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Associations Focus: InfoComm 08 Largest Pro AV Tradeshow in History

Jul 1, 2008 12:00 PM


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INDUSTRY GROWTH FUELS GROWTH IN EXHIBITORS AND EDUCATION ENROLLEES

InfoComm International released preliminary figures showing record participation at InfoComm 08 — the largest annual conference and exhibition for audiovisual buyers and sellers worldwide — in Las Vegas, June 18-20, 2008.

Reflecting strong demand for AV communications technologies in business, education, and government as well as the retail, healthcare, entertainment, and worship markets, attendance at the exhibition has topped 34,600. AV professionals from 93 countries attended to see the latest technologies in display, projection, audio, collaborative conferencing, control, and networking applications. This reflects a 9.5-percent increase over last year's record attendance.

A record 988 exhibitors participated at InfoComm this year, representing more than a 15-percent increase over the previous record of 855 in 2007. Exhibitors occupied more than 500,000 net square feet of exhibit and special-events space, compared to 465,000 net square feet in 2007. There were 231 new exhibitors at this year's show.

“InfoComm 08 reflects the fast pace of innovations and growth in the AV communications industry,” says InfoComm International Executive Director Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D. “We introduced new courses and exhibitors this year to address the demand for digital signage, audio, and telepresence technology, as well as high-definition products, lighting and staging, and more. The NSCA Expo also was incorporated into our show for the first time, and we were pleased to debut the Electronic Systems Pavilion,along with the rest of the expo's traditional activities.”

InfoComm is attended by AV dealers, independent reps, design consultants, systems integrators, rental and staging companies, and AV buyers from business, government, education, healthcare, retail, entertainment, and the worship market. Approximately 70 percent of the attendees are commercially involved in the industry, with the remaining 30 percent comprising specifiers, buyers, and users.

CONFERENCE AND CLASSES

Attendees also value InfoComm for its educational sessions. Registrations for InfoComm Academy educational courses totaled 8,606 for 2008. The Institute of Professional Development (IPD) attracted 587 registrants, which is up from 531 in 2007 — more than a 10-percent increase. Super Tuesday — a full day of advanced instruction for AV pros — attracted 817 registrants in 2008, a 12-percent increase from 2007. Attendees come to InfoComm for the diversity of courses on topics ranging from acoustics to videoconferencing. Among the most attended courses were the classes focusing on green AV, technology trends, and project management. Other popular classes include Syn-Aud-Con's Sound Reinforcement for Designers and the Imaging Science Foundation certification class. Classes offered jointly by InfoComm Academy and NSCA University drew 564 students.

InfoComm also offered a new Certification Study Group course prior to the exhibition opening. InfoComm International's certification program is renowned among AV professionals, and it is the only industry certification accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). More than 9,500 AV professionals have earned the CTS designation.

Other highlights of InfoComm 08 include the welcoming of InfoComm International's 5,000th member, a preview of the 2008 InfoComm International Asia Pacific AV Market Definition and Strategy Study, and the debut of the association's social-networking program.

INFOCOMM BECOMES ANSI-ACCREDITED STANDARDS DEVELOPER

InfoComm International has been recognized as an ANSI-accredited standards developer. InfoComm's standards will be developed as international standards and, as warranted, will be presented for adoption by the International Standards Organization (ISO).

InfoComm's exclusive focus in standards development is on system performance, rather than individual product or technology standards. This program will provide the industry with performance standards that AV companies can build their systems to meet, while giving the industry's customers clear industry standards on which they can rely.

“ANSI's recognition of InfoComm as a standards developer represents a dramatic next step in the association's advancement of industry quality improvement programs,” says InfoComm Standards Committee Chair Scott Walker, CTS-D, LEED AP, of Waveguide Consulting. “Standards define a profession, demonstrate a commitment to professional self-regulation, and acknowledge the profession's responsibility to the public.”

InfoComm will lead this activity under its Performance Standards Committee, but the standards created will benefit the whole industry and its customers. All InfoComm standards will be developed through a disciplined ANSI process to reach consensus among everyone involved with AV systems.

“Several years ago, InfoComm's Board of Governors had the foresight to recognize the need for a more professional identity for the AV industry, and it realized that industry standards is a way to improve the industry and benefit consumers,” Lemke says. “Through the vigorous efforts of numerous industry volunteers, the Performance Standards Steering Committee has developed two inaugural proposed standards: Sound Coverage — under the direction of Frederick J. Ampel, Technology Visions — and Projected Image. In December of 2007, the InfoComm board approved these as the first two standards to be developed. Through rigorous debate and compromise, the industry will be able to establish these and future standards that will guide designers, installers, and customers for years to come.”


For more information about InfoComm International, visit infocomm.org.



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