Temporary Fix or Permanent Change? An AV Perspective on the Evolution of Trade Shows

Source : PCMA 

Author: Michelle Russell

The name AVIXA may not ring a bell with you, but you’re likely familiar with InfoComm, the largest professional audiovisual trade show in North America. InfoComm became the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) in 2017, to reflect a more diverse membership and the creative outcomes that are a result of AV.

Sean Wargo joined the nonprofit organization as senior director of market intelligence just as it was in the process of rebranding. “The idea was we were recognizing — and I think this is relevant to a lot of events in many other parts of the industry — that the center of our industry’s efforts is designing, building, augmenting, enhancing experiences and so we built that into the name with ‘Integrated Experiences,’” Wargo said. “But we also felt that reaffirming our technological roots in audiovisual was important, even though the lines between AV, IT, security, signage — all that’s really blurring.”

AVIXA’s members, Wargo said, include “integrators, live events producers, some IT companies, manufacturers, distributors, the full value chain of what we call the pro AV market, which is really traditional AV with live events and other things thrown in. We also have a lot of members that actually come from the end user community. To us, what that means is, technology managers for higher ed, for corporate, for hospitality, anybody whose job it is to manage the AV assets for their company. Oftentimes they also have an IT title associated with that.”

Convene sat down with Wargo to hear how AVIXA has retooled its own trade shows — international versions of InfoComm, and Integrated Systems trade shows in Europe and Russia — and its organizational model in the wake of the pandemic.

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