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InfoComm -- Good Show Means Great MarketThe Final Sayye with Gary Kayye
InfoComm 2005 was a great show for the ProAV industry and the future of our market. Heres why:
1. Record Attendance: More than 26,000 people attended the 2005 version of InfoComm in Las Vegas the second week of June. But, more important than that fact, more than 10,000 seats were filled with attendees of the shows educational programs and the IPD (Institute for Professional Development). So, not only were people hitting the show floor but also they were learning about all the latest trends in technology at the same time. Business owners just dont pay to send 26,000 people to a trade show, one to which virtually every attendee has to fly to attend, when there are bad economic conditions.
2. Killer New Technology: Over the past three InfoComms, the new news has been all about the latest small, bright or light projector. Outside of adding a network port on a projector, there wasnt a lot of new innovation coming from ProAV manufacturers tough economic conditions probably led to this fact. But, 2005 was different. In fact, it was a lot like being at InfoComm 1999 the last best show. 2005 had a lot of innovative technology and all of it will be available to the market by years end.
3. Simple Products: Innovation came with simplicity at InfoComm 2005. All of these products are explained, below, but here are some of my favorites. Crestrons iMedia leads the charge here with an interfacing system that sends computer-video, audio, control and power through a single Cat5e wire no CresNet required. But, simplicity didnt just visit Crestrons booth, Extron introduced a line of in-wall speakers, AMX with the their large-button controllers with only the buttons you ?need, Barco with a system in a box projector known as the iCon series, and just about every new projector from NEC some of the simplest projectors on the market today.
4. Powerful: Projection design has always been known for innovative, creative design in projector technology, but is power next? They showed a concept 10,000 ANSI lumen single-chip DLP projector, native 1400 x 1050 resolution. I am not sure they will ever actually manufacture this product, but if they do I am sure it will carry the Christie Digital label their marketing partner. Speaking of Christie, their MasterSuite 4.0 media wall management software for Christies FRC-5100 is extremely powerful in networked, remote wall management solutions.
5. Finally, Optimism: Everyone walking the floor was optimistic about the future of the ProAV market. After three of four years of bad performance and weeding out dealers that couldnt evolve, the market is ready for innovative growth. And, the growth out there is plentiful. But, creativity is the key. Again, as I have said on many, many occasions, anyone out there can sell a box and anyone out there can sell a box cheaper than you but not everyone can integrate a series of boxes into a networkable, manageable, simple AV solution.
Gary Kayye, CTS is Chief Visionary at Kayye Consulting, Inc., a Chapel Hill, NC-based marketing consulting firm that serves the ProAV and Home Theater markets. In addition to strategic marketing consulting, Kayye Consulting, Inc. is also a training development company. Gary can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his Web site at www.kayye.com.
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