComm this year? Some manufacturer should book her right now.” (Side note – she does technically finish her current tour before the show and might be available.)
Her performance below (which was, in fact, the one I attended) is a perfect example of the things that you can do when you start thinking outside the box of the everyday solutions that we deal with and begin to look at the creativity that sometimes gets forgotten in our industry. This is the kind of thing that not only draws attention, but also inspires the next generation of professionals and gets people to think about what we do in a whole new way. It’s that affect that often gets lost in the chaos of the InfoComm experience – but it doesn’t have to.