If you're a regular visitor to ProjectorCentral you may have seen our announcement about Projection Expo 2020, a virtual trade show scheduled to begin on June 15th. I thought I'd take a few moments to explain what we're doing, why we're doing it, and how we hope to benefit our readers and the projector industry at large.
To be clear, the genesis for Projection Expo was the forced cancellation of InfoComm, the annual commercial audio/video trade show that normally takes place every June. At the moment that AVIXA, which runs InfoComm, announced that COVID had shut them down, we at ProjectorCentral recognized the impact for us. We count on InfoComm as the primary U.S. venue for new projector and screen introductions, and the vast information we gather in a few days at the show helps inform our editorial and advertising/business plans into the following year. It took but a moment to realize we weren't alone, and that the industry would be well served by a virtual projection trade show this year. AVIXA had not yet announced plans for InfoComm Connected, their own multi-product online show. And who better to host a projection-focused event than ProjectorCentral, the longest-running dedicated projection industry website with 21 years of uninterrupted service?
After putting out feelers with some trusted manufacturers and projector resellers and receiving a universally positive response, we began conceiving what such a show would look like graphically. (Special recognition here to our in-house designer, Jessica Fields, for her exemplary creative work.) We envisioned a booth map that looks just like those distributed at every trade show, except ours is interactive and allows attendees to bounce at will among booths just by clicking on the exhibitor icons.
The booths themselves are constructed as vertical scrolls in which exhibitors have free reign to feature text, product images and videos to highlight and promote their product introductions as they might at a live expo. Many of the booths will feature a Booth Highlights section at the top that will quickly inform visitors of the new and most important product entries and allow quick access. To further assist navigation, all booths will feature our usual indexed Table of Contents links that appears on the left side of our editorial features.
Two more important booth features are worth calling out. First, we are givng attendees an opportunity to request further information from the exhibitors by registering their email address to create a virtual show badge. If you've signed up for a badge, you can click a button inside the booth to have it "scanned" as you might at any trade show booth and receive a follow-up. However, a badge or any other registration is not mandatory to enter the show—there will be no registration wall to restrict attendance. Those who do request a badge will have the option to use this info feature, and will also receive our email updates prior to the event. You can register here, just scroll down to the form.
Also featured in the booths will be brief write-ups about those products being honored with our Projection Expo 2020 Best of Show Awards. Just as we would normally do at InfoComm, we have asked participating manufacturers to identify their most innovative new products so our editorial staff can cull through and recognize those that best represent emerging trends, breakthrough performance, or high value. You'll encounter these write-ups as you "wander around" the show and visit various booths.
So, what can you expect to gain as a visitor/attendee of Projection Expo 2020? For one thing, the show will provide a powerfully concise and time-efficient mechanism for reviewing and collecting critical new product information important to projection industry integrators and buyers. At this writing, more than 20 exhibitors have signed up to participate including many of the best known projector and screen brands. Home theater enthusiasts, another important constituency at ProjectorCentral, won't be left out, as the new product announcements will cross both commercial and consumer projector lines. And among the exhibitors are a number of the most trusted online projector resellers, who are expected to offer show specials on popular models.
We further hope that our consumer enthusiast audience, who are normally shut out of industry-only trade events, will be engaged by the breadth of products shown and the direction they point for the future of projection. For example, we expect this year's new crop of commercial products to build on recent trends toward immersive projection experiences we're about to see cropping up more frequently in retail and other public environments—the kinds of things that can't be done with big flatpanels or LED wall tiles. On the consumer side, we'll see new portable lifestyle projectors as well as a focus on the emerging 4K Ultra-Short-Throw category. And the ever-dropping cost of laser and LED light engines will continue to drive cheaper—and brighter— solid-state projectors.
Finally, when the Expo officially ends after a month—yes, a month— it will do something no live trade show can ever achieve. Rather than being torn down to make room for the next show, Projection Expo 2020 will remain resident in perpetuity on ProjectorCentral.com, functioning as an ongoing resource in the coming months as the new models begin shipping, and providing an important historical reference for years to come. So if you miss it, it'll still be here. But you'll be best served by marking your calendar to come back for the show open on June 15th. We'll look forward to seeing you then.