Veni, Vidi, Vegas...
InfoComm 2016, the biggest AV show in North America, has come and gone. Of course, wePresent was in attendance, bringing the best in interactive wireless presentation to an incredibly receptive crowd. It wasn't just our US office either: wePresent representatives from Europe, South Africa, and Asia also joined the fray, helping us spread the word about wireless presentation and the future of BYOD. We showed everything we have on the market currently, and previewed some of the tricks up our sleeves for the eager awaiting masses, and the whole time, never forgot to have a bucketload of fun.
UBTech was technically Day 0, and also a huge success, but the first day of InfoComm started early for the world's leader in wireless presentation technology. After a quick breakfast, we all headed to the Las Vegas Convention Center, sixteen of us packed into two large SUV's, a caravan of two ready to show up and wow the industry. The booth, a new addition to our InfoComm arsenal, wowed us before we even started the show.
Eight large displays, mostly touch-screens, allowed our representatives to showcase not only the HD resolution our product is capable of, but the integrartion with USB over IP. A small network was erected in order to showcase the hardwiring and one-to-many functions. Our sales reps practiced with the hour they had before the show...
...and then the opening chimes came.
The first day of InfoComm was easily the busiest. Our booth was, for lack of a better word, overrun with people looking to learn more about wireless presentation. Any trepidations that may have existed among us were dashed in the first hour. Our sales force overrun, Heidi Mercer, our head of education and government development, braved the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds to give a breakout speech about wePresent and the BYOD environment.
Attendance was great, and our chief engineers were on-hand to answer any questions about the present and future of the wePresent wireless environment. As the "talking cube" was tossed around the room (without hitting even one person in the head the entire time!), Heidi fielded questions from the basic ("How does wePresent output to a display device?") to the highly technical ("What kind of security does wePresent offer for those who might require high-level encryption?"). Questions came from all kinds of industries, and many of the faces we saw at the breakout were later in attendance at the booth, getting demonstrations of the technology in action.
After a long first day of showcasing our wireless presentation gateway, we broke for a nap back at the hotel...
(Absolutely nobody spent an hour playing the Blackjack tables, we promise...)
...and then it was time for the wePresent Happy Hour. See, we weren't just in Vegas to celebrate our award-winning interactive wireless gateway, wePresent was also celebrating the growth of our team.
Michael Peveler, formerly the VP of Global Education Sales at AMX/Harmon, announced his acceptance of a position as VP of Global Sales at wePresent, effective immediately. In order to welcome Michael properly, it took over 150 people, countless drinks, a showgirl in full regalia, and, of course, The King himself...
As you can see, it also took an amazing Elvis impersonator.
Editors Note: Our social media guy also writes these blog posts, but assumes that nobody will notice him recycling jokes he's made on one over on the other. Just...give him this. He's new, and at least he's not making that stupid "that's bananas" joke again.
Musical talent was provided not only by Mister Elvis Presley, but also Scotty Isaacs, our local hometown favorite, straight from Rockwall, TX. Each played a set that wowed the crowd in incredibly different ways. Our in-house music guru was also on hand to provide entertainment, because it wouldn't be a night out with wePresent if our head of Business Development, Cary Benjamin, didn't amaze us all with a soulful set of his own. Seriously, his "Billy Jean" is nothing to scoff at.
Special thanks to Off the Strip at the Linq, Las Vegas, for hosting us. The staff, food, and drinks were all amazing, and we will be looking forward to doing it all again in two years.
Day Two of InfoComm exists as a blur for most of us. It went fast, and we mean fast. As we evangelized wePresent to the masses, we got to show off a lot of the surprises we've got in store for the future. But other than that, it was a typical day at InfoComm, in as much as we had so many people moving through our booth, it was hard to even take a proper lunch. Most meals were taken on our feet, paper wrappers curled around great slabs of Italian cold cuts pressed between deli bread, hidden away in the privacy of the utility closet for a few bites at a time.
It seemed like everyone had a friend, a co-worker, or a colleague who had told them about wePresent, and it seemed like everyone wanted to see it in action. We took it as a sign we were doing our jobs well that Commercial Integrator Magazine called our product the "solutions that the education market has been looking for" in one of their pieces about InfoComm.
After day 2, our Europe office was wonderful enough to treat many of our staff to Cirque Du Soleil's "Love", a visually amazing tribute to the Beatles. Others from the staff went back to the blackjack tables, and our executives enjoyed a night out (but not necessarily a night off) on the Strip.
But unfortunately, as is wont to happen, day 2 of InfoComm 16 eventually found us all in bed early again, ready to start early the next morning.
There's a certain buzz that comes from a combination of two days in Vegas, combined with the kind of hype we were getting at InfoComm 16, and it was prevalent on the dawn of day 3. Our team assembled into a convoy of wireless geniuses, sales gurus, and dedicated marketers, strutting into the Las Vegas Convention Center a full hour early, determined to make Day 3 our best day yet.
Day 3 seemed to be filled with opportunities to extoll the virtues of the wePresent in an education environment, how the 64-user queue was large enough to accomodate even a larger active learning space, but also how moderator control was capable of regulating and displaying connected devices from a touch-panel, with a web interface, or even with a mouse and keyboard connected to the wePresent itself.
Afterward, the closing chimes of InfoComm sounded, and it was time to celebrate. As the crowd of exhibitors cheered another InfoComm success, the wePresent team busied itself picking up and boxing the contents of its booth as fast as possible. The best was yet to come...
wePresent Team Dinner
Day 3, post-show, was another case of "run back to the hotel to nap/play blackjack" (Editors Note: Jake played a lot of blackjack...) but then it was off to the Strip again for a last night of fun. After all, it's not every day that our US, Europe, South Africa, and Asia offices can all come together in one place, and InfoComm was something special even besides that. After three days on the floor of the convention center, we welcomed a respite, and we got one. We started in the Lobby Bar at the Mirage, awaiting all our wireless presentation comrades as they filtered down through the desert oasis and catching them before they escaped into the night. Afterward, it was right back to Off the Strip as we awaited a table at our next destination.
With our European office in attendance, it only made sense to do dinner as European as possible. We were celebrating a successful InfoComm, but more than that, it was the rare occasion when sixteen people, previously connected only by Skype calls, emails, and text messages, got to sit in the same room, talk in real-time, and just be together. After all, wePresent is a worldwide company, but we started as a family, small and insular, and we've always been dedicated to keeping that feeling alive.
Dinner at the Yard House was fantastic. Black truffle on everything, fries cooked in duck fat, appetizers that had our mouths watering for the main course. While we ate and relaxed, the sounds of street musicians wafted from below.
Fantastic is a word that only begins to describe our InfoComm experience. We thank the entire wePresent family from around the globe, those who attended our InfoComm booth, and even you guys who kept track of our goings on from home. We couldn't do it without any of you, and we can't wait to do it again.
Carin Vente (who took almost all these amazing pictures) and Cory Cannon (President/COO of wePresent)
Dick de Vaal (CEO, Europe) and Anton Moller (CEO, South Africa)
Michael Peveler (VP of Global Sales)
Chris Heuvelman (Product & Account Manager, Europe)
Chris and Marjorie Wijea (Sales and Marketing, Europe)
Ed Pham (Business Development, US)
Heidi Mercer, (Business Developmnent - Public Sector, US)
Nikki Theron (Sales and Marketing, South Africa), Eva Cannon (Marketing Director, US), and Cary Benjamin (Business Development, US)
Steven Faught (Product Manager, US) and Jacob Moffitt (Marketing Associate/Copy Writer, US)