Fairfax, Va.-– The International Communications Industries Association, Inc. (ICIA) today announced the commitment of funds for a three-year, $1.2 million industry awareness campaign designed to promote the contributions of audiovisual (AV) solutions providers to successful, professional communications and presentations. ICIA will conduct the campaign through its Educational Communications Foundation (ECF), a non-profit charitable and educational organization chartered to support the AV communications industry, and is actively engaging participation by ICIA members and others in this industry.

The campaign, branded "AVolution," will showcase the AV industry as "evolved" and integral to the success of any sophisticated communications project. In this way, the campaign ties into ICIA’s InfoComm 2003 conference theme, "Evolving the Art of Communication." The awareness campaign will launch at InfoComm, May 31 – June 6, 2003, at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.

"The AV communications industry is a world-wide, multi-billion dollar market because there are so many applications of its technology in so many vertical markets," said Harald Thiel, president, Canadian division, AVW-TELAV Audio Visual Solutions, and president of ICIA. "This campaign will inform those vertical markets about the products, services and value of the AV industry as well as direct them to the communications solutions they need to be successful."

"ICIA is active in 60 countries, and everywhere we go we see new and exciting applications of AV. Although the AV industry is ubiquitous, it’s often misunderstood and taken for granted," added Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D., ICIA's executive director. "Through this campaign we want to open the customers’ eyes and ears to the importance and necessity of AV technology to modern communications and to recognize the professionals who design and integrate permanent installations as well as event systems that support meetings and conferences."

"Through this campaign, not only can we instill pride in what we do, we can educate the public about the AV solutions available to enhance their ability to communicate and to see a return on their investments in technology," commented Christopher T. Miller, president of the ECF. "AV products and services are based on mainstream technologies that are incorporated into enterprise communications systems."

Miller also chairs an advisory committee that is guiding the awareness campaign. Other members of the committee are: Ron Colgan, vice president, LCD Products Group, Sharp Electronics Corporation, Mahwah, N.J.; Scott Walker, CTS-D, principal, Waveguide Consulting, Inc., Decatur, Ga.; J.P. Brozyna, CTS, national accounts manager, AVHQ Show Solutions–West, Rancho Dominguez, Calif.; and Kevin Thompson, president, The Whitlock Group Broadcast & Presentation Solutions, Virginia Beach, Va.

These representatives of ICIA and ECF will reach out to their peers in the industry and pursue a number of strategies to highlight the creative uses of AV technology in more than 15 vertical markets, including business, meetings and events, government, education, sales and marketing, worship and healthcare. ICIA members will provide the testimonials and case studies that will support advertising and public relations collateral materials.

"Since we represent the entire distribution chain for the pro-AV industry, we’re in a unique position to take a leadership role in creating an understanding of the industry in the minds of potential customers and technology users to help our members achieve even greater successes," said Lemke. "We’ll focus on engaging the attention of professional service partners who are so important to our industry, including presentation professionals, architects, contractors and facility managers."

The International Communications Industries Association, Inc. (ICIA) is the premier trade association for the professional audiovisual communications industry. ICIA is the founder of InfoComm, the conference and trade exposition for audiovisual communications professionals who learn about the latest technologies and available services as well as new and alternative applications. ICIA serves its worldwide membership as the pre-eminent provider of education, training and certification.