Joé Lloyd, Communications Senior Director of AVIXA, chatted to us on the outcome of the first completely virtual event organised by Avixa: “I’m proud of what we have done and aware of being able to improve with the aim of combining the physical environment with more content in the next virtual and on demand events.”
It seemed impossible to think of a year without InfoComm. But AVIXA responded to the global emergency by organising its first fully virtual event from 16th to 18th June: Infocomm 2020 Connected. An unprecedented proposal that has nevertheless managed to bring together AV professionals from all over the world in a large virtual exhibition environment, where you can attend conferences on market trends, technological workshops, webinars and new professional opportunities.
And the answer was there, even if with figures incomparable to the ‘in person’ fair. We are talking about 23,408 registered visitors – 41% not of US nationality -, 495 exhibitors and 74 sessions ‘spread’ over 11 consecutive hours, every day from 6am to 10pm, which obtained 59,662 views. Networking also performed well, with 1,117 scheduled meetings between the public and companies and 14,277 messages exchanged in chat. Among participants, there were also the Connessioni’s editorial staff: we joined the most relevant keynotes and talks and we “translated” them into some articles that you will find on the website and in our newsletter.
The voice of AVIXA
We asked Joé Lloyd, AVIXA Communications Senior Director, to tell us how the event went, if there are aspects to be improved and, above all, if this experience will continue in the post-Covid-19 era.
Connessioni – Are you satisfied with the outcome of the event?
Joé Lloyd – We are proud of the way our team organised to bring this event to life in such a short period of time. We are equally happy with the industry’s prompt response to new virtual options. In short, the first try went really well, but we know there is room for improvement. Even if the structure is already working on the next initiatives, we have launched an additional investigation on the main stakeholders of the event and await their feedback to continue guaranteeing proposals in line with their expectations.
C – Can the virtual event replace the live shows? Or better, in what aspects can the virtual never replace the live?
JL – The question is not to replace classic events, but we can think of how to improve them. Although we have successfully managed to join the AV community in this time of restrictions, the real plan is to implement the physical environment with virtual components, thus reaching professionals who cannot attend on site. How can we make their experience as engaging as that of those who physically participate in the fair? These are the objectives to work on and the growth opportunities for us and for the sponsor companies.
C – Why were the seminars recorded?
JL – We chose to pre-record some content to minimise the risk of technical problems and to give our speakers greater flexibility. Each individual speaker was however online and available for the duration of the session, ready to provide answers and interact in real time with the public through the chat function of our platform.
C – Will the on demand content continue to be displayed?
JL – During the week of InfoComm Connected the participants were already returning to the on-demand sessions to cover them. The platform will remain open until the 21st August, and we continue to receive new registrations, and expect the return of participants on content not yet displayed.
C – The “exhibitors” were represented through a page with infos, contacts, new products, etc. Was this way successful for companies and visitors?
JL – The Connected platform was a great way to connect both buyer and seller. We could offer traditional company listings, plenty of digital content for download as well as virtual trade show booths. Our exhibitors were able to share both product and content videos as well utilize the networking feature for more traditional sales meetings. We did receive feedback that browsing virtually allowed visitors a more curated and detailed experience where they were able to spend more uninterrupted time with exhibitors than the traditional exhibit floor would allow.
C – Will this experience follow independently of Covid-19? Will it be repeated?
JL – It was an important learning experience, while we are still evaluating the next steps we are sure that we will look for new ways to integrate on-demand and virtual content, and above all new ways to really allow everyone to participate in the events.
In the meantime, AVIXA has already communicated the dates of Infocomm 2021, scheduled from 12th to 18th June (exhibition from 16th to 18th) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.
This post is also available in: Italian