Infocomm, much like Switzerland, operates as a neutral entity. It serves as a neutral ground for people with different interests to come together and communicate regardless of their differences. Much like Switzerland, a country that has always been regarded as a neutral ground for people with different ideologies to meet up and resolve issues amicably, Infocomm allows the exchange of ideas. This approach fosters an environment of collaboration and mutual respect, where all parties can engage in meaningful discussions and exchange ideas freely. Money aside, this approach has earned Infocomm a reputation as a leading conference in the industry, attracting vendors and participants from all over the world and making it an ideal space for learning, creating, and reaching collective solutions for its attendees.
WHY I LOVE IT THOUGH.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of being an educator in our industry is getting to meet and interact with other trainers. I have found the experience of discussing training techniques and sharing best practices with my peers to be both fulfilling and helpful in furthering my understanding of the Tech we use. A great example was when I met up with Nick Spencer, the trainer over at Green Hippo, who was doing a demo with a client and as soon as he was done and after we greeted each other, he immediately showed me some of the new capabilities Green Hippo was working on with perspective viewing. It was amazing to see the tech in use and get a BTS look at how it worked from his perspective. The excitement of showing what he’s learned, what’s new, and just Nick being passionate about what he does and allowing me to be a part of that is my favorite part about working with and learning from him.
Being able to connect with other trainers, especially those with different experiences and backgrounds, has opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about how I train my students. I got to sit down with Kevin Ring from Nationwide Video, my competitor, predecessor, and former instructor. What an amazing conversation about the industry in general. What was even more impressive is how we talked about our views on teaching and on our take of the students we teach, and we have a lot of similar thoughts on the subject. To add to the great talk, George Ray our head of LED and one of the world leading experts in LED technology from Evolve Technology also jumped in on the conversation and we went into a deep dive on future LED tech and talks, To my surprise I was able to keep up with the majority of the conversation and then proceeded to investigate the LED products mention to learn more about them myself.
These interactions and exchanges have positively impacted my thoughts to training and will aid me in becoming a better trainer for myself and my students. Not only do I enjoy meeting other trainers, but I also value the opportunity to discuss and share my own training experiences and techniques. Meeting up with Selina Davenport, the head trainer for Pandora Box and Christie and a former co-worker of mine was a blast talking about how training is with Christie verse Evolve, I think we both got some new strategies to deploy and hopefully some fun collaborations to be had in the future.
Talking with Selina reinforced my own knowledge and further engaged me in the opportunities that are around us to grow. Additionally, engaging in dialogues with other trainers allowed me to receive feedback on my own training, When I met up with Michael Bateman from Pixera, I walked right into a demo and to see Batemans style of delivery on the technology side of Pixera was next level. The potential new client was more on the installation and IT side of the industry and Bateman knew exactly what to show him in the root files of Pixera, it’s as close to open-source as one can get without giving away the product. After, we got to talking about training on the surface, and although I’m not the trainer for Pixera or that company, I’m still always blown away on how they continue to add more power and more functionality with the user in mind.
My key take-away from that meeting was to make sure I make the same important adjustments to our classes useability and functionality to better serve YOU, our past, present, and future students. The exchange of ideas between trainers proves invaluable in enhancing the quality of my training.
Another reason why meeting other trainers is my favorite aspect of the job is the sense of camaraderie it fosters. Becoming a part of a community of trainers who share a passion for the audio video world has been a rewarding experience, and it has helped me personally and professionally. A great and personal example of this was when I got to catch up with Carl Houde, the trainer for Analog Way and talk about a new idea for the current Live Premier class; an extremely creative and interesting mock drill to hone new operators skill on VPUs. What made this so much more for me was to have my father Oscar Colom Co-Owner of Media Stage in on the conversation and adding his ideas to the conversation. The support and encouragement from the small community of trainers has been a great source of motivation, and I have made meaningful connections and friendships with people who share my interests and aspirations.
Finally, coming to Infocomm 2023 has been nothing short of encouraging, both professional and personal. It is easy to become complacent in any profession, and interacting with others helps to keep me accountable and on track. Through meetings and talks with other trainers, I have been exposed to new philosophies, methodologies, and styles that have challenged me to become better. Moreover, sharing personal and professional experiences has allowed me to develop a better sense of self-awareness and will encourage introspection that will lead to growth and change within myself as a person and as a professional in my field. I do hope next year I get to meet Vincent Ayala in person and thank him for everything he doesn’t know he taught me. I missed meeting up with Vickie Claiborne who was busy in Vegas teaching a Disguise class with our Evolve Team, but I am lucky to have the privilege of working with an amazing team year-round, like Bob Murdock the Founder of the Academy I now run. I have access to a history of knowledge and the ability to bounce ideas off him every chance I get has been nothing but amazing. Couple that with Eli Loeffel who has taught me so much and helped in my career has been both a challenge and a blast being around these gents when only 5’5’’. The icing on the cake of course was getting to meet with Tim Kuschel and having him sign my copy of his New Book.