It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s that time again. The day AV boys and girls wait for all year. That morning we’ll wake up, jump out of our hotel room beds, and run down to the show floor all a buzz with anticipation, wondering what magical new AV toys the manufacturers have brought us this year. It’s Christmas in June – it’s InfoComm time. (Not to mention the coming of a savior to listen to many of the marketing claims.)

I won’t even try to cover the anticipated “must sees” this year. You are probably getting the same avalanche of show promos I am. There are enough bloggers and magazine hacks out there – most far more industry savvy than I – to provide an overwhelming stream of analysis. What I did feel inspired to share about, however, was some of the lesser-known things going on at the show…

If you have the time Tuesday, InfoComm’s Technology Managers Council will be putting on the Technology Managers Symposium as a Super Tuesday class.

Yes, InfoComm has a Technology Managers Council. A bunch of us AV-1 regulars are on it. And despite what it may seem like at times, it is in fact not a secret organization. If you have joined you are exactly who the TMC is intended for. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, or just want to support the cause of Technology Managers in the industry, consider joining. There is more info about the council (and membership info) on the InfoComm website, or just corner one of us at the Symposium. We’ll also be having our annual council meeting Friday morning.

The Technology Managers Symposium is the first attempt by the TM Council to put on an InfoComm class specifically for Technology Managers. Here is a link to a list of the topics being covered:

After class many of us are going to head over to the Opening Keynote and Opening Reception.

Wednesday 9:00 to 10:00am – or Thursday 12:30 to 1:30pm – Panasonic will put on their Higher Education Briefing:

It’s basically an hour long presentation on their product line. Full disclosure, I have a lot of Panasonic projectors and I like them, although I think most of the big projector companies put out some great products. This is, however, one of the few Higher Ed targeted functions I have seen. Besides, free food. I know how us techies love a free meal.

Wednesday (and Thursday) at 5pm – after the show floor closes – InfoComm is trying something new, an hour long Beer and Pretzels session. The idea seems to be an hour of informal short talks by some of the biggest names in our little AV world. Kudos to InfoComm for trying something new like this. I think it’s a great idea. Go to the class listing on the InfoComm12 web site. (I can’t find a good link to a description.) I would bring the beer and pretzels just to sit around and listen to most of these guys for an hour.

Now you all jumped onto Twitter after my blog post about tweeting, right? If you have, or do so before Wednesday, and want to meet some of your new found #AVTweeps in person, Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30pm there is an informal AVTweeps Happy Hour get-together at the LVH:

See, you can’t grip about not having something to do the first night of the show after all. I’m kind of over appetizer platters and 80’s cover bands anyway.

Are you a Crestron fanboy (or fangirl)? Thursday morning from 8:30 to 10:30am is the Crestron Partner Breakfast Meeting. If you are a Crestron A+ partner this is probably a great way to get ready for a long day of walking.

(If you are an Extron fan, did you know they are exhibiting right down the road at The Mirage for UBTech (formerly EduComm)? )

Continuing the Crestron theme, the Crestron Owner’s Group will be meeting at 10:30am in room N250. This is primarily a LinkedIn group. If, however, you work with Crestron equipment in any way I highly recommend it. It is an independent end-users group, although we enjoy very active interest and participation by a number of Crestron employees.

Thursday at 5pm is the second Beer and Pretzels session.

Also Thursday at 5pm is the IT Professionals Reception. And while I still consider myself primarily an “AV guy”, I’m thinking most of us have been “converged” enough the last couple of years that this little get-together is fair game.

Thursday night from 9 to 11pm is the Drunk Unkles charity concert:

Women in AV and rAVe Publications will also host a Tweetup at the concert:

Beyond that, get out there on the show floor and have a blast. Enjoy some of the Vegas sights and nightlife. Although, seeing as much of the show as possible is even tougher after excessive quantities of adult beverages. This is you best chance of the year to see a huge cross section of everything in the AV world, you can drink to excess anywhere. I was in the Navy, I know this.

Wear comfy shoes. Drink plenty of water. I find a bag of trail mix in the show bag helps keep the energy up and the mind sharp for a long day of walking. Plus it can help skip, or at least delay, a visit to the long food lines at lunch.

Now, as always, your turn. Is there anything you are making a point of seeing or attending that may have flown under the pre-show hype radar?

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