If you're a regular visitor to ProjectorCentral you may have seen our announcement about Projection Expo 2021, a virtual trade show scheduled to run June 15-17. This is our 2nd annual Expo, and I'd like take a few moments to explain what we're doing and how we hope to benefit our attendees and the projector industry.
Some readers may recall that last year's Expo was conceived following the COVID-forced cancellation of InfoComm, the annual spring product showcase that has long been the most important U.S. venue for collecting critical new product information for the coming year. At the moment we announced the 2020 Projection Expo, neither InfoComm nor any other entity had announced a virtual show. So we thought, who better than us?—the longest-running website solely dedicated to projection, 21 years (at the time) and going strong. All the manufacturers we spoke with were still committed to moving ahead with their spring introductions and showed interest, so we stepped in and created our own platform from scratch.
I'm proud to brag that the end result remains the most visually compelling and informative virtual show platform we've seen to date, even after an entire year of monitoring other virtual trade shows that followed. Last year's Projection Expo 2020 exhibit space presented highly scrollable booth pages where attendees could scan for new products, read about existing models, watch supporting videos or download PDF spec sheets and white papers, and "scan" a virtual badge as they might at a real trade show to request follow-up info. Attendees cruised the show by clicking on a virtual trade show map, which made bouncing around our virtual convention hall fun and engaging. You can always find the link to our 2020 Expo in the site map at the bottom of our homepage, where it stands in perpetuity as a historical snapshot of the projection industry in June 2020, a year to remember for all of us.
One year later, it is with some relief that we are welcoming a return to near-normalcy, or the "new normalcy" if you prefer. But it hasn't come soon enough for InfoComm, which was postponed until October. We'll be as happy as anyone to return to a real trade show environment this fall, but the need for a springtime show remains and we are proud to provide that platform for vendors and the industry at large looking to see what's new, what's brand new, and what's on the way.
Although the concept and basic platform for Expo 2021 remains similar, we listened to the feedback from last year's event and made a few changes. First, attendees told us they wanted easier access to new product information, so I have personally conducted Zoom video interviews with all our exhibitors to highlight their newest or most important projectors. These will be found at the top of each manufacturer's booth. Although I can't disclose what's being promoted for the show, I can say that the presence of some emerging high-tech projector makers you might not have heard of will add another dimension to this year's show.
In response to a request for more and timely content to fill out the Expo, we are also conducting two pre-taped Zoom panel discussions with projector manufacturers to explore the current health of the projector industry and how the pandemic affected sales and shifted interest into unexpected product categories. We'll dive into current and future technology trends as well. One of these talks will focus on the commercial sector, the other on the consumer/home theater sector. Those will be available for viewing by attendees on the first and second days of the Expo.
Beyond these adds, we are carrying over our Best of Show Awards program, which will single out specific projectors or other products that stand out for their exceptional innovation or value. And, as before, you'll be able to scan your virtual badge to request more info from any exhibitor about their products.
This year's Expo, including the virtual booths, the expert panel discussions, and the Best of Show write-ups, will only be accessible to registered attendees. Fortunately, show badges are free to all comers, and you need only provide an email address. The registration form can be found on our Expo 2021 web page, and takes about a minute to fill out. We'll send your virtual badge and link to enter the show on the morning of June 15th when the show opens. So take that minute and register now, and we'll look forward to seeing you at Projection Expo 2021!