The agency is clean Megan A. Dutta, Director of Emerging Markets at LAVNCH, virtually met Dave labuskes, CEO of AVIXA, to discuss the many recent cancellations of in-person events in the audiovisual industry and expectations for InfoComm 2021. As of September 15, 2021, the NAB Show 2021 and Enterprise Connect have been canceled due to the rise in COVID-19 and of the case delta variant. Because both of those shows were canceled and postponed until 2022, many wondered if the InfoComm 2021 in-person event would follow.
Dave Labuskes said the decision to cancel these events does not and will not impact decisions made around InfoComm 2021. Dave was not included in the NAB cancellation decision making process Show 2021 or Enterprise Connect, but understand why the decision was made.
“I certainly respect their right, their privilege and their responsibility to make the best possible decision for their events, their audience, their market,” said Labuskes. “As we approach Orlando and October, I can tell you with confidence that the show will be completely unlike any InfoComm we’ve ever had.”
While the show must operate differently from previous years, Dave said his hope is to provide a show where commerce and connection still occurs. He said he was 100% convinced the event could bring value to attendees, but said he couldn’t say with 100% certainty that there would be an in-person show. For now, InfoComm 2021, scheduled for October 23-29, will still take place in Orlando as scheduled.
“I’m 99.999% sure we’ll be together in Orlando by the end of October,” said Labuskes.
Labuskes also touched on what to expect from the show in October. InfoComm has many hygiene and safety protocols described on its website for the safety of its attendees and exhibitors. Masks will be required and participants will need to provide proof of vaccination and / or a negative COVID-19 test within the previous five days in order to access the event. Documentation of these requirements will be verified through an app called Health Pass, and information about the app and other conditions will be outlined in emails when registering for the event. He also said the show will provide onsite COVID-19 testing for those who need and / or need testing.
Megan asked Labuskes why testing is only required for unvaccinated participants. He said it was not for him to decide for others whether it was safe to attend the show.
“In my personal and professional opinion, it is very presumptuous of me to even suggest that I have a right to try to convince you of how you should feel about this. It is at the heart of mutual respect as human beings; it’s respecting everyone’s personal decision regarding risk, ”he said. “What we do as a trade show organizer is to look at what pragmatic steps we can take, what practicalities available to us that we can offer in Orlando, Florida that will provide a culture of safety. and a reality of security within the event.
Labuskes said his team looked at risk data for those vaccinated versus unvaccinated when making decisions on entry requirements. He believes there is a point where unreasonable limitations may be imposed that do not benefit the show or its security settings.
When it comes to show events, social distancing will be heavily enforced. AVIXA provides remote seating and will require pre-registration for passes and education classes. Physical indicators will be present to highlight the spacing between participants, and rooms will have a capacity limit on the number of people that can be inside the classrooms at any given time. Labuskes said very few instructors for the education classes canceled and they were able to find alternatives when needed.
“They (the instructors) are some of the most committed volunteers in the industry, they are some of the most passionate about VA and sharing their knowledge and expertise,” said Labuskes. “It really underscores the value of the event itself that they come and they can’t wait to share their knowledge and see you. “