For the second year in a row, attendees to InfoComm, the trade show for professional and commercial audiovisual communications systems, demonstrated a strong interest in streaming media technology through their participation in the Streaming Media Pavilion.

InfoComm 04 is sponsored by the International Communications Industries Association (ICIA) and was held June 5–11 in Atlanta. The Streaming Media Pavilion was developed by ICIA in partnership with Sound & Video Contractor, Video Systems, and SRO magazines, all published by PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media, Inc. The Pavilion sponsors included such industry-leading companies as Adtec, Sonic Foundry, Interactive Video Technology, VBrick Systems, Video Bank, and Philips.

This year’s Streaming Media Pavilion occupied a 10,000-square-foot area on the InfoComm 04 show floor and was occupied by the booths of more than 20 exhibitors specializing in streaming technologies, applications, and services. The Pavilion also featured a theater area where industry experts presented ten hour-long sessions throughout the course of the show devoted to various streaming topics.

“The foot traffic among the exhibits appeared to be quite strong this year,” said Stephen Porter, organizer of Streaming Media Pavilion Theater and moderator from Sound & Video Contractor, Video Systems, and SRO magazines. “Vendors were pleased with the leads they were getting from the show, and I think that’s indicative of the growing importance of streaming to the presenters, educators, and various AV professionals that attend InfoComm.”

Porter said the free sessions offered at the theater area of the Pavilion also attracted some significant interest, with nearly 200 people attending the various sessions. “Our sessions definitely drew a bigger crowd this year than last year, and according to the attendee surveys people filled out, those who came to the sessions found them to be quite valuable,” Porter said. “People here are clearly feeling the need make greater use of streaming within their organizations, but many of them admit they aren’t particularly knowledgeable about the technology.”

The increased interest in the Streaming Media Pavilion mirrored the growth enjoyed by InfoComm as a whole. InfoComm 04 enjoyed a record turnout, attracting nearly 22,500 attendees, representing a 12% increase over last year’s attendance figures. The show also attracted a record 647 exhibiting companies, a 16% increase over last year.

During one of the more popular sessions offered in the theater area of the Pavilion, Eric Manchester, senior live events producer for America Online, shared some of his thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of Webcasting a live event as well as some advice on how to ensure that a Webcast goes off without a hitch. His session was entitled “Tips and Tricks for Successfully Webcasting a Live Event.”

In another session, entitled “Selecting the Right Webcasting Strategy for Your Company,” Gary White, manager of global networks for Coca-Cola, explained how his company originally brought in streaming to Webcast executive briefings and town hall–type meetings. But, he said, “We quickly realized we needed a larger vision.”

Today, he said, Coca-Cola is using streaming to communicate with business partners and remote regional offices, pull in broadcasts for shareholder meetings, conduct lunch-and-learn educational sessions, and more.

While the expanded use of streaming forced the company to “rethink the paradigm for our network” so that it was more interactive and more integrated with various applications, the implementation of streaming, said White, has improved company communications, enhanced employee productivity, and saved money previously spent on travel.

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