Cynthia Wisehart on AVIXA InfoComm

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As we go to press, the first AVIXA InfoComm looms over my calendar like a Royal Wedding with what feels like just as many moving parts.

I have my shoes picked out (Camper wedges alternating with Ecco Biom Fjuel racers if you must know), which judging from my Twitter feed puts me slightly ahead of some other people of both genders. I’m trying to remember to wear my Experience hat (to match my shoes). That means a few different things to me. First of all—to enjoy the experience of the gathering itself. This is easy to forget in the crush leading up to the show, but it’s important for me to let go once I’m there and to really see and connect. To be open to what I don’t know and what I don’t expect.

Experience at InfoComm also means a subtle shift in how I consider the technology I will see. All my life I have been surrounded by engineers—from my dad, to my sisters, to my husband, my brothers-in-laws, and now my nephew and possibly my daughter, and most of my friends. I have always related to the people building the technology, I love factory tools, I love the puzzling and problem solving and I respect the effort and the creativity.

That still holds. But this InfoComm I’m going to remember to stand on the other side of the table. Not because I’m looking for gotchas but just to put myself in the position of all the people who will experience these products, those who will have to specify them, install them, use, monitor and maintain, sell them up to the C suite, and teach them to the masses.

This idea has sharpened in my mind for a few reasons. One was a webcast with Zach Snook at Biamp that we did yesterday on beam-tracking and room calculators. Normally I would be dazzled to distraction by the technology. (And the mic calculator was pretty irresistible). But this time I heard something else—which was how earnestly Zach wants people to understand how to use stuff, and how he wants to almost beam his confidence into others. There’s an empathy and generosity there that so many people in our industry have, a comfort level with difficulty and problem-solving that is… let me say it…more AV than IT. Maybe we have been in the trenches long enough to know who we are.

I think that was part of what AVIXA was reaching for with the rebrand, to try to name that thing that we have, which is an ability to connect to experience and to understand that the systems exist to deliver those moments of sound, image, and experience that we have all felt and want to give to others. Good show everyone.

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