Article written by Bill Kiley, an IMS Systems Integration National Account Representative. He has been in the technology communications industry for 17 years serving in B2B sales, consulting, and management.
InfoComm 2014 has come and gone, but it seems like just yesterday I was battling the heat and checking in to my hotel!
This was my first time attending an InfoComm show, so I was really excited about going. Mike Shinn, Director of Operations at IMS, met with our team of 9 attendees and developed an extremely busy andwell thought out plan of classes, meetings, and networking opportunities. Even though I had a tight schedule I still found time to walk the show floor and visit booths to review new technology.
Here is my review of what I experienced:
I took three classes at InfoComm, Video and Collaboration for Beginners, AV Connectivity in an Information Technology World, and Functional Site Survey and Needs Analysis. I found them very informative, especially the one on video and collaboration for beginners. I wanted to take more classes but after seeing how busy the schedule was I am glad I limited myself to just those three!
The show floor was packed with manufacturers and everywhere you turned was 4K this and 4K that. I really focused on digital signage and video collaboration tools because this is what my clients are looking for. Every day I talk with my clients about video streaming, video collaboration and secure video content. I found some new robust offerings that were launched at the show.
Day 1 (Tuesday): I checked into my hotel around 2 pm and prepared for the Haivision Kick-Off reception at 5:30. I enjoyed the fact that at the Haivision reception they focused on talking not about the product but the business use and customer focus. As a sales person, hearing the business cases and benefits was extremely helpful. Then I was off to meet with one of our manufacturer partners, Milestone, for Dinner at the Paris Hotel. Dinner was great and kicked off the week nicely.
Day 2 (Wednesday): My day got started at 7 am with a strong protein breakfast with my colleague Elgin Akarsoy. We caught a cab to the Las Vegas Convention Center at 8:15 to check out the show floor.
9 AM We met with Adam Tawa from Clearone and discussed their new Spontania. Spontania offers integrated virtual-presence, IM, audio and web conferencing and high-quality multi-point videoconferencing services.
9:30 AM We met with NEC to discuss their 4K LCD Displays and 4K Projectors.
10 AM I headed to my Video Conferencing and Collaboration for Beginners class, led by Rich Kowalske. The course goal was learning the differences between Blue Jeans, Polycom, Vidyo, Acano and Pexip. After class I met with my team for lunch break, then off to the manufacturers forums.
1 PM We met with our Westcon Rep. for a walk through the Polycom booth and I really liked the CX5100 Unified Conference Station for Microsoft Lync with the benefit of fully engaging all participants by providing a 360° panoramic view of the conference room.
3 PM We met with Mark Tucker from Sapphire Marketing to tour the Crestron Electronics booth. Building upon its leadership position in 4K, Crestron debuted a full lineup of Digital Media 4K products.
4 PM Toured the Kramer Electronics booth with Tom Conforti. Kramer Electronics is 4K ready with fast switching, modular digital routing and HDBaseT cards.
5 PM AVAQ Reception where one of IMS’ very own, Installation Manager Ed Easley, received his Certified Quality Technician (system commissioning) certificate. While Ed was concerned about how he did on the difficult exam, the IMS team watched as Ed accepted his passing certification at the awards ceremony. Ed's certification means that IMS has become the very first fully certified AQAV Company in the Philadelphia marketplace. This supports our company vision of standing for quality in the marketplace and for our customers.
7 PM we met with the Brock Roffey and Joyce Watkinson from Haivision for dinner.
Day 3 (Thursday): Another 8 AM Class kicked off this day for me, and this is one that I was really looking forward to AV Connectivity in an Information Technology World by Joe Cornwall, who by the way, is an amazing presenter, award winning author and widely recognized industry trainer. He calls himself the Technology Evangelist! I need to become an expert in USB and learn Miracast.
10:30 AM My next Class was Functional Site Survey and Needs Analysis which gave me a few new ideas, but I feel like I had already been trained better than a number of the other attendees thanks to IMS Sales Director Stu Tierney and our well-developed process and tools. Remote access is something really important to ask about.
Then I spent the afternoon with Eric from Weidner University and took him to lunch and walked with him around to see the different vendors like Polycom, C2G, Mediasite, Haivision, Kramer, Mersive and Panasonic.
Day 4 (Friday): I went to Show floor at 9 am and was escorted to different booths by our Stampede rep. At noon I headed to the airport to catch my flight home. I am grateful for having the opportunity to attend InfoComm.
The 4 days at the show were jam packed with training, networking, strategizing and introductions to new technologies. I came away from the show tired, but better prepared to help my customers navigate the ever changing currents of communications technology.