Earlier this month, seven BrightTree Studios team members headed to Las Vegas, NV, for North America’s largest pro-AV industry convention: InfoComm 2018, produced by the Audiovisual Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA).

BrightTree’s principal and AV designer David Vargo finds the event both invigorating and delightful, as he and the team got to “step back and appreciate what BrightTree does and learn from people who are doing it differently.”

As expected, this was not so much a groundbreaking year for #AVtweeps in attendance, but rather a time for industry leaders and manufacturers to share their best products and ideas with almost 43,000 attendees from well over 100 countries.

No need for life-altering technologies right now, though. This year, AVIXA focused on two of the AV/integration industry’s foremost challenges:

  1. the recent shift in emphasis from product to experience
  2. the reassertion of system integration’s main objective: the mastery of all elements of AV and integration

As the industry gets comfortable with its new self, InfoComm’s timely focus on these priorities kept BrightTree at both the learning and contributing ends of progressive conversations throughout the week.

But of course, these problems are no news to us; foolproofing the integration experience can be a tricky task. Firms may easily understand new technologies, but the BrightTree team understands how things go together, and not every consultant or integrator has this level of core competency. No doubt, BrightTree Studios remains on the right track in the midst of the changing tides in AV/integration.

Without groundbreaking technology advancements like 4K, digital media, and video over IP, InfoComm admittedly lacked those things that have made it such an innovative event in the past. At the trade show, we saw plenty of what we’d anticipated: virtual reality, artificial intelligence, stunning displays, custom mounting solutions, and similar integration work.

Our president, Bill McIntosh, comments, “VR has a long way to go before it’s accessible enough to use for easy productivity. Shouting commands at Alexa is not the solution. The next step in our industry is going to come from the IoT world or some type of custom software – something that’ll be able to automate, augment, and optimize technology systems. I don’t want to have to push any buttons. Through IoT, automation can be done that will take us a step further.”

Perhaps this bump in the AV/integration road is what yielded an InfoComm of copying, rather than integrating this year.

“The technology is there, it just has to be transported and integrated,” said BrightTree Studios CEO, Greg Carpenter.

McIntosh continues, “and the problem is a combination of a lot of things: hardware and software – it encompasses a number of disciplines that we say are coming together, but manufacturers have yet to really take on that collaboration.”


What makes trips like these so worthwhile is the prospect of how we can use what we’ve learned to keep our clients satisfied. And, as any good design firm knows, the meaning of “satisfied” is always changing.

Our team stayed attentive to the industry’s latest pedagogies – to what’s been transformational in medicine, business, academia, and everywhere else – to continually impress our clients and keep them on the cutting edge. BrightTree engages, evolves, collaborates, and challenges the status quo to enhance innovation in the places we live, work, learn, and play.

As innovation continues to emerge from universities and other progressive fields, we look forward to seeing it harnessed and repurposed for new environments. But for now, we’ll keep using our experiences at InfoComm to inform our working and learning, as we do our best to provide our clients with the industry’s best applications for the newest technologies. After all, what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there.