Yesterday evening, David Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD, CEO of AVIXA, chatted with Dan Ferrisi, Editor of Sound & Communications, about InfoComm 2021 and whether it will move forward. The dialogue followed the surprising announcement that NAB 2021, which had been scheduled for next month, had been cancelled. NAB’s cancellation followed a mass exodus of exhibitors, concerned about the continuing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. In the interview, Labuskes makes clear that AVIXA has no intention of cancelling InfoComm 2021. Moreover, AVIXA won’t take its cues from any other trade association.
Exhibitors Remain Invested
According to Labuskes, although a significant number of exhibitors have cancelled their booth space, a much larger number remain invested. More specifically, Labuskes disclosed that 120 exhibitors have cancelled over a year and a half. However, he emphasized that about 400 exhibitors remain onboard with the show, and he said those companies continue to voice their support. Labuskes added that the online show floor plan is updated regularly, and he confirmed that it’s reflective of reality.
When Ferrisi pressed him on whether there was a threshold of sustainability—for example, if 50 percent of exhibitors were to withdraw—Labuskes said the key is to manage and be clear about expectations. He readily acknowledged that InfoComm 2021 will not be as large as the 2019 show in Orlando FL. But, he said, if people come to show with their expectations in line, they will have the opportunity to network, see new products and benefit from education sessions. And, in general, participants will move a step closer to a return to normalcy. We can’t cancel our way out of this, Labuskes said.
No Specific Projections
Labuskes declined to offer any specific projections about expected numbers of attendees, but he did emphasize that health-and-safety protocols are continuing to be reviewed. And for those wondering about a mandate to be vaccinated (as opposed to the current plan that requires either vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test), Labuskes emphasized that AVIXA’s hands are tied. “It is against the law to require that in Florida,” he explained.
Watch the entire 25-plus-minute interview to learn much more about AVIXA’s current posture.
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