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A Review of InfoComm Southeast Asia
InfoComm Southeast Asia, in Bangkok, Thailand celebrated a triumphant debut launch last month, securing its status as the go-to annual event for the Asian pro AV community. Exhibitors and attendees concurred that the show had earned its stripes. Many of those that took a wait-and-see approach this year indicated they will definitely attend or participate next year.
The three-day show had 7,743 visitors and 152 exhibitors, making it roughly a fifth the size of the main InfoComm show in the USA. Informal discussions with exhibitors and attendees found that it was the mix of attendees as much as the numbers that made the show a success in their minds. There was a good mix of visitors from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, helping make the show an effective means of reaching the Southeast Asian market rather than just the Thai market. Exact numbers were not yet available at the time of writing, but informal discussions indicated the number of non-Thai visitors at more than a third of the attendees.
The quality and diversity of booths also added to the quality of the show. Leading global brands like Samsung, Epson, Panasonic, Bose, Philips, Kramer, Crestron, Extron, Shure, Intel, Audio-Technica and Adam Hall were there with large, impressive booths. What especially helped the show, though, was that the booths of Thai distributors, such as Vichai Group, Sonos Libra, and One Systems Global, were staffed by key regional and headquarters staff of the brands they represent. As a result, brands like Adamson, Allen & Heath, Biamp, Music Tribe, QSC, Powersoft and SVSi had good exposure at the event even though they did not have their own booths.
The show as a regional, Southeast Asia event, rather than simply a local Thai event, was further enhanced by the Singapore pavilion organized by the Pro Audiovisual & Lighting Integration Association of Singapore (AVLIAS). The pavilion featured pro AV suppliers, such as Abtus, Datavideo Technologies, Remaco Technologies, and XLT Systems, as well as key integrators, such as Electronics & Engineering, Ideal Systems, and Total Solution Marketing.
Pro AV brands from mainland China and Taiwan had a strong presence at the show, accounting for 35% of the listed companies exhibiting there, with Aoto, Beijing Tricolor, Digibird, Dicolor, Lightlink, RGBLink, Rocketsign and Taiden having larger booths - all but Taiden pushing displays. The strong presence of Chinese brands at the show was to be expected given the proximity of China and the attraction of entry-level Chinese products in Southeast Asia's price sensitive market.
As with other InfoComm shows, it was the visual element of audio-visual that captured attention at the show. Most of the larger booths featured displays or projectors, with eye-catching visuals and effects. On the pro-audio side, Bose offered an impressive booth showing speakers, while there was a strong focus on conferencing and microphones at many booths, especially Shure, Audio-Technica and Taiden.
While this was the first InfoComm Southeast Asia, it was not the first InfoComm show held in Southeast Asia. Twenty years ago, InfoComm held an InfoComm Asia show in Singapore. The event then moved to Hong Kong, then to China and became InfoComm China. For many years the intention was for InfoComm China to be a regional show for the Asian market, but the focus of the show was clearly on China. With InfoComm SEA, AVIXA has provided the Southeast Asia region with an event that meets its unique needs.
InfoComm SEA fills a need for a Southeast Asian regional event where the pro-AV community can gather, network, learn and share. Exhibitors and attendees alike were impressed with the show and its turnout, but it was the opportunity to network and connect that had some most excited.
As with all InfoComm shows, there were also seminars and forums where customers could learn. There were technology forums on topics such as digital signage and audio. There were industry forums for architects, educators, enterprise IT, financial institutions, government, healthcare, hospitality, live events, IT channels, large venues and transportation. Southeast Asian customers and channels agree there is a desperate need for AV education and training in the region, with these seminars and forums helping to address that need. One complaint was that there were so many interesting sessions happening at the same time that people had to make difficult choices on which sessions to attend and which to miss.
Pro AV brands often use shows like InfoComm and ISE to announce new products. Being a smaller, regional show there were no global product announcements at InfoComm SEA, but vendors did use the show to introduce products to the Southeast Asia market or showcase products. For example, Kramer launched its Kronos enterprise-ready room booking and scheduling solution and its AFM-20DSP to the regional market. Philips introduced their SMD LED models and Q series. Audio-Technica introduced their ES954 hanging microphone array. Panasonic showcased their FacePRO Facial Recognition Technology. For global brands, the important point is not the announcements coming from the show but rather the opportunity to use the show to amplify and jump start product announcements in Southeast Asia.
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