ICIA is pleased to report that InfoComm 03, held May 31-June 6, provided attendees an outstanding 2003 tradeshow experience in Orlando, Florida, with a number of new events, educational courses, and exhibitors augmenting the substantial exhibition, conference and networking opportunities available each year.

Overall attendance at the Show came close to matching that of 2002, despite lingering concerns over the economy, the Iraq war, and the SARS virus. Attendance for 2003 was at 19,761, which reflects about 270 fewer exhibitor personnel and about 200 fewer attendees than the 2002 Show.

Despite the slight drop in attendance, exhibitors responding to the post-Show survey overwhelmingly indicated their satisfaction with the serious-buyer profile of attendees and the number and quality of customer leads they experienced at the Show.

“I think this is the biggest show of the year,” said one exhibitor. “It’s a good opportunity for us to bring prototype products and get good feedback.” “If you are not at this show and you are not on the floor,” said another, “Then you are really not in the AV business. That’s the way I look at this. I’ve come to InfoComm for 15 years now.”

The number of exhibiting companies (561) increased over the prior year’s show total (539) by 4.1%, although there was a drop in exhibitor personnel that was attributable to exhibitors watching their costs in a tougher economy.

A key factor relating to the vibrancy of the pro-AV industry was the more than 145 companies exhibiting for the first time at the Show. InfoComm exhibitors span a wide range of companies, including makers of display and projection technology of all capacities and sizes, the complete range of professional sound equipment, networking and control systems, videoconferencing systems, video production and streaming media software and production services, interfacing equipment such as scalers and switchers, cables, racks, and furniture.

Total paid exhibit space at IC 03 was 263,600 net square feet, down just 3.8% from IC 02’s 274,050 n.s.f.; this downsizing again was attributed mainly to a few larger exhibitors cutting costs due to budget considerations.

Overall end user attendance increased significantly by 8.9% in 2003 and reflects ICIA’s continuing strategy of attracting business-oriented end users (almost all of whom are providers of AV technology in their companies or organizations) to the Show, along with InfoComm’s core market of AV systems integrators, dealers, independent representatives, rental and staging companies, and independent consultants. End users involved in purchasing and/or maintaining AV equipment and services increased in the education, government, military, health sciences, and worship sectors by between 126% and 224%.

“We’re moving more into the Business and Industry and the Education vertical markets and we’ve got to be here,” emphasized one exhibitor. “This is the place.”

Attendees indicated a strong commitment to purchasing AV technology over the coming year. Over 8% of attendees reported that they plan to spend over $10 million on equipment. Over 26% said they planned to buy over $5 million, and 44% have budgets of $1 million or more. The large majority of attendees (88%) are directly involved in their companies’ purchasing decision making process. In addition, the average number of leads collected per exhibitor was 264, with some exhibitors getting over 2,000 quality leads. This buying power along with strong attendance again re-affirmed InfoComm’s reputation as the trade show that focuses on creating a marketplace for exhibitors and attendees to conduct business.

“We see InfoComm as a very good opportunity to meet our customers and the best opportunity for us to show our new product developments,” said one integrator attending. “In addition, it is the best opportunity to get new leads, new contacts and develop all of our existing relationships. Relationships are the most important for the business and being able to grow our company.”

Education at InfoComm saw excellent levels of participation, with over 5,000 course registrations processed. Facilities Design for Universities, a 3-day course given as part of InfoComm Academy’s Institute for Professional Development, exceeded all prior records for attendance at 66, while other IPDs also attracted high participation, with a total of 136 individuals participating in an IPD. The most well-attended seminar topics focused on integrating IP into today’s AV systems, videoconferencing, and streaming. Seminars geared toward university technology managers were also strong.

One attendee explained, “As project managers you need to know a little bit about everything. And this is a great opportunity for all of us, first of all to meet together as a group, since we are nationwide, and to take classes, everything from basic classes to manufacturer’s classes. That’s a real unique aspect of InfoComm.”

Several first-time events were extremely well received, with a packed Manufacturers Forum featuring a panel of five industry leaders, a lively opening-night Welcome Reception, a 3-day audio course produced by InfoComm partner Syn-Aud-Con, a series of collaborative conferencing workshops presented by partner IMCCA, a Streaming Media/Video Production Pavilion offered through Primedia, and two new awards programs.

News about the new partnership between ICIA, CEDIA and NSCA to develop the Integrated Systems Europe, Asia and China shows also created considerable attention and support, as did the launch of the AVolution Industry Awareness Campaign and ICIA’s new Market Intelligence program.

InfoComm 2004, the professional audiovisual conference and exhibition presented by the International Communications Industries Association, Inc.® (ICIA®), will be held the week of June 9-11, 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of the 2004 show floor has already been reserved by returning exhibitors, demonstrating strong support and commitment to the Show on the part of manufacturers of audiovisual equipment and systems.

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 come to 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.