Among trade shows and conferences in our field, InfoComm sets the gold-standard: The annual, worldwide exposition produced by the trade group (previously known as ICIA) bearing the same name attracts a comprehensive roster of exhibitors and offers a banquet of workshop opportunities tailored to the needs of every demographic in the AV food chain.
Over the past several years, University Business Magazine's EduComm event has coincided, if not co-located, with InfoComm. EduComm (not to be confused with EDUCAUSE, the organization formerly known as Educom prior to merging with CAUSE) is tailored to K-20 decision makers, a subset of the InfoComm crowd.
Monday's pre-InfoComm survey revealed unexpected data about June travel plans for AV-1 members. For example, fewer than one in ten members indicated that they expected to travel to Las Vegas to attend either InfoComm or EduComm. The following data pertains to respondents who indicated that they had travel plans for June.
"This June, I plan to attend…"
Among those with travel plans, more than three out of four plan to attend InfoComm rather than EduComm. Those who plan to attend both InfoComm and EduComm, outnumbered those planning to attend only EduComm by a margin of three-to-one.
- For those attending InfoComm, what factors lead you to InfoComm over EduComm?
- For those attending EduComm this year, what does it offer that InfoComm doesn't have?
"In the past, I have generally attended InfoComm…"
For 40% of our respondents, InfoComm appears to be the Mecca of our industry. (A future survey will take a closer look at all conferences competing for our attention.)
The remaining 52% that have previously attended appear to be equally split between going when the mood strikes them and going when they can obtain approval.
"I have not regularly attended InfoComm because…"
42% of those planning to attend this year, attended fewer than three of the past five InfoComms.
Even when times are not tough, economics remains a crucial decision point for more than half (this assumes "approval / justification issues" are rooted mostly in finances) of those who do not regularly attend InfoComm.
- Would it be possible to more clearly express the real value of conferences such as InfoComm?
- Is there a way to calculate the Return On Investment (ROI) for InfoComm participation?
"I like to attend InfoComm because…"
New technologies and best practices are foremost on the minds of attendees in our sample. It is no surprise, therefore, that networking with peers is the next most important value.
We often learn as much from each other's experience as from how-to workshops.
- Do the low numbers associated with CTS renewal credit suggest employers' lack of recognition for the value of the certification, itself?
- Is there a diminished correlation between continuing education and certification?
"I am most interested in networking with fellow AV-1 Members during…"
While members expressed unified interest in attending an AV-1 specific event, some expressed concern over potential schedule conflicts.
Most preferred having a break area in close proximity to the exhibition floor where they could go for a refreshment or to check email.
Also, lunch beat out breakfast. Is this because it can be difficult getting up in the morning for an early event, but almost everyone takes a break for lunch?
Some closing comments:
"I love InfoComm!"
"Talking to peers is more informational than talking with vendors."
"Looking forward to it. I'd also be interested in a TweetUp."
"I often feel that the show is not really for technology managers."
"An AV-1 meet-up is a great idea!"
As always, the data provided are meant as snapshots in time — trends that represent the views or plans from a sample of our industry. Our goal is to stimulate thought and discussion. We invite you to share your observations and opinions in the comment area at the bottom of this post or on the AV-1 Forum.
||by Joe Schuch|