The change of the name of this industry’s premier organization from InfoComm International to the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) should not come as a surprise, if you’ve been following all the market changes. The market itself is changing, so it’s not much of a mystery why InfoComm would change with the times. At the InfoComm 2017 trade show in June, the new Immersive Technologies Pavilion pointed to new directions and heavy trends including augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality. According to InfoComm, “those these technologies are traditionally associated with entertainment and gaming, there’s growing demand for commercial applications in education, government, manufacturing, and more.”
VR and AR are sexy, but the industry changes are much deeper. Data-driven software tools add analytics to traditional tools such as screens or cameras. Data is the new currency of technology, and if you follow users, shoppers, employees, students– all participants– with data analytic tools that are primed with tech/screen/experimental tools will you be able to translate the data gathered into actionable data for the enterprise. Data is the currency of AI and machine learning– and both are tied into AV, VR and other new-gen experiential systems including AV.
According to AVIXA, their new mission is based on the fact that “AV experiences have become so ubiquitous, and they’ve come to include so many more technologies, and touch so many more personal and professional lives, that we felt compelled to embrace a new identity that more accurately reflects this industry’s excitement and welcomes a far more diverse community of professionals.”
It will be interesting to see how the live events/rental & staging community fits into the new AVIXA. Historically– despite excellent efforts and indeed good live event education, exhibit, and other activities at the InfoComm show– there was no getting around the fact that InfoComm was dominated by installed AV folks. That’s only natural given that installed AV makes up the lion’s share of the market. But I believe that the market/technology changes we’re all seeing, with, as InfoComm said, AV experiences becoming so ubiquitous, the market is now coming in the direction of what the rental staging community has been doing for years i.e. not just installing “AV” systems and walking away to let the end user deal with content, and the best use of those systems, but really pushing the technology to the limits, maxing out the technology to create memorable and engaging experiences. “Experiential” and “immersive” are the buzzwords of the day in the digital signage and even installed AV world. If you’re reading this and you’re in the live events business, you have been doing experiential and immersive for years. So on behalf of us all– I say a warm welcome to AVIXA as they come around to our side of the stage.