Talking to exhibitors at the show, there is a lot of optimism concerning the industry in 2010. Would you agree?
Absolutely. What we’re seeing at the show is remarkable. 2009 was the biggest show ever and we’ve topped that this year. If you look at what happened to the economy in 2009, we’d have thought that we’d have done well to match that once upon a time, but we’ve not only matched it we’ve surpassed it. Even the countries that were most hit didn’t lose ground. Growth may have slowed down slightly, but they didn’t move backwards.
What factors do you think account for this robustness?
AV is becoming pervasive everywhere. It used to have a well-defined niche, but has now expanded into retail, transportation and beyond. It’s expanding in its traditional markets and exploring new markets as well, such as conference, which is a rapidly growing and important area.
You released The 2010 InfoComm Global AV Market Definition and Strategy Study, at ISE. How important do you think it will be?
Very. We had lots of anecdotal information before, but we didn’t have the metrics, and even then there have been some surprises – we didn’t know that displays had supplanted projectors to such a degree, for instance, or that karaoke was such an important factor in the North Asian market. And data is vital to the industry too. We knew that we had a big industry, but now manufacturers looking to globalise their business can go to a bank and show them the numbers.
What feedback have you had about the show so far?
It’s been very positive from the exhibitors. The density of people has increased and the quality of the visitors is very high. It isn’t just the channel attending, there are many high-profile buyers here as well.
What are InfoComm’s ambitions for 2010?
We’re looking to understand more about where the industry is going. Technology and the change from analogue to digital is driving the business into new areas. Getting a handle on that, and also how that affects our allied industries, is going to be very important this year. We also want to ensure that we maintain the quality of our offering through our education and training programmes.
Lastly, can you peer into your crystal ball and tell us what the news from ISE 2011 will be?
It will be bigger and better with even more attendees than this year. The industry is growing and expanding and finding new markets for its products all the time. This is not a technology show. This is an applications show that’s all about communication and the market for that communication.