Biggest Takeaways from InfoComm 2022
By: Amanda Eberle Boyer
For the past two years, we have been navigating industry conferences in a similar way to other events. Many pivoted to virtual offerings at the height of the pandemic and then navigated hybrid offerings as a stepping stone back to in-person events. InfoComm, the largest US event for audiovisual solutions, returned in-person in 2021, but it didn’t quite feel the same as before. Many familiar exhibitors were not present and social gatherings were limited due to guidelines, restrictions, and continued uncertainty.
But InfoComm 2022 was a completely different story. For the first time since the pandemic, it felt like the way InfoComm shows have always been. All of our favorite exhibitors were present, there were too many social gatherings to possibly attend them all, and I made so many new and exciting connections. The sense of joy was palpable and it was like attending the ultimate family reunion. Beyond catching-up with industry friends, and meeting new ones, I left Vegas with so many great takeaways that I will be reflecting on until InfoComm 2023 comes around next year.
Labor Shortage Solutions
Concerns around labor will sadly continue into 2023, and could even be an issue we’re dealing with for the foreseeable future with no certain end in sight. Those in the events space need to look at all upcoming booked business and plan ahead, which could include turning down business if you don’t have the staff to support it. Taking on additional work you can’t support will only hurt us as an industry, impacting our reputations and the confidence clients have in our work. Clients can also expect to pay more for labor at events, especially if there is a short lead time.
Supply Chain Management
With lead times turning into months, businesses need to make strategic decisions concerning purchases around when you are actually going to get the gear you need, and clients need to be aware of that as well. Just because you have a purchase order in, it does not guarantee a quick turnaround. Products were being showcased on the show floor but the lead time to receive them was incredibly long. The supply chain is still drastically behind and we as an industry need to be talking about how to navigate this issue, including renting used equipment, supplementing needs on an interim basis, and finding lesser-known companies with available inventory to form new partnerships with (which is a great opportunity for these companies).
Saving Money on High Gas Rates
The increase in fuel prices is changing everything in terms of trucking logistics, impacting prices when receiving event equipment and technology. Event planners need to plan ahead, anything last minute will cost more, and they need to be prepared that pricing for deliveries will increase across the board. There is also a shortage of drivers and that is going to impact pricing and timing as well.
Hybrid, Live, and Virtual Events with Covid
As we know from being in the events industry, the pandemic is still making it difficult to enjoy events in the ways we had previously. I know so many people that arrived in Vegas for InfoComm, contracted COVID, and were not able to participate in the event. COVID is still disrupting the experience of in-person events, but people want to come together in-person. Hybrid solutions may still be necessary but I think we have to focus on making the in-person experience safe while having plans for potential exposure, outbreaks, and other COVID related issues in place.
New Audio Video Equipment 2022
One of the biggest reasons we attend InfoComm is to experience the latest AV technology and learn how to utilize it for upcoming events and productions. While in Vegas, we met with Precision Rate Products about partnering on ground support for our new theatrixx LED wall. We also had the opportunity to learn about new wireless CrewCom technology to use at our events, improving communication amongst the events team. We found two new base hazers that will really make our lighting pop at upcoming events and the Roland V160 video switcher also caught our eye and is an excellent tool for hybrid event switching.
All of these products, and many more, are going into our capex plan to ensure we keep our inventory and product offerings fresh and innovative, providing dynamic solutions to deliver events that stand out from the rest. We are obviously an event technology company but one of our core values is based upon the human experience. If you don’t design technology around the human experience, you will miss the mark.
Interested in learning more? Contact us today!