Last week, I was honored to be invited to Chantilly, Virgina, for a leadership training event by InfoComm, the global trade association for the audiovisual industry. I serve as chair of the Women of InfoComm Network Council, so I am one of the many InfoComm volunteers who support education, standards, career development, and other initiatives.

We gathered in a small theatre for the opening presentation. We quickly realized this was no ordinary training event. Dave Labuskes, InfoComm’s CEO, started by sharing campfire stories. A few minutes later, he was unveiling an all-new identity for the organization.

And with that, InfoComm became AVIXA—the Audiovisual Integrated Experience Association—with a new logo and a new website, and took a giant step forward in its strategic plan.

A lot of my friends have written their stories about this event. Do I have more to add? I think I do. You see, I’ve been walking through the rebranding process with Draper for two years. We did not choose to change our name, but we have made the same kinds of changes as AVIXA has and for many of the same reasons.

When and why do you need to rebrand a company, or an association? You do it when you look at your brand, and look in the mirror, and see a big difference. That happened to us at Draper, and it happened at AVIXA.

At Draper, we set aside our red logo and “Since 1902” to step into the future on June 14, 2017—Day 1 of InfoComm 2017. Our tagline, “Focused on Innovative Solutions,” underlines not only the technology and commitment we bring to our customers, but also our flexibility in addressing their new and unique needs. We’re building experiences. (Watch this space for more stories about specific solutions and experiences.)

Our work with partners through AVIXA and the AV industry is all about experience. In the AV industry, “convergence” has been a buzzword for years. Convergence refers to the connection between AV and IT. Convergence is important, because IT often manages the infrastructure that is essential for AV to succeed. But the difference between AV and IT is in the experience. The integrated experience comes from effective design, and it has been a key focus at AVIXA for years. It’s time for this experience to be part of the name, as well as the identity.

The other parts of the AVIXA name are equally important. Audiovisual defines our industry, and association defines AVIXA’s role in the industry. So all the keys are now right in the name. But I won’t see you at AVIXA next June. The successful InfoComm trade shows will keep their brand, and now the association will be clearly differentiated from the events it owns.

What happened after that announcement? The 100 or so volunteers in attendance put in a couple of days working on plans for the future of AVIXA. We had a good time, and I believe a lot of great ideas came out of those meetings. And we spent time with a lot of great people in the industry—some we were meeting for the first time, others we got to know better. Several of us were asked by Systems Contractor News to share our thoughts, and they compiled a short video here.

My council, the Women of InfoComm Network (WIN) Council, will need a new name, too. We will choose that name at our next face-to-face meeting, which will happen at InfoComm 2018 in Las Vegas. If you’re part of the council, please send me your thoughts about our name.

At Draper, we are honored to step into the future with our brand update in step with AVIXA. And I’m excited to be leading the WIN Council at this pivotal time in the association’s history!

Find out more about the journey forward with AVIXA at avixa.org.

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