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New Day at NSCA

Sep 1, 2007 12:00 PM, By Michael Goldman

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The news that InfoComm and NSCA will consolidate their tradeshows under the InfoComm umbrella was hardly shocking in the sense that it had been speculated and discussed throughout the industry, and between the two associations, for years. NSCA Executive Director Chuck Wilson, in fact, told me the topic was first discussed formally between the two associations in 1995.

The obvious glut of tradeshows, and clear statistics indicating that the vast majority of NSCA attendees also attend InfoComm, were clear drivers in the consolidation. But Wilson emphasizes the main reason for the move was straightforward — the evolution of electronic systems into the digital universe.

“All these electronic systems, as they start to become digital, and products appear more conducive to seamless integration and interoperability — that changes the product-based tradeshows, as well,” Wilson says. “With statistics showing that attendees need to be at both shows, we thought about what NSCA's primary mission is — education and training — and our board looked at this move as an opportunity to consolidate our events and serve the industry better. It's clear that the InfoComm show is growing and able to meet the needs of people in all segments of communications, electronic systems, audio, video and so on. So we came up with an idea for a new technical conference [NSCA TechWeek, debuting in 2008], focused on our educational goals, and made it a win-win situation by figuring out what each organization does best and focusing on the missions of each organization.”

As to NSCA's future, Wilson insists the move will strengthen the organization in the long term.

“We do not have to have our human resources and financial resources spread so thinly across tradeshows and all those [related] things [anymore],” he says. “This allows us to rechannel our focus and efforts and repurpose our employees toward being the best training and membership organization we can be.”

Meanwhile, Wilson expects no difficulty in making NSCA members feel at home at InfoComm. At the NSCA Pavilion, for instance, he promises a friendly environment for folks in the electronic systems world. “Commercial intercom systems, health-care nurse call systems — all that stuff that does not traditionally exhibit at InfoComm, but which NSCA is well known for — you will see all of them [at the NSCA Pavilion],” he says.

To hear more of Michael Goldman's discussion with Chuck Wilson, visit For more on the implications of the NSCA/Infocomm news, see Picture This on p. 16.

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