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Aug 23

Pro A/V Industry Consolidations

I never thought I would see headlines like this. But I’m glad these events came to pass. In fact, I think the consolidation makes perfect sense, perfect business sense, that is.

If cooperation between the two primary organizations in my field of work/study didn’t occur, then one of them was going to experience diminishing returns until it was phased out of existence. The alternative was for the NSCA Expo to morph into a different trade experience completely. Here is the title paragraph from the press release:

NSCA and InfoComm to Consolidate Trade Shows

FAIRFAX, Va. — InfoComm International, the worldwide leader in professional AV exhibitions and NSCA, the leading trade association for the electronics systems contracting industry, have announced a cooperative effort to consolidate the leading industry events for both the professional AV and electronics systems industry. As part of this consolidation, the 2008 NSCA Systems Integration Expo?will now become part of InfoComm?s annual tradeshow in Las Vegas on June 18-20, 2008. NSCA will also transfer its ownership interest in Integrated Systems Europe to the remaining partners, as per a separate operating agreement.

In the past several NSCA Expos that I attended, a common topic in conversation was, “Seems like fewer people are here this year. What do you think?” or “Show seems a little dead this year, do you agree?”

Since I’m a “supporting” manufacturer’s representative, I felt conflicted indicating that I could also see the writing on the wall. The NSCA Expo was in trouble. The majority of folks with whom I discussed this concept were in alignment with this. InfoComm is the way to go. Not one single person (of dozens I spoke to) indicated they were NOT going to InfoComm. Most said such things without ever appearing at the NSCA shows. So I had business associates planning to attend InfoComm Expo without bothering to also come to NSCA.

My primary interest going forward is to watch development of the education and certification programs from both the NSCA University and the InfoComm Academy. In the same sense that dueling expos had the tendency to cause fatigue in the industry (one too many shows to attend) I suspect dueling certification platforms will be the next level of consolidation (one too many certifications to support).

I’m not interested in taking two tests to certify that I know what I’m talking about!!! If you don’t think I know such things, put my advice to the test in the real world. That’s where it really counts, eh?

~SP

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