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Cynthia Wisehart on the Return to InfoComm

Until Covid hit, I’d been going to Las Vegas for a continuous 30 years for the NAB Show and alternate years for InfoComm. That ambivalent annual streak ended with NAB 2019. I was still the mom of a high schooler then. I had short brown hair and a trend-appropriate tradeshow wardrobe. Now the high schooler is two years into college and doing youth hostels somewhere in Spain (maybe just left Sevilla?). My hair is long and highlighted with gray, and I have the same clothes I had in 2019, perfectly preserved in their fashion time capsule for redeployment. Only the masks are new. Oh and I live in Santa Barbara now after moving from our 20-year-home in LA the day before InfoComm started.

So back to normal was all different. And weirdly much, much easier. Is it because I’m rested from two years of no travel? Is it because I’m no longer doing the innovation of making family life and job work around Covid? Is it because the intrepid teenager is finding her way in the world after the nightmare that was Class of 2020?

I don’t really know. Maybe it was the novelty. Partly it was because InfoComm 2022 was not as crowded. Las Vegas was not as crowded. Partly it was because people were so gracious and appreciative. I could palpably feel the sense of perspective from those I’ve known a long time. Mixed in were new people, some who I imagine had to finish college in Covid. So the sense of resilience was palpable too. One particular shout out on that front goes to the folks at Planar who self-integrated an impressive virtual production set and learned how hard it is to integrate. It reminded me of everything people have been learning to do because we did not give up.

I also caught myself gasping like a newbie when I went up the escalator that overlooks the new display in the West Hall. I’ve seen a lot of displays and a lot of gasp-worthy sights actually. So what does it mean that I’m dazzled by a giant LED display? I haven’t been getting out much. That is true. But I just didn’t remember the content being so fluent and beautiful. I had the same reaction at the Roe booth. Have our content creators been using their cooped-up time to invent and master? That’s a real question that I don’t know the answer to, but I’m interested in finding out more.

Overall I was struck by the results of two years of unexpected creativity that filled the halls. There were costs to these past twoplus years. With respect to those losses, there also seems to have been a great amount of creativity, both professional and personal. Nearly everyone I encountered at the show had done new work because there was time, or necessity, or supply chain problems or just plain risk-taking. Personally and professionally, I also gasp at the perseverance and life force people brought to InfoComm by way of Covid, more impressive even than those big screens and soaring images. Thanks for that. And for all the kid pics.

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