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infoComm 2005 Coming Up!The Final Sayye by Gary Kayye
(6/2/05) I can't wait! No, I dread flying into Las Vegas for anything, much less a trade show, but I can't wait to get there for the ProAV industry's annual trek into the world of new presentation tools. But, me, I don't go for the show.
Forget about the exhibits. Don't plan your infoComm (June 4-10, 2005 at the Las Vegas Convention Center) experience backwards. Most people attending infoComm plan their show experience around the exhibits and their ability to peruse the show floor and see all the manufacturers they need to see. Then, depending on the appoints they make and the meetings they attend in the booth they determine the left over time slots for taking in a course or two through infoComm's extensive show educational offerings.
That's exactly opposite of what you should be doing.
What I think you should do is immediately (after you finish reading this column, of course), go to the infoComm educational section of their web site and pick educational courses relevant to your interest and expertise, plan to attend them all and then with the time you have left, visit booths, attend parties and meetings.
Certainly, I haven't been attending infoComm as long as industry icons Fred Dixon (who's come to more than 48 shows in 53 years), Kevin Collins, Mackie Baron, Harold Thiel and Andrew Edwards, but I will bet that if you asked every one of them what part of the industry's premier ProAV show they have gotten the most of over the years, they will unanimously say the educational offerings.
Education in our market is crucial. The first time an LCD projector was ever shown to the ProAV market was in a class at COMTEX (the name of infoComm prior to becoming infoComm); the first time the concept for a DLP projector was explained to AV geeks was at a seminar at infoComm. And, the first time a networked system was demonstrated was in a seminar at infoComm. Sure, these technologies and trends eventually hit the floor, but the time and attention given attendees of a seminar by the instructor far exceeds the time given to a question on the typical show floor booth. And, by the way, while the industry's marketing gurus from each exhibiting manufacturer hang out with PR kits in their respective booths, the engineering departments - geeks - are teaching technology at a seminar down the hall.
So, before you plan your journey to Vegas this week, go to http://www.infocomm.org and take a look at the more than 150 seminars and workshops being offered and make sure you attend as many as possible.
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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