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Convergence of the Tradeshow Kind

Aug 23, 2007 12:00 PM, By Jessaca Gutierrez


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Change, once again, is coming. Early this week, news broke that InfoComm and NSCA tradeshows are becoming one. It’s just another example in a long line of trends pointing to convergence and overlapping systems and, well, a stronger industry. There have long been discussions of a partnership between the two groups, and now the decision has finally been made—the culmination of which its members will not have to wait.

Working under the umbrella of the InfoComm tradeshow from June 18-20, 2008 in Las Vegas, the NSCA Expo will now become a pavilion to the larger InfoComm show, offering much the same electronic systems contracting education as it has in the past.

In an executive statement titled "Coming Together,” by Lemke, points to InfoComm’s recent Market Definition and Strategy Study for the tradeshow consildation. “These changes have been made with you in mind. We are fortunate that the AV industry has been robust for the past several years. InfoComm’s Market Definition and Strategy Study recently found that the professional AV industry generates $25 billion in revenue per year in North America alone. This boom is leaving industry players busier than ever. By consolidating our tradeshows, exhibitors will no longer have to invest in developing booths for two similar shows held just weeks apart, and attendees can enjoy one show with a full array of AV technology solutions. The best of both events is coming together.”

The latest statistics report from NSCA also indicates that 80 percent of its exhibitors in attendance at the NSCA Expo show also planned to exhibit at InfoComm, and attendee overlap was almost the same at 78 percent. Chuck Wilson, NSCA Executive Director, says that by combining the shows will not only remedy the exhibitor overlap, but it also allows smaller companies, who may only attend NSCA, to have a presence at InfoComm.

“We’ve done a lot of research about tradeshows and listening to what the manufacturers were saying. In the past, people stretched with their resources to make it to both shows,” Wilson says. “This is the best of everything. We’re doing what the statistics tell us that [members and exhibitors] want.”

There is also overlap where the two association’s education programs are concerned. The two associations have taken care to broaden their educational offerings to include classes that take on each association’s focus as to enhance their members experience at the shows. But with the consolidation, the two groups will have to evaluate overlapping course. Wilson says the two associations are in the process of creating a steering committee for such purpose.

“We’re being very mindful how we want to place the education program and how it coexist with the InfoComm courses,” Wilson says. “We will evaluate each course and identify who they are properly intended for.”

Although some classes will change at the show, NSCA will continue its educational events outside of the show, certification programs, and member services, including insurance and research. NSCA, in cooperation with InfoComm, will also be adding another initiative to its list: NSCA TechWeek. Launching in the fall of next year, TechWeek will on education. “This event will feature education programs from NSCA University and the InfoComm Academy and will include tabletop exhibits and manufacturer training. NSCA TechWeek, sponsored by InfoComm, will be an event exclusive to the professional AV channel and electronic systems professionals. This trade-only conference will feature education, certification programs and manufacturer training. The event is being developed for technicians, installers, and design and sales personnel,” according to NSCA’s website.

InfoComm will also discontinue its Executive Business Conference and instead be a primary sponsor of NSCA's 2007 Fall Business Conference from Oct. 21 to 23 in San Diego.

In the end, it’s the proverbial two birds, one stone moving the industry forward. Seems these two groups have taken a cue from the technology around them.



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