Due to the organization’s belief that diversity, equity, and inclusivity are paramount for any industry to flourish, AVIXA announced that it is putting a great emphasis on its search for diverse speakers to take the stage at InfoComm 2021 and events throughout the year. AVIXA will be accelerating the representation of women, non-binary genders, disabled individuals, Black, Indigenous and people of color across the industry.
“We’re calling on the entire audiovisual industry to help us ensure we have full representation of voices for InfoComm 2021,” Rochelle Richardson, CEM, Senior VP of Expositions and Events, AVIXA, said. “This is one step forward in championing a diverse and inclusive environment for speakers across all AVIXA stages and programs. Diversity will strengthen the value of our shows, our content, and the industry itself.”
InfoComm 2021’s Call for Presenters submission form will ask for speaker demographics for the first time. In addition to the InfoComm 2021 show, this year’s Call for Presenters entries will be reviewed and considered for a variety of additional speaking opportunities on various AVIXA platforms. Speaker selections will be based on the following criteria: concise objectives with actionable takeaways for attendees; a unique take on the latest trends in AV technology that will inform, inspire and educate; and a diverse voice and point of view.
Also, to help grow the show’s group of speakers, InfoComm 2021 is introducing “pass the mic.” The concept is for industry insiders and past presenters to recommend lesser heard voices from every background across the globe to take the stage.
InfoComm 2021’s Call for Presenters is open now through November 2. InfoComm 2021 is also accepting presentation submissions for manufacturers’ training. The deadline to apply is April 15.
AVIXA’s commitment to diversity goes beyond InfoComm 2021. The AVIXA Foundation maintains partnerships with The Loop Lab and EnventU, non-profit organizations that seek to tackle racism and other social inequalities by providing career opportunities in the audiovisual industry.
AVIXA’s Diversity Council, which is currently made up of 278 members from around the world, will begin hosting exchange events in the new year. These forums will provide a safe environment for AV professionals to openly discuss diversity issues and learn from one another.
In addition, AVIXA will release data on the demographic makeup of the AV industry in the first quarter of 2021. This will provide a benchmark of the diversity that currently exists and will help AVIXA set goals and measure progress.
“We know there is a lot of work to do to improve diversity in our industry, and it can’t be achieved overnight,” David Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD, CEO of AVIXA, said. “But I can pledge to you that AVIXA is dedicated to this action and will continue to share our progress along the way.”
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