Technology Managers Invade InfoComm
There was quite an invasion of technology managers at InfoComm this year. I was constantly running into others responsible for the “care and feeding” of the AV at their respective venues — the vast majority of us from higher education. (That’s largely why you’re seeing this in September — summer is a busy time for us in the education world.)
In fact, our numbers were up 8 percent from last year’s show. One of the biggest gatherings of technology managers was on Super Tuesday at — not surprisingly — the Technology Managers Symposium. It was different this year in that a group of us from the Technology Managers Council worked with the folks in Fairfax to plan it and set the lineup. As a result, a number of us from the council were also symposium presenters.
We ended up with a lineup everyone seemed to be happy with. Attendance was excellent. The reviews were very complimentary. If you are a technology manager, keep the symposium in mind for next year. And if you have a topic that may be of interest to technology managers, get in contact with us.
Our annual in-person council meeting was subject to a significant and very welcome change. It was Wednesday afternoon (not its traditional ungodly Friday morning timeslot — and that’s coming from an avowed morning person). The meeting was still down in the 100’s — the rooms down below the show floor that we affectionately call the catacombs — but we left a trail of tweakers just to be sure we could find our way back. I’m afraid no one took an official count, but we had the largest council meeting in recent memory, with more than 50 in attendance, including lots of new people. It was great to see so many people at a council meeting.
We had a number of visitors at the council meeting, which was a welcome diversion. Tony Warner, InfoComm’s President, stopped by to meet the council and leave us with a few words of encouragement. Joe Bocchiaro from Standards was there and added a lot to the discussion, updating us on current standards work, and also potential future standards that might involve technology managers. And Tom Knauss was there to talk about the Independent Technical Service Providers Council.
The meeting went an amazing hour and forty minutes. But if anyone left early, I didn’t notice.
The new date and time certainly helped give us such a great turnout, although I expect the event immediately following the council meeting – the Technology Mangers Reception – didn’t hurt attendance either. The reception was a big success. Starin and FSR stepped up as sponsors to help pay for the event. We had more than a hundred people, packing the room. We killed off the food and drink, and even took in a bunch of new applications to join the council. My hope is that we’ll do the same thing again next year.
I was an InfoComm presenter for the first time this year, so I got a little more behind-the-scenes than the average attendee. One place I’d heard of, but never visited, was the Speakers Lounge. A refuge for presenters at the show, it exists to provide water, snacks, a comfy chair, Internet access, a comfy chair, printing services, and a comfy chair. Did I mention the comfy chair? I’m not sure who put the “no comy chairs allowed” clause in the show rules, but after hours of walking the floor, easing down into a big padded chair with a cold bottle of water is nearly a spiritual experience. Kind of makes you want to consider presenting doesn’t it?
But wait, there’s more. Occasionally stashes of other comestible decadence would randomly appear, like small freezers full of ice cream bars. Heck, if I had known free ice cream was involved I would have become a presenter a lot sooner. Oh yeah, and the Speakers Lounge was also a great place for networking.
Well, that’s one technology manager’s perspective of the show. I’ll have a post on the products at the show I felt were noteworthy shortly. And if you yourself are a technology manager get over to the InfoComm TM Community page, sign up, and keep an eye out for our next council meeting.